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HAMSTERS, SHELLS, AND SPELLING BEES by Lee Bennett Hopkins

HAMSTERS, SHELLS, AND SPELLING BEES

School Poems

By Lee Bennett Hopkins (Editor) , Sachiko Yoshikawa (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-074112-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

This well-chosen anthology focuses on classroom and schoolyard experiences and is just right for beginning readers in primary grades. Poems both reward and challenge children with satisfying words like “pineapple” and “tarantula” (the latter successfully mastered in a spelling bee). Various poetic forms, rhyme patterns and techniques are explored. Alice Schertle’s “Question” is a haiku: “Pencil stub, I must / ask myself: How many more / poems are in you?” Louis Phillips’s existential chuckler “The Eraser Poem”—well, erases itself. Others examine the mundane (from backpack to lunch bag); the momentous (“School Play”) and the minute—Ann Rousseau Smith’s “Buzz” chronicles a bee’s classroom visit. Yoshikawa’s cheerily simple mixed-media pictures depict children, teachers and a swirl of objects against colorful full-bleed backgrounds, taking early-reader illustrations to a welcome new level. An attractive table of contents and index of authors and titles complete the package. This title in the long-standing I Can Read series should sell itself in bookstores and should be a first purchase for libraries. (Early reader/poetry. 5-8)