A River of Words

river of words a

A River of Words
The Story of William Carlos Williams

Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2008

From the dust jacket: “Willie’s words gave him freedom and peace, but he also knew he needed to earn a living. So when he grew up, he went off to medical school and became a doctor – one of the busiest men in town! Yet he never stopped writing poetry.

“In this picture book biography of William Carlos Williams, Jen Bryant’s engaging prose and Melissa Sweet’s stunning mixed-media illustrations celebrate the amazing man who found a way to earn a living and to honor his calling to be poet.”

I checked this book out not necessarily for the story, but for the illustrator, Melissa Sweet. The LoC fell in love with her artistry after reading The Right Word. We love collage! And in this case, the artist accentuates her collage with watercolor. I was familiar with the story of William Carlos Williams and it was good to see his story illustrated for kittens. Most poetry just flies above my head but his is about every day things in every day language. Beautiful, succinct word pictures. Expose your kittens to both collage and poetry – read them this book! A fun summer activity would be to have them write a poem about whatever they want and then create a collage using magazine pictures and coloring book pages! I just might do that myself!!

Rating 5 out of 5 for glorious artistry!

Reviewer: PeggySue peggysue-loc

 

 

Poetry From Scratch

poetry scratch

Poetry from Scratch
A Kitten’s Book of Verse

Jennifer McCartney
The Countryman Press, 2016

From the back of the book, “Poems by cats. About cats and things that cats care about. Cats. They’re temperamental and aloof. They don’t come when they’re called. They don’t fetch balls. They scorn any attempt at love and affection. So is it any wonder that cats are terrific poets? Here you’ll find both angst and attitude, humor and hubris, with poems like “Feed Me”:

I’d like to file a formal complaint:
(The Ritz this certainly ain’t)
My dish has been bare
Since nine past a hair!
Madam, soon I’ll lose all restraint.

“This collection of purr-ty good poetry offers something for every cat lover.”

Ha, ha!!! So funny – these poems are great. I wish I had written them because the author has captured the feline so perfectly in her poetry (actually, the cat’s poetry dictated to their human secretary). There’s haiku:

Haiku of Shame
 
Returned from the vet
Plastic cone embarrassment
Please, please kill me now

There’s also classic poetry as it was originally written before being stolen by humans:

O Captain! My Captain!
 
O Captain! My Captain!
Our fearful trip to the vet is done:
My body has weather’d every shot,
the prize you sought is won;
The house is near, the birds I hear,
The neighbor’s dog exulting.
While follow eyes the steady keep,
this Honda Vessel grim and daring:
                But O scratch! Scratch! Scratch!
                         O the bleeding drops of red,
                                Where o’er the steering wheel my Captain lies,
                                    Fallen cold and dead.
As punishment.
For taking me to the vet.

Funny, right? And so true. If only I could get out of the pet carrier!

Rating 5 out of 5 – Accompanying the outstanding poems are wonderful pictures of cats and kittens, mostly tabbies, but beautiful nonetheless!!

Reviewer:

loc jackJack

Castaway Cats

castaway-catsCastaway Cats

story by Lisa Wheeler and art by Ponder Goembel

A Richard Jackson Book, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006

 

I have an adorable picture book for you! This is how it starts out – “On an island/in the ocean,/ near the land of Singapore,/midst a storm of great proportion,/ fifteen cats were washed ashore.” There were 7 kittens and 8 adults – a calico tom named Mittens (who has muscles and an anchor tattoo), a Persian Blue, an angora, a bobtail, a beat-up tabby, a pair of Siamese cats, and an orange marmalade. They all must band together if they are to survive on a tiny island in the ocean. At first they look for help to rescue them and then decide they’re on their own. Will they be able to survive?  Will they even be able to get along with each other? 

The illustrations are absolutely adorable and the story is told via rhyming poetry.  The print is large enough for early readers to enjoy; there are so larger words that may be difficult at first but every reader needs their vocabulary expanded! 

I loved this book – it’s got everything you could want – cats, cats and more cats – plus kittens!; an adventure at sea; a lesson on how to get along with the ones around you and that family doesn’t always mean the folks you were born to!

Rating: 4 paws

simon eye enhanceReviewer: Simon

I pulled these images off the internet – they aren’t very good quality – but let that encourage you to check the book out at your library!!

I Could Pee On This

i could peeI Could Pee On This
And Other Poems by Cats

Francesco Marciuliano
Chronicle Books, 2012

This book was reviewed earlier this year by Ellen over at 15 and Meowing, which is how we found out about it. And I am so glad we did!  It is so funny!! OMC – it is as if the author was taking my thoughts right out of my head and typing them! The author states in his introduction that after the reader finishes, he hopes “you’ll not only completely understand everything your cat thinks and does but even applaud him for it.” [!]  The poems are short and funny so even if you don’t like poetry or ‘don’t get it’ you’ll be able to get this poetry – that is if you have a cat or love someone who does!! If you’re exclusively a dog person, you’ll be, like, wha??????? and you won’t enjoy it, or at least not as much.

You know I have to share 2 of my favorites with you. I MOL’d so much while reading them!!!

Did You Know

Did you know?
Did you see?
Did you count?
How many times
I had to smack that moth
On your forehead
With my paw?
He’s dead now, though
Definitely dead
One more smack
You’re welcome

Tripped

I’m sorry I tripped you in the hall
I’m sorry I tripped you in the den
I’m sorry I tripped you in the bedroom
I’m sorry I tripped you in the kitchen
I’m sorry I tripped you in the attic
I’m sorry I tripped you in the basement
I’m sorry I tripped you out the door
I’m sorry I tripped you on hard cement
But some men paid me five grand to kill you

Alright, I have to share just one more – my absolute favorite!!!

That Top Shelf

I think I can jump to that top shelf
I want to jump to that top shelf
I know I can jump to that top shelf
I am jumping to that top shelf
I missed that top shelf by a good six feet
And now everything is on the floor
And I’m left wondering
Why people even bother buying china
If it breaks so easily

Rating:5 paws– we want this book in our library!!

041716aReviewer:  Toby

I read this as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2016

Topic: Read a book of Poetry

Click on the logo to find out more about the challenge!!

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