Reading Poetry

Children's Poet Honored-Jack Prelutsky

The Average Hippopotamus – (from MY DOG MAY BE A GENIUS)

The average hippopotamus

is big from top to bottomus,

It travels at a trotamus,

And swims when days are hotamus.

Because it eats a lotamus,

It’s practically a yachtamus,

So it’s a cinch to spotamus

The average hippopotamus.


inventive in · ven · tive
Advanced Definition
1. adept at thinking up new ideas or at devising new objects or methods; imaginative.
2. of or relating to invention.
These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:
1. Zany, playful, and inventive: Many people describe Jack Prelutsky's poems for kids that way.
2. The two grew very close, and the grandfather encouraged Alexander to pursue his inventive streak.

"Jack Prelutsky Honored as First Children's Poet Laureate"

Zany, playful, and inventive: Many people describe Jack Prelutsky's poems for kids that way. Hi newest book—Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More—just hit stores [April 2007].

Prelutsky was recently [September 2006] named the first Children's Poet Laureate. A laureate is a person who receives an award or honor. Prelutsky received the honor from the Poetry Foundation. He will hold the title for two years and act as an adviser to the group.

"Generations of children have learned to love poetry through Jack Prelutsky's work," says John Barr, the foundation's president. "His extraordinary service to an important branch of literature makes him the perfect first recipient of the Children's Poet Laureate award."

Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940, and now lives in Seattle, Washington. In 1967, at age 27, he published his first book, A Gopher in the Garden. Now he has written more than 35 books, which have sold more than a million copies all together!


I’m tired of being a dragon,

Ferocious and brimming with flame,

The cause of unspeakable terror

When anyone mentions my name.

I’m bored with my bad reputation

For being a miserable brute,

And being routinely expected

To brazenly pillage and loot.

I wish that I weren’t repulsive,

Despicable, ruthless, and fierce,

With talons designed to dismember

And fangs finely fashioned to pierce.

I’ve lost my desire for doing

The deeds any dragon should do,

But since I can’t alter my nature,

I guess I’ll just terrify you.

The Ballpoint Penguins -(from BEHOLD THE BOLD UMBRELLAPHANT)

The BALLPOINT PENGUINS, black and white,

Do little else but write and write.

Although they’ve nothing much to say,

They write and write it anyway.

The BALLPOINT PENGUINS do not think,

They simply write with endless ink.

They write of ice, they write of snow,

For that is all they seem to know.

At times, these shy and silent birds

Will verbally express their words,

But mostly they do not recite—

They aim their beaks and write and write.