Pulling Poems from a Dappled World

“Glory be to God for dappled things!” wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins in his squirming-with-life poem “Pied Beauty.” What finer season than spring to share fresh poems with children?

Raczka, Bob. Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. This might just turn out to be one of children’s (not just boys’) all-time favorite collections of haiku. The engaging images and hearty humor shine: “I watch the worms squirm/and decide to bait my hook/with hot dog instead.” Another kid-pleaser: “If this puddle could/talk, I think it would tell me/to splash my sister.”

Alarcon, Francisco X. Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/ Jitomates Risuenos: Y Otros Poemas de Primavera (The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series). Children’s Book Press, 1997. A fun, bilingual collection by a renowned Mexican-American poet. The 18 poems include “Words are Birds” and others teeming with nature and joy.

Giovanni, Nikki. The Sun Is So Quiet: Poems. Illus. by Ashley Bryan. Holt, 1996. Collection of poems by acclaimed poet celebrates the seasons, nature, and an array of childhood experiences.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, editor. Opening Days. Harcourt, 1996. Nineteen poems by various poets such as Jane Yolen and Walt Whitman have fun with sports, including baseball, skiing, karate, and tennis.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, ed. Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems. illus. by David Diaz. McElderry, 2010. Superb collection of poems spanning the seasons. Includes such poets as Carl Sandburg, Marilyn Singer, and Karla Kuskin.

Noda, Takayo. Dear World. Puffin, 2005. Bright and beautifully illustrated collection of brief poems celebrating the natural world.

Ruddell, Deborah. Today at the Bluebird Cafe: A Branchful of Birds. illus. by JToday at the Bluebird Cafe by Deborah Ruddelloan Rankin. McElderry, 2007. Ruddell’s poems of cardinals, a woodpecker, and others are whimsical and lively. Her humor reigns in such poems as “There’s a Robin in the Bathroom”: “He uses my toothbrush/to scour his wings./He sloshes and splashes/on all of our things.” Rankin’s bright, lively illustrations add to the fun. Also see Ruddell’s A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon Henning
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 12:34:45

    What a wonderful site! I love children’s book and especially folk tales from around the world. I read through all the posts on this page. Great! I didn’t see where I could follow you but I am suscribing to your site so I can get new posts via e mail. Have a great day!


  2. Janice Floyd Durante
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 17:28:59

    Thanks so much, Donna. You’ve made my day.


  3. :Donna Marie
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 15:59:47

    Great stuff, Janice. You always put up great stuff 🙂 I LOVE the “Guyku” one the best, I think! Thanks 🙂


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