Monday, July 12, 2010

Nest, Nook & Cranny

Nest, Nook & Cranny
poems by Susan Blackaby; illustrated by Jamie Hogan
(Charlesbridge) 2010
Source: Mebane Public Library
Check out Nonfiction Monday at Abby the Librarian

Salmon swim in river homes
Under bridges, over stones,
Through cool pools in muted shadows,
Into sun-drenched, silver shallows

Nest, Nook & Cranny is a collection of poems that is a teacher's dream.  Susan Blackaby combines several different poetic forms (sonnet, cinquain, triolet, villanelle) with animal habitats (desert, grassland, shoreline, wetland, woodland) as the subject of the poems. The reader gets a combination of poetry, figurative language, and science that is entertaining and informative.  These twenty-two poems are perfect for a unit on animal habitats.  You could use these poems for shared reading each morning in a K-2 class.  In a 3-5 class, you have a great lesson on writing in a content area.  For a 6-8 class, you can teach poetic forms such as sonnets and show that you can take everyday information (the bluebird house in my yard for example) and create a sonnet or another form of poetry.

The extra bonus with Nest, Nook & Cranny is that you get over ten pages of terrific back matter where Susan Blackaby explains her thinking in creating each individual poem and the different poetic forms and figurative language that she uses. This book reminds me of Paul Fleischman's Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices with the combination of poetry and animal life.  I'll be picking up a copy of Nest, Nook & Cranny to use in classrooms this fall.

Other reviews of Nest, Nook & Cranny:
Great Kid Books
Kirby's Lane
Wrapped In Foil
Picture Book of the Day


  1. Thanks for posting this review to non-fiction Monday! It looks perfect for an interdisciplinary collaborative project that I'm doing with fifth grade teachers that was inspired by Michael Rosen's Cuckoo's Haiku.


  2. Thank you for visiting! Your project sounds very interesting.