Friday, April 25, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Celebrating the Incredible Jack Prelutsky

Thanks to Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for hosting Poetry Friday today! 
On this final Friday of National Poetry Month 2104, I’d like to salute the amazingly talented children’s poet Jack Prelutsky. Born in 1940 and named the first U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate in 2006, Prelutsky has published over 70 books of poetry. One of my favorites when I was a kid was THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK, published in 1984. This same book is on my bookshelf today, and my boys enjoy reading it as much as I did!
One of the most interesting facts about Mr. Prelutsky is that he hasn’t always been a fan of poetry. Here is what he has to say on his Scholastic author page:
There was a time when I couldn't stand poetry! In grade school, I had a teacher who left me with the impression that poetry was the literary equivalent of liver. I was told that it was good for me, but I wasn't convinced.”
To read the rest, click here.

While it is sad to discover that a teacher (!!!) turned Mr. Prelutsky off of poetry at a young age, it is incredibly encouraging to know that someone who once disliked poetry could ultimately become such a master of this art form. When I talk to kids about writing, my #1 goal is to communicate that writing is FUN, and Prelutsky’s playful, intelligent, and engaging poetry proves my point!  
On Thursday I shared one of my favorite Prelutsky poems with fifth graders during our Poem in Your Pocket Day activity. “Bleezer’s Ice Cream” is a funny list poem about an ice cream store with some very unusual flavors. As I told the kids, if there is one poem I’ve read that I wish I had written, this one is it! Here are the first several lines of the poem:
Bleezer's Ice Cream
by Jack Prelutsky  
 
I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
I run BLEEZER'S ICE CREAM STORE,
there are flavors in my freezer
you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations
too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor,
try the flavors on my list:
 
COCOA MOCHA MACARONI
TAPIOCA SMOKED BALONEY
CHECKERBERRY CHEDDAR CHEW
CHICKEN CHERRY HONEYDEW
For the rest of this poem, click here.
 
For more Prelutsky poems, visit the "poetry" page of his website here. I especially love "A Centipede Was Thirsty!"

Mr. Prelutsky is also a collector of frogs AND he's a talented musician! To listen to some of his musical creations (also from his website), click here.
For more about Jack Prelutsky, you can start at the main page of his fabulous website here. Take some time to read a Prelutsky poem today--you'll be glad you did! Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!

12 comments:

  1. I'll take my checkerberry ice cream plain, please.

    Is he a collector of *live* frogs? As a "pet wrangler," I'd be pretty interested in hearing about that...

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    1. Great question, Tabatha! I think he must just collect frog items--it says on his website that he has around 3000 in his collection, but doesn't mention any pet frogs. This would be very interesting to find out! = )

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  2. I love Jack Prelutsky! This poem is great. I once tried to write a poem with ice cream flavors but couldn't make it rhyme. Prelutsky is always the master at such endeavors!

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    1. I am inspired to write a different kind of list poem now, I just need to figure out my topic! = )

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  3. What a fine choice of a poem to wish you had written! Love, love, love Jack Prelutsky... maybe even more now that I know he has over 3000 frogs.

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    1. I didn't know this about him, either. All authors should have a "fun secret" like that!

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  4. I love that poem! Reading the flavors out loud makes me happy, something about the rhythm and the nonsense flavors. Do you know what book this poem is featured in The New Kid on the Block? I'd like to get it for the kidlet. Thx!

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  5. Hooray for Jack Prelutsky!

    I'll never forget the child who memorized Bleezer's Ice Cream! What a fun tangle of flavors to have archived in your brain forever!

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    1. WOW--I can't imagine memorizing that poem! Very impressive!

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  6. I love Jack Prelutsky's poems. So much fun. Brings back fun memories of sharing them with my girls.

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    1. I have found that poetry collections make great memories, Ruth! = )

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