Sunday, April 26, 2009

Poetry Month: What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe?

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN OLD RED SHOE by Anna Alter is not a poetry book. But a poem introduces each page.  This book is "a green activity book about reuse".  Each 2 page spread starts out with a short poem--often a rhyming poem--one that tells the story of something that happened so that something can no longer be used for its original intent.  For example, one flip flop gets lost, a shirt gets tattered, and crayons get worn out from use.  

Following each poem is a question such as "What can you do with bits of old crayon?"

The rest of the two-page spread gives us instructions (with adorable illustrations) on something to make in order to reuse the item. We learn to make a planter from an old shoe, a pillow from an old t-shirt and more.

I love a lot about this book. It has great examples of how-to writing. Step by step instructions written with details and illustrated too. I also like the predictable format.  The idea that a poem can start each page by setting up the story is a fun one and I think kids could try this in their own writing.

A book that isn't quite a poetry book, but one that uses poems in an innovative way. And I love the message about reusing objects.  At the end of the book are more ways you can support reuse and recycling as well as hand-sewing tips.


  1. I have to get this book. I'm seeing it all over the web this morning and am starting to get all drooly over it...

  2. Thanks so much for the great review, I'm honored to be on your blog!

  3. Love this book and we are making recycled toys this week after reading the idea in Anna's book!


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