Terrible Tiger Jack Prelutsky Homework


Week One (Due September 11th)

Pick Me, Please

       by Kalli Dakos



Pick me, please,

I know the name

Is Hercules,

Ask me

Ask me

Just this once,

I'll prove to you

I'm not a dunce,

My hand

My hand

Is waving high,

Won't you catch it

With your eye,

My heart

My heart

Is beating fast,

Just waiting

For you to ask...


You picked me?



The answer...





I think...

I think...

I just forgot!

Week Two (Due September 27th)

Ballad of Birmingham

(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alamba, 1963) by Dudley Randall

"Mother dear, may I go downtown

Instead of out to play,

And march the streets of Birmingham

In a Freedom March today?"

"No, baby, no, you may not go,

For the dogs are fierce and wild,

And clubs and hoses, guns and jails

Aren't good for a little child."

"But mother, I won't be alone,

Other chldren will go with me,

And march the streets of Birmingham

To make our coutnry free. "

"No, baby, no, you may not go,

for I fear those guns will fire.

But you may go to church instead

And sing in the children's choir."

She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair,

And bathed rose petal sweet,

And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands,

And white shoes on her feet.

The mother smiled to know her child

Was in the sacred place

But that smile was the last smile

To come upon her face.

For when she heard the explosion,

Her eyes grew wet and wild.

She raced through the streets of Birmingham

Calling for her child.

(Due October 17th)

(the author regrets that his memory has forgotten the title of this poem)

by Charles Wilkins

Once upon a time,

Can't remember when,

Way back there,

Way back then,

Someone told me somethng,

Can't remember who,

Can't remember what it was,

But if I ever do,

I'll write it on a thingum

And put it somewhere safe-

I think the little whatsit

Would be a perfect place.

I wouldn't trust the whoozit

With the thingamy because,

I can't remember where it is

Or where it ever was.

My memory is excellent;

It's never failed me yet.

The only thing it can't recall

Are things that I forget.

My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

(Due October 23)

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow-

Not at all like proper children, which is always  very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a ntoion of how children outght to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant, sleepyhead,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 The Unknown Soldier

by Billy Rose

(Due Nov. 14th)

There's a graveyard near the White House

Where the Unknown Soldier lies,

And the flowers there are sprinkled

With the tears from mother's eyes.

I stood there not so long ago

With roses for the brave,

And suddenly I heard a voice

Speak from out the grave;

"I am the Unknown soldier,'

The spirit voice began,

"And I thnk I have the right

To ask some questions man to man.

"Are my buddies taken care of?

Was their victory so sweet?

Is the big reward you offered

Selling pencil on the street?

"Did the really win the freedom

They battled to achieve?

Do you still respect that Croix de Guerre

Above the empty sleeve?

"Does a gold star in the window

Now mean anything at all?

I wonder how my old girl feels

When she hears a bugle call.

"And that baby who sang

'Hello, Central give me no man's land-

Can they replace her daddy

Witha military band?

I wonder if the profiteers

Have satisfied their greed?

I wonder if a soldier's mother

Ever is in need?

"I wonder if the kings, who planned it all

Are really satisfied?

They played their game of checkers

And eleven million died.

"I am the Unknown Soldier

and maybe I died in vain,

But if I were alive and my country called,

I'd do it all over again."

DUE DECEMBER 4th, 2017

Saw My Teacher on Saturday

Saw my teacher on a Saturday!

I can't believe it's true!

I saw her buying groceries,

Like normal do!

She reached for bread and turned around,

And then she caught my eye.

she gave me a smile and said, "Hello,"

I thought that I would die!

"Oh, hi... hello, Miss Appleton,"

I mumbled like a fool.

I quess I thought that teacher types

Spend all their time at school.

To make the situation worse, My mom was at my side,

So many rows of jars and cans

so little room to hide.

Oh, please, I thought, don't tell my mom

What I did yesterday!

I closed my eyes and held my breath

And hoped she'd go away.

Some people think it's fine to let

Our teachers walk about,

But when it comes to Saturdays

They shouldn't let them out.!

(Due December 11th)

Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face

                by Jack Prelutsky

Be glad your nose is on your face,

not pasted on some other place,

for if it were where it is not,

you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose

were sandwiched in between your toes,

that clearly would not be a treat,

for you'd be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread

were it attached atop your head,

it soon would drive you to despair,

forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be

an absolute catastrophe,

for when you were obliged to sneeze,

your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,

remains between your eyes and chin,

not pasted on some other place-

be glad your nose is on your face!

(Due December 18th)

Greedy Dog

                by James Hurley

This dog will eat anything.

Apples cores and bacon fat,

Milk you poured out for the cat.

He likes the string that ties the roast

And relishes hot buttered toast.

Hide your chocolates! He's a thief,

He'll even eat your handkerchief.

And if you don't like sudden shocks,

Carefully conceal your socks.

Leave some soup without a lid,

And you'll wish you never did.

When you think he must be full,

You find him gobbling bits of wool,

Orange peels or paper bags,

Dusters and old cleaning rags.

This dog will eat anything,

except for mushrooms and cucumber.

Now what is wrong with those, I wonder?

The Bridge Builder

by Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening cold and gray,

To a chasm vast and deep and wide.

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

The sullen stream had no fear for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,

"You are wasting your strength with building here;

You journey will end with the ending day.

You never again will pass this way;

You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide,

why build this bridge at evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head;

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,

"There followed after me to-day

A youth whose feet must passt his way.

This chasm has been as naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!"

Poems for January 9th, 2018

What Will The Weather Be Like Today?

by Paul Rogers

Just at the moment when night becomes day,

when the stars in the sky begin fading away,

you can hear all the birds and animals say,

"What will the weather be like today?"

Will it be windy

     Will it be warm?

            Will there be snow?

Or a frost?

Or a storm?

"Be dry," says the lizard, " and I won't complain."

The frog in the bog says, "Perhaps it will rain?"

The white cockatoo likes it steamy and hot.

the mole doesn't know if it's raining or not.

"Whatever the weather, I work," says the bee.

"Wet," says the duck, "'is the weather for me."

"Weather? What's that?" say the fish in the sea.

The world has awakened. The day has begun, and somewhere it's cloudy, and somewhere there's sun, somewhere

it's coludy, and somewhere there's sun,  the sun and the rain meet to play,

and paint a bright rainbow to dress up the day!

How is the weather where you are today?

Fairy Dance

by Rebecca T, Besser

I saw a fairy dancing in the rain,

It can't be real, I told my brain.

Spinning and fluttering, dodging drops,

on flowere petals she skips and hops.

A magical display of playful grace,

she had a big smile on her face.

Her beautiful, shiny wings twinkled.

As she moved, her purple dress wrinkled.

In her delight she didn't seem to care,

not even when water dampened her hair.

The sun broke through the clouds overhead,

and light shown down on the flower bed.

The garden sparkled in colorful wonder,

even as the world clapped with thunder.

she jumped at the loud booming sound,

taking cover under a mushroom she'd found.

I blinked and she was there no more,

She'll be back another rainy day I'm sure.

Resources for Later on in the School Year

This Is The Dream

By Diane Shore and Jessica Alexander

These are the fountains that stand in the square, and the black-and-white signs say who will drink where.

These are the buses- a dime buys a ride, but the people are sorted by color inside.

These are the restaurants where “WHITES ONLY” eat at tables up front and at lunch-counter seats.

These are the libraries, two separate sections, with separate bookcases and separate selections.

These are the doors that are closed in the schools, and “separate but equal” is not just a rule but a law that’s enforced on the buses and trains and in theaters, rest rooms, department-store chains, and in libraries, hospitals- all public places, dividing up people by colors and races with harsh written words that are slapped on the walls, denying both freedom and justice for all.

These are the students who step through the doors where people of color have not walked before.

These are the passengers, on weary feet, walking until they can choose their own seat.

These are the diners who sit and who wait at the “WHITES ONLY’ counter, ignoring the hate.

These are the marchers who forge through the street as they carry their message through shimmering heat.

These are the leaders who powerful voices lift up the marchers demanding new choices for fair-paying jobs and a good education to vote without fear and to live in a nation where everyone’s equal and judged from within, never jailed or arrested because of their skin; fighting firm without fists, sitting down, standing tall, pressing onward toward freedom and justice for all.

This is the fountain that stands in the square, and the unwritten rule is to take turns and share.

 This is the bus that roars through the streets, and all of the passengers choose their won seats.

This is the restaurant where, up in the front, the black-and-white sign says “OPEN FOR LUNCH.”

This is the library, books wall to wall free to be read- not by some but by all.

This is the school where the doors open wide, and the children are learning together inside about students and marchers and leaders who fought to make right what was wrong. Without violence they sought to make changes together, establish new laws. With many small triumphs they strengthened their cause as they sat at the counters and rode through the stations and gathered up hands as they marched through the nation; with courage they rallied and answered the call…

Dreaming of freedom and justice for all.

Today is Very Boring (Due January 22nd)

Jack Prelutsky

Today is very boring,

it's a very boring day,

there is nothing much to look at,

there is nothing much to say,

there's a peacock on my sneakers,

there's a penguin on my head,

there's a dormouse on my doorstep,

I am going back to bed.

Today is very boring,

it is boring through and through,

there is absolutely nothing

that I think I want to do.

I see giants riding rhinos,

and an ogre with a sword,

there's a dragon blowing smoke rings,

I am postively bored.

Today is very boring,

I can hardly help but yawn,

there's a flying saucer landing

in the middle of my lawn,

a volcano just erupted

less than half a mile away,

and I think I felt an earthquake,

it's a very boring day


I, too, sing America.

                By Langston Hughes  (Due 2/12)

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I'll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"



They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed--

I, too, am America. Lucky Leprechaun is due March 19th.

My Shadow

Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow-

Not all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame  to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, berfore the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup:

Buy my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

(Due October 30th, 2017)

The Monsters in My Closet

The monsters in my closet

Like to sleep the day away.

So when I get home from school,

I let them out to play.

When Mom calls me for supper,

I give them each a broom.

First they put my toys away,

And then they clean my room.

The Mummy hates to vacuum.

So if he starts to whine,

I kick his rear and tell him,

"Trade jobs with Frakenstein."

Wolfman used to fold my clothes.

I'll give him one more chance-

Last time he wasn't careful

And left furballs in my pants.

When my room is nice and neat,

I bring them up some food.

But Dracula wants to drink my blood-

I think that's pretty rude.


Due April 3rd, 2017

The Spelling Bee

Do you know a spelling Bee?

I know one well and vow that she

can spell the names of all the flowers

whose sweet nectar she devours.

I took this Spelling Bee with me

and brought her to a spelling bee.

I said,"This way the world can tell

that you, the Spelling Bee, can spell!

She spelled'Petunia." Quite divine!

and with "Dahlia" she did fine.

The she missed both "Thigh" and "Thumb,"

but quickly spelled "Chrsanthemum."

So I found out that Spelling Bees

cannot spell all words with ease.

For flower names, the spell each one,

but ohter words? They know none.

Due March 27th, 2017

The Grumble Family

There's a family nobody likes to meet;

They live, it is said, on complaining Street

In the city of Never-Are-Satisfied

The River of Discontent beside.

The growl at that and they growl at this;

Whatever comes, there is something amiss;

And whether their station be high or humble,

They all are known by the name of Grumble.

Jack Prelutsky (born September 8, 1940) is an American writer of children's poetry who has published over 50 poetry collections. He was named a U.S. Children's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2006.

Early life[edit]

Jack Prelutsky was born on September 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York to Charles, an electrician, and Dorothea, a homemaker. While he was still a baby, a fire burned his family's apartment and he was saved by his Uncle Charlie, who was a stand up comedian who played the Borscht Belt.

He attended local public schools in the Bronx, hated the experience, and was bored in class. Prelutsky claims to have hated poetry when he was younger.[1] He stated that "sometime in elementary school I had a teacher who, in retrospect, did not like poetry herself. She was determined to inflict violent punches and deadly blows so you can believe her views on her captives that were locked in the basement. The syllabus told her she had to recite a poem once a week. She would pick a boring poem from a boring book and read it in a boring voice, looking bored while she was doing it."[2]

After teachers discovered he had musical talents, they suggested that he attend The High School of Music & Art. The moment he was there, he was happy and was able to train his beautiful singing voice and even took part in the musicals. He graduated in 1958, and went on to Hunter College for two years. He studied philosophy, psychology, and flunked English three times before dropping out.[2]

Before becoming a writer, he worked odd jobs including driving a cab, moving furniture, busboy, potter, woodworker, and door-to-door salesman. In the late 1960s, he was working in a bookstore in Greenwich Village and singing in coffeehouses, and while doing the latter he met Bob Dylan, became friends, and Dylan even stated that Prelutsky sounded "like a cross between Woody Guthrie and Enrico Caruso."[3]

Prelutsky also loved to draw imaginary animals, and a friend of his encouraged him to send it to a publisher in New York. He wrote poems to go with the drawings last minute. He met with Susan Hirshman, and was amazed when they wanted his work; not the drawings that took six months to draw, but the poems which took two hours. He was 24 at the time, and the poems appeared in his first book, A Gopher in the Garden and Other Animal Poems, in 1967. Hirshman told him he was a natural poet, published his book, and remained his editor until she retired 37 years later.[3]


Prelutsky has written more than 50 poetry collections, including Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976), It's Halloween (1977), The Mean Old Mean Hyena (1978), and Something BIG Has Been Here (1990). Nilsen, A. P. and Nilsen, D.L.F. (2000). Encyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor [Electronic version]. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. He has also compiled numerous children's anthologies comprising poems of others.

He has also set his poems to music on the audio versions of his anthologies. He often sings and plays guitar on them.

In 2006, the Poetry Foundation named Prelutsky the inaugural winner of the Children's Poet Laureate award.[4]

He appeared on the popular animated television series Arthur, in the episode "I'm a Poet".

His book Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (illustrated by Carin Berger) won the 2007 Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award of the Washington State Book Awards in the Picture Book category.

In 1993, his poetry collection The New Kid on the Block was made into an interactive story book by Brøderbund's Living Books series.

Prelutsky has garnered many awards in his long career including citations as: New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, School Library Journal Best of the Best Book, International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice, Library of Congress Book of the Year, Parents' Choice Award, American Library Association Notable Children's Recording, an Association for Library Services to Children Notable Book and Booklist Editor's Choice, among others. His combined works have sold over a million copies and been translated into many languages.

Personal life[edit]

Prelutsky married his wife, Carolynn, in 1979. They met when he was on a book tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico and she was a children's librarian who was tasked with showing him around town. He claims it was love at first sight and even asked for her hand in marriage the first day he met her. They have lived in Arizona, Boston, New York City, and Olympia, Washington. They currently live in downtown Seattle and have an apartment on Bainbridge Island.[5]



External links[edit]

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