Category Archives: Poetry

Trees

Trees”

Poet Verlie Hutchens has a gift for words that bring trees to life in such a way that readers can truly relate to.  

Read these lines: “Little Red Bud plays hide-and-seek,” “pink-purple giggles,” “Sycamore, the fashion queen, wears a jigsaw-puzzle gown…” and “White Pine, unruly uncle…”

Each tree’s unique personality and character is perfectly described, sometimes humorously.

Each tree is illustrated in its natural environment. Jing Jing Tsong’s illustrative technique combines traditional printmaking and digital collage.

This story promotes creative components of imagination, flexible thinking, and perspective.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because I enjoy picturing the trees as the characters that the poet describes. I appreciate that the illustrations depict the trees as they would be found in nature, including animals and people. 

TITLE:Trees

POEMS by: Verlie Hutchens

ILLUSTRATOR: Jing Jing Tsong

PUBLISHER: Beach Lane Books, 2019

AGE GROUP: 5-8

TOPIC(S): trees, poetry, personification

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, perspective, flexible thinking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Take a nature walk in your community. Observe the trees that you find along the way. Write a poem about one of the trees you found.

2) Practice your creative flexible thinking. Think up at least five answers to each of the following questions. How is a tree like a blanket? How is a tree like a bicycle? How is a tree like a star?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Verlie Hutchens, visit:

https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Verlie-Hutchens/502006236

To learn more about illustrator Jing Jing Tsong, visit:

https://www.jingjingtsong.com/about

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building”

Author/illustrator Christy Hale pairs children building with concrete poetry alongside photos of structures from around the world.

Readers will see how kids’ constructions can be expressed in the works of architects.

Backmatter includes explanations about the buildings and the architects who designed the buildings. Quotes from each architect demonstrate their thoughts about design and creative process.

This story promotes creative components ofwonder, flexible thinking, and creative expression.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because of the children’s buildings being paired with an architect’s structure demonstrates to readers how something simple can become complex. It inspires readers to compare form and design and wonder what they can create with materials they have laying around the house. I love children’s poetry and appreciate how the concrete poetry celebrates the joy of building.

TITLE: Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

AUTHOR: Christy Hale

ILLUSTRATOR: Christy Hale

PUBLISHER: Lee & Low Books, 2012

AGE GROUP: 4-7

TOPIC(S): architecture, building

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: wonder, flexible thinking, creative expression

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Research buildings with unique structures. Pick one. What materials that around your house most resemble your building’s structure? Build the building using your materials.

2) Play with wooden blocks.

“The maple wood blocks…are in my fingers to this day.” -Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

3) Utilize different types of building blocks to build an Outer Space city. In what ways do the different types of blocks work together?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Christy Hale, visit:

http://christyhale.com/biography.html

Mathematickles!

Mathematickles”

Mathematickles! offers a playful introduction to math concepts through a creative lens. Follow a girl and her cat through the seasons using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, graphs and tables.

This story promotes creative components of imagination, flexible thinking, original, and perspective. FYI: This is not a how to book.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: First, I like this book because of the unusual title. It piqued my curiosity about what I would discover between the pages of this book. Also, inventing new words is a favorite pastime of mine. Second, the fun interplay between the concrete nouns, which describe each season and the introduction of basic math concepts allows young readers to think creatively.

TITLE: Mathematickles

POEMS by: Betsy Franco

ILLUSTRATOR: Steven Salerno

PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003

AGE GROUP: 4-7

TOPIC(S): basic math concepts, seasons, creative thinking

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, flexible thinking, original, perspective

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick a holiday that you like to celebrate. Use three of the math concepts from the book to describe your holiday. Have someone guess your holiday. For example, pumpkin – seeds + sugar = pumpkin pie; dishes of food x laughter = family gathering; Thanksgiving

2) Create sensory chart for each season. For each season, list as many as you can think up for each sense. Choose items from the list to use with basic math concepts.

Autumn Winter Spring Summer
Tastes
Sounds
Sights
Touches
Smells

 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about poet Betsy Franco, visit:

http://www.betsyfranco.com/index.htm

To learn more about illustrator Steven Salerno, visit:

https://www.stevensalerno.com/bio/