Prelutsky, Jack, and Doug Cushman. 2006. What a day it was at school!: poems. New York: Greenwillow Books. ISBN: 9780060823351.
What a Day it Was at School! is a fun and exciting poetry book detailing the different elements of school. The main character is illustrated as a cat instead of a child which opens up the imagination. Different aspects described are doing homework, going on field trips, the cafeteria, show and tell, and different subjects within the curriculum. What a Day it Was at School! also gives detailed illustrations that are slightly exaggerated from normal life; this creates more imagination to the reader. There is a simple rhythm which gives an easy meter for reading. Some lines include alliteration which is fun for kids. This book of poetry is also very descriptive which gives senses such as sight and sound. This poetry book is a fluent story book; Each page shows a fun and excited part of going to school.
Excerpt: "I Drew a Yellow Unicorn"
I drew a yellow unicorn,
Complete with polka dots,
A seven-legged elephant,
A pig with purple spots,
The sky was full of furry fish
All flying upside down.
An octopus was dressed in plaid,
A camel wore a crown.
I drew a green rhinoceros
That floated on the breeze,
Some bees as big as basketballs,
And blue spaghetti trees.
The penguins wore pajamas,
And a carrot flew a kite...
My teacher says it's beautiful-
I think my teacher's right.
Introducing the Poem:
I would show this poem from What a Day it Was at School! to the children because it opens up the child's imagination. It also keeps them excited about school. I chose the artistic poem from the rest (math, science, etc.) because it describes how the character in the poem is artistic and inventive. This would be a great poem to present before art class or a time devoted to arts and crafts for kids. It could also be shown to increase the reader's imagination. There is also a poem that describes going to the library which would be a great way to introduce the children to the library. At the end of What a Day it Was at School! is a poem about kids writing poems. This poetry book has many aspects of school life that are helpful to children and would open their minds to having fun at school.