Category Archives: Poetry



In Wonderfall readers discover how a tree changes through the four seasons. Author/illustrator Michael Hall’s creative free-verse poems substitute the word fall for the suffix –ful to show each change. Colorful illustrations depict each new word.

Event + fall = Eventfall

Force + fall = Forcefall

The back of the book provides additional information about the animals featured in the book as well as the relationship between squirrels, acorns, and trees can be found.

This book promotes creative, inventive, combination, different perspective, and originality.

TITLE: Wonderfall

AUTHOR: Michael Hall


PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative, inventive, combination, different perspective, originality


1) Close your eyes. What do you imagine when you hear the word Fall? Open your eyes and jot down words describing what you imagined. Remember to use your five senses. Write a free verse poem about Fall. A free verse poem does not follow any rhyming patterns or meters.

Here is a website that shows how to write a free verse:

2) Pick 5 words that end with suffix –ful. Change them into –fall words like author Michael Hall did in his story and draw what each word would look like. Example: colorful -> colorfall What does Colorfall look like?


To learn more about author/illustrator Michael Hall, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: I Wonder Notebook

Creative Thinking Prompt: I Wonder Notebook

Do you ever wonder? I certainly do. Poet Pablo Neruda writes about unanswerable wonders in his book, THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS (written for adults).

“From where does the thundercloud come with its black sacks of tears?

How many questions does a cat have?

Does smoke talk with the clouds?

Why do trees conceal the splendor of their roots?”

This book inspired me to create a notebook (I’m a big fan of notebooks) and title it, My Wonders.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Make A Wonder Notebook

Brainstorm a list of 100 questions that you wonder about. These questions can be answerable or unanswerable.

Decorate and personalize your notebook. To begin your notebook, brainstorm 100 questions of things you wonder about. Write these questions in your notebook. You can include sketches if you want.

Think Deeper: Look at the above wonders of Pablo Neruda and use your imagination to invent answers.

To learn more about Pablo Neruda, visit:

Picture book author Monica Brown wrote PABLO NERUDA: POET OF THE PEOPLE

“All Year Round”


“All Year Round

 In All Year Round, author Susan Katz creates whimsical, rhyming poems that teach shapes, seasons, and the twelve months of the year – all rolled into one. Each month is paired with a shape. March is paired with an oval.


July and summer are paired with a rectangle.


Eiko Ojala’s 3-D illustrations make you want to jump into the book.

This book promotes concepts, making connections, nature and flexible thinking.

TITLE: All Year Round

AUTHOR: Susan Katz


PUBLISHER: Orchard Books, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, nature, making connections


1) What’s your favorite shape? What is your favorite month of the year? Connect your shape and month – what do they share in common?

2) How many shapes can you think of? Brainstorm for at least ten minutes, making a list of all the shapes you can think up. Pick six shapes from your list and use them together to form an image.


To learn more about author Susan Katz, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Eiko Ojala, visit:

“A Poke In The I: A Collection of Concrete Poems”

“A Poke In The I: A Collection of Concrete Poems

In A Poke In The I, Paul Janeczko selected thirty concrete poems. Concrete poems, sometimes called shape poems, are when the words or letters are arranged into the shape of the object that the poem is about, further enhancing the message the poem is imparting.


© A Seeing Poem by Robert Fromon

For me, concrete poems are poetry for my eyes.


© GIRAFFE by Maureen W. Amour

According to illustrator Chris Raschka, “Concrete poetry is the yoga of words.” In this book, his illustrations add further depth to each poet’s poem.


© MERGING TRAFFIC by Allen Jones

This poetry book promotes flexible thinking, imagination, wonder, and different perspectives.

TITLE: A Poke In The I

Selected by: Paul B. Janeczko

ILLUSTRATOR: Chris Raschka

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2001


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, imagination, wonder, different perspectives


1) Write a concrete poem about concrete. Using the words or the letters to shape your poem. Get creative and use different fonts to help convey your poem. What message do you want your poem to express to readers?

To learn more about writing concrete poems, visit:

2) Choose a compound word to write a concrete poem about.


To learn more about poet Paul B. Janeczko, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Chris Raschka, visit:

ee cummings: Poet and Creative Thinker


enormous SMALLNESS: A story of E.E. Cummings ”

Visually entertaining and poetically written, this book honors poet ee cummings and his writing spirit. Cummings so loved lowercase letters that he wrote his name as ee cummings. Nature inspired his passion for writing. A rule breaker of rhythm and rhyme as well as a new word inventor, ee cummings was a creative thinker.

This story promotes the creative traits of a creative person – taking risks, passionate, imaginative, different perspective, and the desire to be creative.

TITLE: enormous SMALLNESS: A story of E.E. Cummings

AUTHOR: Matthew Burgess


PUBLISHER: Enchanted Lion Books, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative traits of a creative person – taking risks, passionate, imaginative, different perspective, desire to be creative


1) Author Matthew Burgess wrote that E.E. Cummings “drew many pictures from great circus of his imagination.” Cummings displayed many creative traits of a creative thinker. (see creative components) What creativity traits do you have? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how important is your creativity to you? How do you express your creativity?

2) For his 15th birthday, E.E. Cummings received The Rhymester, a guide to writing poems, which became one of his prized possessions. What is one of your prized possessions and why?


To learn more about author Matthew Burgess, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Kris DiGiacomo, visit:

To learn more about E.E. Cummings, visit:


What Can You Do For Our Planet Earth?

What Can You Do For Our Planet Earth?


What Can You Do With Only One Shoe? Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent by Simon and Sheryl Shapiro wrote poems about how people took ordinary objects and reused them as new inventions like a worn shoe as a birdhouse or an old tractor tire as a watering pond for cattle.


“One Shoe”

Creative Thinking Prompt: Do something kind for the Earth today. What can you do with recyclable items like plastic bottles? Write a poem about your new invention or design.

Think Deeper: Using a discarded book or old newspaper, cut out words that interest. Then rearrange those words to form a poem. Glue your poem onto a sheet of paper. Don’t forget to title it.

“Mirror, Mirror”

“Mirror, Mirror”

In Mirror, Mirror, there are two sides to every story. Based on well-known fairy tales, author Marilyn Singer, uses her inventive creation of a new poetry form – the reverso poem.


Reverso poems tell two different stories using the same words. They are read from top to bottom and from bottom to top because the lines are reversed. A great way to tell two sides of a story.

In the hood reverso poem

“In the Hood” by Marilyn Singer


This book promotes imagination and the creative process.

TITLE: Mirror, Mirror A Book of Reversible Verse

AUTHOR: Marilyn Singer


PUBLISHER: Dutton Books, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, inventive, the creative process


1) Write a reverso poem. Pick a subject that has two sides to its story. When you write you poem in reverse, use punctuation to change the view of your poem.


To learn more about author Marilyn Singer, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Josee Masse, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Poem in Your Pocket

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 24th

Creative Thinking Prompt: Write a poem or copy down your favorite poem on a sheet of paper. If you are handcopying a poem, make sure you give credit to the poet by adding the poet’s name to the poem. Fold the paper and place it in your pocket to carry with you all day. Share your poem with the people you meet on April 24th, 2016.


A Poem in Your Pocket, an engaging picture book written by Margaret McNamara shows how to write poems and share them with others on Poem in Your Pocket day.

“Fresh Delicious”


“Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market”

Irene Latham’s poetry in Fresh Delicious immerses readers into the world of vegetables and fruits found at a farmers’ market. Her poems paint vivid sensory imagery. “Blueberries are delicious. They burst in your mouth like flavor-filled fireworks.” Lettuce heads are “wrinkled faces wearing ruffled crowns.” Included in the back of the book are easy to make recipes. This book promotes nature, flexible thinking, and making analogies.


Bell peppers are compared to holiday ornaments.



a bouquet of minty green butterfly wings”

I love this poem!

TITLE: Fresh Delicious

AUTHOR: Irene Latham

ILLUSTRATOR: Mique Moriuchi

PUBLISHER: Wordsong, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: nature, flexible thinking, making analogies


1) Visit a farmer’s market. What fruits and vegetables did you see? Make a list of the vegetables you saw. From your list, create your own vegetable salad recipe.

2) Write a poem about an unusual vegetable (see images below). Think about how you might describe the vegetable to someone who has never seen it.


To learn more about author Irene Latham, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Mique Moriuchi, visit:

“When the Sun Shines on Antarctica”


“When the Sun Shines on Antarctica”

Themed on Antarctica, these fun poems dive into the unique flora, land formations, animals and insects that live in Antarctica. Readers will discover krill, brinicles as well as Gentoo penguins, Giant Petrels, midges and much more. Poet Irene Latham uses analogy perfectly to relate her subject matter to young readers. She compares a Giant Petrel bird to a giant garbage can. “His belly collects garbage and his beak is the lid that never closes.” And Humpback Whales are Antarctica’s concert singers.

whenthesunshinespage2“When The Sun Shines On Antarctica”

Gorgeous illustrations by Anna Wadham accompany each poem along with a sidebar paragraph explaining more in-depth the characteristics of each poem subject.



“A New Coat for Mrs. Wendell”

This poem talks fashion about the Wendell seal losing its coat to reveal a new shiny one. Included in the back of the book is a glossary and a list of further reading resources. This book promotes nature, flexible thinking, making analogies, different perspectives and discovery.

TITLE: When The Sun Shines On Antarctica

AUTHOR: Irene Latham


PUBLISHER: Millbrook Press, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: nature, flexible thinking, making analogies, different perspectives, discovery


1) Research an animal subject from a continent other than the continent on which you live. Explore how your subject interacts with its environment and what attributes it has. Make an analogy by comparing your subject to something that is familiar to you. Then write a poem using this comparison.

2) Compose a class book, All Around the World Animals, based on students’ poems written from the above prompt.


To learn more about author Irene Latham, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Anna Wadham, visit: