Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Raining Pigs and Noodles

Poet Jack Prelutsky and Illustrator James Stevenson 
share an appealing silliness in their collaborations 
(Stevenson also writes/illustrates his own funny books)
and the cavalcade of wackiness in 
It's Raining Pigs and Noodles
includes poems about kid basics:
burping, music practice, and old food in the 
Concrete poems (poems in the shape of their topic)
include "I'm Stuck Inside a Seashell" 
And of course, there's plenty of random nonsense
about gnus (so beloved of humorous versifiers)
and the like.
A good selection for rhyme and poem lovers,
and food for thought for all.
My Boy's Thoughts:
The names in Percy's Perfect Pies were so funny.
There's a poem called "Tomorrow's My Unbirthday"
in it. There's another poem about the poet's best
friend and the poet says they're best friends because
they did something bad to him. That's unusual.
They can't be best friends if they did something
bad to him.
Also, there's a poem called "Winding Through
the Maze," and you'll have to follow the maze to 
read the poem.
This post was my last for Poetry Month 2014.
If your child likes this one, check out the other
three poetry books I reviewed this month or my
past posts on poetry (note alliteration). Alliteration,
rhyme, meter, word play - these are elements that
often fascinate children, especially children with
autism who are looking for rules to make sense 
of the world and of the word. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Welcome to Autism Reads April Readers

This is a place to come find books to read to your kids 
or that your kids may want to read to themselves.
All kids are different, so not every book suggested here
will appeal to yours, but it's a place to start, especially
if your child has autism. Many of these books are 
favorites of my boy, or of other children with autism.
And while every child with autism is different, many
share interests, so you'll find lots of books with poetry
and rhymes here, and books about trains, princesses, and
other topics central to many children's thoughts.
And in case you thought the name Autism Reads meant
books about autism, there are some of those here too.
The site's over 300 entries also include guest posts,
discussions of different reading instruction methods,
and Talent Tuesday posts which feature books by authors
with autism or with autism in the family. 
So enjoy and explore. Please feel free to join this site
for weekly book reviews and reading related posts 
and/or visit the Autism Reads Facebook Page, Pintrest Page
or Twitter. You can comment here or email
me at
I love to hear about favorite books and new approaches
to reading.
Thanks for coming! Stay as long as you want!
(I'll be very flattered if you stay long enough for this to happen)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Exploding Gravy

The fame of poets has steadily declined. 
I trust you've heard of Nash and Lear,*
but X. J. Kennedy I fear,
has fared the worse with his light verse.
Still, he make my boy giggle in utter bliss
with poems like this:
"Babbling baby, left alone,
Punched some buttons on the phone.
Poppa paid for her to coo
All the way to Katmandu."
So check out Kennedy for rhymes and giggles,
and allusions to chivalry, rocs, ice cream phantoms,
dinosaurs, and combustible food stuffs.
*and Will Shakespeare**
**Happy Birthday Will.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Wonder Book

More Poetry!
I actually haven't seen that much about either autism or poetry
this month. 
This saddens me.
I think both require us to interact with cognitive differences.
And I think we are reluctant to do so, even though
we know that thinking differently enriches us.
Whether you have autism or love someone who does,
every day you encounter someone who thinks very
differently than you do.
And unless you think constantly in rhyme, metaphor,
synecdoche (yeah, I'm going to look it up)*, metonymy
(that too)** and meter, poetry is a different way of 
thinking as well.
I associate The Wonder Book with
a book of mythology, but Amy Krouse Rosenthal 
seems to mean wondering about stuff. And she
wonders about the same kind of stuff my boy
does, and she often wonders in rhyme.
Paul Schmid did the line drawings, including
the two page spread of kids wondering in
a tree:
"I wonder what sheep count when they're
trying to fall asleep . . ."
My Boy's Comments:
According to The Wonder Book, Miss Mary Mack is now
a mother. In the poem "Half Birthday," there were a
lot of half words, and the picture had a half birthday
cake. Eeny Minney and Miney Mo is so funny, 
because it’s about two characters.
*"A synecdoche (/sɪˈnɛkdək/si-nek-də-kee; from Greek synekdoche (συνεκδοχή), meaning "simultaneous understanding")
is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice-versa." (Wikipedia)
For the funniest piece ever written about synecdoche, read James Thurber. Read James Thurber anyway. Also Robert Benchley.
**"Metonymy (/mɨˈtɒnɨmi/ mi-tonn-ə-mee)[1] is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is called not by its own name but 
rather by the name of something associated in meaning with that thing or concept." (Meriam Webster via Wikipedia) 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Curious Collection of Cats

Once again it's April, and those of us affected by autism 
know why April is important.
Happy Poetry Month!
People with autism often have a special affinity
for poetry and today's books of poems will also
appeal to animal (especially cat) lovers.
Betsy Franco wrote the "concrete poems" in
A Curious Collection of Cats and Michael Wertz
did the illustrations.
In all the poems the shape of the poem relates
directly to its words (concrete poems).
The bright color block illustrations and the poems 
intertwine. Most include rhyme and humor - often
the humor is visual as in "q-tip and rosie" with
a happy cat dangling from a dog's mouth or
in both words and pictures as in the graphic
novel type treatment of "a question for scooter
about squirrels."
My boy's review:
A Curious Collection of Cats
It turned out that there were 34 poems in that book. 
Some were written in funny places. 
In the poem “The Cat Door”, 
there was a cat who tried to squeeze through the door. 
In each picture of the poem, 
some of the letters had gone away from the previous picture. 
"princess" by Franco and Wertz