Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis — book recommendation

February 5, 2018

First of all, I’d like to give a shout-out and a hearty thank you to Susanna Leonard Hill, who featured the Perfect Picture Book Friday post from my archives about her delightful picture book, Punxsutawney Phyllis, on Friday (appropriately enough, Groundhog Day.)

Now, on to today’s P is for Please Bury Me in the Library post:

Title: Please Bury Me in the Library

Author: J. Patrick Lewis

Illustrator: Kyle M. Stone

Publisher: Orlando, FL: Gulliver Books/Harcourt, 2005

Genre: Picture book, poetry

Audience Age: 4 to 8 years

Themes/topics: Libraries, books, poems, the magic of words

From my favorite of the poems, titled A Classic: A children’s book is a classic/If at six, excitedly/You read it to another kid/Who just turned sixty-three.

Synopsis: How could I resist a book with that title? And it didn’t disappoint, although it did surprise. It’s a collection of sixteen poems, mainly humorous, some with a touch of the macabre, by noted humorous poet, J. Patrick Lewis. I confess I hadn’t encountered his work before. There is a poem entitled Please Bury Me in the Library, but it’s not all about being buried! The collection celebrates books, reading, libraries, words – all things that I love. The illustrations are delightful. They also have a touch of the macabre, but not too scarily so. I think older kids would enjoy this book. Note that it was published in 2005.

Activities/Resources: The author was Children’s Poet Laureate in the United States from 2011 to 2013. Learn more about him at the Poetry Foundation website and at his own website.

This post from a blog about the poetry of J. Patrick Lewis (but not by him) is filled with information about the book and activities and discussion questions.

There are interviews with the poet and other activities at Teaching Books.

Availability: Although it was published in 2005, it still seems to be available. Or you can always find it (as I did) at the library (just don’t get buried – not yet!)