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The Picture Book Buzz

Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

When I was younger my grandmother and I spent hours on the beach looking for interesting rocks, shells, and sand dollars. It's no wonder I have what some may call an exploding collection of shells from around the world. Abalone from Japan, Limpets from Scotland, Conchs from the Cayman Islands, and a Sea Biscuit from the Bahamas. Plus, so many others. I also have rocks from just about every beach and trail I've hiked. I can't help it. To top it off, I have ther collection of rocks that my grandmother always intended to tumble and make into jewelry. Maybe someday, I'll be able to do finish her dream.

But I can't blame my grandmother for my other cherished collection. I try to find a special ornament for every place I've traveled. It's a great reminder of what I saw and did, the places I've been, and makes taking out and putting away the Christmas decorations extra special.

So, I was excited to find a poetry collection about collecting. It's another great picture book of poetry by the author of Fresh Picked Poetry: A Day At the Farmer's Market.

Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections

Author: Michelle Schaub

Illustrator: Carmen Saldaña

Publisher: Charlesbridge (2019)

Ages: 4-8



Collecting, poetry, humor, and self-discovery


Clever poems tell the story of one inquisitive child's quest to start just the right collection to share at school. While everyone else is excited about presenting their treasures, one creative elementary schooler is stressed about her class's show-and-tell assignment. How is she supposed to share her collection if she doesn't collect anything? Polling her parents, visiting with Granny and Grandpa, and searching for the secret behind her siblings' obsession with baseball cards, she discovers she does, in fact, have something to share: a collection of stories and poems!

Opening Lines:

My Collection Conundrum

My teacher gave us homework

that has me quite perplexed.

He asked us to bring to class

something we collect.

It seems that everyone BUT ME

knows just the thing to share.

What I like about this book:

I truly enjoy when a concept book (poetry or collecting) encapsulates a plot or a story and makes the reader forget they are learning about the concept.

In this instance, Michelle introduces the reader to forms of poetry - such as rondeau, double dactyl, two-voice, list, free verse, and counting poems. While she highlights some of the items people collect. Like buttons, trains, snow globes, baseball cards, coins, teapots, old keys, birdhouses, and clocks. Each collection and poem are featured on their own brightly colored spread, with the illustrations enhancing the humor of the poems.

I'll bet you can imagine why one of my favorites is the spread with haiku about nature collections - rocks and seashells. Yep, that's right, I'm fascinated by haiku.

Text © Michelle Schaub, 2019. Image © Carmen Saldaña, 2019.

Definitely one of the most interesting of Michelle's poems is the one about the collections made by certain scientists - dipterologist, selenologist, ichnologists, and mycologists. Oh, what picture book writer hasn't dreamed of using words like these?

Text © Michelle Schaub, 2019. Image © Carmen Saldaña, 2019.

In fact, this is a great book to use as a demonstration that large words shouldn't be feared in picture books. I was excited to find "perplexed," "unearthed," "vintage," "stately," "akimbo," "synchronized," and "affinity" sprinkled throughout the poems.

I won't give away the collection that the child ultimately discovers and brings to school. Be sure to look at the end page for information and tips on making or enhancing your own collections. This is a great book for highlighting forms of poetry and the variety of collections people have. It will make a wonderful addition to libraries and classrooms and is sure to encourage some to start collections of their own.


- do you have a collections? Describe or draw a picture of your collection. Or a collection you wish you could have; or

- pick your favorite poem from the book. What are the rules for this type of poem? Write your own poem using this form.

If you missed Michelle Schaub's interview on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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