Lemonade and Other Poems Review

lemonadeLemonade: and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka, illustrations by Nancy Doniger

Roaring Brook Press, 2011. 978-1596435414

Synopsis: This collection of poems creates short poems using only the words from a single word. Inspired by the poetry of Andrew Russ, these word poems are part riddle, part anagram, and all fun to read and to write.

Why I picked it up: The concept of word poetry is relatively new to me and I wanted to see what it was all about.

Why I finished it: These poems really are a lot of fun to read and I can see the love that Raczka has put into each of these works. he has captured the emotions and the wonder of everyday things: lemonade, constellations, minivans, Halloween, and many others. While the poems are a little hard to read at first because the letters are all over the page, the reverse page has the poem in its entirety. It’s an exercise in creativity for the reader and the writer, and it is another example of how varied poetry can be and how many different forms it can take. It shows that poetry is not limited to a specific formula, how freeing finding the right words can be. I love Doniger’s art accompanying the poems as well – the simple watercolors are reminiscent of grade school art class and conjure up memories of when the reader was young. It’s fun, fresh, and a great outlet for one’s creativity. So go play with your words!

Other related materials: GUYKU: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin; Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems edited by Georgia Heard; The Arrow Finds its Mark: A Book of Found Poems edited by Georgia Heard, illustrated by Antoine Guillope; Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Lisa Desmini; Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse; BookSpeak!: Poems About Books by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Josee Bisaillon; Messing Around on the Monkey Bars and Other School Poems for Two Voices by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Jessie Hartland; Poetrees by Douglas Florian; Poems to Learn by Heart by Caroline Kennedy, illustrations by Jon J. Muth; The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry edited by Bill Martin, Jr. and Michael Sampson

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