Joy Acey Recommends...

Joy Acey, the Princess of Poetry, has won many prizes for her poems and has published in several small journals and anthologies including HIGHLIGHT'S High Five magazine. She is a performance artist and conducts writing workshops for children and adults. She's hopped a freight train and rode in a boxcar over the world's second largest wooden trestle bridge. She was on a TV game show and won enough money for a trip to Australia. She has lived in England and Japan. She has walked across a volcano in Hawaii and a glacier in New Zealand. She has gone swimming with iguanas in the Galapagos and was in Ecuador during a revolution. She recently returned from a trip to Peru where she visited the rainforest. Always looking for new adventures to write about, she currently lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and a welsh springer spaniel named Spot. She has a blog where she daily posts an orginal poem for children and a writing exercise.

10 books of poetry...

  1. PIRATES or COWBOYS by children's poet David L. Harrison, illustrated by Dan Burr, published by Wordsong. Both of these books are beautiful. With the over-sized format, these books could easily be mistaken for coffee table books. The poems are a good variety, which explore the lives of pirates or cowboys.These are definitely great books to share with young boys who think poetry is for sissies, or for girls who like to say Aaargh and Ain't. You can find a sample poem from Cowboys on my blog at
  2. FLY WITH POETRY:An ABC of Poetry, LEAP INTO POETRY: More ABCs of Poetry, AFRICAN ACROSTICS. or THE MONACH'S PROGRESS: Poems with Wings by Avis Harley, published by Wordsong/Boyds Mill. Hartley is a brilliant poet who loves writing in forms. Not only does the reader have the opportunity to learn about nature, but can learn poetic forms to explore at the same time.
  3. A KICK IN THE HEAD, A POKE IN THE EYE, or A FOOT IN THE MOUTH anthologies selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Chris Raschka, published by Candlewick Press. These books are on my must have list of books for young poets. The books explore the language of poetry through poems.
  4. THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT: VOICES FROM THE TITANIC by Allan Wolf. I just finished listening to the audio version of this book, and it is a brilliant way to share history with young people. Wolf develops a cast of over 25 characters, and we get glimpses into their lives on that fateful night when the Titanic sank. Novels in verse have long been popular with middle and high school students, but this book of poetry takes the form to its highest level.
  5. BUTTERFLY EYES AND OTHER SECRETS OF THE MEADOW, or SWIRL BY SWIRL: Spirals in Nature written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes (winner of the Caldecott Medal for THE HOUSE IN THE NIGHT), published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. Poetry picturebooks for the very young. Swirl by Swirl presents the concept of a spiral and shows all its applications in nature through a delightful, compact children's free verse poem.
  6. BOOKSPEAK! Poems About Books written by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Josee Bisallon, published by Clarion. Each poem is written in the voice of a book using rhyme, and rhythm. The lay-out on this one is just plain fun.
  7. NEST, NOOK &CRANNY, written by Susan Blackaby, illustrated by Jamie Hogan, Charlesbridge. This is another collection of nature poems. The charcoal illustrations are great, and the thought provoking verses provide lots of discussions for parents and children.
  8. MEET DANITRA BROWN, DANITRA BROWN CLASS CLOWN or DANITRA BROWN LEAVES TOWN written by Nikki Grimes, published by Mulberry Books. Floyd Cooper's illustrations bring the story of these poems to life. I like sharing these books with very young children because each of these picturebooks presents a verse novel in picturebook format. The character development is excellent through poetry.
  9. DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE:Poems for an Election Year by Janet Wong Published by Poetry What better time to read poems about elections than this election year. A fun collection of short poems aimed at middle grade students.
  10. PUMPKIN BUTTERFLY: Poems from the other Side of Nature or SQUEEZE: Poems from a Juicy Universe by Heidi Mordhorst. Both of these books help connect children to the joys of being a kid. Mordhorst has a great subtle sense of humor and a beauty with words for loving and helping young children enjoy poetry.
Created on: 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Arizona Board of Regents