Verseday: Concrete Poetry Picture Books

Verseday

Back in August, I did a post on resources to use when teaching LOVE THAT DOG by Sharon Creech. I didn’t include my concrete poetry picture books because I knew it would be a post all on it’s own. Here are some of my favorite concrete poem picture books. I use some of these when teaching LOVE THAT DOG, but I also use them when teaching science concepts as well.

a poke in the i

A POKE IN THE I: A COLLECTION OF CONCRETE POEMS

Selected by Paul B. Janeczko

Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Candlewick, 2001

What I love about this book is that it’s a great introduction for concrete poetry. Janeczko gives a brief introduction to concrete poetry, but the collection itself is varied. Lots of different styles are represented. Combined with Raschka’s unique style of whimsical illustrations, this book is a must-have when introducing concrete poetry to all ages.

come to my party

COME TO MY PARTY: AND OTHER SHAPE POEMS

by Heidi B. Roemer

Illustrated by Hideko Takahashi

Henry Holt, 2004

I found this gem of a book at my local library. Separated by season, the kid-friendly poems and illustrations are ones that would be fun for kids to emulate. These poems combine the shape of concrete poetry with the rhythm and rhyme of structured poetry.

curious collection of cats

A CURIOUS COLLECTION OF CATS

by Betsy Franco

Illustrated by Michael Wertz

Tricycle Press, 2009

These fun poems about cats combined with Wertz’s fantastic illustrations really make for a stunning book. The words pop off the page, and readers will be amazed at how many poems Franco could write just about cats. This would be a fun book to pair with Bartoletti’s NOBODY’S NOSIER THAN A CAT or Creech’s HATE THAT CAT.

dazzling display

A DAZZLING DISPLAY OF DOGS

by Betsy Franco

Illustrated by Michael Wertz

Tricycle Press, 2011

Another amazing collection of concrete poems by Franco and Wertz. Both of their books would be great examples for readers on how small, everyday things make GREAT poetry. It would be also great to pair this book with Bartoletti’s NOBODY’S DIGGIER THAN A DOG or Creech’s LOVE THAT DOG.

flicker flash

FLICKER FLASH

by Joan Bransfield Graham

Illustrated by Nancy Davis

Houghton Mifflin, 1999

I’ve been using this book a long time in science with my electricity and Earth, Moon, Sun units. With poems about Edison’s lightbulb and Franklin’s kite experiment, I not only introduce students to great poetry, I’m also covering SOLs in science. One of my favorite things to do with this book is to use it as a mentor text to show young writers how you can take a science concept and create a poem out of it.

splish splash

SPLISH SPLASH

by Joan Bransfield Graham

Illustrated by Steve Scott

Ticknor  & Fields, 1994

These concrete poems are about all things water. Clouds, snow, ice, waterfalls and sprinklers are just some of the concepts behind these poems. With stellar word choice, these would also be great examples of how ordinary, everyday things can be made into poems.

What are your favorite concrete poetry picture books?

 

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Comments

  1. Great post! I love A POKE IN THE I: A COLLECTION OF CONCRETE POEMS.. such a great book!