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Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem

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Have you ever tried to write a poem about a pizza? How about a pig? How about a pigeon, penguin, potato, Ping-Pong, parrot, puppy, pelican, porcupine, pie, pachyderm, or your parents? Jack Prelutsky has written more than one thousand poems about all of these things—and many others. In this book he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows you how you can turn y Have you ever tried to write a poem about a pizza? How about a pig? How about a pigeon, penguin, potato, Ping-Pong, parrot, puppy, pelican, porcupine, pie, pachyderm, or your parents? Jack Prelutsky has written more than one thousand poems about all of these things—and many others. In this book he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows you how you can turn your own experiences and stories about your family, your pets, and your friends into poems. He offers tips, advice, and secrets about writing and provides some fun exercises to help you get started (or unstuck). You'll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the ingredients of some of his most popular poems. If you are a poet, want to be a poet, or if you have to write a poem for homework and you just need some help, then this is the book for you!


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Have you ever tried to write a poem about a pizza? How about a pig? How about a pigeon, penguin, potato, Ping-Pong, parrot, puppy, pelican, porcupine, pie, pachyderm, or your parents? Jack Prelutsky has written more than one thousand poems about all of these things—and many others. In this book he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows you how you can turn y Have you ever tried to write a poem about a pizza? How about a pig? How about a pigeon, penguin, potato, Ping-Pong, parrot, puppy, pelican, porcupine, pie, pachyderm, or your parents? Jack Prelutsky has written more than one thousand poems about all of these things—and many others. In this book he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows you how you can turn your own experiences and stories about your family, your pets, and your friends into poems. He offers tips, advice, and secrets about writing and provides some fun exercises to help you get started (or unstuck). You'll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the ingredients of some of his most popular poems. If you are a poet, want to be a poet, or if you have to write a poem for homework and you just need some help, then this is the book for you!

30 review for Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem

  1. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

    Caleb (age 4): "I love poetry. This book tells you mostly everything about making poems. It makes me feel happy:) I'm like Jack Prelutsky because we're both poetry makers." Caleb (age 4): "I love poetry. This book tells you mostly everything about making poems. It makes me feel happy:) I'm like Jack Prelutsky because we're both poetry makers."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Jack Prelutsky is the children's poet laureate and if you've ever read any of his poems, you know why. He uses rhyme and humor effortlessly to create poems that engage kids and get them reading something beyond prose: My mother says I'm sickening, my mother says I'm crude, she says this when she sees me playing Ping-Pong with my food - from My Mother Says I'm Sickening This book is a great introduction to how poets go about writing poems, with an emphasis on the process of generating ideas. For each Jack Prelutsky is the children's poet laureate and if you've ever read any of his poems, you know why. He uses rhyme and humor effortlessly to create poems that engage kids and get them reading something beyond prose: My mother says I'm sickening, my mother says I'm crude, she says this when she sees me playing Ping-Pong with my food - from My Mother Says I'm Sickening This book is a great introduction to how poets go about writing poems, with an emphasis on the process of generating ideas. For each poem included, Prelutsky tells a short story from his own life that shows the basis of that poem and how he came to write something silly or crazy from what really happened. For instance, his mother's bad cooking gives rise to a poem about a meatloaf so indestructible, it eventually becomes the prototype for construction blocks. Along the way, Prelutsky also throws in simple definitions of various literary and poetic terms, like poetic license, meter, and rhythm. Each chapter ends with a writing tip and exercise, and at the back of the book is a list of poemstarts - beginning lines - to get the young writer going. Kids will come away from this book with a good grasp of how poets use their own everyday experiences and observations as prompts for poems. I think many adults beginning their own journey into poetry would find this book helpful, as well. Most importantly, Prelutsky never loses sight of the pleasure of poetry, both in reading and writing it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a really funny book that could motivate some adolescents to write poetry. Prelutsky show fun and amusing ways to write poetry and gives encouragement and advice to the budding poet.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Myriale

    "Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry" is not only a fun poetry book it also helps teach children to write good poems. After every poem there is a writing tip. By the author having all of the poems written in a fun manner it kept me engaged. Having the tips on writing teaches the children writing, while they are having fun reading the poems. Poetry can be tough for many students, this book will help students in writing great poems in a relax, and no pressure manner. Highly recommend for older children. "Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry" is not only a fun poetry book it also helps teach children to write good poems. After every poem there is a writing tip. By the author having all of the poems written in a fun manner it kept me engaged. Having the tips on writing teaches the children writing, while they are having fun reading the poems. Poetry can be tough for many students, this book will help students in writing great poems in a relax, and no pressure manner. Highly recommend for older children.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    If you love children's poetry, or know a child who wants to learn more about writing poetry, or just trying to coax a child into the world of poetry, this would make a fabulous starting point. Prelutsky uses many of his wonderful poems to illustrate poetic concepts and specific writing tips to guide the future poet. If you love children's poetry, or know a child who wants to learn more about writing poetry, or just trying to coax a child into the world of poetry, this would make a fabulous starting point. Prelutsky uses many of his wonderful poems to illustrate poetic concepts and specific writing tips to guide the future poet.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather Pleier

    laugh-out-loud antics, very accessible writing tips. Totally inspired my 7 year old to write poetry. We loved it! The 1st half of the book is stronger than the 2nd, which is the only reason I give it 4 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    C.

    A fun book with a lot of promise for young writer who are interested in learning how the author writes poetry. The poems were cute and his easy writing style is enjoyable. This is a book I’m recommending to the children in my life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Madison Schneider

    I loved this book. Not only does this book have very cute poems, but the author also added instructions for kids to write their own poems. He uses a variety of poetic concepts and tips on ways you can create your own poetry.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Getting ready to do an author study in Sandy's classroom. This book is full of tips on writing poetry, very entertaining back stories about how he gets ideas for poems. Getting ready to do an author study in Sandy's classroom. This book is full of tips on writing poetry, very entertaining back stories about how he gets ideas for poems.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    A bit autobiography, a bit instruction, a bit of poetry. This book may have me writing poetry again.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    The text is rather dull and mildly annoying. Poem? More like rhymes to better fit the parent's conception of how a children's book should look like. The text is rather dull and mildly annoying. Poem? More like rhymes to better fit the parent's conception of how a children's book should look like.

  12. 5 out of 5

    joseph szerletich

    Would be great to use with 4th thru 7th graders to work on writing poems

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Meibos

    Lots of funny stories and great writing tips.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Steen

    This is a book that has several different poems and tips to write a poem. This would be good for students when they are being taught about poems.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mae

    Prelutsky did a great job of attuning this book to developing writers, while still making it interesting for adults. As a songwriter, I found that a lot of these prompts stirred ideas in me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan Rogers

    This easy to read informational book is written by one of the most humorous children's poets I have ever read. This book is full of stories, poems, and advice, all related to poetry. In each chapter the author begins by telling a short story about something from his own life and how it was the inspiration for one of his poems. He then follows the story by giving the poem which came about as a result. Finally, he concludes each chapter with advice about how you can take what he has just shown and This easy to read informational book is written by one of the most humorous children's poets I have ever read. This book is full of stories, poems, and advice, all related to poetry. In each chapter the author begins by telling a short story about something from his own life and how it was the inspiration for one of his poems. He then follows the story by giving the poem which came about as a result. Finally, he concludes each chapter with advice about how you can take what he has just shown and explained and apply it to your own writing. When I originally picked this book up I had nothing more in mind than to be able to fill in one of the blanks on my 30 books list for an informational book. As I read, I found myself actually paying attention to the things he related as well as the advice he gave. As I did so I found myself thinking back over my own life and taking stock of experiences I had and how I might some day be able to turn them into published pieces. I'm not sure that they'll become poems, in fact I'm not sure if they'll ever even get written, but I can certainly begin by putting them in my writer's notebook for future consideration. This is one book that I think I'll need to reread, maybe more than once. This book reminds me of another book I read with a similar theme, titled Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine. These two books, both written by children's authors, are, in my opinion, excellent reference books for aspiring authors looking for practical advice on how to work through the writer's craft. Although targeted to middle school students, adults can also take what is written here and use it to develop their skills. Far from being a boring read, I quite enjoyed the time spent. Next time I'll have to take it much more slowly, pausing after each chapter to try implementing some of the skills suggested.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Binning

    Great ideas

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deanna Day

    This is a great mentor text for teachers to use when teaching poetry or to share in writer's workshop. As I read this book I couldn't help but write in the margins my own poem ideas. Prelutsky gives numerous writing tips such as writing tip #2--Does your mother have little quirks? He then goes on to share his mother's quirks and the poems that he created. I immediately was inspired and made a list of my own mother's quirks---and I think I may have the beginning of a poem (My mom color coded ever This is a great mentor text for teachers to use when teaching poetry or to share in writer's workshop. As I read this book I couldn't help but write in the margins my own poem ideas. Prelutsky gives numerous writing tips such as writing tip #2--Does your mother have little quirks? He then goes on to share his mother's quirks and the poems that he created. I immediately was inspired and made a list of my own mother's quirks---and I think I may have the beginning of a poem (My mom color coded everything in our house to keep us kids organized. My color was orange--so I used the orange cup, plate, napkin, towel, pillow case, etc. Amazingly I still like the color orange today. My brother was yellow and my sister was blue). Probably the only thing I disliked about the book is that Prelutsky rhymes everything. He finally admits on page 102 that poems don't have to rhyme and that they are hard to write. Prelutsky has this amazing gift of rhyme, words, rhythm but most kids do not. He finally shares some other poetry ideas. This is a great resource to add to Georgia Heard's poetry books. I definitely will be sharing portions of this book to students during WW.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I L-O-V-E this book! Jack Prelutsky discusses his writing processes in developing his poetry, and where he finds inspiration for topics. Each chapter focuses on varying aspects of writing poetry, and is laid out in a way that can be easily incorporated into lesson plans for poetry writing workshops. Each chapter is also highlighted with some of Prelutsky's famous works as examples showing the writing aspects he is covering in that chapter. He also invites the reader to exercise some of the techn I L-O-V-E this book! Jack Prelutsky discusses his writing processes in developing his poetry, and where he finds inspiration for topics. Each chapter focuses on varying aspects of writing poetry, and is laid out in a way that can be easily incorporated into lesson plans for poetry writing workshops. Each chapter is also highlighted with some of Prelutsky's famous works as examples showing the writing aspects he is covering in that chapter. He also invites the reader to exercise some of the techniques he covers at the end of each section. I especially enjoyed his example of observing something from nature, and writing as many things about it that you can and turn that information into a poem. This is perfect for integrating science with literature. The book also includes a glossary of terms of techniques for writing poetry which is very helpful as well. Even though I would find using this book useful as a teacher, it is written in a manner that kids that can read at about fifth grade level on up can understand, and includes text boxes of vocab definitions for the poetry techniques.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judy Lindow

    This is a must have for anyone who wants to write their own children's poetry or who teaches children; especially if you like poetry, and even more so if you like Jack Prelutsky's work. There are 20 useful tips that help to teach 'how to write a poem'. Each tip chapter, includes the author's brief presentation of the tip, some examples, and then a summary of the tip. I don't care for his narrative but it makes presenting his concepts on how to write easy. Once you have this nice piece of curricu This is a must have for anyone who wants to write their own children's poetry or who teaches children; especially if you like poetry, and even more so if you like Jack Prelutsky's work. There are 20 useful tips that help to teach 'how to write a poem'. Each tip chapter, includes the author's brief presentation of the tip, some examples, and then a summary of the tip. I don't care for his narrative but it makes presenting his concepts on how to write easy. Once you have this nice piece of curriculum you can use the 'tips' for lessons, and the poems for inspiration and fun, He also has some poem starters, frames, he calls 'poemstarts', that can used to help kids, or anyone, get started on a poem. The glossary and his suggestions of using a thesaurus and rhyming dictionary are all very helpful. Jack Prelutsky has been the children's poet laureate; it's an award with a 2 year tenure. Awarded by the Poetry Foundation for a two-year tenure, the children’s poet laureate aims to raise awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bridget R. Wilson

    [Hilarious. Great tips for kids who want to write poetry (or anyone who wants to write poetry).:] In this charmingly hilarious book, the Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky, reminisces and shares both writing tips and examples of his poems with young poets. Always carry a notebook and few pens (just in case you kill one), make lists, write about what you know, and embrace rewriting as a fact. While Prelutsky is adamant that this is not a book about poetic form, he does share a few terms with [Hilarious. Great tips for kids who want to write poetry (or anyone who wants to write poetry).:] In this charmingly hilarious book, the Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky, reminisces and shares both writing tips and examples of his poems with young poets. Always carry a notebook and few pens (just in case you kill one), make lists, write about what you know, and embrace rewriting as a fact. While Prelutsky is adamant that this is not a book about poetic form, he does share a few terms with readers including scansion, poetic license, and voice. Though he himself enjoys a good rhyme, Prelutsky does not think they are always necessary. Write a haiku instead. What I thought: If you can't tell from my effusive summary of the book, I really liked this book. It's definitely a great resource to use with kids. With National Poetry Month coming up in April, I'm glad I read this book. It makes me want to write. If nothing else, I need to find the prefect notebook to carry with me. Off to the stationery store!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem was a very enjoyable and informative book by Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. This very famous children's poet has writen thousands of poems about all sorts of topics. He is very well known and loved by millions. In this book, Prelutsky highlights several of his famous poems and also guides readers with writing tips and stories about how his poems came to be. I greatly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it highly to children and teachers i Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem was a very enjoyable and informative book by Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. This very famous children's poet has writen thousands of poems about all sorts of topics. He is very well known and loved by millions. In this book, Prelutsky highlights several of his famous poems and also guides readers with writing tips and stories about how his poems came to be. I greatly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it highly to children and teachers in grades 2-5. Prelutsky offers hints on how to come up with ideas for your poetry, how to turn your experiences and stories into great poems and the importance of always caring a notebook around to jot down ideas. Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem would be a great mentor text for a poetry unit! I really appreciated his stories, tips and examples of his poems as well as the glossary of poetic words that he included at the back of the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    Jack Prelutsky is an author of children's poetry and in this book, he explains where he gets his ideas for poems and his writing process. Each chapters has stories from his childhood or experiences that he has had through out his life and how because of some of these things that have happened to him, it inspired him to write a poem. Like the story of how his mother isn't a very good cook and she forgot the meat loaf and burnt, he turned it into a poem. Although I know this book is for children, I Jack Prelutsky is an author of children's poetry and in this book, he explains where he gets his ideas for poems and his writing process. Each chapters has stories from his childhood or experiences that he has had through out his life and how because of some of these things that have happened to him, it inspired him to write a poem. Like the story of how his mother isn't a very good cook and she forgot the meat loaf and burnt, he turned it into a poem. Although I know this book is for children, I think anyone who writes poetry could learn a thing or two from. Mr. Prelutsky gives good advice and writing tips. I know I'll be using some of them. It's a great book. I recommend it to anyone who writes poetry or wants to write poetry.

  24. 4 out of 5

    AnnaBnana

    I thought this book was really cute. I liked how Prelutsky gave lots of tips about where he gets his ideas and about his writing process. His poetry is super fun and I liked that after telling the story of where he got the idea, he re-published the poem. I think this book would be great for kids that are really into poetry and want to try their hand at writing. As an adult the book got pretty repetitive, but I don't know that a kid would mind. I also don't know that it's a book that would have t I thought this book was really cute. I liked how Prelutsky gave lots of tips about where he gets his ideas and about his writing process. His poetry is super fun and I liked that after telling the story of where he got the idea, he re-published the poem. I think this book would be great for kids that are really into poetry and want to try their hand at writing. As an adult the book got pretty repetitive, but I don't know that a kid would mind. I also don't know that it's a book that would have to be read straight through--I think you could skip around (this would help alleviate some of that repetitiveness...)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Jack Prelutsky is the new Shel Silverstein. I know many would argue that they love Silverstein, but I think he has too much of an edge to many of his poems and I've held off on introducing him to my kids, yet. In the meantime, Prelutsky is my guy. Written for kids on how to write (silly) poems. My kids liked some of the back-stories Jack tells about how he got the ideas for the poems, but they loved the poems more. If you know a middle-grades child who is trying to write poems, this could be hel Jack Prelutsky is the new Shel Silverstein. I know many would argue that they love Silverstein, but I think he has too much of an edge to many of his poems and I've held off on introducing him to my kids, yet. In the meantime, Prelutsky is my guy. Written for kids on how to write (silly) poems. My kids liked some of the back-stories Jack tells about how he got the ideas for the poems, but they loved the poems more. If you know a middle-grades child who is trying to write poems, this could be helpful. If your child is like mine, you might want to just go straight for other collections of poems by Jack Prelutsky--my kids just want to howl at silly stuff.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brynn

    an attempt to create a poetry unit... oh my goodness, this book is fantastic. it talks about all the mechanics of poetry in a way that is accessible to older elementary and middle school students. it uses concrete examples for each piece and tells a story for every example poem to explain how he gets his ideas. the stories are funny, the poems engaging and the writing easy to understand. he covers all kinds of poems, rhyming, haiku, concrete, etc. this is a fabulous way to begin work on a poetry an attempt to create a poetry unit... oh my goodness, this book is fantastic. it talks about all the mechanics of poetry in a way that is accessible to older elementary and middle school students. it uses concrete examples for each piece and tells a story for every example poem to explain how he gets his ideas. the stories are funny, the poems engaging and the writing easy to understand. he covers all kinds of poems, rhyming, haiku, concrete, etc. this is a fabulous way to begin work on a poetry unit and introduce kids to an excellent poet.

  27. 4 out of 5

    JaNeal

    Jack Prelutsky is an amazing children's poet--funny and punny, creative and wacky, subtle and charming! This book gives you a quick glimpse into his childhood and a peak at his writing process. I LOVE IT! This should be a textbook for writing in every elementary school and junior high. Prelutsky nails many concepts I had to learn the hard way (by trying to write my own sometimes-not-so-pretty poetry). Though it's written for children, I'd recommend it to anyone who has an interest in writing poetry Jack Prelutsky is an amazing children's poet--funny and punny, creative and wacky, subtle and charming! This book gives you a quick glimpse into his childhood and a peak at his writing process. I LOVE IT! This should be a textbook for writing in every elementary school and junior high. Prelutsky nails many concepts I had to learn the hard way (by trying to write my own sometimes-not-so-pretty poetry). Though it's written for children, I'd recommend it to anyone who has an interest in writing poetry! An easy read and tons of fun.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    Superstar children's poet Jack Prelutsky gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of his favorite poems. He explains where his ideas come from and how he brainstorms and revises to create the humorous poems that have delighted thousands of kids over the years. Along with humorous stories about his boyhood and family, Prelutsky includes writing tips and poetry prompts to inspire young writers. This is Gail Carson Levine's Writing Magic meets Jon Scieszka's Knucklehead and hi Superstar children's poet Jack Prelutsky gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of his favorite poems. He explains where his ideas come from and how he brainstorms and revises to create the humorous poems that have delighted thousands of kids over the years. Along with humorous stories about his boyhood and family, Prelutsky includes writing tips and poetry prompts to inspire young writers. This is Gail Carson Levine's Writing Magic meets Jon Scieszka's Knucklehead and highly recommended for young authors.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Who doesn't love Jack Prelutsky's poems? The Children's Poet Laureate offers accessible and easily understandable tips on how to write poetry, with accompanying personal anecdotes about the genesis of some of his poems, and examples. Prelutsky covers some technical aspects, but not until later in the book, and doesn't go into much depth. Excellent book for upper elementary/ middle school student interested in getting started in writing poetry. Who doesn't love Jack Prelutsky's poems? The Children's Poet Laureate offers accessible and easily understandable tips on how to write poetry, with accompanying personal anecdotes about the genesis of some of his poems, and examples. Prelutsky covers some technical aspects, but not until later in the book, and doesn't go into much depth. Excellent book for upper elementary/ middle school student interested in getting started in writing poetry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    I am soooooooooo glad my friend gave me a suggestion to read this book. I loved how he wrote about different things in his life and how funny all those things were. I also liked all the different poems he wrote inside of this book. It inspired me to write poems of my very own. He also has some poem starters in the very back and I've used the poem starters to write my own poems. I'm really glad I read this book. I am soooooooooo glad my friend gave me a suggestion to read this book. I loved how he wrote about different things in his life and how funny all those things were. I also liked all the different poems he wrote inside of this book. It inspired me to write poems of my very own. He also has some poem starters in the very back and I've used the poem starters to write my own poems. I'm really glad I read this book.

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