Poetry Friday: Pet Crazy


Look what arrived on my doorstep this week!


“Calling all “pet people”! PET CRAZY: A Poetry Friday Power Book features twelve PowerPacks that use creative activities to get your children (K-3) thinking, drawing, reading, and writing about cats, dogs, lizards, rabbits, and more! Resources for children (as well as parents, teachers, and book club leaders) include “Hidden Language Skills” to sharpen language learning even further, recommended reading lists and websites, tips for reading aloud and writing, talking points, and places to publish.

The book features the work of the dynamic team of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, illustrator Franzi Paetzold, and 12 poets: Kristy Dempsey, Helen Frost, Janice Harrington, Eric Ode, Laura Shovan, Eileen Spinelli, Elizabeth Steinglass, Don Tate, Padma Venkatraman, April Halprin Wayland, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Tamera Will Wissinger.”

Pet Crazy is the third title in the Poetry Friday Power Book series from Pomelo Books. Like the previous two entries by poetry champions Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, Pet Crazy is a fantastic resource for budding poets, writing teachers, librarians and anyone who wants to connect poetry and young people.


This pet-themed poetry workbook includes prewriting activities, anchor, response and mentor poems from a fantastic collection of poets, fun writing prompts and an extensive collection of resources and references. It’s designed for the primary set, particularly kids in grades K-3, and harnesses kids’ natural fascination with animals to help make poetry engaging, approachable, and most of all, FUN.


Kids love animals, and this animal-themed collection will appeal to all sorts of kids, whether or not they have pets. In fact, most of the kids I work with don’t have pets – most of us are tiny apartment-dwellers – but that doesn’t mean kids won’t want to write about their dream pets!

If you work with kids, write for kids, or have an inner kid in there somewhere, this positive, creative, approachable, imaginative poetry workbook is for you. I can’t wait to share it with my budding writers at the library soon!

And in honour of this delightful celebration of animal-themed poetry, here’s a little picture of yours truly bonding with an adorable puppy statue at a museum in Osaka – as a person who loves animals but has terrible allergies, I just have to use my imagination sometimes! 🙂

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  • Reply robbiesinspiration

    A lovely post about this book, Jane. Have a wonderful Friday.

    September 29, 2017 at 4:34 am
  • Reply Tabatha

    That’s an adorable photo of you! Pets really do capture children’s imaginations, don’t they? (We recently got two female betta fish and I am amazed by how interested in *us* they are.)

    September 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm
  • Reply Brenda Davis Harsham

    We had similar karma this week. I also got a copy, and I also blogged about it. Such fun! Great pic of you with the tiny dog statue.

    September 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Robyn Hood Black

    (Ha – great pic!) Such a terrific resource – I’m beyond animal-crazy and know this will appeal to kids whether they prefer betta fish or horses. (At one point, we had both of those and a variety of critters in between – the count got to 22, I believe? Over the years, our menagerie has downsized with us – just an old, ailing cat and a spunky 5-year-old rescued Chihuahua now!)

    September 29, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Oh my goodness, that sounds like Dr. Dolitte’s house! 🙂 Over the course of many years I have had hamsters, cats (atchoo!), gerbils, rabbits, and more fish than I can remember. Now I live in a pet-free building, and my partner and I both have terrible allergies, but my love of pets remains undaunted! 😀

      September 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    It really is/will be a great book to use with students, or use as mentor texts for ourselves too. I love seeing your picture, Jane!

    September 30, 2017 at 2:46 am
  • Reply Linda Mitchell

    What a great photo of you….which perfectly illustrates your review. LOVE it! I also received my copy of Pet Crazy and it’s every bit as good and fun as you say. My older teen was reading aloud to me from it and I knew then that it was going to be a hit with kids AND their teachers.

    September 30, 2017 at 10:36 am
  • Reply mbhmaine

    I received my copy in the mail this week as well! I haven’t had time to dive into it yet, but am looking forward to doing so. Your post just bumped it up a bit in the pile. 🙂 Love the photo of you and the pup!

    September 30, 2017 at 11:44 am
  • Reply katswhiskers

    Oh, how sad about your allergies. I’m a real pet-lover. Now that my boys have all-but-grown-and-left-home, I just have to admit it – the pets are also for ME! 😛 #buttheboyshavelovedthemtoo #throughouttheyears

    September 30, 2017 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply Laura Purdie Salas

    Haha–love that picture! Janet and Sylvia are magic–I have got to check out these Power books. Tx for sharing!

    September 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm
  • Reply Kiesha Shepard

    Got it added to the list! Thanks for reminding me about this amazing collection.

    September 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm
  • Reply dmayr

    I’ll bet my daughter who teaches 4th grade would find it of interest, too. Pets are of interest to all ages. When I used to do story hours for 3-6 year-olds, I never brought up pets unless I wanted to lose 20 minutes of everyone yelling, “I have a dog!” “I have three cats!” “My cat died.” “My grandma died.” “My grandma has a peekaboo!” “I have a teddy bear.” etc.

    September 30, 2017 at 9:26 pm
  • Reply Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    I’m no longer teaching, but I’m enough of a kid at heart to want to enjoy this book for myself!

    October 1, 2017 at 1:34 am
  • Reply Michelle Kogan

    I love your idea of writing about dream pets Jane it makes this book even more appealing! Thanks for your thorough review, and your dynamic photo. We have non-hair and feather pets in our home for I too have many allergies

    October 1, 2017 at 5:22 am
  • Reply cvarsalona

    Love the photo you shared, Jane, and the review. Janet and Sylvia gave me books to raffle off at my PD sessions. Two lucky educators at two different sessions won the prizes. That reminds me to put those photos up on Twitter.

    October 1, 2017 at 9:48 pm
  • Reply Wondering and Wandering

    SOLD! Ordering now! Love these power packs! I grew up in a house being the only one NOT allergic to animals, so we didn’t have any. I need a dog. 🙂

    October 2, 2017 at 12:22 am
  • Reply Carmela Martino

    This books sounds like a great resource! And I love the photo of you, too. 🙂

    October 2, 2017 at 1:08 am
  • Reply maryleehahn

    This is another great volume in the Wong and Vardell oeuvre!

    October 6, 2017 at 12:15 am
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