STARRED REVIEW
September 19, 2017

A charming poetry primer

By Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke

The joy of reading—from letters to books to maps and even cereal boxes—is celebrated in this slim collection designed for budding bibliophiles. Published by a poetry-focused division of Highlights for Children, this book features joyful and easily accessible poems about reading, ones that easily could fit in the pages of Highlights magazine itself.

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The joy of reading—from letters to books to maps and even cereal boxes—is celebrated in this slim collection designed for budding bibliophiles. Published by a poetry-focused division of Highlights for Children, this book features joyful and easily accessible poems about reading, ones that easily could fit in the pages of Highlights magazine itself.

Often rhyming, the poems explore the many ways of using reading: joyfully losing oneself in a story, sharing a bedtime story, exploring foreign lands in books, treasuring Grandpa’s handwritten birthday card and even doing research on that new guinea pig by using Google. But while these poems are fine and fun (and make a very quick, easy entrée to poetry), they are far from fresh. Clichés abound—such as “an open book will help you find an open heart, an open mind” and “a book will always be a friend.”

Still, despite the tired phrases and cartoony illustrations, Read! Read! Read!—like all poetry collections geared toward the in-between audience of 5- to 10-year-olds—is welcome for its ability to help students learn more about the genre. While it’s great to use reading as a theme, perhaps the author—who has won several poetry awards—could have refreshed her metaphors and imagery a bit. Recommended only as needed to fill poetry gaps in a collection.

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Read! Read! Read!

Read! Read! Read!

By Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
WordSong
ISBN 9781590789759

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