R is for Rhyme, A Poetry Alphabet

written by Judy Young

A poet uses many tools,
To build a house of words.
And say the things a poet wants,
To be both said and heard.

From ballads about butterflies, jingles about jelly beans and quatrains about quilts, readers of all ages discover the magic of poetry with this delightful collection of Judy Young’s poems which are brought to life with Victor Juhasz’ colorful illustrations. Each poem demonstrates different poetic tools, terms and techniques that are explained in easy to comprehend language in the accompanying text, making the book not only enjoyable for all ages, but educational as well.


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ISBN: 978-1-58536-240-0 Category:

Written by Judy Young
Illustrated by Victor Juhasz

Published by Sleeping Bear Press, 2006

Hard Cover, 48 pp.

Awards and Kudos

  • 2008 Mom’s Choice Award Gold Recipient and Educators’ Choice
  • 2006 National Parenting Publication Association Honor Award for Ages 9+
  • 2006 Missouri Writers’ Guild Best Juvenile Book Award
  • 2007 Performed by the Tanner Creative Dance Program and Children’s Dance Theatre for the University of Utah’s 58th Annual Performance
  • 2006/2007 Featured book of Albuquerque Public Schools’ Words and Images ARTS Program


Kirkus Review, Starred: “Twenty-six sidebar lessons on poetry, each linked to both a poem and a cheeky colorful illustration. The wit and mischief in the painterly illustrations (Juhasz identifies himself as a caricaturist) welcome even new poetry readers to give verse a try. Under “N is for Narrative,” for example, there’s the tightly metered poem, “Reading Homer” and a panoramic painting that includes an angry Cyclops menacing a Greek ship as a goddess arises from the sea and Homer himself hovers over a young dreadlocked boy reading The Odyssey wide-eyed. The accessible sidebar lessons (each about 150 words long) read like entries in a children’s encyclopedia. Other topics run the gamut from the basic (“L is for Limerick) to the esoteric (“T is for Tanka”). This rich compendium would also work well in the classroom but for an older age group than indicated by the publisher. A star is assigned to books of unusual merit, determined by the editors of Kirkus Reviews.”

Twila C. Liggett, Ph.D, Founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow and Professor, Marymount Manhattan College“This is just an incredible book. By coupling the styles of poetry with such wonderful collection of poems, this book is a delight. Furthermore, it is also a “text” for teachers to use in teaching writing to upper elementary students through the college level. I plan to use this lovely book in my college level teacher education and Children’s Literature classes. Bravo!”

International Reading Association’s Reading TodayOne of “the best new books on the market for your children, your class and even yourself… R is for Rhyme presents a multileveled look into all things poetic.”

St. Louis Times: “Alphabet books are perennial favorites, but R is for Rhyme goes well beyond the simple, “A is for Absolutely Anything” approach. Young explores different poetic types and terms in sidebars, and illustrates them with clever examples of each. Seldom has learning been so painless.”

Children’s Literature Review: “Where was this book when I was studying poetic forms in school? It is formatted like a picture book but really is so much more. The poems will appeal to the younger readers, but the information that accompanies each is a real goldmine. Running through the alphabet, readers learn what constitutes a ballad, what a ghazal is as well a haiku, kyrielle, onomatopoeia, quatrain, and plenty more. The poems are amusing and the illustrations provide even more humor. The sidebar contains some pretty detailed information about each poetic form and is probably even too detailed for the high end of the proposed age range. For a high school or college student, teacher, parent or librarian, this book will find many uses. It offers terrific examples and explanations to make poetic forms understandable, and even has a page of pointers on the last page with a special note to parents and teachers, as well as a glossary. A must have for any school or classroom library and a gem for any English teacher.”