Poems in the Attic

Written by Nikki Grimes

Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon


Little girl loves to visit grandmother’s house. One day, she finds a box of poems in the attic of grandmother’s house. It was the poems written by her mother when she was growing up. Young girl feels her mother’s experience and share the feelings as reading the poems.

I think this book has aspects of family bonding. This book reminded me of listening to the story of my mother’s childhood and sharing those experience. I think it’s so important to learn about the history of my family and share the feelings between the family members. This book gives messages of family bonding between mom and daughter relationship. It would be awesome if mother read this to their daughter and also share their childhood experience.


Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNZfcR6ZSIQ

Interview with the author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gnQuKa88jw

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Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

Written by Paul B. Janeczko

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Published by Candlewick (March 11, 2014)

Pug: And Other Animal Poems

Written by Valerie Worth

Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 19, 2013)


I think this book is art of words. This book has very artistic poems that are related to each animal’s special characteristics and behaviors. This book is very sweet and cute for children to read with beautiful illustration. Poetry is considered as hard and not fun for many young readers, even for adult readers. This book is not super short or simple, but because of the illustration and its uniqueness, it makes this book exciting. Poetry and art comes great together, and this book should be considered as the teaching book for school teachers to introduce poetry to young readers.


Author’s inspiration: https://www.susangabriel.com/poetry-2/valerie-worth/

Another animal poem: https://www.poemhunter.com/poems/animal/

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Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

Written by Jon J Muth

Illustrated by Jon J Muth

Published by Scholastic Press; First Ed 1st Printing edition (February 25, 2014)


This cute Novel-in-verse book by Jon J Muth has beautiful illustration and also accessible. It’s easy to read without overwhelming feeling. This book shows some exciting and fun aspects of each season with soft and delicate illustration. I think this book is fresh and unique than other picture books. Great for young readers. This book is great introduction to Haiku(Japanese Poetry), and children would love reading this book. I think this book is a treasure of Jon J Muth because it’s simply unique and special. This book some aspects of Asian culture, and I was impressed by that. I highly recommend this book to young readers and parents.


What is Haiku poems?: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-haiku-poems.html

Interview video with Jon J Muth: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/muth

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Little Dog, Lost

Written by Marion Dane Bauer

Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)


This sweet novel in verse book by Marion Dane Bauer is very simple, but touching. Mark is a little boy who wants and needs a dog. But his mother doesn’t want to cooperate with Mark’s plan. Buddy is a little dog who already has a family, but Buddy wants new family who really understand what Buddy really needs.

This lovely and sweet story is great for readers who love dogs. Not only for children, I think this is great for adult readers as well. In addition, the characteristic of the novel in verse makes this book more readable for young readers. This satisfying story is great for children of age of 7 or older who loves the cute story.

Book Review: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12793708-little-dog-lost
Review by Publisher Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4424-3423-3
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Hate That Cat

Written by Sharon Creech

Published by HarperCollins; 1 Reprint edition (February 23, 2010)


The series after Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. Jack hates poetry and cats. But as Jack keeps writing poetry, he learned to express himself through the words. At the end, Jack finds out that he doesn’t hate the cat that much like the poetry.

The series of Sharon Creech, Love That Dog and Hate That Cat has changed the spectrum of poetry. This literature work would be great for young readers who have English as a second language, because it’s very easy and fun to read. I think this book doesn’t really contain the perspective that talks about diversity, but it sure gives children opportunities to learn the great thing about poetry. The simple and clear writing style is easy to understand for young children, and it’s great chance for them to get used to poetry style literacy work.


Book Review: http://www.sharoncreech.com/books/hate-that-cat

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUn0PqZE6pI

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Love That Dog

Written by Sharon Creech

Published by HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 1, 2001)


Love That Dog is written in unique diary format. It has very unique perspective. It is written in the perspective of a young boy Jack who doesn’t like poetry assignments from the teacher. Jack doesn’t like to write poetry. His teacher keeps giving the class the poetry assignments. Jack can’t avoid the homework, so he writes poetry. And something happens. He finds out there is lot to say through the poetry.

This book is very unique and lovely. I personally didn’t have much interest in the poetry, but this book changed my point of view in Poetry. This book also teaches children the introduction of poetry writing with very natural way. I think this book wonderful introduction to poetry to young readers who are just diving in to the world of poetry and novel in verse genre.


Author’s website: http://www.sharoncreech.com/books/love-that-dog

Book Review: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53498.Love_That_Dog

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The Crossover

Written by Kwame Alexander

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers; Later Printing edition (March 18, 2014)


Josh and Jordan are twin brothers. They are very good on the court. But Josh is little better at playing basketball. The theme of this book is all about the sport and the champion. It’s beautifully written in verse in very unique style. Not only talks about the sport, it also treats racial issue as well. Because this book talks about diversity in terms of the sport subject matter, it is great for young teenage readers. Because it is written in verse, it’s more fun to read for readers who are afraid of long chapter books.

This book honors diversity, and got Newbury Medal. I think those two factors are great enough to recommend this book to young readers.


Article from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/books/review/the-crossover-by-kwame-alexander.html

Articles related to NBA and the book: https://www.si.com/nba/2016/10/19/welcome-to-the-crossover

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Red Pencil

Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrated by Shane W Evans

Published by Little, Brown


Story of Amira, a 12 years old Sudanese girl who has hope and dream. But war began, and Amira’s has to let to of her wish to attend girl school. Amira has supportive Father, Dando, but her mother Muma is not as supportive as her father. When Amira stays in refugee camp, she got yellow pad and red pencil from aid worker. Amira started to express herself on yellow pad with her red pencil.

This wonderful novel-in-verse literature has cultural diversity perspective that children can learn and encounter. We mostly don’t have much idea about story of opposite side of the world. This story is story of Sudanese girl who tried to overcome her hardness in her life. Encouragement and braviness that Amira shows in this book would give hope and dream to children who are going through some hard stage in their life. Has whole new style of illustration. Illustration activated the text, and it positively affect the content. Red Pencil honors diversity, and really blends the heart warming story together.


Review from Africa Access: http://africaaccessreview.org/2014/10/red-pencil/

Interview with Andrea Davis Pinkney (Must Read!): https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/andrea-davis-pinkney-interview-transcript/

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