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Genre Poetry
Children's and Young Adult Literature Review
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I stand mostly humbly
Before man's wisdom,
Knowing we are not
Really wise:

If we were
We'd open up the kingdom
And make earth happy
As the dreamed of skies.

Langston Hughes

Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion. New York: Putnam's Sons. 2003. ISBN0399231153.

Locomotion tells the story of Lonnie C. Motion in the form of poetic narrative using haiku, epistle, list, letters, and sonnets. Locomotion is a story of hope, love and family. Lonnie Collins Motion is eleven years old. His world is devastated at the age of seven when his parents are killed in a fire. He is separated from his sister Lili who is adopted by a rich family, leaving Lonnie in a group home until he goes to live with Miss Edna. With the love of his foster mother, teacher, Ms. Marcus he begins to heal from the trauma of his past through his poetry.

Woodsons unravels the events in Lonnie's life using the streets of New York, as the backdrop for urban poetry. Woven into the 60 poems is urban street language making Woodson words real to her young adult audience. The poetry revolves around events that help Lonnie deal with sorrow and joys in his life. Woodson allows Lonnie voice to tell a story of loss, grief, and humor.

Hip Hop Rules the World

Hip Hop Rules the World, Lamont said
grinning like sombody had told him
he's just won the lotto.

But all it was was Ms. Marcus saying
Of course rap is poetry!
One of the most creative forms.

So now Lamon't writing lyrics
and bopping his head
and every chance he gets

Hip Hop Rules the World

It's one of the most creative forms
Hey Dog! Guess who else is a poet now!

Jacqueline Woodson

Medina, Tony. Love to Langston. 2002. New York: Lee & Low Books. ISBN 1584300418.

Love to Langston is a collection of deeply moving poems about a young Langston Hughes, which tells how a young boy turned childhood blues into voice of the Negro people. The fourteen free-verse poems takes the reader on a journey through the horrors of slavery beginning with; Grandmas Stories model after Hughes own work, Aunt Sues Stories, followed by Jim Crow Row, a touching piece that express 7th- grade Hughes hurt, disillusionment and intolerance of his segregated classroom.

The first few poems are intense and somber, however the book assumes a lighter tone with poems like Libraries recounting how as a young boy Langston would get lost in the beautiful words in the books. In the last part of the books works such as Harlem is the Capital of My World reveals a more confident, self-empowered man who loves his community, his people, and shares his African American culture with his readers.

Christie illustrations are rich in color portraying images representing Hughes complex life in primitive images complementing Medinas moving poems.

Median introduces children to the Harlem Renaissance poet in biographical verse. Included at the end of the book are authors and illustration notes that interpret the poems and illustrations.

Poetry Means the World to Me

Poetry means the world to me
It's how I laugh and sing
how I cry and ask why

Poetry comforts me
when I use jazz or
the blues or the way regular
folks talk the language
they use

Words don't always
have to be neat
and polished
like a statue

They should be
used used used
to say what you like
or don't like
what you see think
or feel-

Words to fight against
hate and unnecessary

Poetry is what I use
to say
I love you

Love to Langston
Tony Medina

Florina, Douglas. Insectlopedia. 1998. New York: Harcourt Brace. ISBN

Insectlopedia is a collection of 21 spider and insect poems. Readers will love the clever word play used in each poem, which require the reader to see the poem in-addition to hearing the words used to describe various insect. Florina uses rhyme, rhythm, sound, and creative text formatting providing the reader with an auditory and visual experience learning about insects. In The Army Ants, readers will hear the ants marching as they read the poem.

The Ticks

Not gigan-tic.
Not roman-tic
Not artis-tic.
Not majes-tic
Not magen-tic
Nor aesthe-tic
Ticks are strictly parasi-tic

Florina mixes science and whimsy in each poem capturing the interest of the reader desire to learn more about each insect. Adjacent to each page is a childlike watercolor/collage illustration created on crumpled brown paper bags giving the book a feel of wonder and innocence. Insectlopedia is a wonderful book that will lead its reader to nonfiction book to learn more about insects.

Prelustsky, Jack. Awful Ogre's Awful Day. 2001. New York: Greenwillow Press. ISBN 0688077781

In Awful Ogres Awful Day, Prelustsky takes the reader on a journey through the daily adventures of an ogre. The eighteen rhythmic poetic verses combines gross humor and adventure providing the reader with insight into the hilarious life of an ogre. Prelustsky has created a character that spins a tale that will entertain readers of all ages for hours.

Each poem describes the daily comings and goings of the ogre. The story begins at sunrise when his pet rattlesnake wakes him in Awful Ogre Rise; until his day ends with a nightmare about a peaceful place in Awful Ogres Awful Dream I meander through a meadow/Moist with early morning dew. /The suns an orange circle, /And the skys a brilliant blue/I waken with a shudder/ I am terrified! I roar/I have never has a nightmare/ Nearly half this bad before. Once Again Prelustsky has written poetry book that introduces children to poetry using wit and humor.

The eighteen witty verses are brought to life with watercolor and pen and ink drawings created by Paul O. Zelinsky who received the 1998 Caldecott medal for Rapunzel. Using large images across both pages gives the reader a sense of how large the ogre is compared to the reader. Illustration show how the ogre grooms himself, enjoys a violent storm, and tends his garden. Zelinsky has created a character that oversized and loveable.