Book Buzz Blog
April is National Poetry Month, which is a perfect time to highlight all the amazing poetry that is out there, but . . . UGH . . . POETRY. At least, that’s how I used to feel. When I was a kid I LOVED poetry, especially Shel Silverstein. But as I got older, and school started requiring me to think about the poetry we were reading and what the deeper meaning might be, I started to resent it. I mean, couldn’t I just ENJOY the poetry instead of trying to decipher how the poet might have been feeling when he wrote it? Apparently not.
Then I started working as a youth services librarian, and I was introduced to novels in verse. All of those middle school and high school memories came flooding back, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Until I read one. Then I read another and another. Finally, I realized I LOVED novels in verse! Why? Because they are complete stories told through a collection of poetry. Poetry rarely takes up a whole page, which made the books super fast to read! It also amazed me how by simply changing the spacing or even font size within a poem an additional meaning was made clear.
If the crayons can’t stop the scribble monster, then this picture book might be cancelled!
How can a picture book be cancelled?
In The Only Child, a girl leaves home without telling her parents, hoping to visit her grandma. She soon finds herself lost, alone, and afraid in the woods. When she comes across a mighty stag, her fortunes turn as a magical adventure begins.
Joyce Sidman’s and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees & Other Poems expresses in verse the wonders of wintertime while teaching about what is going on while the world is frozen. The poems themselves are delightful for young readers as they look out at the forest through the animals’ eyes:
When a blizzard buries her hometown of Geoppolis, it’s up to tough tractor Katy to switch from pushing a bulldozer to pushing a snowplow.
Have you ever considered taking love advice from a cat? A cat who wears cool sneakers, perhaps? Seek no further because Kimberly & James Dean’s new installment in their “Pete the Cat” series includes tips from the cool cat himself!
A hunting party tiptoes through the dark woods, nets in hand. They spot their quarry, a beautifully colored bird, resting on a branch. The littlest member of the group greets the bird, but the others hush him. "Shh! We Have A Plan."
Home is a visual exploration of the many dwellings in our world. Each illustration shows the sheer variety of places where we live. Some people make their homes in the country, while others might live in apartments.
The book is not limited to people or even planet Earth. We see beehives, moon colonies, and the old woman who lived in a shoe. Many of the homes we visit are depicted as intricate, double-page spreads, giving the reader much to discover.
Druthers whisks us to the rainiest of days, where a young girl is bored beyond belief. Her father asks her, "If you had your druthers, what would you do?" The girl has never heard of the term before. Her father explains that druthers are what you would rather do if you could do anything at all.
In a matter of seconds, the girl and her father imagine all sorts of exciting adventures. The pair visit the zoo, ride ponies in the Old West, and sail a fearsome pirate ship to the island of dinosaurs!
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
Youngest of several sisters and one boy-genius brother, Minnie is excited to have her Texas cousin Willie Faye come live with them. Willie Faye’s parents have died, and their farm is gone with the dust storms, so this dandelion puff of a girl is going to find a place with the Swift family in Kathryn Lasky’s Christmas After All.