The first American newspaper, the Boston News-Letter, was published by John Campbell, a postmaster, on this day in 1704. I wrote about this last year (April 24, 2007) along with describing one of my favorite poem-creating activities: “found” poems. So, it’s time to make another poem-newspaper connection. Here’s a fun poem from a new collection by J. Patrick Lewis, The World’s Greatest: Poems, illustrated by Keith Graves (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008).
The Smallest American Newspaper
3 x 3 ¾ inches
by J. Patrick Lewis
THE DAILY BANNER
Business section -- Funnies News
Crossword puzzle -- Book reviews
Here’s who died -- Latest sports
Want ads -- Weekly farm reports
Weather (cloudy) -- Women’s wear
The BANNER world’s a 3-inch square!
From: J. Patrick Lewis, The World’s Greatest: Poems, illustrated by Keith Graves. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008, p. 13.
*Kids may want to create their own miniature newspapers, books, or poems. Or, they can explore other Guinness records and create poems to highlight the details.
These 25 poems are inspired by various facts and factoids from the Guinness Book of World Records and focus on the odd and unusual detail that kids find so fascinating. These are not poems about the fastest runner or the strongest lifter. No, here we encounter the stone skipping record and the most live scorpions eaten by a human. Crazy, but true! And Lewis turns each statistic into a humorous poem in a variety of poetic forms. Keith Graves’ illustrations are the perfect match, giving each poem an even zanier twist. And if you like this collection, look for Lewis’s A Burst of Firsts; Doers, Shakers, and Record Breakers (New York: Dial, 2001), another fun poetic tribute to the weird and wonderful.
Picture credit: www.nohscbwi.org