Tag Archives: Raczka (author)

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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Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys Review

guykuGuyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

HMH Books for Young Readers, 2010. 978-0547240039

Synopsis: In this collection of Haiku, the reader is invited to explore the world of the outdoors through the eyes of young boys as they watch the seasons change.

Why I picked it up: It popped up in my Amazon recommendations while I was browsing.

Why I finished it: Raczka explores the notion of the world as a boy’s playground, and indeed the out of doors is a wonder-filled world for children, especially boys. From flying a kite to using rocks to make a dam in a stream to looking up at pine trees to climb to throwing snowballs at a tree trunk, there is so much to do and explore outside. As the seasons change, Raczka and Reynolds show us how the playscape transforms from warm breezes to sunny days to leaves that change colors to a winter wonderland. Haiku is really a perfect form for these poems because they give us a brief snapshot of the activities in which we engage over the course of a year and the pleasure we have in enjoying the world outside. Reynolds’ art is just as simple and fun as the poems, using minimal lines and changing colors as we ‘travel’ from spring to winter. It’s a simple little book that inspires and ignites our own creativity and encourages us to keep doing what we love and share our passions with others.

Other related materials: Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlow, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin; Dogku by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Tim Bowers; The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons by Sid Farrar, illustrated by Ilse Plume; I Haiku You by Betsy E. Snyder; The Cuckoo’s Haiku: and Other Birding Poems by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Stan Fellows; A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; Messing Around on the Monkey Bars and Other School Poems for Two Voices by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Jessie Hartland; Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Nancy Doniger; Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski; Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley

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