Away with Words!: Wise and Witty Poems for Language Lovers

Little, Brown. Mar. 2022. 64p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316167659.
Gr 2-5–This unique metrical composition highlights the alphabet through various poems all the way from A to Z, pushing the book beyond the confines of the usual audience. Each poem is accompanied by an appropriate illustration in full color to help readers understand the theme or message. For example, “tree trimming” features a picture of a boy with hedge trimmers happily looking at a tree that has been snipped down to “just a stump” after his mother asked him to trim (decorate) the tree. The pride shown on his face is comical in that he took her direction in the literal sense and almost nothing of the tree remains. The author clearly had fun writing each poem and the illustrator festoons the pages with diverse characters of every stripe. Some of the poems poke fun at common word mistakes such as not using a comma properly and how italics work in conversational text. This collection would be useful in both an intermediate classroom while teaching a poetry unit and an elementary library for pleasure reading.
VERDICT This is the perfect book for children just learning their way around the quirkier elements of the English language such as puns, rhymes, alliteration, homophones, and so much more.

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