Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Animal Fare by Jane Yolen

Yolen, Jane. Animal Fare. Illus. Jane Street. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1994.

In this collection of 16 humorous animal poems, Yolen plays with words (animal names to be specific) and enjoys herself thoroughly. She turns giraffes into girafts, a hippopotamus into a hippopotanoose, and rabbits into raggits.

What I thought: What a fun collection of poems! I thought A. A. Milne was creative when he thought up heffalumps and woozles. He's got nothing on Jane Yolen. I laughed and laughed while I read these poems.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Revisiting Old Favorites

I picked up Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren on a whim. I enjoyed all the Pippi books when I was a child. I guess I wanted to recapture the magic. After re-reading the 1st book, I know why I liked them so much--Pippi is outrageous, hilarious, and audacious. The humor of Lindgren's books remind me a lot of Polly Horvath's books. I do like a book that makes you laugh out loud while reading it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Girl Coming in for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland

Wayland, April Halprin. Girl Coming in for a Landing: A Novel in Poems. Illus. Elaine Clayton. New York: Knopf, 2002.

The nameless narrator takes us through a year in her life: Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. She reveals all--classes and crushes. Midnight thoughts and family.

What I thought: What a brilliant book! It reads very fast. I found myself drawn to the narrator. She, a poet, reminds me of myself as a teen. All the poems are great, but I especially like the meta-poetry. My favorite poems are "Writing Poetry," "Poetry Is My Underwear," Writer: Creator," "Waiting for Waffles," "I Have to Write," "Published!" and "Reviews." Another favorite is "Pooh" though it's not meta-poetry. I also like the author's afterward where she shares her thoughts on writing poetry. She gives 8 commonsensical tips for writing and getting published.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate by reading or writing some poetry this month. I'm currently reading my way through Emily Dickinson's complete poems.

Verse Novels (also known as novels in verse or novems) are an exciting new take on poetry. Some of my favorites are:

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill.

I'm looking forward to reading Hate that Cat by Creech and Birds on a Wire: A Renga 'Round Town by J. Patrick Lewis and Paul B. Janeczko.