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More Poetry Tea Books and some Apple Cake

I got lovely suggestions last time I posted about our poetry tea books and have taken more books out so I’m doing another post of them.  In case you’re curious, here’s the first post of books we were using and here’s the first pictures of one of our first poetry teas, where we almost always drink lemonade, by the way.

The Barefoot Book of Poetry
What a great collection!  A couple of people suggested it to me and I’m very glad I found it at the library.  It may be the one we actually buy.  The poems are all serious, classic poems carefully chosen for kids and with lovely art to go with them.  The book just feels lush and fun.

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry
We kept resisting this collection and I’m not even sure why anymore.  It is a little young looking, but it has a nice mix of “adult” and “kid” poetry and nice illustrations by a variety of famous illustrators.

Soup for Breakfast by Calef Brown
Calef Brown’s illustrations are goofy and detailed and his poetry plays with silly words and amusing rhymes in a way that will appeal to kids to like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, but is definitely its own thing.  We also really enjoyed his Halloween and mythology volumes of poetry.

Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom
What a lovely collection this is!  We took it out from the library, but I might have to buy it.  The Meilo So illustrations are lovely and the poems range from amusing to serious in all different styles.  This is just the sort of collection I love because we all enjoy reading from it.  Animals are also obviously a good subject for kids and poetry.

Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson
We’ve had a few of these volumes out from the library now and I really like them.  The children are less enthused, but I’m hoping we’ll find more and I’ll keep at them.  Each one has some commentary about the poems, which we don’t need at this stage, as well as a small selection of poems by famous poets chosen for younger readers with illustrations.

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer
These are all reverso poems (the poem is read forwards and backwards) about fairy tales, with bright, appealing illustrations.  It was a big picture book hit a few years ago and I had not looked at it since then, but was happy to rediscover it for poetry teas.  The kids were fascinated by the reverso forms.

City I Love by Lee Bennet Hopkins
Forget nature poems!  Sometimes it’s just nice to let my city kids appreciate the idea of urban.  I love the way this book celebrates a variety of cities in a variety of ways.

We have had so many quiet benefits from doing poetry teas regularly.  The table gets cleared off properly.  The Husband joins us for school and food.  I get to hear the kids, especially Mushroom, read aloud and see how they’re reading is going more.

Most importantly, I am forced to bake at least once a week, usually with the kids.  As we picked about forty pounds of apples (yes, that’s right, forty), I’m on my third apple cake, though this week’s was the first one for poetry tea time.  Recipe?  Here you go.

1 1/2 c. sugar
6 oz cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. sugar combined with 2 tsp. cinnamon

* Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease or spray a round bundt style springform pan.  This cake is so moist that you need the kind that comes apart.

* Cream the sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla together.

* Add the eggs.

* Add the flour, powder and salt.

* In a separate bowl, coat the chopped apples with about half of the cinnamon sugar mix then add it to the batter.

* Pour the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle the remainder of the cinnamon sugar mix on top.

* Bake for about one hour.