Barking About Pet Crazy by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (+ a giveaway!)

Jump, roll over, sit, and stay . . . it’s time to sniff out Pet Crazy, the third title in the popular Poetry Friday Power Book series created by poetry goddesses Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Yip!

Just for this post, you may bark, meow, cluck, or tweet your approval at any time. Perfectly acceptable. After all, it’s hard to curb your enthusiasm for this fun and frisky interactive story-in-verse and writing journal rolled into one, just purrrrfect for kids in grades K-3 (or bears of any age).

Pet Crazy includes 36 poems in all, with three poems featured in each of 12 PowerPacks.

PowerPacks include:

  1. Powerplay Activity
  2. Anchor Poem
  3. Response Poem
  4. Mentor Poem
  5. Power2You Writing Prompt

The anchor poems in Pet Crazy were written by Kristy Dempsey, Janice Harrington, Carole Boston Weatherford, Eric Ode, Helen Frost, Tamera Will Wissinger, Elizabeth Steinglass, Laura Shovan, Padma Venkatraman, Eileen Spinelli, April Halprin Wayland and Don Tate. Five poems culled from the Poetry Friday Anthology series take their place alongside seven newly penned verses.

Janet Wong has written original response and mentor poems, cleverly weaving all into a charming story about young Ben, who yearns for a dog of his own, friend and cat lover Kristy, and Daniel, Ben’s best friend, who gives Ben an unusual pet for his birthday.

Each PowerPack focuses on a different poetic element or form (rhyme, repetition, alliteration, stanzas, question, acrostic, found poem, emotion). Kids will enjoy all the PowerPlay activities (circling words, filling in speech bubbles, drawing, doing mazes and word finds); these are perfect pre-writing warm-ups before reading the poems and writing one’s own poems from the prompts. And the larger trim size of this book (8.5″ x 11″) gives budding poets ample space to write, doodle, draw, and squiggle to their heart’s content.

As with the other Poetry Friday Powerbooks, Pet Crazy includes a wealth of resources for students, teachers, librarians, parents — anyone wishing to read, share, write, perform, or discuss children’s poetry. I especially like the suggestions for further reading: Poetry Books About Cats and Dogs, Books About Writing Poetry, Books with Poems Written By Children, and the suggestions for places to publish poetry. And look for the cool Hidden Language Skills for each of the PowerPack poems!

I love how Janet linked the poems from 12 different poets to create an engaging story that’s sure to resonate with young readers. They will be eager to draw upon their personal experiences to write their own pet poems after reading about Kristy, Ben, Daniel, the dogs, cats, and surprises in the story. The themes of friendship, companionship, kindness, caring, empathy, responsibility, and helping others are great talking points and sources of inspiration.

Now, just to whet your appetite for this delightful book, here’s what’s included in PowerPack 1:

 

 

 

[PowerPlay Activity (Mix and Match)]:

 

 

[Anchor Poem]:

ALL WORN OUT
by Kristy Dempsey

Tippy-toe, Kitty Cat
is sneaking through the house,
pushing on a puff of yarn,
wishing for a mouse.
Kitty loves to play all day,
jumping, pouncing, leaping.
Where is kitty hiding now?
Shh! Kitty’s sleeping.

*

[Response Poem]:

THE GREATEST PETS EVER (Kristy)
by Janet Wong

Cats are
     the greatest pets ever!

They are
     so clean and clever.

Would I like
     a dog? No, never!

Cats are
     my favorites -- FOREVER!

*

[Mentor Poem]:

THE PERFECT PETS FOR ME (Ben)
by Janet Wong

Kristy likes neat pets.
Cats don’t drool.

She should meet my uncle’s dogs.
They’re super-cool.

My uncle’s dogs will sit and stay —
and stay and s-t-a-y.

Their house is kind of far,
but we could go there someday.

When we play together,
Kristy will see:

dogs are pretty much
the perfect pets for me!

*

[Power2You Writing Prompt]:

The Perfect Pets for Me (a poem with rhyme)

Try writing a poem of your own that uses rhyme at the ends of lines. You can write about a pet of your own, a pet you would like to have, whether you prefer cats or dogs, or another topic that interests you.

*

Naturally, all the furry helpers in the Alphabet Soup kitchen loved this book. There was one teensy problem, though. Each felt he/she would make the best pet. Tough call.

Read to or with your pets!

But they all agreed on two things. They loved the part in the story where Daniel reads to his grandpa’s dog Ruby. And they really perked up when hearing how Kristy invited Ben, Daniel, and new friends James and Amy to her house to have milk and cookies. Naturally, they had to have some milk and cookies too. Naturally.

Congratulations to Sylvia and Janet on another wonderful book. When it comes to making learning fun, and taking the “fear” out of reading, writing, or teaching poetry, they are the BEST! Ruff Ruff!

*

PET CRAZY:Β  A Poetry Friday Power Book
written by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
illustrated by Franzi Paetzold
published by Pomelo Books, August 25, 2017
Poetry Writing Journal and Activity Book for grades K-3, 127 pp.

β™₯ Collect all three of the Poetry Friday Power Books!

β™₯ Learn more at the Pomelo Books website.

*

🐢 SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY! 🐱

For a chance to win a copy of PET CRAZY, simply leave a comment at this post telling us a little about your favorite pet (one you have, had, or would like to have), or, if you like, sing your praises in a short rhyming poem. Deadline is midnight (EST) Wednesday, September 27, 2017. You may also enter by sending an email with “PETS” in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please. Good Luck!

*

The lovely and talented Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting the Roundup at The Poem Farm. Scamper over and check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week. I know Amy likes cats. Do you think she reads to them? πŸ™‚

*

Get your copy today. It’s unbearably delish!

Copyright Β© 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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46 thoughts on “Barking About Pet Crazy by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (+ a giveaway!)

  1. I can’t pick a favorite pet….you know that. πŸ™‚ But I do love all of my pets, a rescue puppy named Kiku, a minilop bunny named Aki, and my two ducks, Darcy and Lizzy! ❀ This looks like a perfect book for me (who is poetry shy) and one I would pass along to my niece in elementary school!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some days you wake up and it’s all bad news–hurricanes, earthquakes, devastation, Trump. Other days, it’s . . . Cornelius and cookies and miniature books! Jama, your blog spreads so much joy. THANK YOU!!!!!😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank YOU, Janet!! You and Sylvia keep topping yourselves with each new book. Cornelius and all his friends are thinking you wrote Pet Crazy just for them . . . πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. I love meeting all of your cats, dogs, and bears, Jama. It was so much fun working with Janet and Sylvia on this project. And good (for me) to write about our dear ginger cat Nutmeg, who was one of the sweetest pets we’ve had. Please leave me out of the drawing this time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might mean bow wow wow wow. πŸ˜€ In any case, I bow to you and Janet for another ingenious book. I love how your and Janet’s unique talents complement each other so well. What a great team!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love seeing all these adorable creatures going crazy for Pet Crazy. I agree with Sylvia, your blog is always a feast for the eyes, the stomach, and the soul. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hooray, Janet and Sylvia! As for pets, we didn’t really have any when I was a kid because my dad was so allergic. Let’s not count the short-lived goldfish we won at a carnival. Then again, there was a stray cat that hung around in the backyard for a while and I fed it. I named the white cat Silmarillion after the Tolkien book I was reading. (Which shows you what kind of kid I was.) If I weren’t a little allergic myself, I would definitely have a cat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, that’s quite a litany. Poor goldfish, what a short life (though I occasionally hear of pet goldfishes growing really large). Silmarillion is quite a sophisticated name for a stray cat, actually suitable for a feline when you think about it. I’m imagining haughty but pretty “Sil” in one of your future picture books (did she swallow that goldfish?). Intriguing . . .

      Like

  6. Oh, my goodness. I’m already crazy for Pet Crazy! But, your review is so much fun. I have to share this with my educator friends. Can we just turn the whole curriculum into a Poetry Power Pack? If I ruled the world we sure would. Thanks for a wonderful review and post today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cats! Need I say more?

    I was happy to see Mr. C’s collection includes Peace at Last by Jill Murphy. That, and Five Minutes’ Peace, were two of my storyhour favorites back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not for the drawing, but can’t help but share that our girl Daisy was an angel. She was rescued by my mom when Daisy was 2 and then came to live with us when she was a sprightly 11. Miss her everyday. As for “Pet Crazy,” how adorable. Janet Wong is fabulous. Fantastic that she and Sylvia have a new book!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sylvia and Janet ARE the BEST – and so are YOU!
    Now, that is a perfect tea party up there. Those wee little books for the littlest ones – LOVE! (I don’t need to be entered into the drawing, thanks, but I know the lucky winner will be crowing, cooing, barking, purring….!) XO

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Smiled my way from the first photo to the last, Jama. “Pet Crazy” is my middle name, so of course I love this book by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. Well done, woof, woof, meow!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am a huge fan of pets as well as poetry books by Sylvia and Janet. What a wonderful fun-filled book! My dog Charlie likes to lick my feet.
    He thinks they’re delicate and sweet.
    A gentle pedicure is my treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Stop! I don’t know how you do it, Jama…but you always do. This book looks like a real delight. I love BOTH cats and dogs and know they will like having me read this book to them (we have 2 dogs and 5 cats!) Janet’s way of weaving poems into story is magnificent…and here she strikes again! Thank you for your feature, your gorgeous photos, and for this taste of love and friendship. Peace. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew you had a lot of cats but didn’t know you also had 2 dogs. Quite a menagerie! I love picturing you reading to all of them :). I agree — Janet’s ability to weave poems together into a story is amazing. Glad you enjoyed the post. πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. what a great way to engage kids in reading, creativity, and with animals.

    Oh i don’t know that i could ever name which of my pets have been/are a favorite as they all are in their own special ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. First, thanks for this gorgeous illustration at the top of your blog, those are beautiful nasturtiums and I love the activity there too! Now, I’m smiling from the inside out for your beautiful post on “Pet Crazy,” it takes the cake, or the cookie–a delicious post in so many ways, such a resourceful and enticing book, thanks for sharing it with us Jama!
    Lizzie’s my trooper–
    emerald delight,
    his scales are super,
    he’s my shining knight!

    He knows when I’m home,
    he knows my own voice,
    he knows how to roam–
    His number one choice.

    Lizzie I love you,
    you always listen,
    you care through and through,
    you’ll alway glisten!

    Thanks for all, cheers!

    Like

  15. Fun poem, Michelle! Is Lizzie real or imaginary?

    Glad you like the Racey Helps blog header. I enjoy his work a lot — there’s always so much detail with his animal characters.

    Like

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