Jack Prelutsky — The First Children’s Poet Laureate

This month, children’s author and poet Jack Prelutsky will celebrate his 67th birthday. He will also mark the halfway point in his two year tenure as the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate. Newly created by the Poetry Foundation in 2006, the Children’s Poet Laureate award “aims to raise awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.”* Prelutsky was awarded the honor last year in recognition of over 40 years of delighting young and older readers with his witty, wacky rhymes on everything from nightmares to noses (and some very unusual creatures in between). His works have been translated into several languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

*[Poetry Foundation]

Want to know more?
Visit the author’s website for poems, photos, and answers to frequently asked questions

View a 15 minute interview with Jack at the Reading Rockets website

Jack Prelutsky in the Education S-Collection.
The following list is a selection of Prelutsky’s award winning works, and some of his most recent offerings. For a complete list of the UIUC library’s holdings, enter the terms “Prelutsky, Jack” into an author search in the online catalog.

Awful Ogre’s Awful Day. 2001.
In a series of poems, Awful Ogre rises, grooms himself, dances, pens a letter, and goes through other activities as the day passes.
[Education Storage: Q.S.811 P915a]

Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant: And Other Poems. 2006
An illustrated collection of humorous poems on a variety of topics.
[Education S-Collection: Q.S.811 P915b]

Beneath a Blue Umbrella: Rhymes. 1987.
A collection of short humorous poems in which a hungry hippo raids a melon stand, a butterfly tickles a girl’s nose, and children frolic in a Mardi Gras parade.
[Education Storage: S.811 P915b]

The Dragons are Singing Tonight. 1993.
A collection of poems about dragons, including “I’m an Amiable Dragon,” “If You Don’t Believe in Dragons,” and “A Dragon is My Computer.”
[Education Storage: Q.S. 811 P915D]

The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders: Rhymes. 2002.
Here are poems about people and animals, set in such far-flung places as Minot, Minneapolis, Tuscaloosa, Tucumcari, and the Grand Canyon.
[Education S-Collection: Q.S.811 P915f]

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. 1980.
Presents 12 scary poems.
[Education Storage: S.811 P915h]

If Not For the Cat: Haiku. 2004.
Haiku-like poems describe a variety of animals.
[Education S-Collection: S.811 P915i]

It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles: Poems. 2000.
A collection of humorous poems such as “The Dancing Hippopotami,” “You Can’t Make Me Eat That,” “My Father’s Name is Sasquatch,” and “Dear Wumbledeedumble.”
[Education S-Collection: S.811 P915itr2000]

The New Kid on the Block: Poems. 1984.
Humorous poems about such strange creatures and people as Baloney Belly Billy and the Gloopy Gloopers.
[Education Storage: S.811 P915ne]

Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. 1976.
Twelve poems featuring a vampire, werewolf, ghoul, and other monsters.
[Education Storage: S.811 P915N]

The Snopp on the Sidewalk, and Other Poems. 1977.
Twelve poems about snopps, grobbles, flonsters, and other fantastic creatures.
[Education Storage: S.811 P915S]

Something Big Has Been Here. 1990.
An illustrated collection of humorous poems on a variety of topics.
[Education Storage: S.811 P915so]

Wild Witches’ Ball. 2004.
A tall witch, a round witch, a silly witch too. Some are spooky, some are cute, and one wears go-go boots! They have gathered for their ball. Why not try to count them all?
[Education S-Collection: SE.P91w]