Posted by: jeannineatkins | April 13, 2012

The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists by Syliva Vardell

Anyone who’s read Sylvia Vardells’s blog, Poetry for Children, or her articles in Book Links has been at least a little dazzled by her knowledge, energy, generosity, and passion for spreading the word about poetry. And now we get  The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists, brim full of titles that won contests or which Sylvia considered best of recent years, handy for those who want to check what they might have missed. Lists of poetry are arranged by topics such as paintings, music, wings, basketball, middle school angst, dinosaurs and many more, some classified by age, with suggestions of books for newborns to teens.

It’s true happiness for a bibliography nerd, like me, but if you’re not, you’ll find this book reaches beyond bare-bone lists, and should not only be on all library shelves for those wanting to develop curriculum or public programs, but handy to teachers, including parents who want to be at the ready to connect one poet who excites with another, or find related activities, books celebrating a variety of holidays and poet’s birthdays, ideas for poetry scavenger hunts, or suggestions of books written by children and teens and places where they can publish. Poetry can be a swift, joyful way to cross disciplines, and just as I cherish language arts teachers who include some math or science, I cheer on math or science teachers who slip some poetry into their classes. This book will make it easier to enrich units on insects, trees, weather, and particular parts of history, for example.

The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists is not just for educators, but poets, who, looking for good reading, can thumb through for collections of poems on particular themes. There are also lists of terminology and poetic forms (with definitions), useful checklists for editing, inspiring quotes, and a timeline of key moments in poetry for children. A list of poetry books available on audio, rarer than these should be, sent me to the computer to order a few.

You can get a taste of what’s inside on this blog, which is also being used to keep the beautifully produced book updated.  As we move toward the end of the school year, consider this as a perfect gift for a cherished teacher or librarian. Or, of course, yourself.

Anastasia Suen is hosting Poetry Friday at Booktalking Chidlren’s Books.



  1. Thanks so much for featuring this new book, Jeannine – I’ve been curious and I just ordered it! Sylvia Vardell definitely “dazzles.” And I love your thought, “Poetry can be a swift, joyful way to cross disciplines” – Amen!

    • Robyn, you won’t be disappointed! And I’m glad you agree Sylvia dazzles. I felt I had to add that qualifier because I know some people just don’t do dazzle.

  2. Neat. I had no idea such a book existed. And now I’m curious about that timeline of key events in poetry for children…trying now to construct my own in my head…

    • It just came out this month, and it really will be a great resource. Of course I’d like to see the timeline in your head. This one starts with John Newbery’s Mother Goose then goes straight to William Blake’s Songs of Experience, then onto Jane Taylor’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star… and onward.

  3. How very wonderful that this book even exists! Now to get a copy for myself…

    • A teacher like you could go so very far with this book. It is wonderful!

  4. This sounds exactly like my kind of book. Will check our library if we have a copy, if we don’t, I shall definitely include this in my recommended list to our fabulous librarians. 🙂

  5. Going to put this one on my wish list — thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: