Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Poetry Books For a New Year, part 1

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!: Poems for Two Voices
by Carole Gerber
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Henry Holt and Co. (February 5, 2013)
review copy provided by the publisher

This book is destined to become a favorite on Poetry Fridays in my classroom! My students have nearly worn out Mary Ann Hoberman's "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You" books of poetry for two voices. Now we've got another from which to choose!

Carole Gerber, a local Central Ohio poet and a fellow The Poetry Friday Anthology (Common Core K-5 edition): Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core poet has written a collection of 18 poems about the natural world. The color-coding and the left/right alignment of the two parts will be familiar cues to readers of Hoberman's poems, but because Gerber's poems are not as formulaic as Hoberman's, this book will also make a great mentor text for students who want to try to write poetry for two voices.

These poems will be perfect for life science units on plants, animals, and food chains/webs. For example, in the poem "Seedlings," you will find the science vocabulary "coat," "germinate," "roots," and "sprouting." Told as a mask poem, from the points of view of two seedlings, this is a poem about that first moment when baby plants lift their heads above the dirt. Turn the page and the same scene is replayed with an excited seedling in conversation with a rabbit. That one doesn't end so well for the seedling!

The combination of fun poems and bright, happy illustrations by Eugene Yelchin make this one a sure deal!


  1. I thought I had enough poetry books, but no. You never have enough poetry books. This one is now on my list. Thanks.

  2. Yes, Mary Lee, I agree that this book is sure to become a favorite in many classrooms. Poems for two voices are sometimes hard to perform, but the color coding really makes things clear with this title.


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