- Age Range: 6 - 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 4
- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (March 3, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763623768
- ISBN-13: 978-0763623760
- Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems Paperback – March 3, 2005
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Raschka's restrained collages of calligraphic watercolor lines and torn paper leave most everything to the poems. He and Janeczko provide an uncluttered, meditative space for the picturesque language.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This book's playful vision that 'the arrangement of letters or words on the page, the typefaces chosen, and the way space is used, add meaning to the poem beyond that contained in the actual words' never wavers.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
These aren't poems to read aloud, but to look at and laugh at together, with young children and especially with older readers, who will enjoy the surprise of what words look like and what can be done with them.
—Booklist (starred review)
Every one of these poems is a winner, and each stimulates a kind of mental acrobatics that is as exhilarating as the exuberant art, and as refreshing and fun as the poems themselves. Truly a tour de force.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
. . . kids will have little trouble figuring out what they are all about, or trying out their own. Beautiful and playful, this title should find use in storytimes, in the classroom, and just for pleasure anywhere.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Chris Raschka is the illustrator of more than twenty highly praised books for children, including YO! YES?, a Caldecott Honor Book; CHARLIE PARKER PLAYED BE BOP; ARLENE SARDINE; and RING! YO? He says, "Concrete poetry is the yoga of words. Like feeling your breath and your bones, you begin to notice what words and sentences actually look like. It’s just like the feeling you get after a fifteen-minute handstand. And you don’t even have to put on loose-fitting clothes!" Chris Raschka lives in New York City with his wife and son.
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While many poems could stand alone by themselves, Mr. Raschka has given them all additional illustrations. His illustration style of broad lines, bright colors and bold patterns in the manner of Eric Carle augments each poem beautifully whether it's about rain softly falling, a danelion blowing in the wind or two people watching a train go by.
It is, of course, singularly difficult to review a book of this type because it's impossible to duplicate the exact layout of these poems which stretch, splish and splash across the pages. To put the poems into single lines stacked on top of one another in word-processor format would be to ruin them and take all the fun out of this splendid work. You therefore have to see them in all their glory on the page with Mr. Raschka's illustrations.
I've used this book a few times in my own classroom to inspire students who are less than enthusiastic about writing poetry. Making concrete poetry (or "form poetry" as I called it in school) offers readers and students a different perspective on what is often considered a mundane form of writing. A lot of fun and highly recommended!
This collection of poems is a language lover's dream! It is a juggler throwing words up in the air just to see how they come down again, only to be caught, and returned to the air.
This is a book that will not allow you to sit still. Children will catch the excitement of poetry as well. May they run with it and have a blast!
Poetry does not exist to be "gotten" (or understood) by it's readers, or pigeon-holed into one interpretation. Do not underestimate the capacity of a child to comprehend a poet's message. This book is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn to love and appreciate poetry. Children learn to write by using a combination of writing and drawing (driting). So this book is the perfect segue into a genre that many children never learn to appreciate, because it is force-fed to them from the beginning as something that has one purpose. They are led to believe the goal of reading poetry is to discover "the meaning," and in the process the joy is taken away. Maybe that is why so many adults cannot appreciate poetry. They do not know how. This thinking is not a way to promote literacy.
If you want poems that are dumbed-down to meet what you think a child can appreciate about poetry at an early age, then do not buy this book.
Otherwise, do your child an incredible favor and allow them to explore, at their own pace, this book and this genre.
is so clever, It makes me think "I wish I had thought of that"! "Eskimo Pie" and "Popsicle" are cute to look at but haven't any punctuation! "Shadow and Swan" and "Forsythia" are too difficult to bother reading. This is just my opinion and someone else might love it but I didn't!