This poem’s for you, HipWriterMama!
LETTER FROM THE QUEEN OF BEASTS
by Elaine Magliaro
I’m tired of doing the hunting, the preying
While your only job is to watch the cubs playing.
I’m tired of stalking the zebras and gnus
While you lie around on the grassland and snooze.
I’m tired of running, and pouncing, and killing.
I want a career that is much more fulfilling.
I’m tired, so tired. I’m spent to the core.
While I’m hard at work, you just eat, sleep, and snore.
I fetch all the food. You grow stronger…I thinner.
For the next seven days you can catch your own dinner!
I’m going away for a well-needed rest.
I’ll be seeing you soon.
All my love,
If you are in the mood to read some more letter poems, you may want to go looking for the following books in the library:
Written by Arnold Adoff
Illustrated by Lisa Desimini
The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic
From the book summary: “A collection of twenty poems written by kids and klutzes, secret admirers and detractors, friends, enemies, and skeptics to the objects of their affection—or aversion.” Most of the poems are written from one person to another person—but there is a letter poem written to a dog and one to a cat. There's even a letter to Once Upon A Time from Your Happy Ending.
LOVE LETTERS received a Blue Ribbon from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and was a Riverbank Review Children’s Book of Distinction. The author, Arnold Adoff, was the 1988 recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. You can read the NCTE profile of Adoff here.
Lisa Desimini was winner of a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award for MY HOUSE. Her multi-media illustrations for LOVE LETTERS are playful, inventive, and add touches of humor in all the right places.
Written & Illustrated by Takayo Noda
In DEAR WORLD, Takayo Noda focuses mostly on the natural world with letter poems written to apples, the dawn, the sun, snow, trees, the stars and to a turtle, a bird, and fish. Her watercolor and collage illustrations are colorful and visually stunning. They absolutely add a whole other dimension to her text.
Here are a few snippets from her letter poems:
I see you
spinning and dancing
just like angels in white…
when you are happy
because you shine
when you are sad
because you become
hazy and fuzzy
as if you had
tears in your eyes
What do you do with books like these?
- First, you share and discuss poems from one of the books with your students in class.
- Next, you talk about reasons why people write letters to each other.
- Third, you ask students to think about the persons, animals, or things to whom they might like to write letter poems.
- Fourth, you write their responses on chart paper.
- Then you and your students choose a letter recipient from the list you made and write a collaborative class poem to that recipient. As the students dictate the poem, you copy it down on the chart paper—modeling the process for them.
- Finally, after reading the collaborative poem aloud with the class, you ask students to write individual letter poems to the person, animal, element of nature, or object of their choice.