PPBF: The Death of the Hat

DeathHatCoverA Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects: selected by Paul Janeczko
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Candlewick, 2015
Ages: 5-9yrs
Themes: poetry
Opening: (from Things, Eloise Greenfield) Went to the corner/ Walked in the store/ Bought me some candy/ Ain’t got it no more/Ain’t got it no more.
Summary: (from my library catalog) The award-winning creators of A Foot in the Mouth present a collection of poems inspired by earthly and celestial objects to reveal how poetry has been an enduring artistic form that reflects the historical periods of its writers.

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I like this book because: I am a BIG Raschka fan, because I love how loose and free his illustrations are, and I know it looks a lot easier to do that than it truly is (still trying!). This volume is particularly special because the collection is a history of poetry – you might be surprised how timeless and fressssshhhh century’s old poetry can be!

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Resources/activities: WRITE poetry! Pick one object you like, and one you don’t. READ poetry! When I feel like  I need a break from writing, revisions, drawing even, I like to read poetry, and I am particularly fond of poetry meant for children (I know it’s a scam to keep the best stuff for kids!).

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For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

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PPBF: A Kick in the Head

Author: Paul B. Janeczko
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2005
Age Level: 8 and up
Themes: poetic forms
Opening: Tercet, by Joan Bransfield Graham
Kitchen crickets make a din,
sending taunts to chilly kin,
“You’re outside, but we got in.”
Summary: (subtitle) An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms; In this splendid and playful volume — second of a trilogy — an acclaimed creative team presents examples of twenty-nine poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry, but also the spirit that brings these forms to life. Featuring poems from the likes of Eleanor Farjeon (aubade), X. J. Kennedy (elegy), Ogden Nash (couplet), Liz Rosenberg (pantoum), and William Shakespeare, the sonnet king himself. A Kick in the Head perfectly illustrates Robert Frost’s maxim that poetry without rules is like a tennis match without a net.
Why I like this book: All the poems are such fun, but what a great way to learn about all the forms – and feel inspired to write your own! Read it now and you’ll be ready for…next Valentine’s Day!
Resources/Activities: read more books on poems like: A Poke in the I, and A Foot in  the Mouth, the other two in the trilogy; or great for boys: Good Sports, poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrations by Chris Raschka; Alfred A. Knopf, 2007 – see the illustration spread from Good Sports below; AND WRITE POETRY!

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For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE