Write! Write! Write!

Boyds Mills/Wordsong. Mar. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781684373628.
Gr 2-6–This beautiful compendium of poems that celebrates the written word is a joy to share with young writers. The cleverly illustrated picture book contains 22 poems, all written in different styles and meters. There is sure to be a poem within these pages that appeals to every reader. “If I Were an Octopus” is a speculative quatrain that is surrounded by the colorful, undersea renderings of O’Rourke. “Ideas (like Peaches)” is simply magical in all aspects—the “ideas” growing on the tree glow like enormous, unique, sparkling jewels, and the verse itself encourages readers to gather supplies and begin their own adventure by “pick[ing] [an idea] like a peach.” VanDerwater’s “Revision Is…” will strike a chord with young writers as it is honest about how mixed-up the never-ending cycle of revision can make a writer feel...even though it can be “a little bit fun” too! Each poem celebrates parts of the writing process; the illustrations add depth to their meaning. O’Rourke even captures the spirit of the little sister in “My Little Sister Writes” by depicting the scene in a scratchy crayon picture, reminiscent of one done by the three-year-old subject. The poems could also be shared with and appeal to older, independent readers. This collection would be well used as a mentor text for poetry writing in the upper elementary grades.
VERDICT While this may not be the flashiest book on the shelf, it is an exceedingly well-written and illustrated addition to any collection that serves young readers and writers.

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