Title: Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
Author: Paul B. Janeczko
Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Genre/Format: Fiction/Poetry/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Celebrated poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko pairs with Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet for a collection of short poems to sample and savor.
It only takes a few words, if they’re the right words, to create a strong image. Whether listened to in the comfort of a cozy lap or read independently, the thirty-six very short poems in this collection remind readers young and old that a few perfect words and pictures can make the world glow. Selected by acclaimed poet Paul B. Janeczko and gorgeously illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poemsinvites children to sample poems throughout the four seasons.
What I Think: I was so excited to see a collection of seasonal poems illustrated by Melissa Sweet. The blend of poems and her artwork is wonderful. While this is an illustrated collection of poems, there are definitely thought-provoking poems that can be used with older readers. The poems in this book are organized by season and there is a blend of different types of poems. Most are short, some rhyme, all are wonderful to read aloud. In Passing happens to be my favorite because of the words. The illustration shows old fans stacked up in the bed of a truck. I love the link between the title and the poem itself. It's a random thing to write about but this would be a great discussion to have with students about writing inspiration. I can just imagine Gerald Jonas looking up to see this haphazardly-filled truck driving by and realize inspiration for this poem. This poem is full of great imagery and wonderful language as you will find in other poems from this collection as well.
Read Together: Grades 2 - 12
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 12
Read With: A Kick in the Head by Paul B. Janeczko, Bananas In My Ears by Michael Rosen, Outside Your Window by Nicola Davies
Snatch of Text:
Open-backed dumpy junktruck
stacked full of old floor-fans,
unplugged, unsteady, undone,
free-whirling like kids' pinwheels
in a last fresh breeze ---
What a way to go!
-Gerald JonasReading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences, Visualizing
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive, Figurative Language, $100 Words, Alliteration, Simile
Writing Prompts: Take time to notice the world around you as a writer. Choose something seemingly ordinary and mundane and craft a poem to bring it to life for your reader using descriptive language.
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