Ruddell, D, & Rankin, J. (2009). A whiff of pine, a hint of skunk: a forest of poems. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry. ISBN: 9781416942115.
This is a fun and engaging poetry book of animals in their native habitat. There are twenty-two poems presented in this book and the illustrations that accompany the poems are vibrant and compliment each of the poems presented. Ruddell's poetic word play is wonderfully demonstrated in the poems and this will keep the reader engaged. There is a nice combination of rhythm and rhyming throughout the text. Readers will enjoy learning about the animals featured in this book (beaver, snail, woodpecker, badger, squirrel, turkey, etc.) and the humor element make this book very delightful. A great book to have in a classroom's collection! Teachers will value the science element which can lead to fun and engaging poetry breaks!
A Word to the Wise from a Red Fox
"I will never take walks
in the park wearing socks
like some spoiled little dog
on a leash--I'm a fox.
I won't come when you call,
I won't jump for the ball,
I won't wait for your step
like a lump in the hall.
You can tell me to stay
if you want to, but hey--
there's no way in the world
that I'll ever obey.
Introducing the Poem:
This is a great poem to use to add humor and fun to a science lesson about animals! I would read this poem to the students and have the student pay special attention to the rhythm of the poem. I would divide the class into three groups and have each group retell the poem to the class using the appropriate body language in addition to the rhythm. Another fun activity would be to have the students journal a poem about animals and add humor and illustrations to their story.
Ezra, D. (2010). Interrupting chicken. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN: 9780763641689.
This is a humorous story about a Little Red Chicken whom insists her Papa read her a bedtime story. However, the Little Red Chicken constantly interrupts her Papa at the beginning of each story! Readers will enjoy the humor and the illustrations presented throughout the story! Cute book!
Connection to Poetry:
Ezra's book "Interrupting Chicken," a Caldecott 2011 honor book, would be a great fiction book to present to the class because this books contains animals, humor and encourages use of imagination to create a story. These elements tie into the poetry story of "A Wiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: a Forest of Poems" by Deborah Ruddell and illustrated by Joan Rankin because both books have wonderful illustrations, animals and humor. Both books have fun word play and rhythm throughout their stories.