Saturday, April 6, 2013

Kid Konnection: National Poetry Month

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you two poetry picture books in honor of National Poetry Month.

Summary: Under the desert’s cracked and barren skin, spadefoot toads are waiting for rain. In the endless black of the deepest caves, blind fish find their way. Even in the frozen hearts of glaciers, ice worms by the billion flourish. In this fascinating look at fourteen animals who defy the odds by thriving in Earth’s most dangerous places, renowned poet Marilyn Singer and celebrated artist Ed Young show that of all the miracles of life, it is life’s persistence that astounds the most. -- Chronicle Books

A STRANGE PLACE TO CALL HOME: THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS HABITATS & THE ANIMALS THAT CALL THEM HOME by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Ed Young is a fantastic book to introduce children to poetry. This gorgeous book features different types of poetry as a way to teach children about a  a variety of animal habitats.

Booking Son and I read this book and I was surprised by how much he enjoyed it. I think the variety of poems kept him interested. Plus, he liked that the animals and habitats that were presented had some pretty interesting characteristics.

As a mom, I can't recommend this book enough because it makes learning fun. In fact, it would be ideal for classrooms. I learned a great deal about some very unique animals and their homes, and I also learned about different forms of poetry. In addition, the illustrations created by Ed Young, a Caldecott medalist, were positively beautiful!

One of my favorite parts of this book was the Endnotes section. Additional information about each of the animals and their natural habitats was provided (in non-poetry text), and the various types of poetry forms were explained as well. The book also references a website that further explains the poetry forms and suggests that kids try to write their own poems! So cute!

A STRANGE PLACE TO CALL HOME is an entertaining picture book that also teaches children about animals and poetry. Highly recommended.

Summary: In the best-selling tradition of This is New York and My New York, this delightful book-length poem spreads the wonder and joy that is New York, as told through the words of its children. As part of an unprecedented series of workshops, New York City public school students were challenged to write about what it was like to live, learn, and play in New York City. The poems were collected and edited into this book. Their words provide readers of all ages an honest, kid’s-eye view of the melting pot of cultures, ideas, and excitement found within the five boroughs of New York City. Masha D’yans’s beautiful illustrations complement the vivid descriptions of taking a taxi through Manhattan or a subway up to the "boogie-down" Bronx, the salty seas of Staten Island, passing the family-owned stores that form the backbone of Queens, walking through Brooklyn’s Botanical Gardens, and so much more. Lyrical, heartfelt, and bursting with imagination, A Poem as Big as New York City proves that a poem can be as vast and exciting as the greatest city in the world. -- Universe/Rizzoli

A POEM AS BIG AS NEW YORK CITY: LITTLE KIDS WRITE ABOUT THE BIG APPLE is another terrific poetry picture book. Basically, it's a collaborative poem that New York City public school students wrote as part of a series of 75 workshops held throughout the five boroughs. They were asked to write about what it's like to live, learn and play in The Big Apple. These poems were edited by Teachers and Writers Collaborative and the book was illustrated by Masha D'yans. The foreword was written by Walter Dean Myers.

A POEM AS BIG AS NEW YORK CITY is a gorgeous book. I absolutely adore the poem and, while I've never lived in NYC, I have a feeling that these kids captured the essence of the city perfectly. I appreciated the references to taxis, the skyline, the baseball stadium, the subway, the Statue of Liberty, and much more! I also loved how it featured the various cultures and ideas of New York's citizens. It really is a book that should make New Yorkers proud.

A must-read for New Yorkers or anyone who wants to celebrate the brilliance of our young people!

Thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of these books. And a big thanks to Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit for coordinating this tour!

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too! 


Beth F said...

I'm especially interested in the NYC poetry project book.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hey, Booking Mama--

I'm here through the Wit and Savvy tour (posting on the 15th) and really enjoyed your reviews. I'm a great fan of Marilyn Singer and look forward to her new collection, but the Big Apple book is wonderful to know about...I did my first teaching in East Harlem and can't wait to see what NYC looks like to kids now! Thanks!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I also have a poetry book Kid Konnection book today - a really warm story about how great family reunions are.

bermudaonion said...

Those both look good to me, especially A Strange Place to Call Home.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

Oh, my son would definitely love A Strange Place to Call Home because he loves books about animals. And my kids like poetry in general.

Serena said...

Thanks so much for being on the blog tour. I'm going to get the animal habitat one for my daughter. I think she'd love it.

Anonymous said...

How fun! Love poems and when I babysat, I always made sure we learned some new poems and such. The kid loved it!

Melwyk said...

These both sound great -- I love to see poetry used in engaging ways with kids! I am especially interested in A Strange Place to Call Home -- love the illustrator, and the idea of following up by learning about forms that poetry can take.