Good Books, Good Times!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
illustrated by Harvey Stevenson
Harper Collins Publishers, 1990
While Inner Chimes (my recent review here) is my favorite children's book of poetry about poetry and writing poetry, GOOD BOOKS, GOOD TIMES! is my favorite children's book of poetry about books and reading.
On Poetry Friday, early in the year, this is the book I can hand to a reluctant and/or struggling reader, who is guaranteed to find at least one poem (and usually more) that s/he can read. It's quite subversive (pardon the pun) to give such a reader a book about the joys of reading, to trick them into reciting words they don't believe yet, but probably will by the end of fourth grade with me and my room full of books.
Here's one that's often recited on Poetry Friday:
I MET A DRAGON FACE TO FACE
by Jack Prelutsky
I met a dragon face to face
the year when I was ten,
I took a trip to outer space,
I braved a pirates' den,
I wrestled with a wicked troll,
and fought a great white shark,
I trailed a rabbit down a hole,
I hunted for a snark.
I stowed aboard a submarine,
I opened magic doors,
I traveled in a time machine,
and searched for dinosaurs,
I climbed atop a giant's head,
I found a pot of gold,
I did all this in books I read
when I was ten years old.