Friday, September 7, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Wonderful Words: Poems about Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

Author/Illustrator: Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins/Karen Barbour

Publisher/Date: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/2004

Genre/Audience: Poetry/Ages 6+

Themes: poetry, language arts

This collection begins with an Emily Dickinson poem:


A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

Synopsis: From Book Jacket: "Whether we are sharing poems or secrets, acting onstage, or just telling jokes, the words we use are our best friends....  Works by Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam, and Nikki Grimes make whispers, metaphors, and dreams come alive, while Karen Barbour's illustrations interpret the magic of language in vivid hues.  This is a collection sure to insprie wordsmiths of all ages, over and over.  And just maybe there's a poet who didn't know it in you!"

Why I Love This Book:
Poetry to celebrate words... My kind of book!  I wish I had found this book as a teacher.  It applies to all the English Language Arts standards (for New York State, at least).  And the selected poems are not necessarily children's poetry, but still highly accessible to kids.  This book is inspiring to me as a writer.  A few of these poems are going up on my "Inspiration" bulletin board!

Choose a poet and research his/her work.  Here's a great resource:

Create your own magnetic poetry at:

Visit the website of the poet/poetry selector:

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. I love words, and poems -- put them together and they're a winning combination. I've read quite a few Emily Dickinson poems, but I'd not encountered that one, and I love it on first reading. I also agree with it wholeheartedly.

    Thanks for sharing this book with us, Laura!

  2. This sounds wonderful, Laura! What could be better than poetry to celebrate words? Sounds like a book lots of kids (and grown-ups :)) would enjoy and learn from. I love Emily Dickinson - Hope is a thing with feathers - boy could she write! Thanks for a great pick!

  3. Oh! Poems! I will have to read this since I love poems and love working with words!

  4. I think I might love this one more than my kids. I'm going to find it just for me. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. Words are wonderful and this is an excellent recommendation. The magnetic poetry is a great suggestion! We have a set on our fridge and as the boys have gotten older the poetry has changed quite a bit ;) It's fun to see what's randomly popping up on our fridge.

  6. What a great find, Laura. That first one by Emily Dickinson is so catchy. I would buy this for me!

  7. This sounds like an interesting book. A little above my son's level at the moment, but I enjoy poems. We'll see if our library has a copy.