Illustrated by :Mark Hoffmann
Imprint:Groundwood Books - Toronto
Form detail:Picture book, Printed dust jacket
Audience:Juvenile: Age (years) 6 - 9, Grade (CAN) 1 - 4, Grade (US) 1 - 4
Dimensions:10.5in x 7 x 0.5 in | 0.88 lb
Page Count:44 pages
Illustrations:Full color throughout
A funny story, full of wordplay, brings poetry alive as never before!
Kilmer Watts makes his living teaching piano lessons, but when automatic pianos arrive in town, he realizes he’s out of a job. He spots a “Help Wanted” sign at the poem factory and decides to investigate — he’s always been curious about how poems are made.
The foreman explains that machines and assembly lines are used for poetry these days. So Kilmer learns how to operate the “meter meter” and empty the “cliché bins.” He assembles a poem by picking out a rhyme scheme, sprinkling in some similes and adding alliteration.
But one day the machines malfunction, and there is a dramatic explosion at the poem factory. How will poetry ever survive?
Kyle Lukoff’s funny story, rich in wordplay, is complemented by Mark Hoffmann’s lively, quirky art. The backmatter includes definitions of poetic feet, types of poems (with illustrated examples) and a glossary of other terms. An author’s note explains the inspiration for the story.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
KYLE LUKOFF has worked at the intersection of books and people for more than half his life, first as a bookseller and later as a school librarian, reviewer, awards juror and contributor to professional publications. His first picture book, A Storytelling of Ravens, illustrated by Natalie Nelson, received two starred reviews and his second, When Aidan Became a Brother was described as “joyful and affirming” in a Kirkus starred review and has received three other starred reviews. A confirmed bachelor, Kyle lives in a Brooklyn apartment filled with books.
MARK HOFFMANN is an author and illustrator of children’s books, an editorial illustrator and an artist who has won a number of awards. He also teaches illustration at Montserrat College of Art. Mark’s picture books include Fruit Bowl (Publishers Weekly starred review), You Can Read by Helaine Becker, Hawks Kettle, Puffins Keel by Susan Vande Griek, Poop by Poppy Campignon and Dirt Cheap. He lives in southern New Hampshire with his family, two cats and a dog.
Liberal use of terms such as epithalmium and enjambment, both defined at book’s end, will draw precocious kids as well as adult poetry lovers to this friendly introduction to poetry and poetics. - Publisher's Weekly
Hoffmann's playfully expressive double-page illustrations… heighten Lukoff's guffaws… Lukoff's sophisticated silliness hits the sweet spot for lovers of wordplay. - Kirkus Reviews
The off-kilter angles and beanshaped personalities in Mark Hoffmann’s pictures add to the madcappery of a story that, with a little concentration (and the interpretive help of an adult), will be a primer on poetic forms and styles. - The Wall Street Journal
Readers who love words, and especially those who love poetry, will enjoy Explosion at the Poem Factory. - Winnipeg Free Press
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