Each month, I write a book review column for a local magazine here in town. In collaboration with (and with permission from) the publisher, I am adding the column to my blog as I thought it might be a fun feature. So – here you go:
A book of short rhyming poems from a dog’s perspective on a calendar year of his family: everything from Valentine’s Day to summer holidays to the dreaded visit to the groomer’s place. Really great fun for reading out loud, this is a super book to introduce kids to simple poetry and the joy of wordplay. Plus, it has a lovely pack of doggy friends who hang out and have adventures. (A nice extra touch is the multicultural illustrations – sweetly get the point across without being heavy-handed.) Poetry can be fun to read together so try a poem if you haven’t already. Some can be really excellent and a lot of young readers enjoy the rhythmic reading and word patterns.
A collection of poems (both old and new) that have been chosen by children for other children just because the kids liked them. Although this is a British book (and with an emphasis on British poets), kids will come across familiar poems and perhaps be introduced to new ones. The poems are grouped by the age of the kids who chose them, and who range from six years old to 15 or so. An extra nice touch is that each poem has a footnote saying just why each kid chose that particular poem – makes it very relatable to the young reader, I think. A fun way to introduce younger readers to the word play of poetry, this anthology is wide enough for almost everyone to find a favorite poem. It’s a good example of how fun language and words can be as you get comfortable with reading. (Super fun to read aloud as well.)
Yes, this is poetry – please don’t stop reading this paragraph. It’s not the poetry you read in school…. This 2010 collection of poetry is by Loren Graham and is an honest (and at times searing) reflection of how one man’s marital separation and then divorce affected his life. Modern poetry that plays with words and spacing, the poems are a straight-forward assessment of how he feels with regard to the disintegration of his relationship and then the afterwards. It’s not often that one comes across such straight-up blunt writing, but I appreciated the openness. You will not get a totally “happy” read here, but you will get some good poetry. (Helpful note: TTU is good at bringing real-life poets to town for readings etc. that are free to the public on the whole. Check their website for more info.)