Yesterday I set Florian's Dinothesaurus and Lewis' The Underwear Salesman out on the chalk tray in my fourth grade classroom at the beginning of the day to shouts of, "YAY!" and "Can I read that during reading workshop?" Neither book made it back to the chalk tray during reading time -- both were read by individuals or with partners and passed from hand to hand to hand the entire time.
Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings
by Douglas Florian
Athenium Books for Young Readers, 2009
Surely you've seen the sneak peaks of poetry and art from Dinothesaurus at Douglas Florian's blog? If not, get over there right now and take a look! 18 dinosaurs are described with wit, wordplay, and creative multimedia illustrations.
There is a pronunciation guide for each dinosaur name (thank you, thank you, Mr. Florian!) along with the meaning of the name. These name meanings are rich for conversations during word study around root words. Seismosaurus (earthshaking lizard) and seismograph; Tyrannosaurus rex (king of tyrant lizards) and tyrant and rex; Troodon (wounding tooth) and Iguanodon (iguana tooth) and orthoDONtist.
The collection also includes a Glossarysaurus, a list of dinosaur museums and fossil sites, and a bibliography with suggestions for further reading.
Every illustration adds an additional layer of meaning to its poem and makes this a book that will bring readers back again and again.
The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse
by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Serge Bloch
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009
More wit, wordplay and multimedia illustrations to be had in this volume as well!
This book is packed with short poems (a couplet for the job of exterminator), brief poems (for the job of underwear salesman -- ha ha!!), vertical poems (for the job of elevator operator), poems that take to the streets (for the job of marathon runner), poems in two voices (for the jobs of talk show hosts and ventriloquists), poems that flop (for the job of gymnast), and poems that soar ( for the job of bridge painter and skyscraper window washer).
At the risk of being repetitive: Every illustration adds an additional layer of meaning to its poem and makes this a book that will bring readers back again and again.