Three fun picture books in verse

Just for fun, and a change of pace, here are three rhyming picture books in honor of Poetry Friday (a weekly roundup of poetry related posts, hosted today by Wild Rose Reader). All three passed my fairly critical test for rhyming stories--reading them aloud, I didn't feel the need to change any of the words in order to make things scan better!

Cool Dog, School Dog, by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Marshall Cavendish, 2009). "Tinka is a fun dog, a sun dog, a run-and-run-and-run dog." But when her boy goes off to school, leaving her behind, there is much sadness. There only one thing to do--head off for school herself! Now "Tinka is a cool dog, a school dog, a breaking-all-the-rules dog." Crash down the halls she runs, breaking into her boy's classroom. But even though she's going to have to go home soon, the kids have a great time reading to her, and want her to come back again! The verse gives energy and verve to the charming story--it's a lot of fun!

The Busy Tree, by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Lisa Falkenstern (Marshall Cavendish, 2009) is more peaceful. It is a gently instructive story, told by an old oak tree--"I'm a tree, a busy tree...come and see." And, indeed, in the world of the tree all manner of things are happening. For instance, "Here is my trunk, where busy ants scurry, searching for food as they march in a hurry." And another example--"Hear my green leaves as they shake in the wind, breathing out air for all to breathe in." The verse gives impetus and interest to the descriptions of the world of the tree. Highly recommended for the nature loving, squirrel-fond child (like my six-year old, who does not want me to pass this one on to the library).

And finally, Swamp Song, by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Ponder Goembel (Marshall Cavendish, 2009). This is a swingingly fun, toe-tapping extravaganza of swamp critters letting loose.

Ibis stands
at the cattail hedge.
flappin' her wings
at the water's edge.

With a flip, flap, flippity-flap

Within the verses are nestled instructional nuggets, telling of life in the swamp:

Black Bear claws
at a cypress tree,
markin' his space
for all to see.

With a scritch, scratch, scritchity-scratch.

And the dressed-up animals (so perhaps this does count as fantasy?) all join together at the end for a burst of swampy song. Fun, and educational to boot!

(disclosure: all three books were received as review copies from Marshall Cavendish)


  1. These look really cute. I'm pretty strict about what makes a good rhyming picture book so I'm glad these past your test. I'll look for them.

  2. *squeals with delight*

    Thanks for featuring these. I'll have to check them out!!


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