Poetry Friday is a weekly meme, hosted this week by Amy at The Poem Farm. Thanks for hosting this week, Amy.
All through April, Mr. Tiffin's class is going to learn all about poems in preparation for poem in you pocket day and a author visit from a well known poet, Emmy Crane. But Elinor has spent all of March at the library studying poetry. so now she has all the answers when it comes things like similes, metaphors concrete poems, haiku, acoustic poems.
But when Mr. Tiffin takes the class out for a walk to practice using their poet's eyes, the kids in Elinor's class all seem to be able to see the poetry around them except Elinor. And when brings brown bags with surprises in them for everyone and asks each student to write a poem about what's in their bag, Elinor just can't seem to get one written. Her poetry journal is blank.
Over the weekend, Elinor writes poem after poem, but none are good enough as far as she is concerned. Finally, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, Elinor goes to school with an empty pocket. In assembly, Emmy Crane reads some to her own poetry to the children, and each child reads their poem to her. But when its Elinor's turn, she courageously goes up on the stage and confesses to Emmy that she has no poem, none were perfect enough for a poet like her. No poem is perfect, Emmy tells her, but can she help Elinor find her poet's eye?
A Poem in Your Pocket is an ideal book for introducing young readers and writers about poetry, a subject that is so often overlooked in schools these days. It is a wonderful read aloud as well as a great teaching tool. McNamars's definitions of the different poetic terms used are simply defined making that aptly suited for young children just starting their poetic life. I loved the walk Mr. Tiffin took the kids on to discover the poetry in the things that they see everyday but probably don't think much about.
Added to this wonderful book are Karas's gouache, acrylic and pencil sometimes full page, sometimes spot illustrations, adding to and enhancing the story. He really captures Elinor's frustration and despair, along with the eagerness with which the other kids in the class embraced poetry. I really liked that Mr. Tiffin's class was portrayed as very diverse.
I thought this was going to be a story about a girl who just wasn't terribly poetic. Instead it was about how we all have a poet's eye and that there is no such thing as a perfect poem. Of course, the underlying message is about how the need to be or do something perfectly results in being completely unproductive because nothing measures up. And bravo for the portrayal of a caring teacher and poet who both gently showed Elinor what's important.
A Poem in Your Pocket is a book not to be missed.
This book is recommended for readers age 5+
This book was borrowed from a friend
Remember - Poem in Your Pocket Day is Thursday, April 30, 2015
You can find our more about Poem in Your Pocket Day including poems to download, and ways to participate HERE
Susan at The Book Chook also has some tips and resources for Poem in Your Pocket Day that can be found HERE