Poem in My Pocket

Chris Tougas
Josée Bisaillon

In this charming picture book allegory of the creative writing process, happenstance and weather events symbolize the emotional ebb and flow of writing a poem.

I had a poem in my pocket,
but my pocket got a rip.
Rhymes tumbled down my leg
and trickled from my hip.

Thus begins the journey of a young poet's words out into the world, where they join randomly with other words to form funny riffs and puns all over a busy city street. The child scrambles to capture the loose words and arrange them back into poem form, only to lose them again as a storm swoops in on a rushing wind. Eventually, the words plant themselves in the muddy ground, where they grow into something that might be even better than the original poem: a Poet-Tree.

Not only a fanciful rhyming adventure tale, Chris Tougas's picture book is also a delightful allegory for the creative writing process. Perfect for classroom discussions about the emotional ups and downs of writing, this highly innovative book celebrating poetry and creativity is an excellent choice for National Poetry Month. It also showcases the magic of language and how much fun words can be. High-energy artwork by Josée Bisaillon is so full of words in flight and at play that children can pore over it again and again, and in the final spread, readers can search for rhyming pairs. An afterword discusses National Poetry Month and Poem in Your Pocket Day. This is a book that adult writers will also appreciate.

978-1-5253-0145-2 | Jun 1, 2021
List Price: USD $16.99, CAD $17.99
4-color 8 3/4 x 10 24 pages
Grades: Pre-K To 2 / Ages: 4 to 7
978-1-5253-0783-6 | Jun 1, 2021
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Awards & Reviews

“This is a whimsical, rhyming story that gives expression to the long frustration and toil that's often part of the artistic process.”
— Booklist, February 2021
“This book about wordplay strikes the write balance between silly and sincere.”
— Kirkus Reviews, April 2021
“Attractive and thought-provoking, Poem in My Pocket will be welcomed as a source of inspiration for would-be poets.”
— CM Magazine, May 2021
“... as a vehicle for getting little ones excited about words arranged in a particular and pleasing order, Tougas and Bisaillon's book is right in the pocket.”
— Quill & Quire, June 2021
“Whether for classes that celebrate “Poem in Your Pocket Day” or students who love rhyming wordplay, this book is a gift.”
— School Library Journal, Starred Review, July 2021
2022 - Texas 2X2 Reading List, Texas Library Association, Winner

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