Product Details
List Price:
5 to 10
K to 4
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Boyds Mills Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-975-9
Full-color illustrations
Lexile Level:

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About the Book


Twenty-three poems capture the joys of reading from that thrilling moment when a child first learns to decipher words to the excitement that follows in reading everything from road signs to field guides to internet articles to stories. These poems also explore what reading does, lyrically celebrating how it opens minds, can make you kind, and allows you to explore the whole world. Ryan O’Rourke’s rich artwork beautifully captures the imagination and playfulness in these poems.


“VanDerwater and O’Rourke have created a compendium of poetry that focuses on the sheer joy of reading. Twenty-three selections of varying rhyme schemes convey a world rich with emotions and experiences. Each verse is connected to relatable reading milestones, such as laughing over the Sunday comics or staying up late to read under the covers. Conversational in style, these poems provide illustrative cues that invite children to explore imagery... (f)antastical at times, O’Rourke’s vivid artwork blends seamlessly with VanDerwater’s text, fluctuating between bright and dark colors to suggest tone. A pleasing addition for poetry collections serving young children.” School Library Journal  

“Learning to read, wanting to read, daring to read—nearly every state of mastering the word is explored in VanDerwater's collection of 23 poems. Bookless? No worries. Cereal boxes, road signs, or even wildly decorated notebook paper can fill the bill for the greedy page gobbler. But if you happen to have a book…ahhhh, the sublime delight of reading under the covers way past dark (just like mom did) is unsurpassed. "She taught me how / a story leaps / like magic / from each page. / I'm sure my mom / read past her bedtime / under blankets / at my age."” – Kirkus Reviews  

“Lifelong readers can relate to similar milestones: that incredible surge of excitement when letters suddenly begin to make sense…This collection of poems celebrates these experiences…Topics will resonate with school-age audiences…and the satisfying meter and rhyme schemes…make sharing enjoyable for adults. (The) illustrations…align perfectly with each selection’s tone, helping young readers interpret imagery and appreciate nuances…April may be Poetry Month, but this collection is worth sharing at any time.”  - Booklist  

Meet the Author

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is the author of children’s books including Forest Has A Song, Every Day Birds, Read! Read! Read!, Dreaming Of You, and With My Hands: Poems About Making Things as well as professional book Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres?. A former fifth grade teacher, Amy has taught writing for nineteen years and blogs for teachers and students at The Poem Farm and Sharing Our Notebooks. Visit

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Other Books by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Meet the Illustrator

Ryan O'Rourke

Ryan O’Rourke is the author-illustrator of Bella: Lost And Found (HarperCollins, 2014) and illustrator of Mouseling’s Words by Shutta Crum (Clarion, 2016), Alphabet Trains by Samantha R. Vamos (Charlesbridge, 2017), and more. He teaches illustration at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and lives in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  

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