Welcome to Nonfiction Monday! I have a two-parter today.
1) I want to share Write a Poem Step by Step, by JoAnn Early Macken, author of many fun nonfiction books for kids as well as lovely picture books like Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move. JoAnn is a poet and has written a “simple, logical plan you can follow to create your own poems” (as the subhead says). To many teachers and students, poetry can feel too ambiguous, too mysterious. There are no right or wrong answers in poetry, which is both a blessing and a curse. JoAnn’s simple, logical directions in this book will hold your hand as you walk through the process. It’s sure to give both adults and kids more confidence in their writing. Here’s just a brief example to give you a feel for the tone of JoAnn’s book:
When you read a poem, you often pause briefly at the end of a line. To add line breaks, read your poem aloud and listen for those pauses. Wherever your voice stops, draw a vertical mark between the words. Those places are the most obvious places to break the lines. Copy your poem over, starting a new line after each vertical mark. You will have a complete draft of your new poem.
This book covers everything from finding ideas to using imagery, word choice to patterns, form to revision. It’s full of sample poems from elementary school students, and I think teachers will find it super useful. (And if you’re a fledgeling poet yourself, you’ll love it, too.)
(Book source: Review copy provided by the author.)
2) Happy News! My rhyming nonfiction book A Leaf Can Be… has been named a Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award! The three other finalist books are by David LaRochelle, Jane Yolen, and Mem Fox. Oh, my.
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