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Lansky, Bruce, editor. Poetry
If Kids Ruled The School More Kids’ Favorite Funny School Poems.
Minnesota: Meadowbrook Press, 2004.
Summary: This is a hilarious collection of poems about what happens in school and at home by
covering wild and wacky topics such as bringing skunks to show-and-tell, falling asleep at your
desk, ripping your pants on the playground, counting sheep and teachers to get to sleep,
homework, tests, school lunches, detention, food fights, show and tell, and pet days.
Selected poems:
Poem
Type
Some Bedtime Advice
Free verse
Sleep Tricks
Free verse
The Bus
List poem
The Back of the Bus
Free verse
Falling Asleep In Class
Free verse
Evaluation: The selections in this anthology are from several different writers but are chosen
from Robert Lansky. The selections are peppy, animated, spirited, cheerful, lively, and optimistic.
The poems in this hilarious selection capture sensory images of sight, hearing, and touching. It
describes the shrill sound of students shrieking and eardrums swelling. It describes all the
commotion on the bus and the descriptive analogy of the poem makes you feel like you are
actually on “The Back of the Bus”. The poem about falling asleep in class is so true in comparison
to the actual experience. The writer describes having paper stuck to your face from too much
drool and having an indentations in your face from your three ring binder. The hilarious poems
flow naturally and rhythmically throughout the entire collection. The poems are so simple to read
using simple verbiage and language, yet they are rich in humor and meaning. The smallest child
could be read these poems and still capture the experiences from the easy to understand writing.
The selections are so descriptive so anyone could capture the experiences you feel in going to
sleep, being in school, and being on the bus. The funny illustrations put the reader right there in
the setting of the poem so a child’s attention is captured immediately and the child’s imagination
is ready to take off.
Personal reaction: I honestly never knew poetry could be so light and funny. I loved reading
poetry I could actually understand. Kids & adults will grin from ear to ear as they read these
hilarious poems and lymerics! I read some review about this book and parents were saying the
poems inspire their kids to write their own poetry, even kids who have had the most difficulty. I
think if there was poetry as lighthearted and hilarious as this I might have been more into poetry
and inspired to write my own as well.
Prelutsky, Jack, editor. Poetry
The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury.
New York: Alfred A Knopf, Inc. 1999.
Summary: This book is a fabulous way to introduce young children to poetry. It is a collection of
short, easy to understand poems from an assortment of poets that are perfect for read-alouds.
This book is wonderfully illustrated anthology with a nice range from classic to contemporary.
Selected poems:
Poem
Type
Magic Landscape
Cinquain
Genius
Couplet
I Was Walking In A Circle
Concrete
My Violin
poem set to
music
Rolling Down A Hill
Concrete
Evaluation: The poems in this anthology are organized by theme. The writing is real creative
writing and it keeps children's interests. Some of the content is not all "children's" but the poems
are still child-friendly. The poems are well selected with great topics. The collection contains great
illustrations. The poem “Magic Landscape” asks the reader for advise on drawing a magic
landscape and making you feel like you are there.
The rhymes are fun and some have a humorous approach. The poetry covers topics from food
fights, outer space, animals, noses, monsters, sports, sibling rivalries, seasons, moods of
childhood, and just plain silliness. The poems range from wistful to joyful. These poems are more
sophisticated and literary than the “If Kids Ruled The School” book. The anthology consists of 211
of Jack Prelutsky’s his favorite poems by 137 poets for each decade of the 20th century.
Personal reaction: I really like these poems. Although not all of them were laugh out loud funny
they were very nice. I feel cheated from my childhood because I honestly never knew that poetry
could be so nice. I always felt poetry was so stiff and pretentious and talked down to you. I never
understood it. But the past two collections I read were so nice and breathtaking. I have this class
to thank for it. I will now introduce my children and my future classrooms to this. Great!
Silverstein, Shel, editor. Poetry
A Light In The Attic.
New York: Harper Collins, 1981.
Summary: This is a humorous collection of poems and drawings about the most random topics
done by one poet, Shel Silverstein. Some of them are silly and some are just pleasant and
enjoyable. This book would be a great introduction to children about poetry. The language is
playful and there is a light look at serious subject matter such as war and parents getting a
divorce, to non serious subject matter such as tearing your pants and your teeth not growing in
straight. The poems are entertaining and the art is expressive and very pleasing.
Selected poems:
Poem
Type
A Light In The Attic
Free Verse
How Many, How Much
List poem
Snake Problem
Concrete
Hammock
haiku
How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes
List poem
Evaluation: The selections in this anthology are humorous, important, relatable. Shel Silverstein
introduces poetry in a joyful manner. This collection looks at life from many different angles and
the poems are full of spirit and fun. He sticks it to the naggers and the greedy and the lazy; their
only recourse is to get a grip. He gives voice to fears that are hard to express. There is a poem
where he asks questions about catching the bus late, your parents divorcing, war, tearing your
pants, not learning to dance, and teeth growing in straight. Then there is other poems that are
more light and hilarious like if you drop the dishes then your parents won’t make you do the
dishes anymore. The poems in this collection delivers moral lessons. The poems are also full of
mischief. They can relate to children of all ages as well as adults. The poems are very simple in
language and verbiage so anyone can understand them.
Personal reaction: I think this is my favorite anthology out of all three. The first one I read was
really silly and funny. However I think this is the poetry that should be introduced to children. It
relates to children and serious topics but it is also so lighthearted and warm. Every poem in this
collection is so down to earth and wholesome. I love it. I actually ordered two more of Shel
Silversteins works after reading this one. I also like how there is not much illustration in leaving
the imagination to run wild. I think this anthology could relate to any child and any adult.
Silverstein, Shel. Poetry
A Light in the Attic.
New York: Harper Collins, 1981.
"How Many, How Much "
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em.
How does this poem relate to you?
What is the special meaning in this poem?
How does this poem make you feel?
What is your favorite line in this poem?
What does the poet mean when he says “depends how much you give em?”
Prelutsky, Jack, editor. Poetry
The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury.
New York: Alfred A Knopf, Inc. 1999.
"Magic Landscape"
Shall I draw a magic landscape?
In the genius of my fingers?
I hold the seeds.
Can I grow a painting like a flower?
Can I sculpture a future without weeds?
What does the magic landscape mean?
How does this poem make you feel?
What does the author mean by I hold the seeds?
What is your favorite line in this poem?
What is the poet trying to convey in this poem?
Nesbitt, Kenn. Poet
If Kids Ruled The School More Kids’ Favorite Funny School Poems.
Minnesota: Meadowbrook Press, 2004
"Falling Asleep in Class"
I fell asleep in class today,
as I was awfully bored.
I laid my head upon my desk
and closed my eyes and snored.
I woke to find a piece of paper
sticking to my face.
I'd slobbered on my textbooks,
and my hair was a disgrace.
My clothes were badly rumpled,
and my eyes were glazed and red.
My binder left a three-ring
indentation in my head.
I slept through class, and probably
I would have slept some more,
except my students woke me
as they headed out the door.
How many times have you fallen asleep in class?
How does this poem relate to you?
What were your three favorite things the boy describes about falling asleep in
class? Actually, don’t you think that the person who fell asleep is the
teacher as noted by the last two lines of the poem?
What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you when you have fallen asleep
in class?
What is your favorite line in this poem?
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