When Jack Prelutksy posted the first couplet of a funny poem on a Web site and invited children to finish it, he expected about 100 responses. He got thousands. Now he has come up with an anthology of poems on 10 popular subjects by well-known poets and combined it with his own "poemstarts." Included with each poemstart are suggestions for various ways the reader might continue the poem. With large type and a big red stop sign, it is made abundantly clear that the reader get a pencil and paper to complete the ...
When Jack Prelutksy posted the first couplet of a funny poem on a Web site and invited children to finish it, he expected about 100 responses. He got thousands. Now he has come up with an anthology of poems on 10 popular subjects by well-known poets and combined it with his own "poemstarts." Included with each poemstart are suggestions for various ways the reader might continue the poem. With large type and a big red stop sign, it is made abundantly clear that the reader get a pencil and paper to complete the poem. Jack Prelutsky has been credited with making poetry fun for children to read. Now he is making poetry fun for children to write!
Prelutsky's (It's Raining Pigs and Noodles) latest poetry anthology (which includes a couple of his own pieces) encourages youngsters to try their hand at the art of verse, offering them a boost with his "poemstarts" (a concept he has used successfully on the Web, according to his opening letter to readers). On each spread, he presents three poems and one "poemstart," covering one of 10 topics, from dogs and birthdays to friendship and feelings. The "food poemstart," for instance, begins, "I'm hungry, so I think that I/ Will have a piece of penguin pie./ When that is finished, I will eat/ A _________." Backed by a block of bright color in the upper right corner of every spread, the poemstarts also build in a list of rhyming words or helpful hints to get writers going, (e.g., "Just imagine all the ridiculous things you might eat that rhyme with the word "eat"). So's (Hurry and the Monarch) lively watercolors light up the pages with their whimsy and vividness. For the turtle theme, the artist riffs on Douglas Florian's poem ("This bony dome's/ My mobile home"): several critters crawl across the pages, each supporting a teepee or igloo on its back. With poems from the likes of Aileen Fisher, Ogden Nash and Dr. Seuss, and some pragmatic advice ("Don't worry too much about making the poem rhyme-it's more important to express your feelings"), Prelutsky's poetry primer will have children eager to play with words. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Prelutsky designed this collection to jumpstart children's creative juices. Three short poems were chosen for each theme: dogs, food, birthdays, bugs, cows, friends, snow, turtles, rain, and self. He also includes a "poemstart": an unfinished verse, along with advice and lists of rhyming words, so that readers can complete the poem on their own. The compiler displays a fine sense for lighthearted, kid-friendly poetry; highlights include Alice Schertle's "Moo," Myra Cohn Livingston's "Birthday," and Karla Kuskin's "Running Away." Readers will be drawn to the book's attractive design; So's watercolor-and-ink illustrations add playfully jumbled perspectives. This title is aimed at a younger audience than most poetry/creative writing guides; Janet S. Wong's You Have to Write (S & S, 2002) is for older primary-grade students. Both books are notable for their direct, practical approach and will be valued by teachers and young writers.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Prelutsky has invented a method he calls "poemstarts" to help children get started in writing poetry. He provides several introductory lines of a simple poem and then offers some open-ended suggestions for its completion. In this thematically organized collection, Prelutsky offers ten poemstarts on different popular themes, complemented by three short poems on the same subject by different authors. The poemstart and related text is set off on a gold background on the upper right of each spread, with the three short related poems incorporated within a thematic illustration in So's delightfully loose watercolors. Some of the subjects covered are dogs, bugs, snow and best friends. Prelutsky's short suggestions for young writers include possible rhyming words, point of view and incorporating personal experiences and feelings into poetry, all offered in a light-handed manner. Though the volume's intent is as a springboard to writing poetry, the thoughtful selections and So's winning watercolors make this a successful poetry collection even without the writing prompts. (author's note, indexes of titles and authors) (Picture book. 5-8)
JACK PRELUTSKY is America's #1children's poet with books such as The New Kid on the Block and If Not for the Cat, favorites of both kids and their teachers. His anthologies of poetry also reflect his deep understanding of what children like and feel. He lives in Mercer Island, Washington. MEILO SO has illustrated many award-winning picture books and collections of poetry, including Jack Prelutsky's bestselling anthology The 20th-Century Children's Poetry Treasury. She lives in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.