October 24, 2016

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Oh where, oh where has Tortilla gone? Join the Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon

Where is Catalina’s doggy, Tortilla? Our nation’s 21st U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera poses a question he would like children to answer, as creatively and as poetically as possible!  He and artist/illustrator Juana Medina invite your second and third grade kiddos to join a bilingual poetry party! This week, the Library of Congress debuted the […]

Review of the Day: Are You an Echo? by David Jacobson

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko Narrative and Translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi Illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri Chin Music Press $19.50 ISBN: 9781634059626 Ages 5 and up On shelves now Recently I was at a conference celebrating the creators of different kinds of children’s books. During one […]

Review of the Day: Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Freedom Over Me: Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life By Ashley Bryan Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1481456906 Ages 9 and up On shelves September 13th Who gives voice to the voiceless? What are your credentials when you do so? When I was a teen I used to […]

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Written by Roxane Orgill; Illustrated by Francis Vallejo
Published by Candlewick Press, 2016
ISBN # 978-0763669546

Grades 3 and up

Book Review

The year was 1958, and jazz music was everywhere in full for…

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete PoemsWritten by Bob RaczkaPublished by Roaring Brook Press, 2016ISBN 978-1-62672-236-1Grades 2 and upBook ReviewIn Wet Cement, author Bob Raczka begins with a credo: “I like to think of poems as word paintings.” Inde…


Booked Written by Kwame Alexander Published in 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Grades 4-8 ISBN: 978-0-544-57098-6 Book Review Newbery medal-winning author Kwame Alexander has another captivating and emotionally charged novel-in-verse in Booked. Nick Hall is an eighth grader who is both likable and relatable. He loves soccer, hanging with his best friend, and playing FIFA […]

Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths.

Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths

Written by Marilyn Singer and Illustrated by Josee Masse

Published by Dial in 2016 

ISBN 978-0-8037-3992-5

Grades 3-8

Book Review

Turning her attention to Greek mythology, Marilyn Singer, a

Painting Pictures with Words | Books for National Poetry Month


These recently published poetry offerings will captivate students with their enchanting blend of eloquent words and eye-grabbing images.

Happy Poetry Month!

We enjoy poetry in the classroom all year long, but April is a special month to recognize the power that poetry has to move us, to entertain us, and to help us see the world in new ways. In today’s entry, we highlight some poetry books recently feature…

TPiB: MakerSpace Poetry

I love poetry. In fact, I still have all my old high school notebooks full of my very bad angst filled poetry. Occasionally, I still even add a new poem. And since April is National Poetry Month, I wanted to find a way to combine some poetry activities with the new MakerSpace at The Public […]

Marilyn’s great speech

Here’s a link to the speech Marilyn Nelson gave when she won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Carver in 2001. The awards were given in Burlington, Vermont that October, a very fraught time, as you will recall. I remember that Marilyn’s son, then a student at McGill in Montreal, missed the ceremony as he […]

The 2016 Zena Sutherland Lecture with Marilyn Nelson

You should totally come to this. Marilyn Nelson gave one of the best speeches I ever heard on the occasion of her winning the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 2001 for Carver. I hope I see you in Chicago on May 6th.

Spreading the Word: Poets share their love of language during school visits


Three poets talk about their experiences visiting schools and talking to students about their work.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Review of the Day: When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons By Julie Fogliano Illustrated by Julie Morstad A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) $18.99 ISBN: 9781596438521 Ages 6 and up On shelves now. I don’t think I can adequately stress to you the degree to which I did not want to review this book. […]

Rhyme & Reason: Celebrating NCTE’s 2016 Notable Poetry List


Nineteen titles chosen by the National Council of Teachers of English Excellence in Poetry for Children Award Committee.

The Classroom Bookshelf 2016-01-18 09:53:00

Flutter & Hum:
Animal Poems / Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales

and Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

in 2015 by Henry Holt


PreK – 8

Book Review

/ through the grass / the sinuous snake/ is writing/ a slippery poem / with his
body.” The twelve poems in a new bilingual picture book anthology feature a
variety of animals and

One Today

One Today

Written by Richard Blanco,
Illustrated by Dav Pilkey

Published by Little Brown,

ISBN: 978-0-316-37144-5

Grades K-Up

Book Review

Only five U.S. presidential
inaugurations included poets reading their work. Of those five …

Review of the Day: A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen

A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young By Michael Rosen Illustrated by Chris Riddell Candlewick Press $19.99 ISBN: 978076368116 Ages 0-4 On shelves now. Did you know that, generally speaking, Europeans have absolutely no interest in the works of Dr. Seuss? It’s true. For years his works have been untranslatable (though great inroads […]

How Kwame Alexander Gets Teens Reading and Writing Poetry


What’s love got to do with it? A lot, writes Kwame Alexander, who recommends reading love poems with teens to engage them in reading and creating their own poetry. Also, listen to Alexander read four of his poems aloud.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Marilyn Nelson’s “My Seneca Village” | A Lesson Plan and Discussion Guide

my seneca village

In a series of stunning poems, Newbery and Coretta Scott King awards honoree Marilyn Nelson introduces readers to My Seneca Village, a multiethnic 19th-century community that thrived on the edge of what today is New York City’s Central Park