How to Write a Poem

Quill Tree/HarperCollins/. Apr. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063060906.
Gr 3 Up–What is poetry? Alexander and Nikaido use their experiences as poets, authors, illustrators, and teachers to explore the answer to this question. Written as a step-by-step guide, and using language including “first,” “next,” and “then,” the authors teach the art of poetry. Readers are prompted to first ask a question, and then to “listen to the grass, the flowers, the trees—anything that’s friends with the sun” to create imagery for their poetry. In this expert manner, the book teaches poetry by tasking students with exploring nature, questions, and ideas in unique ways. Sweet provides exquisite artwork through collage, adding to the layered metaphor of poetry. Young writers may draw inspiration from the illustrations as they embark on their own poetic pursuits. This book can be used as a class read-aloud, a stand-alone reading experience, or an integrated text for writing instruction to inspire and engage young poets.
VERDICT Both a teaching tool for writing poetry as well as an ode to poetry itself. Highly recommended.

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