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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem Paperback – February 26, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—In this engaging book, the popular and prolific Prelutsky relates personal anecdotes and then shows how he created poems from them, in most cases by using comic exaggeration to suit his artistic purposes. Some are from his childhood, like "My Mother Says I'm Sickening," which grew out of playing with his food at the dinner table. ("My mother says I'm sickening/My mother says I'm crude/She says this when she sees me/Playing Ping-Pong with my food.") Others are more recent. Something as simple as buying a banana from a street vendor led to "I'm Building a Bridge of Bananas." Also included are plenty of writing tips, with practical, lively suggestions ideal for the target age group. Prelutsky repeatedly advises readers to keep a notebook and write down every idea, to give ideas time to percolate, to rewrite, and to have fun. Even when defining poetic terms, he is humorous and conversational: "Poetic license is my favorite license," he claims, before going on to offer a simple and understandable definition. The book concludes with a list of "Poemstarts to Get You Started." A good addition for public, school, and classroom libraries.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Along with easy-to-follow tips for creating verse, haiku, and concrete poetry, the reigning Children’s Poet Laureate offers insights into his own thought processes (“Different foods behave in different ways when you squeeze them.”), glimpses of his childhood, and personal anecdotes. Appropriately, his brief closing glossary of poet’s tools includes entries for poetic license, pun, and irony. To get the creative juices flowing in budding versifiers, Prelutsky tucks in more than a dozen examples from his own work, plus 10 two-and-part-of-a-third-line “poemstarts.” Although Ralph J. Fletcher’s Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out (2002) is a more wide-ranging guide to poetic techniques and forms, Prelutsky’s amiable primer will be more appealing to less-motivated audiences; it will not only entice them into making poetry but also leave them better able to appreciate rhyme and wordplay in general. Grades 4-6. --John Peters
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061434485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061434488
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald M. Bishop on October 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
We left "Pizza, Pigs and Poetry" lying out in the open for our three granddaughters(ages 9, 11 & 13)to discover--which they did. Within a day or so, they were writing their own short poems--much of it very good. We made no effort to teach them nor did we encourage them. They received all the needed encouragement and help from the book. Within a short time, the poems got longer and better--more substantive, more perceptive. I suspect that the most important aspect of the book is getting the child over the fear of writing. It helps them feel comfortable about expressing themselves.
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Format: Hardcover
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem

This new Prelutsky book is absolutely fabulous! Every year I engage my middle school students in creating an extensive "Poetry Package" as one of their major projects for the year, so this book has been a GREAT resource! THANK YOU, Jack Prelutsky! THANK YOU, Amazon.com!
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Prelutsky hits the funny bone right on again. This collection is as full of fun and musings to tickle the fancy as any of the others this award-winning poet has written. Few other poets today will take the time to show children how to write for fun and give them examples that will make sense to them. The bonus is that it is equally helpful to aspiring adult-poets as well. Delightful to see someone having a good time with what is too often taught in a strait-laced manner.
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This book does not live up to its title. It's not so much about HOW to write a poem, but rather about WHERE poems come from -- which part of our life experiences do we remember and tap into in order to produce poetry. So if you're expecting this to be about HOW, you will be disappointed. Prelutsky writes perhaps twenty chapters about his personal experiences, and after each chapter is the poem that came from that experience. Included in this mix are sidebars called Writing Tips that define things such as "Voice" or "Rhythm." The poems might be funny if presented alone, but when they come after a chapter that details the experience, the poems seem flat. What might have been funny if it was fresh is no longer funny. Still, teachers might want to use portions of this book to encourage students to write poetry.
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I work with kids, and this book gives great starter ideas for poems that could also get turned into journal prompts or other writing assignments. There are great examples after each suggestion of where the author went with the prompt.
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By Melange on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Til now I was poet-illiterate; no more than a sad, monstrous hack. I've discovered my Peter Principle; Appreciative meter-reader! Three cheers for the Poet-Laureate! I have you to thank for this, Jack! (You make it look easy, and it surely is fun! Don't judge; I dug deep to make this one!)
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Format: Paperback
First, I knew nothing about Jack Prelutsky when I checked this book out of the library, but the first few pages give the impression that he is an egomaniac -- and egomaniacs rub me the wrong way even when they are considered experts in their field. For example, on the first page he states that no one taught him anything about poetry, he discovered it all for himself -- really? No good teachers at all in your background, Mr. Prelutsky? -- and that, more unbelievably, he is the first human being to discover or use some of the techniques he will describe. Uh-humm . . . the phrase 'unwarranted hubris' comes to mind.

Second, I detest books which try to persuade readers that it is the basic nature of "all" of us to act badly (or, at least, to desire to act badly) and I detest books which perpetrate negative stereotypes about humanity. Mr. Prelutsky does both of these things repeatedly in just the first few pages -- and no child needs this. E.g., "Sometimes I think that mothers exist mostly to drive their kids crazy. Of course kids absolutely exist to drive their mothers crazy. It's been going on like that for thousands of years, and there's no end in sight. . . . One of the things that my mother did to drive me crazy was make up rules. She had so many rules, and most of them started with the same word: Don't." His attitude towards others, especially his parents, reeks of disrespect (as indicated by my next objection).

Third, Prelutsky implicitly encourages his reader to pull mean pranks on others because that is the way to create interesting situations worthy of a poem: "Once I put a bug in [my father's] coffee cup, and another time I put breadcrumbs in his bed. I did lots of other stuff too.
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Santa gave this to my daughter .. she was not impressed at first, just a book, ho hum. Then she started reading it, and giggling, and reading more, and loves it so much it is now her Favorite Book Ever.
I plan to buy his new book this month.
My daughter is 7, I think that is the perfect age for fantasy and poetry!
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