Keep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems and Playful Parodies
Thirteen classic poems by poets such as Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and David McCord are paired with parodies written by J. Patrick Lewis that honor and play off of the original poems in a range of ways. For example, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is paired with “Stopping by Fridge on a Hungry Evening” to hilarious effect, whereas the combination of Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” with Lewis’s “‘Grief’ is the thing with tissues” is profound, and both David McCord’s “This Is My Rock” and Lewis’s “This Is My Tree” hum with a sense of wonder. This playful introduction to classics will inspire imagination and wonder even as it tickles funny bones.
J. Patrick Lewis is the 2011 winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and was the U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate (2011–2013). His many books include If You Were a Chocolate Mustache, Face Bug, and Please Bury Me in the Library. He lives in Westerville, Ohio. jpatricklewis.com
Johanna Wright is the illustrator of Clover Twigand the Magical Cottage, Clover Twig and the Perilous Path, and several picture books, including her own The Secret Circus, Bunnies on Ice, and The Orchestra Pit. She lives with her husband, two young children, and fuzzy cats in Portland, Oregon.
“A dozen classic poems, with Lewis’ playful revisions on the opposite pages…provide(s) wonderful inspiration for young would-be poets. Wright’s illustrations…add much color, notably including the multiracial cast of children she depicts.” Kirkus Reviews
*“With a mix of humor, wit, and whimsy, Lewis’ latest poetry collection contains classic poems paired with his original versions. The illustrations…add to the whimsy brought to the classic poems. Whether you're sharing the joys of poetry by reading it aloud, introducing readers to poetry, or demonstrating how the classics can serve as inspiration for creative writing, this collection will meet your needs. Lewis’ collection belongs in every library and poetry lover’s collection. Highly Recommended.” School Library Connection - starred review
“Former Children’s Poet Laureate Lewis gathers 13 poems, then pairs them with parodies that take the original works in unexpected directions, accompanied by Wright’s smudgy, naïf artwork. Readers…may learn how writing a good (parody)…requires a solid awareness of the source material, something Lewis clearly demonstrates with his clever, funny, and visceral responses.” Publishers Weekly
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