Friday, May 16, 2008

Reader's Diary #358- Paul B. Janeczko (Editor) and Chris Raschka (Illustrator): A Kick In The Head

I was about to review A Kick In The Head by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka. Then I Googled it and found it's already been done for Poetry Friday many, many times. I hope it suffices to say that I loved it. Recently I lamented not buying my own copy of In Fine Form, an anthology of Canadian form poetry. A Kick In The Head, though aimed at children, will help tide me over. I hope these links to other reviews, re-written in some of the forms found in Janeczko's book, will help tide you over.

Found Poem
from Susan's comments left at Chicken Spaghetti

I did not like Janeczko'sA Kick In The Head
very much. I know. I'm one of the few.
It struck me
as a book for an adult writing group,
not a book for kids.

from Fusenumber 8

Here lies Fusenumber 8--
She discovered the book,
but was it really too late?

Riddle Poem
from Charlotte's Library

Enthusing about this book is fine
Since she has none of these--
Should she take you out to dinner
ask her to make some please.

from Blog From The Windowsill

strange depictions of people--
Not quite perfection.

from Miss Rumphius


from Kelly Fineman

Praise for an excellent collaboration
Leads to Janeczko celebration.

You may have noticed that I picked short forms. In the book you will find longer forms like pantoums, villanelles, sonnets and more. For better poems than the ones I posted here, check out the book. You'll find classics by Shakespeare, Robert W. Service, and others, as well as more contemporary works by such poets as Joan Bransfield Graham and Gary Soto. For better reviews, check out the links above.


Sara said...

I love Janeczko and Raschka, so you didn't really have to convince me, but now I wish I'd reviewed it, so you could have cleverly transformed my words too, O Poetic Reporter.

Tricia said...

Your review suits me just fine! I may just have to head over to Chicken Spaghetti and find out what Susan was thinking. I love this book! (Though I'll admit I haven't used it below middle school.)

tanita✿davis said...

We'd still like to hear your take on it, even though it's been done! Your overview on everyone else's take cracked me up!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'm with Tadmack. Different reviewers may have different opinions of a book. I think A KICK IN THE HEAD is a book that can be used by both adult and child writers. I also think it would be an excellent resource in a writing classroom.

John Mutford said...

Sara: Of course, you could always transform my post a la the telephone game.

Tricia: I haven't used it as a teaching aid, but I like it enough for myself not to care too much if it's not a success with kids. For what it's worth, my own children like it and they're below school age.

Tadmack: I wouldn't have much to add. I did love the illustrations; they were fun, colourful and with just the right balance of abstract and realism to match the poetry. I did question why they chose to write the poem titles below instead of on top, though.

Elaine: As I said above, I haven't used it in a classroom. Though I suspect it would make a great resource. Perhaps a grade one class may not be up to a double dactyl, but they'd easily handle the couplets and tercets, perhaps limericks and senryus too. It's a resource in which almost anyone could probably find something of use.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you reworked the reviews into forms. You, sir, are a genius. (It's a great resource, isn't it?)

P.S. - I hope you get a copy of the Canadian book you wanted!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

clever clever reviewers!

Charlotte said...

Oh my gosh, your capsule reviews are very clever and funny, and thanks for the link! But, she says sadly, it is perhaps too clever for me because I can't figure out the answer to the riddle poem you wrote about my review! Help?

John Mutford said...

Kelly: The book is still in print and quite easy to attain. It's just my cheapness that I haven't.

Barbara: That Poetry Friday crowd, eh?

Charlotte: Reservations. From the opening sentence of your post, "It's so great to enthuse about a book, with absolutely no reservations at all."

Anonymous said...

John, you are very clever. Thanks for the linkage.

Charlotte said...

Thanks John! It's been too long, I guess, since I made reservations for dinner--ten years and three weeks, in fact.