Friday, April 27, 2018

With My Hands - Poems About Making Things {Poetry Friday}

I love preordering books and having them surprise me in my mailbox weeks or a few months later.  Before I click pre-order I often wonder if I should preview the book physically to guarantee I will love it and need to buy it.  I don't have to preview books written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.  I love her books and need them.

With My Hands - Poems About Making Things took me back in time.  Many of the things Amy writes about are things I did as a child and I might dabble now in as an adult.  Leaf Pictures took me back to my grandmother's kitchen; making leaf wax paper placemats.  Fort took me to a card table set up on a rainy day with a blanket draped over it.  Drawing reminded me I use to draw with pencil and often of my future house.  The curtains would be pulled in at the middle creating a swooping draping effect at the top of each window.  I have those swooping curtains in my very own house now.

I think each of these poems are worthy of being a mentor for my own students and myself as writers and makers.  As I kept reading, I started paying attention to poetry elements my students could grab on to and aspire to use; repetition, imagery, and the five senses to name a few.  I love how the focus of this book is poetry about concrete actions and experiences.  I sometimes think people are turned off from poetry because they think it has to be grand and abstract.  Amy's book makes poetry concrete and obtainable for readers and writers.

Thank you Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday this week.


  1. I agree, not only is this book by Amy great for sharing poetry with students, it is memory-making for adults. I'm glad you like it, Mandy! It's terrific!

  2. This might be my favorite of all Amy's books, but like you, I feel confident that I won't be disappointed by pre-ordering any of Amy's new books. Thanks for the nice review!

  3. I love how this book celebrates so many ways we are creative... how often have I heard someone say, "I'm not creative," and yet WE ALL ARE. I hope you and your students will write and write and write and also make with your hands creations to go with the poems. Joy! Thank you for sharing.

  4. "I don't have to preview books written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. I love her books and need them." AGREE.