The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Richard Jones

Published by Candlewick

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Summary:  Thirty three poems that explain how to do something are collected here.  Starting with “How to Build a Poem” by Charles Ghigna, they cover such diverse topics as “Mix a Pancake” (Christina Rossetti), “How to Tell Goblins from Elves” (Monica Shannon), and “How to be a Tree in Winter” (Irene Latham).  “A Lesson from the Deaf” (Nikki Grimes) beautifully and concisely describes how to sign “Thank you”, with “How to Read Braille (Steven Withrow) appearing on the facing page. Other poets include Marilyn Singer, Kwame Alexander, Robert Louis Stevenson, and many more.  48 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  The concrete nature of these poems will broaden their appeal to younger readers, while older kids might be inspired to try writing some of their own.  The somewhat abstract illustrations add nice subtle touches to the poetry.

Cons:  I learned in the process of writing this review that Paul Janeczko passed away on February 19.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.


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