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April 2019 Selections


Giraffes Can't Dance

by Giles Andreae

Gerald the giraffe longs to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. His knees buckle whenever he tries to twirl. At the Jungle Dance, the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tango. "Giraffes can't dance," they all jeer when it's Gerald's turn to prance. But there is one little creature that believes in Gerald. "Everything makes music," the cricket explains, "if you really want it to." So Gerald starts swaying to his own sweet tune.


Luna (de la cuna a la luna) from the Cradle to the Moon series

by Antonio Rubio

Toddlers and preschoolers will respond to the musicality of this fun board book. The endearing illustrations and repetitive text will make it a favorite at bedtime or any time.



Primary (KindergartenGrade 2)

Daniel Finds a Poem

by Micha Archer

What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Spider thinks so. Is it crisp leaves crunching? That's what squirrel says. Could it be a cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? Maybe poetry is all these things, as it is something special for everyone — you just have to take the time to really look and listen. The magical thing is that poetry is in everyone, and Daniel is on his way to discovering a poem of his own after spending time with his animal friends. What is poetry? If you look and listen, it's all around you!


Una poema para curar a los peces/A Poem to Cure Fish

by Jean-Pierre Siméon

After a mother, hurrying to her tuba lesson, tells her son that a poem will cure his pet fish's boredom, the little boy tries to find out what a poem is by asking friends, neighbors, and other members of his family.



(Intermediate) Grades 3–5

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

by Bob Raczka

Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because its results are so fun to read. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete (or "shape") poems are also easy to write! Wet Cement teaches kids to look at words in a whole new way.



Poemas a la luna/Poems to the Moon

by Various Authors

This collection includes works by world-renowned poets, among them Lorca, Goethe, Whitman, and Shelley. Each poem appears first in Spanish and then in its original language if the poem was translated. For instance, Emily Dickinson's selection appears in Spanish and English, while Wang Wei's appears in Spanish and Chinese. The book opens with an excerpt from Christina Rossetti's "Is the Moon Tired?" in which the orb is personified as a tired, hard-working woman. Its Spanish translation actually sounds more musical than the original English. The hauntingly beautiful full-page digital paintings have an ethereal quality that transports readers into the lyrical poetry. The moon appears in each illustration, sometimes as a crescent, sometimes full, and sometimes as a woman's face. This oversized treasury will be perfect for a world-poetry unit, a lesson on the art of translation, or special poetry programs at schools and libraries.


(Middle School) Grades 6–8


by Jacqueline Woodson

When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he's eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because "not a lot of people want boys — not foster boys that ain't babies." But Lonnie hasn't given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She has already raised two sons, and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie's poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and, most of all, his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson's poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.


Ensō: Haiku y poemas minimos

by Lidia Elena

Everything changes; this moment is unique, and it will never repeat itself. That is a haiku, a single brushstroke of words, simple, austere, as it appears before the eyes of the writer. Ensō is a book of short poems and haiku written in Spanish and illustrated with photographs. The Japanese word ensō  means "circle," and it is also a Zen concept used in Japanese calligraphy. It symbolizes enlightenment, the void, and the representation of the present moment. These short poems and haiku are instants of self-awareness expressed through a connection with nature.


High School (Grades 9–12)

Bronx Masquerade

by Nikki Grimes

When Wesley Boone writes a poem for his high school English class, some of his classmates clamor to read their poems aloud too. Soon they're having weekly poetry sessions and, one by one, the eighteen students are opening up and taking on the risky challenge of self-revelation. There's Lupe Alvarin, desperate to have a baby so she will feel loved. Raynard Patterson, hiding a secret behind his silence. Porscha Johnson, needing an outlet for her anger after her mother ODs. Through the poetry that they share and narratives in which they reveal their most intimate thoughts about themselves and one another, their words and lives show what lies beneath the skin, behind the eyes, beyond the masquerade.


Retratos de lo invisible/Portraits of the Invisible

by Ane Santiago

Portraits of the Invisible is the new collection of poems by Ane Santiago, author of the blog Cartas a Ninguna Parte. Delicious illustrated poems revolve around love, indifference, family, the perception of oneself, and time.


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To access the books on our monthly MPS Reads booklists, visit your school library or local library, or go online to OverDrive and log in with your MPS student ID number.

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K-12 Literacy Learning Manager:

Deborah Kuether
Phone: 414-475-8327

Reading Curriculum Specialist:

Tanya D. Evans
Phone: 414-475-8110

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