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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A Curious Collection of Cats

A Curious Collection of CatsA Curious Collection of Cats
Concrete Poems by Betsy Franco
illustrations by Michael Wertz

Concrete Poems are a favorite around these parts. An all-time favorite book of concrete poems so far is A Poke in the I by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrations by Chris Raschka. Another favorite in this series by the duo is A Kick in the Head which is a fantastic introduction to poetic forms. The last in the series, A Foot in the Mouth, is a collection of fun read-aloud poems.

Recently, I came across A Curious Collection of Cats at the library and had to bring it home for the kids. Both the 9- and 6- year old liked most of the poems in their own way. The kids liked "Lenny vs. Patch", "Q-tip and Rosie", "Veronica goes Wide"... My favorites were "Bingo's Birthday Party", "Techno Cat" and "Cat Door" - clever and deceptively simple!

Also by the same team, A Dazzling Display of Dogs, is a collection of concrete poems about dogs.

[ has a lovely portfolio of the illustrator's art work]

Muddy as A Duck Puddle and Other American SimilesMuddy As a Duck Puddle,
And Other American Similes
by Laurie Lawlor,
illustrated by Ethan Long

While not a book of concrete poems, this collection of American folk expressions intrigued us nevertheless...

Crooked as a barrel of snakes
Fine as a frog hair
Jittery as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs
Yellow as a flitter tree that grows beside a honey pond

Arranged from A to Z, some of these similes made no sense at first read. Colorful and descriptive at times, these long-winded ways of expressing specific phrases are explained at the back of the book.

['s video meet with Chris Raschka]
[image source:]

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