Poetry Friday: Featuring READ! READ! READ! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater


Welcome to the first Friday of the 2018 Poetry Friday series.  Visit   Catherine at Reading to the Core for a complete line up of all things poetry.

On Monday, the announcement for the CYBILS Poetry finalists was made.  We had forty books to select our seven finalists.  It’s always difficult.  There is so much good poetry in the world.

So between now and February 14, I plan to feature a CYBILS Poetry books that didn’t make the finalist list in what I like to call, “the ones that got away.”

First up is READ! READ! READ! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater.

When you work in a school library, books that have poems about reading catch your eye.  Vanderwater’s newest collection does just that.  It pulled this reader in with a memory of eating cereal and reading the box with her poem, “Cereal Box.”

From cereal boxes to the sports page to a simple birthday card to pretending to be a bookmark between the bedsheets, playful poems fill the pages.  It reminds readers that poetry can be found anywhere we read and that we read everywhere. O’Rouke’s  detailed and color-filled pages compliment the text.

Before we hit the table of contents, readers encounter this fabulous gem.  I plan to share it with my Poetry Rocks group.


make letters.
make words.
make stories
that fly like  birds
from pages
in your book
to branches
In your brain
where they sing
into your soul
like soothing
summer rain.

Another favorite poem that I will be sharing with the after-school group is:

An Open Book

An open book
will help you find
an open heart
an open mind
inside yourself
if you’re inclined.
An open book
will make you kind.

(Just this morning in class, fifth graders an I talked about why “Be kind.” should be part of our school’s code of conduct:  Be Safe, be respectful, and be responsible.  To me when “be Kind” is listed it becomes more intentional.  I have some students who feel it goes with respect.)

A Fib response to these two poems:

sings on the pages
winter’s voice loud in the stillness.
©jone rush macculloch

Author: Amy Ludwig Vanderwater
Illustrator: Ryan O’Rourke
Published: 2017
Pages: 32
Reading Level: K and Up
Publisher: Wordsong
ISBN: 978-1-59078-975-9
Source: Sent by the publisher


Do you wish that you had a copy of READ! READ! READ! ?  You can. One lucky winner will get a copy.  Please leave a comment.  I will select a winner next Thursday and announce on Friday, January 12, 2018.