Waiting to See the Principal and Other Poems

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9781601453563: Waiting to See the Principal and Other Poems
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A collection of nearly 60+ poems and illustrations that are slightly irreverent and charming. Students will laugh out loud in grades K-7. The poems are about school, home, sports, and wild things. This is the kind of book that boys and girls, and teens will love to read. It might even encourage them to write their own poems. If you're wondering what to give your child as a present, this is a great choice. If you're wondering what to give your child's favorite elementary teacher as a holiday gift or an end of the year present, this is your best bet. I kid you not.

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From the Author:

Joe Sottile (otherwise known as "Silly Sottile") is a children's poet, performing poet, author, and essayist. Joe taught grades 2-6 for 33 years in Rochester New York. As a teacher, he always wanted to share with others his insights into teaching, and write the Great American Novel for kids. In 2000, he retired and became a performing poet. In 2004, he published Picture Poetry on Parade! In 2007, he published Waiting to See the Principal and Other Poems. Because he cares about kids so much, including his five grandkids, Joe published in 2012 the eBook: 101 SECRETS! A BACKPACK OF INSPIRATION AND HOPE FOR TWEENS. This is a self-help book for tweens and teens to live a happier and a more purposeful life right now, and in the future.

Joe also writes articles for magazines and newspapers, when he feels compelled to share what he thinks on certain topics. One of his essays was featured on the cover of a national magazine. He has been published in "Rejection Letters," "Teachers of Vision," "Once Upon a Time Magazine," the "English Journal," "Learning," "Woman's World,"  "The Gannett newspaper," and the "Messenger Post."  Joe has won prizes for his prose and poetry. He is now working on a poetry recipe writing guide for kids. He is an active member of Rochester Area Children's Writers and Illustrators and loves meeting book lovers at the annual book festival in November at Monroe Community College. He loves to meet readers at children's book festivals, and perform poetry in school.

When Joe isn't writing or performing poetry, he keeps his body and mind active by riding his road bike or rolling his golf pull-cart on Rochester's fairways and greens. Joe sometimes finds time to write in his blog about  how his day has unfolded.

From the Back Cover:

Quick! Give me a list of three children's poets. Got them? Let me guess.
You listed Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss, and Shel Silverstein. How about Joe
Sottile? Never heard of him? You will.

Over the past several decades, children's poetry has morphed from the sing-song Mother Goose rhyme of yesterday to more complex poetry that speaks to the issues important to children in ways so silly, irreverent, or even grotesque as to render elaborate color illustrations unnecessary.

Joe Sottile's poetry in PICTURE POETRY ON PARADE! is a perfect example of how charming this change can be.

Move over Mother Goose, stand back Dr. Seuss - Joe Sottile's parade is coming through! Joe Sottile met illustrator Lori DeLeonardis-Aman when they taught together in upstate New York. The two of them pooled their talents - Joe's poetic abilities and Lori's cartooning - to turn out a book of
children's poetry reminiscent of Shel Silverstein. The book (originally titled Bathroom Vacations and Other Poems) is PICTURE POETRY ON PARADE!

PICTURE POETRY ON PARADE! features poems about the things most important to kids: school, parents, teachers, homework, siblings, food, bugs, and sports heroes, just to name a few.

Proving a true educator at heart, the best poems offered in the book are the school poems, which are funny:

"`Sonny, you gotta go to school.'/

`I never want to go back there.'/

`Son, you gotta go to school./

You're the principal.'"

(Sonny, p.2)

And absurd:

"I can't write today because my underpants are too tight/"

(Can't Write Today, p. 28)

And even poignant:

"Rain, snow, sleet, blistering heat,/

or bone-chilling thunderstorms,/

Mr. Shannon was waiting at the door,/

`Today is a super-great day/

and it's going to get even better.'

(Today, p. 8)

Sottile is able to rhyme with the best of them, but is not limited to verse alone. He's adept at repetition and makes good use of Leonardis-Aman's illustrations in some poems to make them pleasing to the eye.

Likewise, DeLeonardis-Aman's illustrations are perfectly suited to the book, being simple yet able to convey vast emotions, mostly through facial expressions, that bring each poem to life.

Because the most well-written and entertaining poems are the school-
theme poems and the book is arranged in two themed parts - "Part One: School" and "Part Two: Home"- the book is best read randomly rather than in cover-to-cover fashion, so as to get a healthy mix of both subjects in one sitting.
This book belongs in classrooms and on bookshelves of anyone who has elementary school-aged children at home. The repetition in some poems lend well to beginning readers, the subject matter lend well to young readers who get "bored" easily, and the humor lends well to...everyone else.

Reviewed by Jennifer Brown

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