Poetry Friday: Nasty Bugs and Bug Off! Creepy, Crawly Poems

Today I have two poetry books to share.  Both books are about the same topic: bugs except boy howdy, they are completely different. 

NASTY BUGS, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Will Terry is a collection of  sixteen poems about bugs. Bugs that you might not be especially fond of such as chiggers, lice, and ticks.  Or how about cockroaches, bedbugs, or fleas?  Even though the topics are making me  itch as I type, engaged second graders laughed and giggled, eewed and itched. They can all relate to this pesky pest.   Take a look at lice for example:

Ridiculous Pediculus
O tiny vampire louse
You crawl from head
                                  to head
                                       to head
from house
                     to house
                                    to house.

Older than Columbus,
you reached the New World first.

Terry’s exaggerated, bright and fun illustration of humongous lice complemented the poem.At the end of NASTY BUGS, there is an appendix with information on the bugs featured in the book including the scientific name.

BUG OFF! CREEPY CRAWLY POEMS by Jane Yolen and photographs by Jason Stemple,  is a collection of thirteen creepy crawly insects.  Stemple’s photography is incredible as is his website.  As I photographer, I am curious about how he gets his shots and how many photos he takes for the perfect shot.   Yolen’s introduction writes of her growing appreciation of insects and encourages readers to write their own poems.  She reminds  readers to choose exactly the right word.   Here are a couple of my favorite lines from the book:

A tu-tu clad dancer ~ “Butterfly to a Flower”

You are a spinner of fibs
Let us make a poem together ~ “Spider to the Poet”

With angel wings of dark-stained glass ~ “Dragonfly Lights”

Each page has an inset with information about the insect.

Library Connections:  I used these two books with students by reading poems from each.  We compared the poems that were on the same insect (there are four insects: ants, ticks, flies and bees/wasps.  Students had terrific comments about the illustrations, photos, and the tone of the poems.

Common Core tie-in: Reading Literature, Key Ideas and Details: Compare and contrast, determining meanings of words and determining the theme of the text.

Title: Nasty Bugs
Editor: Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrator: Will Terry
Published: 2012
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 3-5
Publisher: Dial for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3716-87
Source:  Sent by publisher for CYBILS consideration.

Title: Bug Off! Creepy Crawly Poems
Author: Jane Yolen
Photographer: Jason Stemple
Published: 2012
Pages: 31
Reading Level: 3-5
Publisher: Wordsong
ISBN: 978-1-59078-862-2
Source:  Sent by publisher for CYBILS consideration.

Poetry Friday is being held at Read, Write, Howl!

Happy Reading.


4 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Nasty Bugs and Bug Off! Creepy, Crawly Poems

  1. Oh, I adore that “spinner of fibs!” What fun to see these two books paired together. It is true that after I wrote this lice poem for Lee…I got lice…twice! (I have learned to choose topics carefully…) a.

  2. I am not a bug fan, but these look great. (Joyful Noise is one of my favorite collections, so, there’s hope.) Love Amy’s louse poem (and–eeeeuw!) and the excerpted bits from BUG OFF! Thanks, Jone!

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