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.

8 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Featuring READ! READ! READ! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

  1. Hi Jone, These hand-picked poems, including the ones from your students, make me want to set aside my writing assignment for today, burrow further into this loveseat where I sit with a view to the 25 degree outdoors, & be carried away by reading an author’s words . . .
    like Amy V.L. writes, as you share:
    “where they sing
    into your soul
    like soothing
    summer rain.”

    But I will write & carve out more reading time, later. I so much appreciate your featuring this book today.
    (And I’m absenting myself from consideration for the give away so some lucky other can win.)

    Happy 2018 to you!

  2. Wow! These poems are amazing! I especially like Amy’s “Reading” how she builds the poem from squiggles to letters, to words, to stories, to birds flying, to branches in your brain, to singing into your soul, to soothing summer rain. Great imagery, similes, alliteration, and rhymes!

    In an “Open Book” I love the line “an open mind inside yourself”. I feel that and that can lead to a great discussion with students about how books open us up to whole new worlds, places, people’s lives…

    I love in your FIB, “poetry sings on the pages” and your comparison of poetry singing to winter’s loud voice. All of these poems have inspired me to write. I can’t wait to read Amy’s whole book. It will be a good one to read to my poetry class and inspire them. Thank you for sharing, Jone!

  3. You are oh, so right! Librarian hearts flutter when they see poems about reading. I like to pair my yearly family photo collage display in school with quotes from famous books. But, I think next year I may use short poems about reading. This looks like just the ticket! I have Read! Read! Read! I haven’t started it yet. I might just pull it up a few spaces in my tbr pile today!

  4. I completely agree that reading poems always catch my eye! Amy’s poem farm is an invaluable resource. We are lucky enough to have an author visit with Amy planned for later this month! I’d love to win a copy of her book. Thanks for the chance!

  5. I have not read Amy’s book but from what I have heard, it is “one that got away.” I still read cereal boxes! If the rest of the book is like the two poems you shared here, then it must amazing! I love your Fib response poem too.

  6. Thanks for featuring Amy’s book. Yes, I’d love the opportunity to win a free copy of Read! Read! Read! Actually you and Amy are making me grateful for the wonderful skill we all can have in the ability to read. Just think of the wonderful thing being able to read does for me and you.
    Jone, I really enjoyed your FIB.

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