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Groundwood Books

Explosion at the Poem Factory

Written by Kyle Lukoff • Illustrated by Mark Hoffmann

For students in grades 1 - 4 | Published April 01, 2020 | ISBN 9781773061320
JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories

Cover of Explosion at the Poem Factory

Regular price $18.95 CAD

44 pages | 10.5 in × 7 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Explosion at the Poem Factory

Kyle Lukoff • Mark Hoffmann

A funny story, full of wordplay, brings poetry alive as never before!

Kilmer Watts makes his living teaching piano lessons, but when automatic pianos arrive in town, he realizes he’s out of a job. He spots a “Help Wanted” sign at the poem factory and decides to investigate — he’s always been curious about how poems are made.

The foreman explains that machines and assembly lines are used for poetry these days. So Kilmer learns how to operate the “meter meter” and empty the “cliché bins.” He assembles a poem by picking out a rhyme scheme, sprinkling in some similes and adding alliteration.

But one day the machines malfunction, and there is a dramatic explosion at the poem factory. How will poetry ever survive?

Kyle Lukoff’s funny story, rich in wordplay, is complemented by Mark Hoffmann’s lively, quirky art. The backmatter includes definitions of poetic feet, types of poems (with illustrated examples) and a glossary of other terms. An author’s note explains the inspiration for the story.

Key Text Features
author's note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

About the Creators

Kyle Lukoff

Kyle Lukoff has worked at the intersection of books and people for more than half his life, first as a bookseller and later as a school librarian, reviewer, awards juror and contributor to professional publications. His first picture book, A Storytelling of Ravens, illustrated by Natalie Nelson, received two starred reviews and his second, When Aidan Became a Brother was described as “joyful and affirming” in a Kirkus starred review and has received three other starred reviews. A confirmed bachelor, Kyle lives in a Brooklyn apartment filled with books.

Mark Hoffmann

Mark Hoffmann is an author and illustrator of children’s books, an editorial illustrator and an artist who has won a number of awards. He also teaches illustration at Montserrat College of Art. Mark’s picture books include Fruit Bowl (Publishers Weekly starred review), You Can Read by Helaine Becker, Hawks Kettle, Puffins Keel by Susan Vande Griek, Poop by Poppy Campignon and Dirt Cheap. He lives in southern New Hampshire with his family, two cats and a dog.

Awards and Praise

Praise for Kyle Lukoff, Mark Hoffmann and Explosion at the Poem Factory:

“Liberal use of terms such as epithalmium and enjambment, both defined at book’s end, will draw precocious kids as well as adult poetry lovers to this friendly introduction to poetry and poetics.” — Publishers Weekly

“Hoffmann's playfully expressive double-page illustrations… heighten Lukoff's guffaws… Lukoff's sophisticated silliness hits the sweet spot for lovers of wordplay.” — Kirkus Reviews 

“The off-kilter angles and beanshaped personalities in Mark Hoffmann’s pictures add to the madcappery of a story that, with a little concentration (and the interpretive help of an adult), will be a primer on poetic forms and styles.” — The Wall Street Journal

“Readers who love words, and especially those who love poetry, will enjoy Explosion

at the Poem Factory.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Rich illustrations and a plethora of interesting backmatter on poetry make this book both a fun and essential read.” — Vancouver Writers Fest

Praise for Kyle Lukoff and A Storytelling of Ravens:

“Offbeat nonsense humor of the highest order: not to be missed.” — Kirkus, starred review

“[A] charming tribute to the quirkiness of collective nouns … puns and wordplay abound.” — Foreword, starred review

Praise for Kyle Lukoff and When Aidan Became a Brother:

“Joyful and affirming, Aidan’s story is the first of its kind among books for welcoming a new baby.” — Kirkus, starred review

Praise for Mark Hoffmann and Fruit Bowl:

“A fun, brain-teasing food literacy lesson that’s a cornucopia of produce and wordplay. His naive-styled fruits … have vivid personalities, and their gouache colors are positively juicy.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hoffmann brings the foods to life with big, bright, often extreme close-up illustrations,

with all-cap hand-lettering adding to the emphatic vibe. No doubt kids will learn a thing or two, and havesome light chuckles along the way.” — Booklist

“… imaginative and entertaining … An a-peel-ing addition with lots of curricular connections.”— School Library Journal

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