A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down

“A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down”

In this poetry picture book, poetry is turned on its head. Some poems are meant to be read from the bottom up while others are meant to be read from the top to the bottom. Readers need to figure out whether the poem should be read up or down.

Read up or down?

Read down or up?

Illustrations marry beautifully with the up and down poems to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary. 

This book promotes creative components of perspective and imagination.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because the poem structure adds depth to the meaning of each poem. I adore the illustrations, which also bring another layer to reading these poems.

TITLE: A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down

AUTHOR: Dana Jensen


PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012


TOPIC(S): poetry

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: perspective, imagination


1) Think of things that fall or rise up. Pick one of these things and write a “skinny” poem where the reader has to figure out whether to read it up or read it down.

2) Let’s turn things around. Think of things that are long in length. For example, a semi-truck is long.  Write a short poem about your long item by writing it lengthwise – one long line.


To learn more about author Dana Jensen, visit:

A webpage for Dana Jensen could not be located, but here is a little bit about him: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-meal-of-the-stars-dana-jensen/1110914062

To learn more about illustrator Tricia Tusa, visit:


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