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Picture Book Thursday: April Poems

Soup Soup for Breakfast
Written and illustrated by Calef Brown
Ages 5-12

Hands Steady Hands: Poems About Work
Illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy
Ages 8-12

Stampede Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School
Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Ages 4-9

Soup for Breakfast

According to the book jacket on Soup for Breakfast, Calef Brown tries to write a poem a day. "Believe it or not, I was once very averse to verse, but now all my nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs go forwards and backwards, riffing and rhyming. It's all about the timing." And that they do. With fun poems like "Painting on Toast" where butter is used as a primer and "T.P.L.T.T.F." (The Parking Lot That Time Forgot) that imagines "rumble seats and window fans, classic coupes and vintage vans," students are sure to find some new favorites.

Steady Hands: Poems About Work

Who would have thought that a welder, retail clerk, and programmer would make for good poetry? But they do, along with a host of others. Tracie Vaughn Zimmer does a wonderful job of capturing the nuances of these careers. With descriptive prose found in poems like "Camp Counselor," she holds a magnifying glass to the sensory experiences that might easily be overlooked. "They roll out sleeping bags and -- too tired to speak -- point out shooting stars and listen to the tink tink tink of the flag hook against the empty pole, the restless crickets, the bullfrog by the riverbank."

Not to be forgotten are the collages Sean Addy has created to accompany the poems. His artwork adds a whole new layer to the poems.

Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School
One look at the frenetic, animal and alphabet infused endpapers lets readers know they
are in for some fun. Laura Purdie Salas and Steven Salerno make a super team as they romp through a series of school inspired poems like "Tomorrow Is Picture Day," "Printer Problems" and my personal favorite, "Turtleneck."  Laura does a super job of connecting with students and their school day experiences, while Steven offers up a retro series of illustrations that are just plain fun. Great job guys!

Based on Soup for Breakfast, cut paper in the size of a soup labels and have students write poems on them. Don't forget to add some illustrations. Wrap the poems around cans and create a display to share the poems.


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