Keep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems and Playful Parodies – written and selected by J. Patrick Lewis, Illustrated by Joanna Wright


  Keep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems and Playful Parodies – written and selected by J. Patrick Lewis, Illustrated by Joanna Wright, WordSong, (9781590789216), 2017.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Poetry

What did you like about the book? Parodies of thirteen short children’s poems by former Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis appear here alongside the originals. Thus, in one of the most amusing entries, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” appears next to “Stopping by Fridge on a Hungry Evening.” In his introduction, Lewis explains that the parodies are his way of paying tribute to some of the poems he admires, and he invites young readers to give it a try, too.  Besides Frost, Lewis parodies poems of Langston Hughes, Dickinson, Tennyson, Housman, de Regniers, Sandburg, Stevenson, Prelutsky, Issa, and two by David McCord. Illustrations luxuriantly saturated with color show a multicultural cast of children enacting the scenes described in the poems. This could be a fun way to engage children with poetry.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to elementary school teachers in grades one to three as an introduction to poetry.

Readalike: For an equally well-crafted homage to poets, see Kwame Alexander’s Out of Wonder.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in poetry, in 811.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  7/14/17

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