Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Review: Poetrees by Douglas Florian

Poetrees

Written and illustrated by Douglas Florian

Beach Lane Books, 2010

I finally had a chance to borrow Poetrees from the library. What a fun book!

Written and illustrated by Douglas Florian, the pages resemble different aspects of trees – bark, roots, rings, leaves, and more. I love the way the reader needs to turn the book on its side to read up to down the long way, resembling the height of trees. So much fun!

Why I Like This Book:

~ the variety of trees included in the book, each as unique s the next

~ the wordplay and fun-on-your-tongue poetree

~ the artwork gives glimpses into the words and thoughts inspired by the poetree

~ what I learned about trees, especially the ones not found in my Pacific Northwest region

~ the glossatree gives more info about each tree or tree part

~ the sense of awe, wonder, and amazement which exudes from this book of trees


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National Poetry Month: Toasting Marshmallows, Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George

Toasting Marshmallows, Camping Poems

written by Kristine O’Connell George

illustrated by Kate Kiesler

Clarion Books, 2001

Happy April National Poetry Month! My interest in poetry (reading and writing) has increased over the past several years. Loving the outdoors and camping as much as I do, I was delighted to find Kristine O’Connell George’s poetry book about camping at my local library. Now I really want my own copy.

What I LOVE about this book:

  • the language is rich and perfect for camping and nature
  • I feel like I am camping as I read the poems
  • the poems are written from the viewpoint of a child and the experiences she had while on a family camping trip
  • the perfectly chosen words bring me right into the camping adventures and remind me of the fun I’ve had camping and spending time in the mountains
  • the illustrations are wonderful

When I was a young child, my family of six (plus assorted pets) often went exploring and camping in the Arizona wilderness. Back then, much of the state was untouched desert. Or at least it seemed so to me. We had a camper that Dad put on the back of the truck and off we went. My sister and I were the lucky ones, getting to sleep in the bed over the top of the cab. Mom and dad got the table bed. I’m guessing my older brother slept on the floor and the baby slept with Mom and Dad. So many fun adventures!

How about you? Are you a camping nut? Or like my cousin when asked if she likes to camp, “Why??? Why Patrick? Why would I do that???” Which means no. Hahahah. What was your favorite camping experience?


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Play with Your Words: encyclopedia

encyclopedia

ode

can

aid

and lead

idea

i

need

One of my favorite “substitute teacher” activities I loved to do with older students was a word game that ties right into this poetry form. I only realized this after I had difficulty coming up with a poem, and then went back to my old sub/word play game to give me a list of words from which to work.

The word play game consisted of me writing a very long word on the (back then) chalk board. Usually “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.” I would then set a timer and instruct students to play with the word and come up with a list of words they could make using only the letters of the word on the board. True, this is a giant word, so the possibilities were nearly endless. But that made it easier for the students. If only I had gone on to use our word lists to make up fun poems!

I discovered this fun method in a poetry book I picked up at the library. It just looked enjoyable. And it is. Check out or purchase this book and play with some words yourself.

Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word

written by Bob Raczka

illustrated by Nancy Doniger

Roaring Brook Press, 2011