Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Prelutsky, Jack (Author)
Stevenson, James (Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2013. 160 pages
First published: 1996
ISBN: 9780062239518 (paperback)
9780688132354 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 811
Book type: Anthology
Book genre: Poetry

Text Elements:

language conventions, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This anthology of more than 100 lighthearted poems explores a variety of topics and themes that will appeal to readers of all ages: grandmothers, eyeballs, animals, cookies, bugs, aliens, staying home from school and more. Enter a world of imaginary creatures and untenable situations. Meet the Fummawummalummazumms and a cast of crazy characters, including Miss Misinformation, Quentin Quimble Quamble Quayle, Gladiola Gloppe, Swami Gourami and Reverso.

The poems are simple and straightforward, but Prelutsky uses a variety of signature techniques such as rhyme, alliteration and word play to delight the ear, eye and mind of readers. Of varying lengths and styles (circular poems, backwards poems, mirror-image poems), most are humorous, but the odd one, such as “When I am Full of Silence,” is more poignant and introspective.

Black and white line drawings partner well with the verse and have a simple, minimalist feel. An index of titles and first lines helps readers navigate through the book.

Whether dipped into at random or enjoyed cover to cover, this hilarious collection will have broad appeal because of its varied subject matter and playful tone.

  •  Browse the book with a partner, reading poems that catch your interest. What do you notice about the style and themes of the poems? What do you expect from a Jack Prelutsky poem? Are there any exceptions?
  •  

    Choose a favourite poem. Create a piece of art that represents the poem, in either a concrete or an abstract way.

  •  Prepare a dramatic reading of one of the poems. Host a poetry reading in your class and participate as a performer and audience member.
  •  

    Reflect on the features of a Jack Prelutsky poem. Try writing your own poem in a similar style.

  •  

    With a partner, read a few poems and choose five that you prefer. Practise reading them with proper pronunciation, intonation and emphasis.

  •  

    Create a comic strip with one of the poems. Use some text from the poem and create a drawing in the same style.

  •  

    Choose characteristics for the poems (funniest, saddest, most original, etc.). Hold an Awards Gala at which you introduce and read special selections and hand out the awards. Invite other classes to participate. (NB: April is poetry month.)

  •  

    Using teacher-selected resources, read about the author. With a partner, take notes and create a biographical character map.

  •  

    As you listen to “I’m Practically Covered with Needles and Pins” (page 26), draw what you hear. Listen to the poem a second time and label the objects in your drawing. Compare your drawing with that of a peer. Find definitions for new words, then add those to your drawing as well. Repeat with a different poem.

  •  

    Write a new and humorous poem inspired by a title from the book. Compile a class anthology that celebrates the author's poetic style.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Media Literacy
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts