Synopses & Reviews
Be they practical (how to mix a pancake or how to bird-watch) or fanciful (how to scare monsters or how to be a snowflake), the poems in this book boast a flair and joy that you won’t find in any instruction manual. Poets from Kwame Alexander to Pat Mora to Allan Wolf share the way to play hard, to love nature, and to be grateful. Soft, evocative illustrations will encourage readers to look at the world with an eye to its countless possibilities.
Toast a marshmallow, be a tree in winter, read braille — Paul B. Janeczko and Richard Jones invite you to enjoy an assortment of poems that inform and inspire.
"In this charmingly illustrated collection, poets classic (Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson) and modern (Kwame Alexander, Margarita Engle) offer a variety of how-to poems, providing young readers with instructions both jocular and sincere...Jones' illustrations are truly scene-stealing: at times impish and adorable, at others restrained and lovely, they capture the essence of each poem. A useful poetry compendium that can be shared in sections or in its entirety." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Who can resist a good how-to? Janeczko, an astute editor of children’s poetry, capitalizes on his readers’ natural curiosity and yearning for autonomy while opening up the possibilities for what a how-to—both the question and the answer—can be...The entire book becomes a how-to , instructing readers not only in various activities but also in all the ways poetry can resonate." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Paul B. Janeczko (1945–2019) was a poet and teacher who edited numerous award-winning poetry anthologies for young people, including A Poke in the I, A Kick in the Head, A Foot in the Mouth, and The Death of the Hat, all of which were illustrated by Chris Raschka; Firefly July, illustrated by Melissa Sweet; and The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems, illustrated by Richard Jones. He also wrote Worlds Afire; Requiem: Poems of the Terezín Ghetto; Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Writing; Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War; The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles, a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults; and Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis.
Richard Jones has worked for more than twenty years in the creative arts. He is the illustrator of numerous picture books, including Bird Builds a Nest and The Squirrels’ Busy Year, both written by Martin Jenkins. Richard Jones lives in Devon, England.
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