Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Papa is a Poet - NFPB



Nonfiction picture books are simply amazing! Alyson at KidLitFrenzy features nonfiction picture books every Wednesday. As often as I can, I will be joining in by reviewing some of the new (or old) gems I've discovered this year.


Using nonfiction (and fiction) picture books in the classroom is a great way to introduce or reinforce topics. I've used them to tie into Civil Rights units, discuss science concepts, and introduce touchy topics for discussion with older students. Don't ever think your class is "too old" for a picture book!








Papa Is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frost
by Natalie S. Bober, Rebecca Gibbon (Illustrations)
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 15th 2013 
by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN 0805094075 (ISBN13: 9780805094077)

(blurb from Goodreads)
When Robert Frost was a child, his family thought he would grow up to be a baseball player. Instead, he became a poet. His life on a farm in New Hampshire inspired him to write “poetry that talked,” and today he is famous for his vivid descriptions of the rural life he loved so much. There was a time, though, when Frost had to struggle to get his poetry published. Told from the point of view of Lesley, Robert Frost’s oldest daughter, this is the story of how a lover of language found his voice.

Book Source - I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts


My Thoughts:
This is a book I wish I'd owned years ago. I read The Road Not Taken every year with my fifth graders, and I can't wait to share a bit of Frost's life with them before reading the poem this year. So often we read a poet's work without any background on their life. It's so valuable for kids to learn that authors, illustrators... all creators... bring their own life into their art.

Having Frost's daughter tell the tale was a lovely stroke. It lends a very personal touch to the storytelling, and will help kids identify with him in a way that a more "outside" point of view wouldn't.

With a focus on nature, including plants and small birds, Gibbon's art is a perfect match for this story. The simple style evokes the feelings of tenderness toward his family and the world around him, with the smiles on Frost's face as he gazes at his wife and children being a sweet touch.

One of my favorite parts, though, is the back matter. The black and white photos of Frost and his farmhouse are a fabulous addition to any reading of Frost's work. The author also shares some favorite Frost quotes and poetry.


Classroom Uses:
 -- Have students create their biographies from a family member's perspective (their own, or after researching historical figures)
-- Partner the picture book with some poems from Frost  (many popular choices are in the back)- discuss how his life influenced some of his poetry. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

 
Blog design by Imagination Designs using images from the No Monsters Under My Bed kit by Lorie Davison