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I bought this book as an additional resource for a two-voice poetry project. In previous years I've used exclusively Paul Fleischman's books for this project. Messing Around on the Monkey Bars is wonderful! My kids were all drawn to it! It is formatted much friendlier than Joyful Noise, with the different parts being boldface and not. This is not at all a jab to Joyful Noise, but Monkey Bars was much easier for my below level readers. Kids could choose their poem, and many chose from Monkey Bars. A couple poems introduce a sort of rhythm that kids really enjoyed (Jenny's Pencil). Wonderful book for a classroom, or for a really fun bedtime read aloud?
What a fun book! This collection of nineteen poems tells about a kid's day at school. Ranging from the classroom to the bus ride, the poems highlight the daily activities of school in an energetic way. Students will enjoy reading this whole book of performance poetry. Broken up into "voices", students are assigned a part to read and some lines require both to read aloud. Each part is a different font (normal, bold, bolder) to make each reader's lines clear. While the poems could be read solo, the words are clearly meant to be squealed and shouted by students performing for their peers or parents. The words are simple enough for elementary students to read with ease yet share the feeling of a kid who forgot the report was due ("Animal Reports") and another who is racing to the front of the line after recess ("Me and Joe Lining up after Recess"). The idea of having students read together builds a cadence to reading as the struggling readers can be imitate the more fluent reader. The rhyming words are not sing-songy, but they help the nervous reader quickly find the beat of the poem. The bright pictures only add to the feeling of excitement about school. The whole book should be shared with students. The brevity of the poem allows for many different groups to participate in the performance, and more than one poem could be performed in a day without taking too much time. "Anatomy Class" is a must-share for an ESL or bilingual class. English is a HARD language to learn, especially with its idioms, homophones, and colloquialisms. This poem is a great springboard for a lesson about figurative and literal language. "Anatomy Class" (I don't know how to make the words bold on here.) The chair has arms. The clock, a face. The kits have long and twirly tails. The tacks have heads. The books have spines. The toolbox has a set of nails. Our shoes have tongues, the marbles, eyes. The wooden desk has legs and seat. The cups have lips. My watch has hands. The classroom rulers all have feet. Heads, arms, hands, nails, spines, legs, feet, tails, face, lips, tongues, eyes. What a surprise! Is our classroom alive?
I reviewed this book for my poetry class at Texas Woman's University. [...]
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2015
Franco explores life in elementary school in this humorous collection of poems designed for reading aloud. Students will identify with experiences that include losing lunch money, new classmates, bus rides, schoolwork, and lost and found. Variations in typeface indicate different or combined voices and there are notes with presentation suggestions about "adventurous ways to read the poems."
Hartland's whimsical artwork features a colorful, kid-friendly style that will delight the book's audience.