Poetry Month Wrap up!

As we say good-bye to April and poetry month – I have some great title suggestions that you may want to pick up and keep the poetry going!

Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg
Written by Carl Sandburg
Edited by Kathryn Benzel, PhD
Illustrated by Robert Crawford
48 pages – ages 8+
Published by MoonDance Press on April 3, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- Professor and scholar Kate Benzel has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Carl Sandburg divides the poems into poems about people, and poems about people. You’ll find classics including “Young Bullfrogs,” “Shenandoah”, “Jazz Fantasia”, “Fog”, and 31 more of Sandburg’s favorite and most accessible works. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Robert Crawford. This gentle introduction includes commentary, definitions of key words, and an introduction to the poet’s life, plus a final synopsis of the author’s interpretation of the pieces.

What I Thought- I really liked how this book was laid out. I was introduced to Sandburg and his poems, which is a plus, as I appreciate learning more about his works. The illustrations are also gorgeous, full of so much life and emotion.

I also like that the book includes definitions for some words that younger readers may not know, such as “shrewd” and “cornsilk”. This is a fabulous idea, and kids will have a nice way to learn about a great person in poetry’s history. There is also so extra information at the beginning and end of the book about Sandburg. This is a fine introduction to Sandburg’s poetry.

Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman
Written by Walt Whitman
Edited by Karen Karbiener, PhD
Illustrated by Kate Evans
48 pages – ages 8+
Will be Published by MoonDance Press on May 1, 2017 (TODAY!)

Synopsis from the Publisher- Carefully chosen for kids, 35 illustrated poems are presented and explained by New York University professor Karen Karbenier, PhD, a Whitman expert. Walt Whitman includes enlightening commentary for each poem, definitions of key words, and a foreword by the expert. Vibrant illustrations invigorate the poetry.

Starting off with “I Hear America Singing,” the collection includes excerpts from “Song of Myself,” “O Captain! My Captain!”, poems from Leaves of Grass, and many more thought-provoking, descriptive, and kid-friendly selections.

What I Thought- This book is very cool. The illustrations evoke a lot of emotion to go along with the poems. I think it is great to pair illustrations with poems especially for younger kids who may not get the meaning of the words but the illustrations really help convey the message.


I really like how Karbiener goes into depth about what each poem means in the section “What Walt Was Thinking.” This section is a great addition for older kids (or even adults) who are curious about the meaning of the poems or what  may have been going on in Whitman’s head as he wrote them. This is an excellent introductory book for kids to a legendary American Poet.

The Poet’s Dog

by Patricia MacLachlan 

96 pages – ages 6+
Published by Katherine Tegen on September 13, 2016

Synopsis for the Publisher:

From Newbery Medal winner Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about two children, a poet, and a dog and how they help one another survive loss and recapture love. “Just what I needed,” raves Brightly.com. “It’s a heart-warming story of loss and love that filled me with hope for a better future and renewed my belief in good.”

Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.

Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.

As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?

What I thought: Wow. I have to say I am a sucker for a well written prose book and also books told from a dog’s point of view  as long as it is told well. MacLachlan nailed this one. There are so many emotions pulled out of you in this book – from the dog loosing it’s owner to the lost children to the uncertainty of what will happen when the kids leave. There is a sweetness about the story too. The book is only 96 pages and the words are easy to read. This is a perfect book for young children who may be seeking more meaning out of stories. I think it would make a wonderful read aloud for a class or family. MacLachlan has crafted  an incredibly moving story that is completely accessible for younger kids. A book like this can spark an interest in children to seek out more meaty stories.


All of these book get a five out of five on my scale!

Categories: Age 6-9

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6 replies

  1. Wow Erik, great finds!

  2. I LOVED The Poet’s Dog. MacLachlan is a master of spare prose that resonates volumes. I’m getting ready to review the Sandburg book soon. This is a great poetry series!

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