I just finished two children's poetry books that I picked up from NetGalley. Ivy in Bloom and Ivan's Great Fall. In both books, Vanita Oelschlager combines her own poetry with works from "great poets and writers from the past."
In Ivy in Bloom, we follow a young girl as she waits for winter to turn to spring. Poetry from Dickinson, Longfellow, Frost, and others combine across the pages as Ivy dives into spring with all the excitement expected from a young child. Although the poetry doesn't blend fully to create a seamless story, the excerpts shared are filled with strong imagery and wondrous words. I definitely plan on using this text to model for my students how they can collect poetry around a central theme to create a book of their own. The bibliography at the back of the book is a much appreciated addition to the text; several of my students will want to read more about the poets included in Ivy in Bloom.
Ivan's Great Fall introduces Ivan, a little boy that loves summer and everything about it -- especially the absence of school! In this book, Oelschlager again combines her own poetry with the works of Sandburg, Bronte, Keats, and more. I especially loved the transition from summer to fall (shouldn't be surprising, as I love all things Dickinson):
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
I am adding these selections to my classroom library and look forward to working with my students to help them curate their own collection of great writers and poets.