A dreamy collection of bedtime poems and witty illustrations that’s anything but sleepy.

READ REVIEW

ONE MINUTE TILL BEDTIME

60-SECOND POEMS TO SEND YOU OFF TO SLEEP

A substantial compilation of new poems for children by over 130 poets.

The opening salvo of former Children’s Poet Laureate Nesbitt’s hefty anthology of “60-second” poems designed to send children “off to sleep” lets the cat out of the bag as to what bedtime’s really about. Having performed basic end-of-day tasks (“Had a bath and / brushed my teeth; / those on top / and underneath”) and prepped for a good night’s sleep, Nesbitt’s speaker rejoices: “All that’s done; / at last I’m freed. / Finally, / it’s time to read.” Here, as throughout the collection, Niemann’s boldly inked drawing of a teddy bear’s free-fall dive into the waiting pool of an open book succinctly and suggestively captures the spirit of the accompanying poem—and, in this case, the entire anthology. Presented with over 140 new poems by many of today’s most prominent children’s poets (Mary Ann Hoberman, Margarita Engle, Jack Prelutsky, Ron Koertge, Nikki Grimes), readers are treated to lyric nighttime reflections on topics as disparate as relationships with favorite pets or grandparents, beloved “toasty, warm jammies,” and one’s blankie—“old and manky.” There’s also plenty of nonsense verse sure to inspire wild dreaming “on the road to morning.” These pithy poetic observations and Niemann’s engaging illustrations prove at once antidote and anodyne for the sleep-averse child demanding just one more….

A dreamy collection of bedtime poems and witty illustrations that’s anything but sleepy. (Poetry. 4-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-34121-9

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Here’s hoping this will inspire many children to joyfully engage in writing.

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!

Both technique and imaginative impulse can be found in this useful selection of poems about the literary art.

Starting with the essentials of the English language, the letters of “Our Alphabet,” the collection moves through 21 other poems of different types, meters, and rhyme schemes. This anthology has clear classroom applications, but it will also be enjoyed by individual readers who can pore carefully over playful illustrations filled with diverse children, butterflies, flowers, books, and pieces of writing. Tackling various parts of the writing process, from “How To Begin” through “Revision Is” to “Final Edit,” the poems also touch on some reasons for writing, like “Thank You Notes” and “Writing About Reading.” Some of the poems are funny, as in the quirky, four-line “If I Were an Octopus”: “I’d grab eight pencils. / All identical. / I’d fill eight notebooks. / One per tentacle.” An amusing undersea scene dominated by a smiling, orangy octopus fills this double-page spread. Some of the poems are more focused (and less lyrical) than others, such as “Final Edit” with its ending stanzas: “I check once more to guarantee / all is flawless as can be. / Careless errors will discredit / my hard work. / That’s why I edit. / But I don’t like it. / There I said it.” At least the poet tries for a little humor in those final lines.

Here’s hoping this will inspire many children to joyfully engage in writing. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68437-362-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Both playful and enlightening, period.

A BUNCH OF PUNCTUATION

A collection of peppy poems and clever pictures explains different forms of punctuation.

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “A Punctuation Tale” kicks off the proceedings with a punny description of a day full of punctuation; goodnight is “cuddled / in quotation marks.” Ensuing poems discuss the comma, the apostrophe, the dash (“A subdued dude / in tweet and text / he signals what / is coming next”), the colon, the exclamation point, and ellipses. Allan Wolf’s poem about this last is called “…” and begins, “The silent ellipsis… / replaces…words missed.” Prince Redcloud’s “Question Marks” is particularly delightful, with the question “Why?” dancing diagonally down in stair steps. The emphatic answer is a repeated “Because!” Other poems pay tribute to quotation marks, the hyphen, and the period. Michele Kruger explains “The Purpose of Parentheses”: “inside a pair / ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) / of slender curves / we’ll hold your few / inserted words.” The final poem is editor Hopkins’ own, “Lines Written for You to Think About” (inspired by Carl Sandburg), urging young readers to write their own verses employing (what else?) punctuation. The 12 poets included work with a variety of devices and styles for an always-fresh feel. Bloch’s illustrations are delightfully surprising, both illustrating each poem’s key points and playfully riffing on the punctuation itself.

Both playful and enlightening, period. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59078-994-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more