Read Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko Melissa Sweet Online


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 andCelebrated 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 Poems invites children to sample poems throughout the four seasons. ...

Title : Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780763648428
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 48 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems Reviews

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-03 05:08

    Five stars, because it's "amazing." Not perfect. But some of the highest quality poems made accessible to newbies and children that I've ever seen. See, I judge poetry by the images and feelings a poem evokes. I don't care for ballads, nor do I consider most nonsense to be real poetry (but rather, nonsense is more a sort of word-play like puns and riddles). Good haikus are poems. Much music (besides ballads) are poems I like to see. This book suits me. It has some classics; it also has some new to me.Consider Joyce Sidman, she of the brilliant Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors and other collections. Here she is represented with:_*A Happy Meeting*_Rain meets dust:soft, cinnamon kisses.Quicky, noisy courtship,the marriage: mud...............I'll have to look for more by Raymond Souster after reading_*Spring*_Rain beats down,roots stretch up.They'll meetin a flower..............One of Carl Sandburg's inclusions is new to me:_*Window*_Night from a railroad car windowIs a great, dark, soft thingBroken across with slashes of night.---I mean, look at that. Look at the word choices. Broken, not wrecked or cracked; slashes not stripes or cuts... talk about those with your youngsters.............Ok, as I said, the book isn't perfect. For example, included is one of my favorites, _*Dust of Snow*_ by Robert Frost. But the key to the poem is "a day I had rued." And the illustration shows father and child heading home from an afternoon's sledding. They rejoiced in their day; they didn't rue it!

  • Donalyn
    2019-03-18 23:15

    Amazing poems, many commissioned for this book, and Sweet's whimsical illustrations make this book a standout.

  • PaulHankins
    2019-03-19 01:01

    If a book brings me back to goodreads to throw up a review, then it transcends "Mr. Hankins said it was good" at this point. I think.It's been a while since I've been compelled by a book to want to come back--to take time away from the next book (there's always the next book, right)to post a review.I knew from the moment I saw the cover posted on Facebook that I just had to have this anthology. Paul B. Janeczko? Melissa Sweet? What's not to like? Wait. What's not to sense that one could fall immediately in love with such a collaboration. FIREFLY JULY: A YEAR OF VERY SHORT POEMS is what I might call that perfect "school year" book. Thirty-six poems selected for placement within the four seasons of the year (nine poems evenly-distributed for each season), this anthology would make a perfect addition to the classroom library. A table of contents would invite the classroom teacher to look for a poem by a poet that might lead to longer works by the same poet. While reading through the anthology, I kept thinking, "someone will put this up on a bulletin board" or "Wow. A person reading the morning announcements could embed any one of these poems into the reading, perhaps on a Monday to kick off the school week or on a Friday to cap it off."For teachers looking to add that resource for younger readers by way of shorter poems from recognized poets, this one is it. For parents looking for that One Book Four Hands kind of book for bedtime or anytime reading, this one is it. Janeczko has once again carefully selected the poets and his or her poems for inclusion. One of my favorites--a real surprise for me as a first-time reader of the book is one by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser:What is it the wind has lostthat she keeps looking forunder each leaf?Poets within the anthology include: William Carlos Williams (which affords Sweet the opportunity to bless the verse of WCW with her distinctive illustration style), Carl Sandburg, X. J. Kennedy, Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam, Robert Frost, and many, many others. So many are pointing to Melissa Sweet's illustrations. There is so much to love here. One might say that poetry shouldn't need to be illustrated. Billy Collins in his TED Talk says, "We should let the reader do some work." But Sweet's work here is not an attempt to illustrate a poem as much as bring the collection together in a most visual way. Sweet's anchor illustrations for the seasons are whimsical, delightful (don't miss FALL--if you are like Mr. Hankins, you'll find yourself looking for the F followed by the delight of having been surprised by Sweet's illustrative playfulness).So. . .we are back at goodreads for this review. Because FIREFLY JULY is just that good. You heard it from Mr. Hankins on release day. This is a poetry anthology we will be talking about all year. And especially at the end of the year.

  • Liesl
    2019-02-24 06:09

    No actual spoilers here. I mean it's poetry, so there's no plot to spoil. I just am pretty sarcastic and negative in my review so just hiding it for those who maybe don't want to see that. I mean, this has gotten a lot of starred reviews which was why I picked it up. (view spoiler)[As I was reading the first poem I thought "oh, these poems remind me of that awful red wheelbarrow poem." And then there it was in all its glory!!! I wish my mom was around just so I could call her and I tell her "I have this book of poems--you won't believe what one is in it!!" Then I would force her to listen to the whole book. And I'm sorry but I guess I'm a traditionalist with children book artwork--what's all this modern art stuff lately? It always looks like kids themselves designed the book, and maybe that's the point and there's people out there who think it's great or cute or whatever, and I'm just like "ugh, bad poems and ugly artwork? This will probably win the Caldecott!"And at the end of reading them all, I would ask my mom "Well...your thoughts?" And I know she would reply "Why didn't any of the poems rhyme? Poems are supposed to rhyme!" And normally I might laugh or roll my eyes but this time I would nod my head and say "I'm going to have to agree with you this time." I mean, I'm laughing reading it on my own--it would have been such awful joy to have shared this with her. We probably would have some new inside joke about it, or I would compare other books we read to this. Man, I miss my mom. Who else can I hate on highly regarded children's books with? (hide spoiler)]

  • Betsy
    2019-03-07 01:57

    Is reviewing works of poetry essentially a ridiculous thing to attempt? I’m not trying to be facetious or anything, I honestly want to know. It took me a long time to appreciate poetry on any level, but when I did I was able to come to it understanding that its closest relative in the arts world is music. Music that a person enjoys is a deeply personal experience. Only you can replicate the feelings and emotions that certain combinations of notes inspire. By the same token, poetry should be purely a one-on-one experience. And part of the job of books of collected poems for kids is to get each child reader to find that one poem that speaks to them. Maybe if they find one, just one, that hits home then that person will seek out other poems. Maybe it’ll expand their little minds, lead them to modes of thought they might not have reached otherwise. If the ultimate goal of children’s poetry is simply to inspire in kids a love of words and wordplay, then critiquing books that seek to do that is a uniquely difficult proposition. I mean, how can you judge something that’s so subjective? The best that you can do is simply determine if the poems in a collection are good, put together in a logical way, and worthwhile reading. And in the case of Firefly July the answer to all three of those queries is yes and yes and you betcha.Four seasons yield 36 poems. Selected by children’s poet Paul B. Janeczko, Firefly July slowly introduces each time of year with gentle, short verses that lure you in. Each poem highlights a different element of the season, whether it’s a cat stalking through the daisies in the summer or winter wind “tearing itself to shreds / On bared-wire fences.” A pleasing mix of canon poets (Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, etc.) and canon children’s poets (Charlotte Zolotow, J. Patrick Lewis, James Stevenson, etc.) the book touches lightly on those elements that make a season memorable. With illustrator Melissa Sweet’s interpretations of each poem in tow, this collection proves to be the kind of book of poetry no library or poetry-minded household can seriously be without.Like I said before, so much of critiquing poetry is subjective. So on an entirely personal level, I can at least tell you that I didn’t really begin to warm up to these poems (no pun intended) until we hit the Summer section. Nothing against the Spring, mind you. It’s there that you’ll find a lot of the old standards like the William Carlos Williams poem “The Red Wheelbarrow”. But Summer proved a lovely surprise. Langston Hughes waxing eloquent on “Subway Rush Hour” followed by Joyce Sidman’s lovely “A Happy Meeting” (which conjures up memories of the e.e. cummings poem “in Just”) and then the titular “Firefly July” by J. Patrick Lewis (which really does deserve to have its name appropriated for the title of this book) combine to give one a true, rounded sense of the season. Teachers and parents would do well to read this book to kids and then ask them what their favorite season is. Mine now appears to be summer. Who knew?The real advantage to this book is in the subtitle. “A Year of Very Short Poems”. Though I struggle in vain to find the right way to sell my poetry collection in months other than April, I can’t help but think that maybe size does matter. Books containing long and lengthy poems (like the delightful A Pond Full of Ink by Annie M.G. Schmidt) will be ideal for the already indoctrinated, but if you’re trying to lure in the poetry shy, short is the way to go. Short and sweet. And brother, it hardly gets any sweeter than this.Melissa Sweet’s art was an interesting choice as illustrator. It makes sense when you think about it. After all, her Caldecott Honor was bestowed upon the picture book biography of poet William Carlos Williams A River of Words. In this book she is the sole artist interpreting these various works. There are no head scratching moments. No times when you feel as though she’s taking advantage of her position as the illustrator. She switches vantage points and views consistently as well, keeping the viewer awake and interested. Of all the pages, my favorite Sweet was the two-page spread accompanying Carl Sandburg’s poem “Window”. There, panel after panel after panel show scenes from a railway car looking at the countryside. Later, Ted Kooser’s “Snow Fence” contains the striking image of crows perched on a simple red fence set against the pure white drifts. One might argue that Sweet takes few risks with this book but if I’m going to trade in beauty for risk, I figure that’s a pretty fair deal.As I am a librarian and not a teacher I don’t usually think up classroom applications for books when I read them. Firefly July proves to be the exception to the rule. Reading this book I could imagine all sort of interesting uses. For example, teachers might want to actually revive an old school standard and have the kids in their classroom memorize one of these poems for recitation type purposes. We’ve seen some books collect poems for this very specific purpose (see: Forget-Me-Nots Poems to Learn by Heart, selected by Mary Ann Hoberman) but in this particular case I think the quality of the selections recommend it highly. There is, after all, no better way to learn a poem heart, body, and soul than to incessantly read it over and over and over again.With its pedigree in place it’s little wonder that Firefly July entranced me as much as it did. I don’t consider myself a poetry connoisseur so it takes something special to break through to me as much as this book did. I still maintain that reading poems of any sort is a personal business and that what suits the goose will never do for the gander. That said, for a work of introductory poems specially selected so as to calm and comfort the reluctant poetry reader, Firefly July ain’t a bad way to go. Lulling and lovely, there’s something for everyone inside. All you have to do is just give it a chance.For ages 4-8.

  • Kristine Hansen
    2019-03-19 23:57

    Short poems, snippets of poems, paired up with collage kinds of pictures to give a child poetry. I rather liked quite a few of the selections, others were ok. Not my favorite in terms of art style, but creative and interesting all the same. Seems like this is coming together into a rather mixed review which is pretty much expressing how mixed I feel about this book in general. I wanted to like this more than I did, but do recognize that there are some pretty cool things here. Not a bad introduction to poetry by famous poets for a child.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-25 23:12

    Thirty-six poems, many of them commissioned for this book, celebrate the wonders of the four seasons in various poetic forms. The watercolor, gouache, and mixed media illustrations are stellar. Readers won't soon forget the poetry or the lovely images. My personal favorites included "Little Orange Cat" by Charlotte Zolotow, "Sandpipers" by April Halprin Wayland, and "Water Lily" by Ralph Fletcher. It's nice to revisit William Carlos Williams's "The Red Wheelbarrow," Carl Sandburg's "Fog", and Robert Frost's "Dust of Snow," poems I have loved ever since I was a child.

  • Claire
    2019-03-23 02:14

    Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko is a collection of poems categorized by month of the year. My favorite season of poems is summer. A poem that stood out to me in this section is called: "A Happy Meeting" by Joyce Sidman. "Rain meets dust: soft, cinnamon kisses. Quick, noisy courtship, then marriage: mud." I like how the author describes mud as a marriage between dust and rain. I would definitely use this book to teach a writing lesson on adjectives. This poem challenges the reader to think about different ways of describing an object or thing: mud. I want to see how 4th-5th graders would approach this topic of adjectives by describing something they know in a whole new way. The students could also illustrate their poem to add meaning to the words.The pictures in each section of the book compliment the season: summer has pictures of flowers, green fields, a day at the beach ("Sandpipers" by April Halprin Wayland.) The name of each season is also incorporated into the illustrations as well. The winter section has wonderful pictures of a foggy scene, snow and clouds. In addition to pointing out the elements of writing in the poems I would pull in the theme of weather for younger students as a read aloud. This book can be used across many grade levels (1st-6th)pointing out the many elements of the book and sections: writing, reading, rhyming, meaning, pictures, months of the year and seasons. A kindergarten classroom would enjoy reading a few poems at the beginning of each season or month as the school year goes on. I would incorporate this as part of the morning circle or read aloud. As a class we would expand on what it means to change seasons and what it looks and feels like outside.

  • Jill
    2019-03-19 06:00

    There are thirty-six very short poems in this collection, enhanced by stunning illustrations by Melissa Sweet.The poems are divided into four sections, one for each season of the year. In Spring, for example, you will find this evocative gem by X. J. Kennedy:"Open-billedgullsfightingfor fish headscreaklike rusted gates.”Summer features, inter alia, the title poem, “Firefly July” by J. Patrick Lewis:"When I was ten, one summer night,The baby stars that leaptAmong the trees like dimes of light,I cupped, and capped, and kept.”In Fall you will find this wonderful thought by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser:"What is it the wind has lostthat she keeps looking forunder each leaf?”What would winter be without some Carl Sandburg?"The fog comeson little cat sits looking over harbor and cityon silent haunches and then moves on.”You will find other beloved poets in this collection, including William Carlos Williams, Charlotte Zolotow, Langston Hughes, Robert Wallace, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Richard Wright.Award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet used watercolor, gouache and paper to create outstanding mixed-media collages representing the poems. Along with the poems, the artwork demonstrates how dominant colors and moods change throughout the year. Furthermore, the pictures are full of movement and whimsey and hidden delights. Each page is full of revelations, and lends understanding to the poetry as well.Evaluation: This book is not to be missed, even if you don’t think you are an aficionado of poetry. The poems are short and pleasing, and the pictures are wonderful.

  • Tasha
    2019-02-25 04:07

    There are just over thirty poems in this collection and as promised in the title, all of them are very short. These short poems though each have power and perfection in just a few words, offering insight into the way that language can be edited and played with to make it speak much more than the few words on the page. Readers will find poems that are well-known mixed with others that are delightful new surprises. Through it all, there is a feeling of joy that comes from the page and from the words as well as a pleasure of traveling the seasons through poetry.Thanks to the brevity of all of these poems, this is a very child-friendly book to introduce children to poetry. Their condensed format also gives them a lot of power and bang per word, which makes them easy to discuss with children. Readers will also want to try their hands at creating short poems and are sure to quickly realize that while they read easily, they are very difficult to create. That makes this book all the more impressive with its high level of quality of poem and a perfect level of accessibility for youth.Sweet’s illustrations frame the poems into one cohesive unit. They celebrate the small things, like these poems and their themes, looking at leaves, butterflies, fog and lots of other bits of nature. Her work is playful and yet not too light, bringing depth into each image.A beautiful collection of short poems, this belongs in every library and would make a perfect way to start every day with a poem. Appropriate for ages 4-8.

  • Christine Turner
    2019-03-01 00:15

    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 Poems invites children to sample poems throughout the four seasons .Between walls / William Carlos Williams -- Moonlight / Bruce Balan -- Winter. Old truck / Cynthia Pederson -- Fog / Carl Sandburg -- Uses for fog / Eve Merriam -- Dust of snow / Robert Frost -- Snow fence / Ted Kooser -- The house-wreckers have left the door and a staircase / Charles Reznikoff -- A wild winter wind / Richard Wright -- Winter twilight / Anne Porter -- Night / Herbert Read -- A welcome mat of moonlight / Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser.Summary: A selection of short American poems dealing with the four seasons and the different weather events and animal patterns that can occur within each.SubjectsChildren's poetry, AmericanAmerican poetry -- Juvenile literature.

  • Celebrilomiel
    2019-03-12 23:18

    The book is well done and the illustrations are creative and interesting, but most of the selected poems are not of a style I can appreciate, which made it hard to truly enjoy the book. The imagery woven by the words is good, but of the thirty-six selected poems, I only really liked three; the others I found interesting to a degree, but neither educational nor personally appealing."Firefly July," the titular poem by J. Patrick Lewis, is my favorite; it's imagery, wording, rhythm, assonance, and rhyme all appeal to me, and furthermore it has a distinct nostalgia factor for anyone who has ever caught fireflies."In Passing," by Gerald Jonas, intrigued me with its use of alliteration and assonance. A subject which would have otherwise been bland became interesting and easily visualized through his choice of words and use of syllables, and Sweet's simple illustration echoed the quirkiness of the poem."Snow Fence," by Ted Kooser, appealed to me because of the vivid, precise image it portrayed, and the illustration Sweet coupled with the poem complemented the words and imagery in a way that enhanced the enjoyability of each component, visual and verbal.

  • Jaime
    2019-03-12 04:13

    Firefly July is a picture anthology that was compiled by Paul B. Janeczko. The illustrations are by Melissa Sweet. The medium of the pictures is a combination of watercolor, gouache (which is a sort of opaque watercolor), and mixed media. She has created a lovely layered sketched effect that, I think, adds a touch of whimsy to the poems they represent. The book is split into 4 sections: one for each season. There are 8-10 poems for each section. What I really liked was the array of authors featured in the anthology they range from Emily Dikinson, Robert Frost, and Carl Sandburg, spanning from the late 19th century to today. The poems are all very short which could make for a really nice daily bellringer poem for a poetry unit for secondary students. The imagery in the poems would be great to pick apart with older students. However, this would also make a great read aloud for primary students. I wouldn't, however, let them read this alone because poetry, in general, can become confusing independently. This book was a Red Clover Nominee (2016) and a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Books (2014).

  • Kellee
    2019-03-07 06:22

    Full review at: Review: Paul B. Janeczko did a wonderful job choosing poems that represent each season beautifully from amazing poets such as Sandburg, Williams, Hughes, and Fletcher, then add Melissa Sweet’s mixed media illustrations that engulf the page in color, and you have a perfect poetry anthology for any age. There isn’t much more to say about this book, but that it is something every person should see.Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: What can you not do with this book?! It has every type of poem imaginable that can be used in so many different situations. Need an example of a type of figurative language? You’ll find it in here. Need an example of a rhyme scheme? Yep, in here. Need to talk about rhythm? This’ll do. Want to introduce poetry? Have examples of poems for mentor texts? Allow students to draw how they interpret different poems and come back together and share? All can be done with this. And all with short, non-overwhelming, yet amazing poems.

  • Julee
    2019-03-15 04:26

    Even before I read the short poems, I was entranced by the bright beautiful colors of the book's cover. Illustrator Melissa Sweet wisely choose to create images that appeal to children as well as adults. It is so gorgeous that I created a special Spring display just for Firefly July. In particular, I loved the poem In Passing by Gerald Jonas about a junk truck full of floor fans spinning like pinwheels on one last fresh breeze before they are off to wherever. The Red Wheelbarrow reminded me of Sharon Creech's book Love That Dog and how a little boy at first didn't understand the poem until he sorted out his feelings about the recent death of his beloved dog, Sky. As a teacher, I see so many possibilities for inclusion in my lessons. Firefly July is a wonderful poetry collection.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-02-24 03:59

    Fine short poems, trumped by the even better illustrations by Melissa Sweet (whose name should come up here first rather than the guy who gets to claim authorship, the guy who picked the poems, many of which are familiar such as William Carlos Williams's "The Red Wheelbarrow"). The art is colorful, splashy, sketchy, cool. I think, based on my scientific study with a sample of three kids and two adults in this home, that this would generally appeal to adults more than kids, really. I liked the poems, though, including this one: A welcome mat of moonlighton the floor. Wipe your feetbefore getting into bed-- Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

  • Jorge
    2019-03-11 22:16

    "Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems" is a collection of 36 short poems about the four seasons selected by Paul B. Janeczko and beautifully illustrated by Melissa Sweet. This poems are very simple yet use great imagery and pertain perfectly to the seasons it describes. Designed for the younger readers,with that in mind I would like to use this book for students in 1st-3rd grade. The book magnificently covers the transition of the seasons with the wonderful illustrations by Sweet. This allows us to present this book by just observing the illustrations: asking the students what they think the poem is about is a great way to start up the conversation.

  • Margie
    2019-03-17 01:04

    Every living thing notices the changes each season brings. Careful human observers can pretty much rely on the signals sent by birds, insects, creatures inhabiting yards, fields and forests, trees, flowers and weeds. They know much more long before we do; perfectly in tune with their world.Poets take the time to pause, to record, these subtle shifts. They capture moments with words like a photographer does with a camera. Author Paul B. Janeczko has selected thirty-six sterling examples in Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems (Candlewick Press) with illustrations by Caldecott Honor winner, Melissa Sweet.My full review:

  • Anna
    2019-03-08 06:24

    “Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems” has many different poems to represent each season of the year. They are fun short poems that are enjoyable to all. The illustrations are very detailed to help represent the season the poems are about. From, bright colors to represent spring, and a change to warm colors for winter. Teachers can use this book through out the school year to introduce the changing of seasons to students. With the smaller poems, the students can get an introduction into a poetry unit. This book can best be used for students in grades 1-4.

  • Jeimy
    2019-02-26 00:24

    Once again I rate a book which gets an extra star thanks to the fabulous illustrations that accompanied the text. I have several of Janeczko's anthologies and they always deliver. Like any collection, this book has hits and misses, but overall it is a good read. However, Melissa Sweet's delightful illustrations bring each poem to life turning this otherwise three-star volume into a four-starred reviewed book.

  • Joanna
    2019-03-12 23:24

    My first official read of 2016! These poems are very short indeed. There were a few gems, and the cadence was soothing as I read them all aloud to my son. Lovely dreamy illustrations. My favorite:Water LilyMy petals enfold stamens of gold. I float, serene, while down belowthese roots of mine are deeply stuckin the coolest most delicious muck. - Ralph Fletcher

  • Matt Forrest Forrest
    2019-03-22 05:05

    Loved it - although I would have liked to have seen a few more rhyming poems, as the book is heavy with free verse and can be hard to keep the attention of a younger child. The fact that these are all very short poems is a plus, though, as far as younger readers are concerned. I enjoy anthologies because a diverse group of poets means a diverse range of styles.

  • Lynn Plourde
    2019-03-14 23:21

    From the moment I picked up this book, I knew it was special--gorgeous cover, two masters of their art (Janeczko-poetry; Sweet-illustration), large format, beautifully bound book. Inside--more delight. It is filled with EAR CANDY in the meant-to-be-read-aloud short poems and EYE CANDY in the vibrant, detailed collage-watercolor-gouache illustrations. A true treasure, must-have book!

  • paula
    2019-03-18 04:00

    Those are dormers looking like praying hands in the moonlight, not gables. A lot of people confuse that. And it is SOOOO not important, not in the face of this stunning collection. Much is made of Melissa Sweet's terrific art, and it is terrific - but the art of finding and selecting so many marvelous, pithy, windblown, picturesque short poems is nothing to sneeze at.

  • Tracey
    2019-03-04 04:25

    Title:Firefly July Author: Paul B. JaneczkoIllustrator: Melissa SweetGenre: Children’s PoetryTheme(s): Season poetry, Juvenile poetry, American poetry, Children’s poetryOpening line/sentence: “Daybreak reminds us – the hills have arrived in time to celebrate. – Cid Corman”Brief Book Summary: Over the course of 40 pages, author Paul Janeczko tells the story of the seasons through short poems. Beginning with spring and ending with winter, the mostly previously published poems by children’s poets and adult poets alike, provide a simple beauty and uniqueness to ponder. Young children will be delighted and surprised with the turn of each page, drawn to the whimsical illustrations and melodic words. Professional Recommendation/Review #1:Michael Cart (Booklist, Jan. 1, 2014 (Vol. 110, No. 9) ) Starred Review* Celebrated poet and anthologist Janeczko has collected 36 very short poems (none is longer than 10 lines) about the seasons. The selections are by both children s poets (Charlotte Zolotow, April Halprin Wayland, J. Patrick Lewis, Eve Merriam, and more) and adult poets (Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Ted Kooser, William Carlos Williams). In their brevity, the poems remind us that less can often be more and that there is art in economy. Every reader or listener will have his or her favorite poem, but some that are outstanding include Gerald Jonas In Passing, Joyce Sidman s A Happy Meeting, J. Patrick Lewis Firefly July, April Halprin Wayland s Sandpipers, and Ted Kooser s Snow Fence. Only a few of the poems are universally familiar: William Carlos Williams The Red Wheelbarrow, Carl Sandburg s Fog, and arguably Robert Frost s Dust of Snow. For young children, most of the others will be agreeable surprises, and each entry offers a happy encounter with words put beautifully together. Caldecott Honor Book artist Sweet s pictures are, in a word, gorgeous. Executed in watercolor, gouache, and mixed-media, they capture and expand the spirit and sensibility of the verses they illustrate to wonderful effect. The harmonious cooperation of words and images provides a memorable reading experience for each season and for the whole year round. Preschool-Grade 3 (PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press (Somerville Massachusetts:), PUBLISHED: 2014.) Professional Recommendation/Review #2:Deborah Stevenson (The Bulletin of the Center for Children s Books, April 2014 (Vol. 67, No. 8) ) Noted poet/anthologist Janeczko here collects thirty-six poems (most previously published), dividing them into seasonal sections. Spring brings offerings from the likes of William Carlos Williams and Ralph Fletcher; Summer includes Langston Hughes and Joyce Sidman; Fall features verse from James Stevenson, Alice Schertle, and others, while winter concludes with poets such as Richard Wright and, appropriately, Robert Frost. The poems are short indeed, with haiku, cinquains, and other unrhymed verse predominating (though a rhyming entry or two slips in as well); most of them are bijou bursts of imagery, capturing a moment or provoking contemplation with a fresh metaphor. Sweet s mixed-media art is elegant, quirky, and friendly, and it varies from attractive complement to creation of new world upon new world, sometimes eclipsing the verse. The spread for Sandburg s Window ( Night from a railroad car window . . . ), for instance, is a dramatic sequence of views through window-shaped apertures, often with the figures of train-riders silhouetted against the scenes on the other side of the glass. The spread featuring two different fog poems moves from Manhattanesque shoreline to fanciful mosaic towers obscured by firework puffs of mist correlating to the poem s thistledown. While the inviting art and poetic brevity will lure younger readers (and readaloud audiences), there s a sophistication in the poetic metaphors that will keep even older elementary readers engaged, and the compactness of the verse and visual translation will help reluctant poetry readers look at verse in a new light. Review Code: R -- Recommended. (c) Copyright 2006, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2014, Candlewick, 48p.; Reviewed from galleys, $16.99. Grades 2-5. (PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press (Somerville Massachusetts:), PUBLISHED: 2014.) Response to Two Professional Reviews:In response to both professional reviews, Firefly July’s brief 36 poems are simple, yet thought provoking and easily relate-able. The diverse styles and topics of the poems will certainly lead a reader to have his or her favorites and even encourage reluctant poetry readers to rethink the genre of writing. The mixed-media art is whimsical, fun, and full of spirit that creates a beautiful connection between words and imagery. All in all, this collection of seasonal themed verse will make a wonderful addition to any classroom library from pre-school to high school. Evaluation of Literary Elements: The simplistic and varied style of verse within this children’s book is likely to capture even the most reluctant poetry readers. Due to differences in structure, topic, tone, and general style, any reader can discover something they like. The topics are relate-able, the verses short, and the illustrations delightful. The use of mixed-media art, watercolor, and gauche styles to illustrate each poem individually, allow the reader to enter into a unique world connecting words to images. Despite each poem having individual illustrations, the book carries out a general illustrative style that maintains unity and celebrates uniqueness at the same time. Consideration of Instructional Application:If I were to apply this book to my classroom curriculum, I would have the class create our own Firefly July poetry book. Each student would write a poem about anything they wanted, in any style, at any length. The poem would be accompanied by an illustration using mixed-media materials. After every student is finished, the book would be compiled using everyone’s work and becoming available in our classroom library. Depending on the teacher’s preferences, the book could follow a central theme, such as seasons, or could be left completely up to the students.

  • Beth
    2019-03-19 04:21

    Absolutely perfect. Is there anything better than reading a short poem and just sighing from contentment at how wonderful it is to say so much in so few words?

  • Edward Sullivan
    2019-03-16 03:07

    A great collection of poems but the best thing about this anthology are Melissa Sweet's amazing illustrations.

  • Gloria
    2019-03-19 03:10

    Lovely illustrations and evocative poems. What else could anyone ask for? A wonderful paean to art, words, and the seasons.

  • Tara
    2019-03-23 22:03

    I used this in a school visit and the kids liked picking out the poems. The illustrations are amazing.

  • Mylinh
    2019-03-11 06:05

    Fantastic illustrations!