Friday, May 20, 2011

Picture Book (Poetry): The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders (by Jack Prelutsky)

Today is Poetry Friday, hosted this week by A Drift Record.

This week’s selection is The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by popular poet Jack Prelutsky.   The collection of poems is full of rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration.   Some of the subjects are non-fiction observations about nature, such as animals and seasons.   Rather than read facts about these subjects, children “experience” nature at a differed level.  “One Old Owl” exemplifies this type:   

One old owl upon a tree,
high atop a hill,
watched the forest silently
while the night was still.

One old owl looked around,
while the moon was bright,
flapped its wings without a sound
and few into the night.

Other poems are silly and imaginative.  This type accomplishes an important job:  teaching children that poetry can be hilarious and amusing.  “Sarah Small” illustrates this kind:

In her garden, Sarah Small
grows galoshes, short and tall.
Shirts of yellow, hats of red
beautify her flower bed.

Near pajamas, row on row,
multicolored sweaters grow.
Neckties flutter in the breeze
underneath the mitten trees.

Shoes of every shape and size
blossoms right before her eyes.
Stocking vines adorn the wall,
planted there by Sarah Small.

The final type is about places, prompting an opportunity to discuss them and to even show them on a map.  “In the Heart of South Dakota” provides a glimpse of the state and a national monument:

In the heart of South Dakota,
Jenny Jay stepped off a train,
leapt upon a nearby bison,
raced across the windy plain.

On the day in South Dakota,
Jenny Jay sat on a fence,
gazing at the wondrous mountain
topped with giant presidents. 

The pictures by Petra Mathers are sweet and entertaining.  Children ages 3-8 will enjoyThe Frogs Wore Red Suspenders. 


  1. Jack Pretlusky is the best! My kids loved his "mother's meatloaf" poem!!


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