Friday, June 17, 2016

Daniel Find a Poem (Micha Archer)

Author/Illustrator:  Micha Archer

Target Ages:  4-8

First Lines:
Daniel knows all the rocks,
trees, and animals in the park.
On Monday morning,
Daniel sees something new
on the park gate.  A sign reads,

Summary:  After seeing a sign about a poetry reading, Daniels wonders, “What is poetry?”  Each day of the week, he asks the question to a different creature—a spider, a squirrel, a chipmunk, a turtle, a cricket, and an owl.  The animals reply with a poetic response from their perspective.  The story cumulates with a poem that Daniel has written using those reflections.

Morning dew glistens,
Crisp leaves crunch,
There’s a home with many windows
in the old stone wall.
Cool pools to dive in,
Sun-warmed sand to lie in,
Singing at twilight when
the day is done.
Bright stars in the branches,
Moonlight on the grass,
And silent wings to take me
Wherever I go.

Daniel Finds a Poem is a simple, lyrical poetry introduction for young children.  Using a familiar pattern of the days of the week and the same question throughout, the story has a structure and familiarity. 

The scenes--a park, a neighborhood, a pond, a tree in the yard--are part of the every day experiences of most children.  In each one, Daniel is depicted observing, exploring, and questioning. The stunning oil painting and collage illustrations are brilliant in color with textured details, displaying the wonders of nature and the innocent inquiry of childhood.

Daniel is excited when Sunday finally arrives.  Even though he is young and small, he is bold enough to stand in front of a crowd of adults and children to share his poem. 

The story ends perfectly with a scene vibrant in color and introspective on life,
“One the way home, Daniel stops to watch
the sunset sky reflection in the pond. 
‘That looks like poetry to me.’
‘To me too,’ says Dragonfly.”

Daniel Finds a Poem will encourage children to begin to see that in places they experience everyday, something poetic and beautiful can be found.

Poetic Extension Activity:
Take your children or class outside for a walk somewhere like a park, a forest, or, even, a zoo.  Make observations together using all 5 senses.  Have someone write them down, such as an older child or a parent volunteer.  Then, take those observations and write them into poetic lines into a specific format or free verse.  Incorporate rhyme, alliteration, metaphor, similes, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, and more.  Complete as a group, in pairs, or independently depending on the age and ability of the children involved.  All the lines can become one poetic experience or chose a cluster of related ones to focus on.

Visit Carol's Corner for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. Sounds like a gorgeous way to introduce youngsters to poetry.

  2. Sounds like a gorgeous way to introduce youngsters to poetry.

  3. I fell in love with this picture book at my favorite bookstore, the Tattered Cover this week. Can't wait to share it with our little guys when we go back to school in August.

    1. I am sure they will love it. Thanks for hosting and stopping by.

  4. I've been curious about this book. Thanks for your lovely review. The art is gorgeous!

    1. I hope you will have the opportunity to read it soon.

  5. I love this book, words and illustrations are just right. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your words of affirmation. It is definitely one for every classroom and library.

  6. Thank you for your lovely review!

  7. Thank you for your lovely review!

  8. I love the concept - can't wait to see the book!

  9. I love this one, too, but I don't seem able to leave a comment. Here goes another try.

  10. I pre-ordered this book, used it with my students and have yet to blog about it yet. I just love it! My student's loved it and what a great book to jumpstart any poetry thinking with.

  11. From your review, and all the comments, it sounds like one to look out for!

  12. This book sounds wonderful, like something I might read to & enjoy with the grands. (Maybe we could even write a cooperative poem... as part of the process.)


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