Words, Wit, and Wonder: Writing Your Own Poem

Words, Wit, and Wonder: Writing Your Own Poem

by Nancy Loewen, Christopher Lyles

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Ready to build a poem? First, you’ll need the right tools. Open this title in the Writer’s Toolbox series and discover plenty of tips and tools to get you started. Soon you’ll be writing rhythms and rhymes like a pro!


Ready to build a poem? First, you’ll need the right tools. Open this title in the Writer’s Toolbox series and discover plenty of tips and tools to get you started. Soon you’ll be writing rhythms and rhymes like a pro!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tracy Koretsky
If you have room for only one or two titles on poetry craft for this audience, you might want to consider others. Its aim is not to inspire or offer opportunities to work with words, but to define terms. It is therefore a supplement, and at that, not an excellent one. It is not, for example, an anthology; only three poets—the author and two others—are represented. The chief appeal of this book is that its design suits classroom use. However the illustrations may feel a bit juvenile for the 9- to-11-year-olds its concepts target. That is just one of the many ways this book misses its mark. It defines and provides examples for six devices and four forms, which it unhelpfully calls "tools." Starting with musical devices—rhythm, rhyme and alliteration—it skips, for no apparent reason, to meaning devices before jumping back to onomatopoeia. As far as the meaning devices go, the tiresome didacticism between simile and metaphor fill two central pages and are the only concepts discussed. Connotation, the concept most essential to reading and writing poetry, is not mentioned. Also lacking is a table of contents, which seriously hinders the book's usefulness as a reference. Speaking of reference, the book demonstrates an unforgivable lack of research. For example, to know that its treatment of Haiku as a 5/7/5 syllable poem about nature is sorely outmoded, one need just glance at the Internet. Buy only if you seek to be very complete in the Language Arts, especially for gifted children younger than the target age, and use with caution! Reviewer: Tracy Koretsky
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

Each book explains a specific type of writing and shows how various "tools" are used in creating it. For example, Fairy Tale demonstrates the use of setting, characters, and magic, among other devices, in "Little Red Riding Hood." Some of the tools covered in Picture Book are dividing the story into parts, setting up a problem or struggle, and using illustrations to advance the plot. Letter shows the proper format for such a missive and explains, for example, how to write the greeting, what should be in the body, and how to close. Budding poets will find descriptions of the use of rhythm, rhyme, and metaphors among the tools outlined in Poem . Purists may disagree with the definition of "fairy tale" in that book ("...very old stories with magical characters"), as well as with some liberties that are taken with the traditional tale discussed. In addition, no source is given for this particular version, which would seem de rigueur. The mixed-media illustrations are reasonably attractive but not outstanding. The illustrator seems to struggle a bit with proper body proportions, but this is a minor quibble in otherwise attractive and useful books. In all titles, "Let's Review" sections summarize the tools previously outlined, and "Getting Started Exercises" provide writing prompts.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

Product Details

Capstone Press
Publication date:
Capstone Writer's Toolbox Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Nancy Loewen has published many books for kids. She’s a two-time Minnesota Book Award finalist (Four to the Pole and The LAST Day of Kindergarten) and the recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers (Writer’s Toolbox series). She holds an MFA from Hamline University in St. Paul. Nancy has two children and lives near Minneapolis. To learn more, visit www. nancyloewen.com.

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