Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tastes Like Chocolate: Thoughts From Young People

I received this book as a gift and what a gift it is! TASTES LIKE CHOCOLATE by Randi Allison is a collection of poems written by the children she's worked with over the years. It is a collection that is a great read--just as a great poetry read. As a teacher, it is a great reminder of how lucky we are to work alongside children every day. It helps remind us how brilliant and insightful they are! And it can also serve as a great resource for teachers of writing. Such great models of writing by kids of different ages.

The title and organization of the book are both quite clever. The back of the book reads "Like a fine chocolate sampler, this collection is filled with delectable moments of joyous wonder that melt and linger, dark musings of loss with a bitter aftertaste of longing, and simple insights filled with gooey, luscious surprises. Like any fine treat, TASTES LIKE CHOCOLATE yearns to be shared with the people you love." The Table of Contents shows us that the book is organized in the same way a box of chocolates might be--with bittersweets (thoughts about challenges), sweets (thoughts about childhood), and darks (thoughts about death and dying).

This collection is a perfect addition to your library if you are a teacher of reading, writing, poetry and/or life in general. Each poem gives the reader lots to think about. I can see using poems with kids in my class--thinking about how they might use what they learn in their own writing. I can see kids reading it on their own. And, as a teacher and parent, I can see going back to it--rereading some favorites over and over.

A great collection--this is one like I've never seen before. Because Randi is an educator, she has chosen an amazing collection of poems to share with the world. These poems were most likely written in great writers' workshops in great classrooms. It is a great reminder of the power of poetry in our students' lives. For years, I have collected my own students' writings--knowing that I will share them with future students. As a teacher, I know the power of these models in writing workshop--that reading the work of other children can have a huge impact on students' writing. In this collection, Randi shares a variety of these models for us to add to our own collections.

This is not an easy book to find but there is a website where you can order it. The website also has some great endorsements by educators like Shelley Harwayne, Cris Tovani, and Chrysse Hutchins.


  1. Sounds interesting. I esp like the way it is divided by bittersweet and dark, etc. Clever.

    The fact that is not so widely available is exactly why bloggers like you are needed - to alert teachers, librarians, and more to the resources out there and how to use them.

  2. Wow does this sound GOOD. I'm trotting off to the web site right now...

  3. Patrick Allen11:23 PM

    I have known and worked with Randi for 20+ years. She is an amazing teacher of writing. She has an incredible rapport with young writers and can get them to write from the depths of their hearts. I am so glad Randi's book is on this blog! I would encourage everyone to buy it! You won't be disappointed.

  4. Chocolates are my favorite & prefer to buy chocolate gifts from Lake Champlain Chocolates.


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