Sunday, May 8, 2011

More fun with poetry: concrete poems from John Grandits (ages 9 - 12)

Any book that has a poem called “The Autobiography of Murray the Fart” is going to make kids laugh and want to read more. If you're looking for a book to broaden your view of what counts as poetry, come check out John Grandit's wonderfully, creative concrete poems.
Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete PoemsTechnically, It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems
by John Grandits
NY: Clarion, 2004
ages 9-12
preview available on Google Books
available from Amazon or your local library

These poems are all told from the point of view of Robert, an 11 year old boy who is clever but bored. “Technically, it’s not Robert’s fault that a concrete block fell on the car or that his sister’s homework got blown to smithereens. Really, he doesn’t try to cause trouble. He’s just an ordinary kid who likes pizza and sports and computer games.” Grandits creates visually engaging, hilarious concrete poems – shape poems that combine words, ideas, type and art to make pictures. But it’s Grandits’ humor and understanding of real kids that will make readers laugh about the most ordinary things. This accessible, goofy collection shows how you can bend and twist language to create meaning in new ways.

I loved sharing these concrete poems with 4th and 5th graders last week. They made a great antidote to our week of testing. A great moment was in one class where all the kids were reading "The Autobiography of Murray the Fart" aloud to themselves, twisting the paper back and forth as they followed the words through the soda can, up the straw, down into the stomach.

Take a look at John Grandit's website for a new concrete poem each month.You'll get sense of his creativity and humor.If you have a big sister in your family, you'll also enjoy Grandit's collection for young teens: Blue Lipstick. It's a definite favorite with our middle school students. Both are available in paperback and would make a fun addition to a home or school collection.

The review copy came from our local public library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.

No comments:

Post a Comment