Children's Bookshelf - April 2015
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April is National Poetry Month
By Ericka Bajrami

It is already April
So let’s celebrate
National Poetry Month
With books that are great!
Whether cinquain or ballad,
Ode, epic, haiku
Acrostic or limerick
There’s a poem just for you.
Poems can teach you a lesson
They can fill you with glee,
Or inspire you to write
Your own poetry!
So visit your library
Come take a look
We will help you to find
The right poetry book!

Here are a few poetry selections to get you started:

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is an elegant novel, written in free verse, that chronicles the story of Woodson’s childhood while growing up in the south, and then the north during the turbulent times of the civil rights movement. The story beautifully captures the moments that lay the foundation for the writer she is to become. Written for readers ages 10 and up, this book has won the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Book Award and the NAACP Award for Outstanding Literary Work — Youth/Teens, and is also a Newbury Honor Book.

A poetry book doesn’t need to contain only stand alone poems. In Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, each short poem builds on the previous one to tell the story of Sam and his father’s fishing trip, which is in danger of utter disaster when Sam’s little sister asks to come along. A multitude of poem structures are used, and a “poet’s tackle box” at the end of the story describes poetry techniques and 32 different poetry forms (did you know there were so many?!). This is a charming story for families to share, aimed at children in grades 1-4.

Langston Hughes is one of the most beloved African-American poets. In Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes (edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad), a selection of his poems are vibrantly illustrated by American artist Benny Andrews. What makes this collection stand out, in addition to the remarkable poetry and artwork, are the small introductions written for each poem, along with key words defined for growing readers.

If you love animals, the National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry (edited by J. Patrick Lewis) is not to be missed!  Here you’ll find over 200 poems with gorgeous — and sometimes hilarious — photographs that get you up close and personal with animals from sea to land to sky.

Think poems are just written one line below another? Think again with Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape by J. Patrick Lewis. These poems take the shape of their subjects, including a giraffe, baseballs, a weeping willow and a skyscraper — a visual delight!

Twenty-two poets contributed to The Sun in Me: Poems About the Planet, compiled by Judith Nicholls. This diverse collection, featuring the people and lands of different cultures, shows how we are all connected through the care of our beautiful world.

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman features science- and nature-based poetry riddles, prompting readers to guess what is being described. The scratchboard illustrations of meadow life are striking and just may inspire a future craft project!

Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems/Jitomates Risueños Y Otros Poemas de Primavera by Francisco Alarcón celebrates family, nature and food with short, lively poems, written in both English and Spanish, along with colorful illustrations. A perfect selection for celebrating the vibrancy of the spring season!

In addition to celebrating National Poetry Month during the month of April, Prosser Public Library and the P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library in Bloomfield will also feature:

  • Pumpernickel Puppets presents Peter Rabbit on Wednesday, April 8 at 10:30 a.m. (Wintonbury branch)
  • Christina the Magician on Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. (Prosser Library)
  • Two Right Feet preschool concert on Wednesday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. (Prosser Library)
  • LEGO® Jr. Makers Program on Wednesday, May 6 at 6 p.m. (Prosser Library)
  • Strawberry Festival on Thursday, May 21 at 6 p.m. (Prosser Library)

And coming soon: the full lineup of summer programs to complement our 2015 Summer Reading Program, Every Hero Has a Story!

The Prosser Public Library is located at 1 Tunxis Avenue and the P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Branch Library is located at 1015 Blue Hills Avenue.

For more information and to register for programs, call the Prosser Public Library at 860-242-2972, the P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Branch Library at 860-242-0041, or visit

Ericka Bajrami is the Children’s Librarian at the Prosser Public Library.




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