Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Paul B. Janeczko
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Candlewick Press
In The Death of the Hat, Janeczko has gathered a diverse collection of poems and organized them by the era in which they were written. By highlighting just a few poems from the Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romantic, Victorian, Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary periods, he has created a timeline of poetry that shows the written word persisting through time and offers a variety of styles and topics.
The Death of the Hat offers the chance for older children and teens to become familiar with poetry from different ages in history. The provided poems offer variety in their style, length, subject matter, and complexity. Watercolor illustrations throughout the book offer a glimpse at the subject of each poem while also providing a slightly abstract feeling that often accompanies poetry, supplementing the reader's flexibility for interpretation. The variety of poetry and the historical organization makes this book particularly beneficially to teachers looking for a text that provides a way to reference, teach, and dissect different poetic works.