Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year

Overview

Whether readers love poetry, riddles, and rhymes or just like to laugh, this richly varied collection of original poems is sure to keep them coming back for more! J. Patrick Lewis's fun and accessible poetry features delightful wordplay and a variety of subjects and forms featured in a compendium that counts down from the first day of school to the last. Paired with Ethan Long's lively art, these poems will have readers wishing there were more days in the school year!

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Overview

Whether readers love poetry, riddles, and rhymes or just like to laugh, this richly varied collection of original poems is sure to keep them coming back for more! J. Patrick Lewis's fun and accessible poetry features delightful wordplay and a variety of subjects and forms featured in a compendium that counts down from the first day of school to the last. Paired with Ethan Long's lively art, these poems will have readers wishing there were more days in the school year!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
The premise of the book is a poem a day for the entire school year, and Lewis comes through. The poems are not necessarily attached to specific times of the year, although there are Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa, St. Patrick's, and Easter poems around the general dates those holidays are found during the school year. The book counts down from 180 days of school left to one day left. The poems focus on a variety of topics, from Bigfoot to toilet inspectors, principals to the Kentucky Derby. There are also a number of poem types, useful for teachers interested in using this book on a regular basis to entertain and to educate. One of my favorite uses of Haiku was found on day fifty-seven, entitled "Country Haik-lues." In this section, a haiku provides a clue as to the country it describes; for example, "Where everybody/wears a caste, curries favor,/and favors curry." Limericks, riddles, shape poems, free verse, and nonsense verse are also found throughout. Illustrations for the various poems are done in pencil on paper and are consistently detailed and humorous. This is a fun book that could suit a number of classroom purposes. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6

A lively and mostly lighthearted countdown to summer, beginning with #180, "A Sixth Grader Sees the Future." "In a billion years, A.D.,/Our sun will shine for none to see./...And I won't have to go to school." The selections feature a range of topics, including food, pets, school and teachers, and the natural world. Many are quite silly, though a few are serious, such as #76, "The Ninth Ward," which laments the fate of a victim of Hurricane Katrina: "Her miracle went to a passerby." There are limericks, concrete poems, riddles, factoids, and playful epitaphs. Holiday poems mark the passage of the school year: Columbus Day and Eid ul-Fitr, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas, and on through the remainder of the school year. Cartoon illustrations keep the mood light and breezy. This collection may be most appreciated by teachers, who'll find it an appealing and accessible introduction to whimsical wordplay.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
As the subtitle indicates, 180 poems are here gathered to be enjoyed on a vitamin-like one-a-day basis. Aside from a vague nod to the turning of the seasons-it begins with a glum sixth grader contemplating his endless homework, and poems on Eid, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, MLK Day, Passover and the other usual suspects appear at strategically spaced intervals-there is no real attempt at formal, thematic or tonal unity. Some verses are long, some short, some thought-provoking, some laugh-provoking. Long's penciled spot art provides an agreeable visual accompaniment, but this book's best application is as a read-aloud. As a no-pressure, just-for-poetry's-sake tool to start the day in the classroom, it could be a teacher's best friend. (Poetry. 8-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316020893
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 600,820
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Patrick Lewis is a prolific writer of children's picture books and poetry books, including Tulip at the Bat, The Bookworm's Feast, Blackbeard: the Pirate King, and The Last Resort.

Ethan Long is the author and illustrator of Tickle the Duck, Stop Kissing Me!, and Duck's Not Afraid of the Dark and has illustrated a number of other children's books including Stinky Feet Smell by Margie Palatini and Oh Yeah! by Tom Birdseye. His new animated short series, 'Tasty Time with ZeFronk' will be premiering in November on Playhouse Disney.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2009

    Review of Coountdown to Summer

    I'm a fan of Pat Lewis' books and already own several, including his poetry, which I love. So, when I saw that he had a new book of 180 poems, one for each school day, I knew I had to buy it. I'm a retired teacher so my thought was - To what teacher do I want to give this book? - and decided on one of my grandchildren's teachers who is just excellent, and like most public school teachers underappreciated, a way to say thanks. When the book came in the mail, I sat down to read it through for myself before I could send it on. I do not recommend this method for reading a Pat Lewis book of poetry; one should take time to savor and enjoy each poem. Well, when I finished, I said to my husband that I didn't want to send it on at all, but to keep it myself it was so good and so funny. You could always buy another, he said, and he was right.

    I love this book, and would love to quote some of the short poems, but I've sent the book along and don't have my replacement yet. Buy this book if you love school, hate school, are a teacher or know a teacher. It's full of fun, puns, and good advice about school.

    I also recommend any other book by Pat Lewis, and he has many - just check his web site.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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