Oh, how we love library day. Today we checked out 30 books; 9 are poetry books. I have poetry on my mind because I'm about to commission an original poem from the 9 year old poet who lives in this house to be used in a gift, and no I'm not saying about what or for whom (yet). Here is our poetry book haul:
1. Oh, How Sylvester Can Pester by Robert Kinerk, pictures by Drazen Kozjan
This is fast becoming a library book favorite; I was discussing building home libraries with a friend this week, and it occurred to me later that the books we tend to buy often have passed the library check-out test—meaning, we check them out so much we might as well just buy ourselves a copy. The illustrations are fantastic, and the poems are extremely clever and funny. Here's an excerpt from Magic Words:
One day at lunch (macaroni and cheese)
Principal Plunk forgot to say "please."
A hush filled the room and everyone stared.
Should he be corrected? No! No one dared.
Though Lulu and Tank and Marshall and Clem
covered their mouths and said softly, "Ahem."
2. Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails by Betsy Franco and Steve Jenkins
We are huge fans of Steve Jenkins around here; his books can be found in the non-fiction shelves, and the thread that runs through them is always weird but highly fascinating animal facts. (Anyone remember how Maddie had What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? memorized when she was 2.5 years old?) This one is presented in poetry format. It will no doubt be good.
3. Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian
4. Zoo's Who by Douglas Florian
I love Douglas Florian. He reminds me of the Columbia Pike library in Arlington, because that's where I first discovered his books (there are many), his illustrations are extremely Nick Bantock-like in nature (and Nick Bantock is one of my favorites, ever) and his poems are just... perfect. That's all there is to it. Insectlopedia is new-to-us.
5. Hallowilloween by Calef Brown
I'm jumping the gun by checking out a Halloween book in September, but I couldn't resist. I was first introduced to Calef Brown when he was illustrating Land of Nod catalogs; he is also a friend from the Columbia Pike library. He is a bit strange, and I expect Halloween poems by him to be a bit strange, too. This is a new book to our library and we are the first to check it out, so we win 100 points. (Am I the only one who pretends to win points by checking out new children's books first? Or is that just too far beyond nerdy?)
6. Can You Dig It? by Robert Weinstock
Don't know anything about this one, but it's about archaeology and dinosaurs. No doubt Gracie will love it.
7. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, illustrated by Anne Wilson
This isn't my favorite Edward Lear poem, but the illustrations look so pretty and sometimes (OK, regularly) that's all it takes to sell me on a library book.
8. Max's Words by Kate Banks, pictures by Boris Kulikov
This isn't a poetry book, but it's close enough—it's a wonderful story about a boy who decides to collect words and spin stories with them after his brothers won't let him see their coin and stamp collections. We all love this one, and it probably has passed the library check-out test.
9. Hip Hop Speaks To Children, edited by Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni is one of my top five favorite poets, and her first book in this series, Poetry Speaks to Children is one of my favorite books in our collection. It comes with a CD to listen to the poets read their poems, which is such an invaluable experience in my opinion; this new-to-us one follows the same format. Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Queen Latifah, Kanye West (!), Jill Scott (though I was disappointed that she isn't included on the CD, boo), the ingenious inclusion of an excerpt from Rapper's Delight by Sugarhill Gang* plus lots and lots of others. And look what I spied when flipping through it:
*title of post comes from Rapper's Delight. And also, this is a Dillow Family Fact. Two birds, one stone.