Sunday, February 1, 2009

Poetry Book Review: Good Books, Good Times! anthology by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Good Books, Good Times! selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, pictures by Harvey Stevenson, from Harper Childrens, 1990.

Lee Bennett Hopkins has gathered a delightful collection of poems from various authors about books and reading. What I enjoyed the most was the message that reading is fun, that good books do offer good times, that books are relaxing and can encourage your imagination by allowing your mind to travel to worlds unknown, as in the poem "There is a Land" by Leland B. Jacobs.
Harvey Stevenson's pastel illustrations are refreshing and match each poem while showing a book being read in almost every scene, again reinforcing the collection's theme on reading books.
Good Books, Good Times! poems are all charming and fun to read with several poems being humorous and others a little more serious. Still, the overall emotion is one of enjoyment. The poems offered here would be both appropriate and useful for inviting discussion about books, favorite books, and genres.
The poets represented in the anthology are familiar names in the poetry world along with a few others less familiar: Arnold Lobel, Myra Cohn Livingston, Jack Prelutsky, and Prince Redcloud are some of the authors presented. Several of the poems in this collection may also be located in other publications which include children's and teacher magazines.
Good Times, Good Books! also includes an index of titles and authors and a list of acknowledgments displaying permission obtained from authors for use of the poems in this collection.
Good Times, Good Books! is a fun and fanciful gathering of poems about both books and reading, sure to encourage students to read more books and poetry.

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