My students (and teachers!) are going to love this assortment of delicious, mischievous, amusing poems all about food. The topic is immediately appealing and approachable, making it easy to hook kids. Some evoke delicious food or happy memories, like "The Cocoa Cabana" serving hot chocolate at the edge of a skating pond. Others spice it up with humor, like the smoothie surprise with "a whisper of pickle" and "the slime from a snail."
Ruddell mixes it up with different poetic forms, and every poem is rich with imagery that will help young students explore the power of similes and metaphors. Because the topics are so fun, these comparisons will get kids actively involved in creating their own figures of speech. Just thinking about guacamole as porridge for a troll makes me smile!
|"Even though it's lumpy and it's avocado green,|
like the porridge for an ogre or a troll,
nothing on the table makes my eyes light up
like a little guacamole in a bowl!"
The illustrations are equally delightful, helping young readers visualize the poetic imagery and adding their own humor in the process. In "Welcome to Watermelon Lake", Ruddell playfully imagines that a slice of watermelon is a giant lake to some little critters. Young children will love Rankin's illustrations that show just how silly this might be.
|"It's icy cold, so our advice|
is take a breath and don't think twice.
Just jump right in--you'll never sink--
and did we mention that it's PINK?"
My all-time favorite poem is "How a Poet Orders a Shake" -- both for the imagery and for the way students could come up with their own "how to" poems.
How a Poet Orders a ShakeDo you have a favorite line in this poem? An image that really sticks with you? If you imagine a vanilla shake, what does comparing it to a "frosty cup of moonlight" make you feel like?
"A frosty cup of moonlight, please,"
the poet murmurs, low.
"As mush as a mittenful
of slightly melted snow...
And softer than a summer cloud
and paler than a swan
and pearlier than polar bears,"
the poet rambles on...
"And let it be at least as sweet
as icing on a cake.
In other words,
a small vanilla shake."
-- by Deborah Ruddell
I'm looking forward to sharing more favorite poetry books for children all month long as we celebrate National Poetry Month.
©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books