Five Great Books

Five Great Books for National Poetry Month

Celebrate National Poetry Month and introduce your young reader to the magic of poetry with these five great books from EBYR:

Night Guard

Night Guard

Written by Synne Lea
Illustrated by Stian Hole

Friendship, fear, loneliness — these are things that are universally experienced but difficult to describe. In this arresting poetry collection, Synne Lea explores these concepts and more through the thoughts and experiences of a family. As the family members examine their connections with each other and the world around them, they gain a deeper appreciation of love and friendship and learn how to reach beyond the confines of their own isolation.

Accompanied by breathtaking artwork, these enchanting poems will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.

To learn more about the book, read our five questions interviews with Synne Lea and Stian Hole, and see some illustrated excerpts here.

One Big Family

One Big Family

Written by Marc Harshman
Illustrated by Sara Palacios

When you have a big family, reunions can be loud and chaotic. But as this cheerful book demonstrates, they can also be tons of fun! From canoeing down the river to getting chased by bees to telling ghost stories around the campfire, the reunion is filled with adventures for the whole family, even the pets! But when the vacation comes to an end, will everyone be able to keep the memories they’ve shared?

With sunny illustrations by Sara Palacios, Marc Harshman’s winsome story evokes all the joys of summer vacation and family togetherness.

Crazy

Crazy

By Linda Vigen Phillips

Laura is a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the 1960s, navigating her way through classes, friendships, and even a new romance. But she’s carrying around a secret: her mother is suffering from a mental illness. No one in Laura’s family will talk about her mother’s past hospitalizations or increasingly erratic behavior, and Laura is confused and frightened. Laura finds some refuge in art, but when her mother suffers a breakdown after taking painting back up again herself, even art ceases to provide much comfort.

Eloquent and compelling, this powerful novel-in-verse tackles complex themes in a way that will have readers rooting for Laura to find the courage to get the answers she needs.

A Pond Full of Ink

A Pond Full of Ink

Written by Annie M. G. Schmidt
Illustrated by Sieb Posthuma

This delightful collection of poems offers children and the young at heart a refreshing, inventive look at the world from the well-known Dutch author, Annie Schmidt. The rollicking poems tell the stories of such intriguing characters as three elderly otters who long to go boating but find themselves biking instead, animated furniture that comes to life when no one is home, and Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve who nest up in a tree!

The poems in A Pond Full of Ink transform ordinary events and places into extraordinary adventures full of imagination, much like the work of Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. Accompanying the poems is bold and expressive artwork that makes this book too charming to resist.

I Lay My Stitches Down

I Lay My Stitches Down

Written by Cynthia Grady
Illustrated by Michele Wood

This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.

This moving and eloquent set of poems, brought to life by vivid and colorful artwork from Michele Wood, offers a timeless witness to the hardship endured by America’s slaves. Each poem is supplemented by a historical note.

Read more about the book in Cynthia Grady’s Eerdlings post on “Stitching Poetry.”

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Fore more great books for National Poetry, peruse our entire featured collection.

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