Good SportsPrelutsky celebrates sports from baseball to soccer to gymnastics, gleefully swinging and catapulting through motion and emotions that will resonate with kids. They'll love his playful rhymes, and they will connect with the way these short untitled poems can get to the heart of how they feel.
by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by Chris Raschka
Knopf / Random House, 2007
Your local library
"I'm at the foul line, and I betShare these short poems with kids and ask what they notice -- do they like the rhythm and rhyming of the first two lines, or maybe the use of the "s" sounds (alliteration) in the last line, emphasizing the sound of SWISH of the basketball. Rashka's illustrations are loose and impressionistic, especially appealing to 3rd through 5th graders because they don't feel too young. I love how he incorporates diverse kids throughout--the player making the shot above has long wavy red hair, maybe a girl or maybe a boy.
The ball will go right through the net.
I'm certain I will sink this shot,
For I've been practicing a lot.
I concentrate, then let it go...
I know it's good--I know, I know.
It makes an arc, I make a wish,
Then hear the soft, sweet sound of SWISH!"
For poems that celebrate all sorts of outdoor playing, definitely look for A Stick Is an Excellent Thing, with Marilyn Singer's playful poetry and LeUyen Pham's joyful illustrations.
A Stick is an Excellent ThingKids will love the way these short poems celebrate all types of playing outside, whether it's balancing on the curb, running through a sprinkler, making stone soup with friends. Use these poems to make kids smile and also use them to show how poetry can create a freeze frame, its own small moment. Here's one that my students will definitely relate to:
Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play
by Marilyn Singer
illustrations by LeUyen Pham
Clarion / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
Your local library
EdgesPham's illustrations are full of bouncing, running, smiling kids, in both city and suburban scenes. Kids are playing in large and small groups--I love how she shows how much kids like to play together. Her kids are modern and multicultural, and full of smiles on every page. My older students will relate to Singer's poems, but the illustrations make this collection best suited for younger kids.
I like to walk the edges--
the curbs, the rims, the little ledges.
I am careful not to tilt,
to stumble, lump or wilt.
I pay attention to my feet
so that every step is neat.
I am dancing in the air
but I never leave the street.
Both review copies were borrowed as ebooks from the San Francisco Public Library while I was on vacation. Hooray! I especially appreciate the way SFPL has ebook tutorials for first time users. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.
©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books