The other day, when I was procrastinating taking a much-deserved break from working so hard, I realized I hadn’t done anything to celebrate Poetry Month. I’ve of course seen the many book spine poems that have circulated over the past couple of years and decided to try my hand. But I made it more challenging by limiting my choices to only those on my desk – my writing books. I got two that way. Then I realized I hadn’t seen anyone build a book spine poem with picture books, so I tried a couple of those. Here are the results.

Beware lest you try this at home. Once you start, it becomes impossible to walk by your bookshelves without seeing potential spine poems. It’s quite addictive! 🙂

What if –

The creative dreamer,

Writing from the heart, faces


Funny you should ask.

Writers dreaming have

Second sight,

Writing magic.

Take Joy!

Bird by bird

Escaping into the open, to

Incognito Street.

Save the Cat!

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot,

The Mixed-Up Chameleon,

And Me … Jane

Journey to the Haunted Planet

Swirl by Swirl.

Can you hear it?

Chasing Degas,

Belinda begins ballet

One winter’s day.

Categories: Picture Books, Poetry, Writing · Tags: , , , , ,



  1. These are so fun! I don’t know where I’ve been that I’ve never heard of spine poetry (under a rock? :)) but thanks so much for sharing! I may have to go try this!

  2. I love all three! The picture book one might be my favorite. 🙂 What a happy addition (and procrastination tool)! Yay for National Poetry Month!!

  3. So fun! How did I never hear of this? I’m trying it with my fifth graders right away. (Then they get to practice putting books away, too.) Thanks so much, Julie.

  4. Never heard of this either, Susanna… Kool!
    There are so many fun ways to procrastinate.
    Have to love the Bird by Bird one (a favorite book)
    ….yes, the Cat will be incriminated now!
    Fun! Thanks Julie.

  5. I, too, procras..I mean, take well-deserved work breaks a lot. But yours was definitely a great “creativity break”. Love the first arrangement.

  6. Oh, great, Julie. How am I supposed to get anything done now? ; )

  7. These are amazing and fun! Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to try….

  8. These are great! I’m going to have to do some of my own procrastinating, I mean much deserved break-taking, today.


  10. You’re brilliant! I’m in the process of moving – organizing and arranging my things in a new space. I bet I’ve got a poem already written for me on that shelf over there! Thanks, Julie.

  11. Very clever and fun idea! It works and I enjoyed your poems!.

  12. I love book spines. Whether poetry or writing prompts, they always open the door to exploration. Thanks for sharing your poems.

  13. so creative and fun…I bet your library is wonderful…I love the idea…

  14. Fun stuff, Julie. They really work… create nice images… 🙂

  15. Oh! Chasing Degas…*sigh* That book spine is lovely, lovely, lovely.

  16. What fun! This is my kind of poetry. I’m going to do a found poem this afternoon during my writing time.

  17. They are brilliant and don’t they just look wonderful with all the different colours. Great idea Julie!

  18. How Fun!! I’ve never noticed anything like this before, but you can bet I’m going to be looking from now on. And, there’s a real good chance I’m going to arrange my books at home this way too! Of course that’ll mess up my already brilliant system of organizing my book shelves, but I say it’s time for a change!

    Thanks for the fun post, Julie! And very clever arrangements of titles too!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • I never thought of “arranging” books on the shelves as poems. Lordie, I can feel a huge time suck coming on – LOL!

  19. I stumbled across this form of poetry a couple of weeks ago and I just love the idea! I’m yet to try it, but it sounds like a great form of procrastination. Loved your poems.

  20. I think I’ve been under the same rock as Susanna. So cool and you’re right I don’t think i’m going to be able to pass the bookshelves without thinking about writing poetry anymore! 🙂

  21. Very fun! I’ve never heard of spine poetry either.

  22. Eye catching and clever. Very fun.

  23. These are so cool. I’m going to have to try to put one together.

  24. Very cool! I love the first one.

    • Thanks! I think the first is my favorite too (although I also love the third). So hard to choose between children – LOL

  25. These sound like poems you wind up with when you use magentic poetry. Very creative.

  26. What better way to use one’s ‘time wasting’ than to do so in a creative way? Then it’s not true time wasting/procrastination, it is creative processing. Gotta love that!

  27. Wait till I visit my local library and rearrange their books – what fun.


  28. Christie Wright Wild

    Very cool! Did you invent it? It’s like a found poem using titles. My favorite is the first one.

    Lisa, Yes! Great activity for 3rd through 5th graders.

  29. FUN! This could be a B~I~G time suck, eh?

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