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Ideas for discussing poems in If I Could Be A Doughnut

Many poems are verses that simply make children giggle and can be read aloud for fun. Others have deeper shades of meanings that children can relate to and appreciate.

Sample ideas for children to discuss:

  • How does the poem make you feel?

  • What is the character in the poem feeling? Happy, sad, rebellious, proud, silly, etc.?

  • Why do you think the poet wrote it? What idea is the poet trying to convey?

  • What part of the poem do you like or dislike?

  • Does anything surprise you?

  • Can you think of another ending for the poem?

  • What words do you like the sound of?

  • Does a poem's illustration look like what you expected? How would you change it?

  • Do you know a poem, book, song, or movie with similar ideas?

Poem examples

The Ballad of Bullfrog Phil (p. 4):

Description: A bullfrog has a voice that is too shrill, fails out of "froggy school" and is banished from the pond, but returns to save the other frogs from a bear by screaming his shrill croaks.

Shirt Brat (p. 28):

Description: A young boy is upset because his Mom cleaned his favorite shirt, which he prefers to wear dirty. While reviewing why his Mom wants the shirt clean, he counters all her arguments and each time ends his explanation with "babe" until told to stop. However, he cannot resist one more "babe" comment, but only to himself.

Guitar Player (p. 29)

Description: A wrangler enters a saloon itching for a fight but is calmed by the "soft gentle strains of an old lullaby" strummed by an outlaw guitar player. 

Dancing Lion (p. 32)

Description: A lion who loves to dance and frolic in the African wilds is captured and brought to a city zoo. He is sad and despondent until he sees a young boy on a skateboard and starts to copy his moves.

Grumbling Onion (p. 54)

Description: An onion is called a "lousy veggie traitor" by the other vegetables because he does not like other vegetables unless they are mixed together in a spicy meat pie.

Oxford Blues (p. 80)

Description: A pair of oxford shoes is mad at its owner because the owner went for a walk with a pair of "breezy sandals."

Yukon Cactus (p. 110)

Description: Cacti are planted in the polar region and, despite the environment threatening that they will be snowed under and frozen out, the cacti survive. A truce develops leading to midnight sun fiestas and siestas.

The Cowboy Troll (p. 112)

Description: A shy, grotesque troll who is enchanted by music at barn dances is loved by the girls for his gentleness. When he gets run over by a buckboard and turns into a "flawless, dime-a-dozen prince," the girls are no longer interested. 

See Table of Contents (all 68 poems)




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