Getting Ready for April is Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and it is just around the corner! I’ve found quite a few excellent poetry titles that have been published since last April, and picked out a few to share. Enjoy!

ELEMENTARY K-2

Flutter & Hum

Flutter & Hum : Animal Poems = Aleteo 7 zumbido : Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis. 9781627791038. 2015. Gr K-2.

Paschkis’s playful poems about the animal kingdom, full of wordplay and alliteration, are presented in both English and Spanish. Publishers Weekly praises the author/illustrator, saying that she “shows herself to be a sensitive observer of the animal kingdom, as well as of language itself, finding humor, eccentricities, and unexpected connections in both.” Lovely to look at, lovely to read, lovely to listen to.

Popcorn Astronauts

The Popcorn Astronauts : And Other Biteable Rhymes by Deborah Ruddell (ill. by Joan Rankin). 9781442465558. 2015. Gr K-2.

Pile your plate high with these crowd-pleasing foods that are favorites throughout the seasons. Along with the popcorn astronauts of the titles, Ruddell celebrates strawberries and peaches (with their “flannelpajamaty skin”), guacamole, macaroni and cheese, birthday cake, and more. Whimsical and imaginative, the poems come in various forms—and both poems and art attest to a love affair with food.

Won Ton and Chopstick

Won Ton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw (ill. by Eugene Yelchin). 9780805099874. 2015. Gr PK-3.

Won Ton, the cat rescued from the shelter, has settled into her new home and her new name, but now a new upset comes in the form of a little puppy. This story, told through an ancient form of Japanese poetry called senryu, follows the relationship of the pair. Chopstick is curious and unaware of boundaries, while Won Ton seeks to guard his territory and begs “Puthimoutputhimoutputhimoutputhimout.” Finally the two find common ground. As with Won Ton : A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, this is a great read-aloud—and a good story to give to a child with a new brother or sister.

Check out these new poetry books for grades K-2 as well:

Changes : A Child’s First Poetry Collection by Charlotte Zolotow. 9781492601685. April 2015. Gr PK-2.
Hungry for Math : Poems to Munch On by Kari-Lynn Winters (ill. by Lori Sherritt-Fleming. 9781554553075. 2014. Gr 1-3.
Manger by Lee Bennett Hopkins (ill. by Helen Cann). 9780802854193. 2014. Gr PK-3.
Out and About : First Book of Poems by Shirley Hughes. 9780763676445. 2015. Gr PK-1.
Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost (ill. by Rick Lieder). 9780763669041. 2015. Gr PK-2.
Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman (ill. by Rick Allen). 9780547906508. 2014. Gr K-4.

ELEMENTARY 3-5

Bigfoot Is Missing

Bigfoot Is Missing! by J. Patrick Lewis & Kenn Nesbitt (ill. by Minalima). 9781452118956. 2015. Gr 2-5.

The first and the current US Children’s Poet Laureates have combined forces in this collection of poems about cryptids, animals—like Bigfoot—whose existence has not been proven. The verse is playful and tongue-in-cheek, and the creatures of legend in the illustrations are, like real-life “proof”, never fully seen.

Death of the Hat

The Death of the Hat : A Brief History of Poetry in Fifty Objects by Paul B. Janeczko (ill. by Chris Raschka). 9780763669638. 2015. Gr 4-6.

Janeczko and Raschka combine their talents again in their fourth poetry book, this one about the forms of poetry throughout the years. Each poem is about an object (hats, candles, trees, stamp albums, manhole covers, and more) and represents a different time period, from the Middle Ages to today. The examples, while mostly from Western literature, do also include selections from Eastern and women poets.

Random Body Parts

Random Body Parts : Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse by Leslie Bulion (ill. by Mike Lowery). 9781561457373. 2015. Gr 3-6.

“Of course you have a body. / But do you have a clue / Where all the body parts you’ve got are found / And what they do? Each puzzle-poem in this collection provides clues about a different body part—and though kids will find them hilarious and pretty gross, they will also be learning about real science and about poetic form.

And here are a few more poetry books for grades 3-5:

After the Bell Rings : Poems about After-School Time by Carol Diggory Shields. 9780803738058. 2015. Gr 2-5.
Hypnotize a Tiger : Poems about Just about Everything by Calef Brown. 9780805099287. 2015. Gr 4-6.
The Maine Coon’s Haiku : And Other Poems for Cat Lovers by Michael Rosen (ill. by Lee Anthony White). 9780763664923. 2015. Gr 2-5.
Neon Aliens Ate My Homework : And Other Poems by Nick Cannon. 9780545722810. 2015. Gr 2-5.
Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes (ill. by Elizabeth Zunon). 9781620140277. May 2015. Gr 2-5.
Presidential Misadventures : Poems That Poke Fun at the Man by Bob Raczka (ill. by Dan E. Burr). 9781596439801. 2015. Gr 4-6.

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