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What Is Poetry?: The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

Review

What Is Poetry?: The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

written by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Jill Calder

In WHAT IS POETRY?, poet and critic Michael Rosen has written an informative book about poetry for young readers. He explores the topic by showcasing some poems by such well-known poets as William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Louis Stevenson. Of course, he also showcases some of his own poems.

"[Rosen] finds ways to make what can be a difficult subject into a much more user-friendly one."

Rosen's reason for doing so is to educate kids about poetry. He shows, through examples, what poetry is, what it can do, and how they can learn to both appreciate it and write poems of their own. In doing so, he finds ways to make what can be a difficult subject into a much more user-friendly one.

Anyone familiar with Rosen’s poetry knows he writes very kid-friendly poems. He also writes very kid-friendly text in this book about poetry. The pages are filled with insight about what poetry is, and he provides lots of great ways for readers to come up with ideas for their own poems. As a bonus, there are several blank pages near the end of the book where readers can add their own thoughts, ideas and poems.

Although the examples Rosen gives for generating ideas are included with the idea that the reader will, hopefully, be inspired to write poems of their own, I think the ideas he presented would also be great ways for generating ideas for stories. He also includes several pages at the end of the book with websites where readers can find more information about poems and poetry.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on January 30, 2019

What Is Poetry?: The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
written by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Jill Calder