Yesterday, I read This Is A Poem That Heals Fish by Jean-Pierre Simeon to the second grader I tutor. It's not part of our regular curriculum, but sometimes we do a little extra. Last week, our extra book was Art Dog by Thacher Hurd.
This Is A Poem is magnificently illustrated by Olivier Tallec.
My tutee got a kick out of the fishy endpapers:
The book is about a boy whose fish, Leon, seems to be dying of boredom. The boy's mother suggests that he cures his fish with a poem, so he goes around to everyone he knows, trying to find out what a poem is. Finally he goes back to his fish and says:
"I'm sorry, Leon, I have not found a poem.
All I know is that:
is when you have the sky in your mouth.
It is hot like fresh bread,
when you eat it,
a little is always left over.
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.
is words turned upside down
the world is new."
Leon has a pretty good response.
This page was also a favorite of my tutee -- she liked the wavy words.
You can click on the photo to see it bigger.