Poet Talk! Janine Guida ELLM 612 March 28, 2008
Did you know that a poet can also be a(n):
Did you know that award-winning poets, famous and loved by millions of children and adults: Never wanted to be writers?
Can have first drawings and drafts rejected by publishers?
Do you have any idea who this poet is?
Here are some hints: He likes pizza a lot! Especially large ones! He’s glad his nose is on his face. He writes creepy poems and songs.
He doesn’t like it when it rains cats and dogs, but prefers pigs and noodles!
He’s… Jack Prelutsky! Picture retrieved from: andersonsbookshop.com
Mr. Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn in 1940. He had a very active imagination and a wonderful singing voice. Jack was paid to sing at weddings when he was a boy. He was so good that the Choir Master of the New York’s Metropolitan Opera gave him singing lessons for free! (Collier, 1993)
Jack was a gifted child and he was also very active in school when he shouldn’t have been. This caused him a lot of difficulty. His ov er active mind made it hard for his mother and teachers to handle him. (Collier, 1993)
Jack attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City. While he was there he studied to be an opera singer and also studied to play piano. (Silvey, 1995)
Mr. Prelutsky was all set to be an opera singer, but luckily for us, he heard Luciano Pavarotti sing. Jack always wanted to be the best at what he did and he thought he’d never be as good as Signore Pavarotti, so he quit. (Collier, 1993)
Jack met Bob Dylan (he’s a very famous singer: ask your parents or grandparents!) and Shel Silverstein in a café in Greenwich Village and they became good friends. Bob Dylan thought Jack’s voice was wonderful, but Jack didn’t want to be a singer for the rest of his life. (Collier, 1993)
Jack became a poet by accident! When he was 24, Jack knew he wanted to be some kind of artist, but wasn’t sure what kind. He tried painting and spent half a year making all kinds of odd creatures. He wrote poems to go with each of them and eventually sent everything to a publisher. (Silvey, 1995), (But only after a friend convinced him to.)
The first company rejected it all. Good thing he didn’t give up and kept trying!
So… The next publishing editor was Susan Hirshman who did not like the drawings at all. She did like the poems and thought Jack would be a great children’s poet one day and she was right! (Silvey, 1995)
Mr. Prelutsky writes lots of poems for children and has published more than 35 books. He’s also written songs, stories, and poems for adults.
Awards: Mr. Prelutsky was named the first Poet laureate for children, by the Poetry Foundation in 2007. This was a two-year position and he traveled around to promote children’s poetry.
You can go to www. poetryfoundation .org for more information.
He’s also won: Outstanding Book of the Year School Library Journal’s Best Books Selections
Garden State Children’s Book Award, New Jersey Library Association (Collier, 1993)
Some of his work: Let’s read these aloud: I Wonder Why Dad is So thoroughly Mad From: The New Kid On The Block I wonder why Dad is so thoroughly mad, I can’t understand it at all,
Unless it’s the bee still afloat in his tea, or his underwear pinned to the wall.
Perhaps it’s the dye on his favorite tie, Or the mousetrap that snapped in his shoe, Or the pipeful of gum that he found with his thumb, Or the toilet sealed tightly with glue. It can’t be the bread crumbled up in his his bed, Or the slugs someone left in the hall, I wonder why Dad is so thoroughly mad, I can’t understand it at all.
Retrieved from: http://www. jackprelutsky .com/
Ma, Don’t Throw That Shirt Out! Ma! Don’t throw that shirt out, It’s my all time favorite shirt! I admit it smells peculiar,and is stained with grease and dirt, That it’s missing half the buttons, And has got so many holes
That it might be infested
Yes! I know that I’ve outgrown it, That it’s faded and it’s torn, I can see the sleeves are frazzled, I’m aware the collar’s worn, But I’ve had this shirt forever, And I swear that I’ll be hurt If you dare throw that shirt out- IT’S MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SHIRT!
Retrieved from: http://www. jackprelutsky .com/
Some of his work: http://www. poetryfoundation .org/archive/poet.html?id=81900 http: //poetryfoundation . org/journal/audioitem .html?id=256
http: //poetryfoundation . org/journal/audioitem .html?id=190
Some of his books are: There's No Place Like School , Illustrated by Jane Manning, 2010 Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry , 2008 Awful Ogre Running Wild , Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, 2008 It's Christmas!, Illustrated by Marylin Hafner, 2008 It's Thanksgiving!, Illustrated by Marylin Hafner, 2008 My Dog May Be a Genius , Illustrated by James Stevenson, 2008 My Parents Think I'm Sleeping,Illustrated by Yossi Abolafia, 2008
Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face , Illustrated by Brandon Dorman, 2008
And… The Wizard, Illustrated by Brandon Dorman, 2007 In Aunt Giraffe's Green Garden , Illustrated by Petra Mathers, 2007 What a Day It Was at School!, Illustrated by Doug Cushman, 2006 Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant Illustrated by Carin Berger, 2006 It's Snowing! It's Snowing! , Illustrated by Yossi Abolafia, 2006 Awful Ogre's Awful Day , Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, 2005 If Not for the Cat , Illustrated by Ted Rand, 2004
The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders , Illustrated by Petra Mathers,2002
And… Scranimals , Illustrated by Peter Sis, 2002 It's Raining Pigs & Noodles , Illustrated by James Stevenson, 2000 A Pizza the Size of the Sun , Illustrated by James Stevenson, 1996 It's Halloween , Illustrated by Marylin Hafner, 1996 The Dragons Are Singing Tonight , Illustrated by Peter Sis, 1993 Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast , Illustrated by Arnold Lobel, 1992 The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight , Illustrated by Arnold Lobel, 1992 Something Big Has Been Here , Illustrated by James Stevenson. 1990
Beneath a Blue Umbrella , Illustrated by Garth Williams, 1990
Ride a Purple Pelican , Illustrated by Garth Williams, 1986 The New Kid on the Block , Illustrated by James Stevenson, 1984 Nightmares , Illustrated by Arnold Lobel, 1976 Retrieved from : http://www. harpercollins .com/search/index. aspx ? kw=jack +prelutsky Retrieved from: audiobooksonline.com
Whew! That’s not even all of his books!
Mr. Prelutsky also: Collects books and model frogs Makes plastic and metal sculptures.
Has translated poetry from German and Swedish into English!
Being a writer doesn’t make you strange or a nerd, in fact you can be a poet and be pretty cool!
Your task: Use one of the following sites to find out some additional information about Mr. Prelutsky (two facts each please) and be prepared to present that information to the class. You may use one of the sites listed or find another using a search method we’ve practiced. If you are using a site you found on your own, you must check with me before continuing.
We will use this information to create a game for readers in the lower grades and to go along with our poems in the style of Mr. Prelutsky. See if you can find a book that hasn’t been listed above!
Sites to try: http://content.scholastic.com/browse/contributor.jsp?id=3524 http://www. randomhouse .com/author/results. pperl ? authorid=24470 & view=full_sptlght http://www. indiebound . org/author-interviews/prelutskyjack http://www. jackprelutsky .com/flash/index.html http://www. jackprelutsky .com/ http://teacher.scholastic. com/writewit/poetry/jack_meet . htm http://www. bookrags .com/Jack_Prelutsky http://project1.caryacademy.org/echoes/poet_Jack_Prelutsky/DefaultJack%20Prelutsky.htm
http://www. poetryfoundation .org/
References: Bloom, Dianna. (2010) Jack Prelutsky: an imagination of his own. Retrieved from Cary Academy website: http://project1.caryacademy.org/echoes/poet_Jack_Perlutsky/DefaultJack%20Prelutsky.htm Bookrags. (2010). Retrieved from Bookrags website: http://www. bookrags . com/Jack_Prelutsky Castellitto,Linda The many pocketed poet. (2010) Retrieved from Indiebound website: http://www. indiebound . org/author-interviews/prelutskyjack Collier, Laurie, Nakamura, Joyce (Eds.). (1993). Major authors and illustrators for children and young adults. Vol. 5. Pp.1903-1907 Poetry Foundation. Retrieved from the Poetry Foundation website: http://www. poetryfoundation .org/
Prelutsky, Jack. (2010). Retrieved from Jack Prelutsky website: http://www. jackprelutsky .com/
References Con’t: Random House, (2010). Retrieved from Random House website: http://www. randomhouse .com/author/results. pperl ? authorid=24470 &view=full_sptlght Reading Today ; Feb/Mar 2008, Vol. 25 Issue4, p. 28 Scholastic. (2010). Retrieved from Scholastic website: http://content.scholastic.com/browse/contributor. jsp ?id=3524 Scholastic. (2010). Retrieved from Scholastic website: http://teacher.scholastic. com/writewit/poetry/jack_meet . htm Silvey, Anita. (Ed.). (1995). Children’s books and their creators. pp. 536-537
Wikipedia.(2010). Retrieved from Wikipedia website: http://en. wikipedia . org/wiki/Jack_Prelutsky