Monday, January 6, 2014

J. Patrick Lewis's Five Favorite Poetry Books

Today, we are honored to welcome author and former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis to the Cottage!

Lewis is the author of more than seventy-five children's books including A Hippopotamusn't, BoshBlobberBosh, Please Bury Me in the Library, First Dog, Spot the Plot, Tugg and Teeny, and The Good Ship Crocodile.

He was named the third U.S. Children's Poet Laureate (2011-2013) by the Poetry Foundation.

Despite the fact that choosing the five best "is virtually impossible," said Lewis, he was kind of enough to share with us some of his favorite poetry books among the many he loves. If these aren't already on your bookshelf, then we highly encourage you to check them out of your local library or pick them up at your neighborhood bookstore and spend some time getting lost in these marvelous collections.

Talking Like the Rain: 
A Read-To-Me Book of Poems
edited by X.J. and Dorothy Kennedy; Illustrated by Jane Dyer
Little, Brown, 1992

"The best and most comprehensive book of contemporary children's poetry available, in my opinion."

The Rattle Bag
edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes
Faber & Faber, 1982

"A marvelous British anthology intended for older readers."

The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury
edited by Jack Prelutsky; Illustrated by Meilo So
Knopf, 1999

"This book builds on Prelutsky's earlier, equally fine, and larger The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, Random House, 1983."

Here’s a Little Poem: 
A Very First Book of Poetry 
edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters; Illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Candlewick Press, 2007

"There are so many excellent poetry collections for the very young, and this is one of the best and most recent."

A Foot in the Mouth: 
Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout
edited by Paul B. Janeczko; Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Candlewick Press, 2009

"Terrific read-aloud poems for ages 3-9."

Former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis grew up in Gary, Indiana and earned a BA at Saint Joseph’s College, an MA at Indiana University, and a PhD in economics at the Ohio State University. Lewis taught in the department of Business, Accounting and Economics at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, until 1998 when he became a full-time writer.

Pat's children's poems have also appeared in CRICKET (26 times), SPIDER, LADYBUG, CICADA, ODYSSEY, RANGER RICK, HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, Ms. Magazine, YOUR BIG BACKYARD, CREATIVE CLASSROOM, STORYTIME, STORYWORKS, CHICKADEE, AHOY, LANGUAGE ARTS, JOURNAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, BOOKBIRD, READING TODAY and over 100 anthologies. He wrote the 1992 National Children's Book Week poem, printed on one million bookmarks and distributed nationally.

He has received numerous awards from the American Library Association, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and others. He was the recipient of the 2010-11 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Children's Poetry Award, presented every two years.

In addition to his books for children, Gulls Hold Up the Sky, Pat's first book of adult poems, was published by Laughing Fire Press (2010).

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