Dirty Laundry Pile: Poems in Different Voices

Overview

Pssst...reader!

I've got something to tell you.

I'm not just another book of poetry.

I'm full of voices you've never heard before.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a turtle, a snowflake, or a pile of dirty laundry?

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Overview

Pssst...reader!

I've got something to tell you.

I'm not just another book of poetry.

I'm full of voices you've never heard before.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a turtle, a snowflake, or a pile of dirty laundry?

All sorts of objects and animals speak up in these poems that are just shouting to be read.

So what are you waiting for? Check me out!

A scarecrow, washing machine, cow, and other objects and animals express themselves in this collection of poems.

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Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book
“Youngsters, who are just finding their own voices, are thus given the unique opportunity to examine the characteristics of others’.”
The Horn Book
“Youngsters, who are just finding their own voices, are thus given the unique opportunity to examine the characteristics of others’.”
Horn Book
Youngsters, who are just finding their own voices, are thus given the unique opportunity to examine the characteristics of others'.
Children's Literature
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a sky blue crayon, or a scarecrow, or a washing machine? In a delightful collection of poems you can examine life through the soul of inanimate objects or through the eyes of various creatures. The bacterium has job satisfaction while nestling in a sandwich and the horse pleads silently for a blanket and a carrot. "Ignore me now/ On the floor/ By the Door. But you'll notice/ When I swell/ By my smell." These are the wise words of advice from a dirty laundry pile, which gives its name to the book. Some poems will tickle your funny bone, some are touching, and others will make you take a second look at your vacuum cleaner or be willing to give up just one tiny drop of blood to a mosquito. Charming, whimsical paintings surround each poem, inviting young readers to look, listen and try creating their own verses in other voices. 2001, HarperCollins, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 4 to 12. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Janeczko's collection of "persona" or "mask" poems-poems written in voices of nonhuman things-is varied in topic, mood, and quality. The selector has included many crackerjack poets, such as Karla Kuskin, Bobbi Katz, Lillian Moore, and Douglas Florian, and a few whose names are not as familiar. Most of the selections have been taken from other anthologies. Whether thoughtful or humorous in nature, many of them are on-target descriptions of a variety of unrelated objects-a kite, roots, a sky-blue crayon, a vacuum cleaner, a pair of red gloves, the winter wind. The cleverness of the best of these descriptions voiced by inanimate narrators might entice young people to try to create some similar verses of their own. Sweet's bright, colorful watercolors in a flat cartoon style depict full- and double-page scenes and borders that feature critters and objects from the poems. Consider this one for classroom read-alouds.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Janeczko (A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems, p. 411, etc.) advocates using poetry in the classroom daily, and teachers who are introducing the concept of point of view will find some unique ways to get the point across through these poems. The poets represented here can hear anthropomorphic voices in some pretty odd places: curtains, a snowflake, a crayon, and the source of the title-a pile of dirty laundry. Other poems give voice to animals, trees, kites, the winter wind, and three machines that relate to the dirty laundry: a washing machine, a broom, and a vacuum cleaner. Well-known poets such as Karla Kuskin, Lilian Moore, Jane Yolen, Douglas Florian, and Bobbi Katz are represented, along with less familiar poets. Sweet's watercolor illustrations help bring each poem to life with dancing brooms, a menacing vacuum cleaner, and a poignant horse waiting for a blanket and a carrot. Younger children will enjoy the poems simply as funny or touching poetry, but older students will begin to see the poetic possibilities in the unexplored voices of the inanimate. Janeczko has a wide following through his own poetry collections, anthologies, and books on writing poetry, so this collection should find a ready audience, especially in school libraries. (Poetry. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688162511
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 291,723
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul B. Janeczko speaks as an editor, anthologist, poet, and teacher in his many award-winning books for young readers. Dirty Laundry Pile: Poems in Different Voices, a companion to Hey, You!, was named a Riverbank Review Children's Book of Distinction and was a finalist for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Paul B. Janeczko lives with his wife and daughter in Hebron, Maine.

Melissa Sweet has illustrated many award-winning books for children, including A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant, a 2009 Caldecott Honor Book, an NCTE Notable Children's Book, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. She has also written and illustrated Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade, Tupelo Rides the Rails, and Carmine: A Little More Red, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book for 2005. Her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living.

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Read an Excerpt

Broom

Tony Johnston

I am the trusted consort
of floors, accomplice
of water and swash,
confidant of corners
where skulks shifty, fugitive
trash.
I am blunt whisker,
ghost-voiced shadow-sweeper
(suspicious of the dark),
collector of exquisite
scraps,
confessor to expiring
flies,
seeker-of-the-lost,
keeper-of-the-uncherished,
the crushed.
I share the deepest secrets
of the dust.

Dirty Laundry Pile. Copyright © by Paul Janeczko. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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