Tuesday, April 2, 2013


One of the things I love about poetry is the opportunity it provides for creative wordplay. You can alter words, smush them together, add or subtract letters or just plain make words up. Which is part of what makes STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY AND OTHER POEMS by Jack Prelutsky & illustrated by Carin Berger such a fun read.

The book is assembled like a naturalist's notebook, as if the author discovered and catalogued all these new species. This format will particularly appeal to the young scientists among us. We meet Chormorants, Slobsters, Plandas, Magpipes and others. My kind of zoo!

Here's one of my favorites:


JOLLYFISH are radiant,
Ebullient blogs of mirth,
With merry dispositions
From the moment of their birth.
Though they know their every motion
Is dependent on the tides,
They laugh with such abandon
That they almost split their sides.
         * * *
Their humor is infectious,
And as aimlessly they drift,
Their buoyant effervescence
Gives the neighoborhood a lift.
JOLLYFISH possess the gift
Of fundamental glee--
There's no creature half as happy
At the bottom of the sea.

- Jack Prelutsky

The world needs more jollyfish. Can you think of a creature you might create, just by changing one letter of that creature's name? Hmmmm...


  1. I love a book with great word play. Thanks for sharing this one, Irene!

  2. I can't believe I missed this book! What a great one to share with students. Thanks for highlighting it.

  3. Like Susan, I didn't know about this book either, Irene. What a terrific mentor text for writing with kids! (I like the idea of magpies!)

  4. Jollyfish, I love this Pre


Your thoughts?