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2018 NCTE Notable Poetry Book

2017 Nerdy Book Club Choice

2017 “Best of the Best” designation on the Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Books list



“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
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



Read! Read! Read!

by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke

Wordsong/Astra Books for Young Readers

ISBN-10: 159078975X

ISBN-13: 9781590789759​

Autographed Copies:

For signed copies of Every Day Birds please send an e-mail to Jen Reisdorf of

The Bookworm in East Aurora, NY.  



Trailer by DAS HAUS Productions

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.

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