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I’m Just No Good at Rhyming

I'm Just No Good at Rhyming coverThe instant New York Times bestseller featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon! B. J. Novak (bestselling author of The Book With No Pictures) described this groundbreaking poetry collection as “Smart and sweet, wild and wicked, brilliantly funny–it’s everything a book for kids should be.”

Meet Chris Harris, the 21st-century Shel Silverstein! Already lauded by critics as a worthy heir to such greats as Silverstein, Seuss, Nash and Lear, Harris’s hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. With enthusiastic endorsements from bestselling luminaries such as Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Andrea Beaty, and many others, this entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner: from the ongoing rivalry between the author and illustrator, to the mysteriously misnumbered pages that can only be deciphered by a certain code-cracking poem, to the rhyming fact-checker in the footnotes who points out when “poetic license” gets out of hand. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It’s a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It’s a mischievous match made in heaven!

“Ridiculous, nonsensical, peculiar, outrageous, possibly deranged–and utterly, totally, absolutely delicious. Read it! Immediately!” –Judith Viorst, bestselling author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


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✩ Horn Book

✩ Kirkus

✩ PW



Booklist Editor’s Choice

Kirkus Best Children’s Books

NPR Best Books

PW Best Children’s Books

SLJ Best Books

NCTE Notable Poetry Books

Chicago Public Library Best Books

LAPL Best Kids Books

One Minute till Bedtime

One Minute Till Bedtime coverOne Minute Till Bedtime

60-second Poems to Send You Off to Sleep

Selected by Kenn Nesbitt

Art by Christoph Niemann

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: Anthology, Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: Language Development

Grades: PreK-3rd


It’s time for tuck-in, and your little one wants just one more moment with you–so fill it with something that will feed the imagination, fuel a love of reading, and send them off to sleep in a snap. Reach for a one-minute poem!


Former Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt presents a blockbuster collection of all-new poetry penned by some of the most beloved and celebrated poets of our time, including Jack Prelutsky, Jon Scieszka, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, Lemony Snicket, Jane Yolen, and many more. Illuminated with dreamlike wit and whimsy by New York Times illustrator and award-winning artist Christoph Niemann, here is a new bedtime classic.


When the busy day is drawing to a close and the whole family is ready for rest, take a minute for poetry and send your little one off to sleep.



★ “These pithy poetic observations and Niemann’s engaging illustrations prove at once antidote and anodyne for the sleep-averse child demanding just one more…. A dreamy collection of bedtime poems and witty illustrations that’s anything but sleepy.” —Kirkus


★ “With a broad range of voices and sentiments, the collection delivers poems to meet any mood.” —Publishers Weekly


★ “Exuberant for the most part (with some serious musings to lend ballast) and in perfect harmony with its cartoonish, color-washed illustrations, this sleepy-time volume is just the thing for the rhyme-loving child who has graduated from Mother Goose.” —School Library Journal

One Today

One Today

By Richard Blanco

Illustrated by Dav Pilkey

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: Patriotism, Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: America

Grades: PreK-1


Educator Guide

President Barack Obama invited Richard Blanco to write a poem to share at his second presidential inauguration. That poem is One Today, a lush and lyrical, patriotic commemoration of America from dawn to dusk and from coast to coast. Brought to life here by beloved, award-winning artist Dav Pilkey, One Today is a tribute to a nation where the extraordinary happens every single day.



★ “There are themes, motifs, and details that will make this a book to be read and reread, or simply looked at–for the images tell many stories too.” —Booklist


★ “When it was read, the poem was instantly acclaimed; Pilkey’s visual interpretation fully—and joyfully—honors it.” —Kirkus Reviews


★ “Richard Blanco is a graceful wordsmith, and Pilkey transforms his poem into a story that children can make their own.” — Publishers Weekly


“A special historic moment, caught in lyrical words and joyous illustrations.” —School Library Journal



Dave the Potter

Dave The Potter

By Laban Carrick Hill

Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Genre: Non-Fiction Picture Book

Curriculum Subjects: African American Heritage, Poetry

Grade: PreK-1st

 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award 

2011 Caldecott Honor Book

Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill’s elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier’s resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave’s story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.


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★ “The volume is a visual feast, packed with contemporary photographs, reproductions, magazine covers, and posters, and enhanced by an interesting design. Together, the words and images bring this extraordinary period to life.”
 —School Library Journal






Should You Be A River

Should You Be a RiverShould You Be a River

By Ed Young

ISBN: 978-0-316-23089-6

Genre: Poetry

Curriculum Subjects: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies; Guidance/Health: Death

Grades: Pre-K & Up


Should you be a river, I’ll race your rapids downstream.

Should you be a seed, I’ll dream you a vision of towering trees.


This personally inspired poem by an award-winning author and artist celebrates the trials and triumphs of unconditional love.


Using an innovative mix of cut paper, photographs, and calligraphy, Should You Be a River takes the reader on a breathtaking visual journey.


This book is a gift to treasure and share with loved ones of every age.


How many ways can you say “I love you”?




★“Similar in sentiment to Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny for young children, Young’s offering will touch a wide range of readers, with both parents and children taking something special away. Endpapers reveal the words in Chinese calligraphy and in English, completing the lyrical and heartfelt affirmation of unconditional love.” –Booklist


★“The heartfelt sentiments are unafraid to address real anguish and pain, and those who understand Young’s loss or who have known what it is to love unreservedly will be drawn to his testament.” –Publishers Weekly


“Mystifying and ultimately uplifting, this book challenges all of us to seek out the dizzying scope of love.” –Kirkus

Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the MallHeaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall

By Wendy Mass

Genre: Poetry, Teen Ficiton

Curriculum Subjects: Teen Life: Family; Teen Life: Personal Development

Grades: 6 & up



Educator Guide

When 16-year-old Tessa suffers a shocking accident in gym class, she finds herself in heaven (or what she thinks is heaven), which happens to bear a striking resemblance to her hometown mall. In the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life andThe Christmas Carol, Tessa starts reliving her life up until that moment. She sees some things she’d rather forget, learns some things about herself she’d rather not know, and ultimately must find the answer to one burning question–if only she knew what the question was.


Written in sharp, witty verse, Wendy Mass crafts an extroardinary tale of a spunky heroine who hasn’t always made the right choices, but needs to discover what makes life worth living.



“Funny and weird and poignant.” –KLIATT


“Funny, thought-provoking, and at times heartbreaking, this story will entertain and inspire readers.” –School Library Journal


“An entertaining and thought-provoking story that teens will enjoy.” –VOYA



Knock at a Star

Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to PoetryKnock at a Star

By Dorothy M. Kennedy & X.J. Kennedy

Illustrated by Karen Lee Baker

ISBN: 978-0-316-48800-6

Genre: Poetry

Curriculum Subjects: Songs/Poetry/NurseryRhymes

Grades: 5 & Up


Bursting with 75 new poems, this revised edition of a perennial favorite gives children who are learning to love poetry, those who already love it, and adults who want to show children the many things a poem can do, a reason to celebrate. First published more than fifteen years ago, Knock at a Star was a collection of poems that children would like rather than a collection of work that they should like. Now X.J. and Dorothy Kennedy have added new poems by such gifted writers as Jack Prelutsky, Barbara Esbensen, Mary Ann Hoberman and Judith Viorst as well as cutting several poems that no longer seem as fresh as they once did. The book retains the Kennedys’ words to those who teach poetry and their comments on the different sorts of poems they include. The result is an enormously appealing collection that should prove extraordinarily popular for the next fifteen years or more.



“Charming, delightful, witty, a treasure of a book – the superlatives come easily on inspection of this anthology.” – The Washington Post


“If any book can win young readers to poetry, this one can, for there’s not a poem in it that isn’t a chuckle, a scare, or an illumination.” – School Library Journal


“Fresh in both selection and presentation, this includes more than 150 poems, most of them uncommon to anthologies. There is in most of the poems a combination of brevity with depth of feeling or a twist of invention that takes the reader by surprise.” – Booklist


“The Kennedys have assembled a remarkably unassuming and accessible collection.” – Kirkus

The Red Pencil

The Red Pencil

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrated by Shane E. Evans

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa, Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: School

Grades: 4-7


Educator Guide Listen to author interview


“Amira, look at me,” Muma insists.

She collects both my hands in hers.

“The Janjaweed attack without warning.

If ever they come  run.”


Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in NyalaAmira’s one true dream.


But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mindand all kinds of possibilities.


New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.



Winner of the 2015 Children’s Africana Book Award
A 2015 ALSC Notable Children’s Book
New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2014
Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2014
School Library Journal Best Book of 2014


★ “Pinkney’s short, clipped verse expresses the harsh difficulties and intimate beauties of daily life—dust storms, orange soda, family devotion—in broken lines that capture Amira’s breathless anxiety and hope. And if the evocative poetry is the novel’s beating heart, Evans’ spare, open, graceful line drawings are its breath, recalling Amira’s own linear musings, drawn on the ground or in her own tablet. Ultimately, this is an inspirational story of the harrowing adversity countless children face, the resilience with which they meet it, and the inestimable power of imagination and learning to carry them through.” — Booklist, starred review


★ “Telling her story in first-person verse, Pinkney uses deft strokes to create engaging characters through the poetry of their observations and the poignancy of their circumstances. This tale of displacement in a complex, war-torn country is both accessible and fluent, striking just the right tone for middle-grade readers. Evans’ elemental drawings illuminate the spirit and yearnings of Amira, the earnest protagonist. A soulful story that captures the magic of possibility, even in difficult times.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review


★ “[P]otent… Pinkney faces war’s horrors head on, yet also conveys a sense of hope and promise.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review


★ “Set during the early years of the Darfur conflict, this stunning collaboration between Coretta Scott King Award winners Pinkney and Evans tells a moving story of the scarring effects of war but also brings a message of hope and inspiration…  Amira’s thoughts and drawings are vividly brought to life through Pinkney’s lyrical verse and Evans’s lucid line illustrations, which infuse the narrative with emotional intensity. An engaging author note provides background on the political situation in Sudan and explains the powerful motivations for telling this story. An essential purchase.” — School Library Journal, starred review



Marc Brown’s Playtime Rhymes

Marc Brown’s Playtime Rhymes

By Marc Brown

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: Anthology, Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: Humor, Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: Family

Grades: Pre-K-1st


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Fingers ready?

Fingers set?

Fingers play!


It’s time for Playtime Rhymes-a treasury of twenty favorite finger rhymes compiled and illustrated by the bestselling and beloved artist Marc Brown for the enjoyment of young and old.


From the clever Whoops! Johnny and funny Do Your Ears Hang Low? to the irrepressible Itsy-Bitsy Spider and rousing Wheels on the Bus, these are rhymes to say and sing aloud, each with pictorial instructions for the correlating finger movements.


An interactive experience at its very best, Playtime Rhymes will get little hands wiggling, jiggling, pointing, pounding, bending, stretching, and dancing as children animate the rhymes, pore over the vibrant pictures, and share the fun with family and friends.

Julie Andrew’s Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies

Julie Andrew’s Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies

By Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Language Development and Reading: Short Stories/Anthologies, Songs/Poetry/Nursery Rhymes: Anthology

Grades: P-17

In this comprehensive collection, coauthors Julie Andrews and daughter Emma Walton Hamilton share a diverse assortment of their most cherished poems, songs, lullabies, hymns, and more.

Featuring a wide range of beloved classics from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickenson, and Robert Frost to playful poems by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein, this is the perfect collection for families to share throughout the years. Julie and Emma additionally contribute a number of their own poems and reveal the stories behind some of their family favorites. James McMullan’s stunning watercolor paintings bring each page to glorious life with his spectacular vision and artistic point of view.

The Collection, now featuring a brand-new cover design, is packaged with a special CD featuring mother and daughter alternately recording twenty-one poems, some of which are recited together. This special keepsake anthology is one that readers of all ages will return to and treasure.


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“Lavishly illustrated with watercolors, this heartfelt volume will surely be popular as a read-aloud.” – Horn Book

“The broad potpourri of voices, given a modern yet comforting flair with the artwork, is bound to become a favorite.” – PW

“This is a warmly sentimental collection, leavened with humor and poignancy.” – SLJ