I recently won a copy of Douglas Florian's new book Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings (thanks Anne at Book Buds!). Like all the Florian books I've read, the poems are fun, the colors bright, and the book is enjoyable.
Another book of space poems for the same age group is Blast Off: Poems About Space (I Can Read). Edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (1995), this is a collection of poems by various authors. The School Library Journal, in their review of this book at Amazon, is rather dismissive of the poems. But heck. Kids (I find, based on a sample size of 1) get such a charge out of POETRY, and being able to read it themselves. My sample also likes things that come in short bites, so poems work well. So what if, in a book like this, the rhymes are obvious. At least the rhymes here actually all work, and aren't forced annoyances, as they are in some more critically claimed children's poetry books. (Same goes for Florian's poems--they work well as early readers, with some help, and he knows how to rhyme).
Anyway, here's my favorite poem (which is vocabulary-wise perhaps the hardest in the book):
Blast Off! by Joanne Oppenheim
unknown roads in space await us.
All the poems in this book are available on line at this site
For older kids/grownups, a very funny book of space poems is The Space Child's Mother Goose, by Frederick Winson, illustrated by Marian Perry (1956, reprinted 2001). My mother handed it to me when I was 11 or so; I was much amused, and it educated me--this poem, for instance, added "postulate" to my vocabulary:
Probable-Possible, my black hen,
She lays eggs in the Relative When.
She doesn't lay eggs in the Positive Now
Because she's unable to Postulate How.
Which seems, according to google, to have stuck in the heads of many other folks as well! (My mother, incidentally, continues to be a proselytizer for this book. A few years ago she met husband and wife physicists Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge and ended up sending them a copy, which they greatly enjoyed).
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Shaken & Stirred today! Enjoy!