birds on a wire

Birds On A Wire (1).jpg

One of the things I always try to do with my anthologies and with my writing is try something different with each project. After Pat and I put our silliness on display in Wing Nuts, we decided to try a renga, a traditional form of Japanese poetry that is not well known in the West.  Because the renga is a linked poem that is written by a number of poets, it was a perfect form for Pat and me. We loved the back-and-forth experience of writing this book. If you have checked out the sample pages of Birds on a Wire, you can imagine how thrilled we were with the illustrations by Gary Lippincott. They are breathtaking. If you’d like to see more of Gary’s work, drop in for a  visit at his website:



  • Book Links Best New Books for the Classroom
  • Parents’ Choice Approved - Parents’ Choice Foundation
  • Best Children’s Books of the Year – Bank Street College of Education
  • Teachers’ Choice – International Reading Association

The buzz...

Lewis and Janeczko, both accomplished youth poets, prove just how compelling this form can be, switching voices gracefully and leaping from concrete imagery that works in concert with the artwork to verses that carry more abstract ideas that will fire imaginations . . . This lovely picture book is an impeccable synthesis of text and image . . . that demands and rewards multiple readings, viewings, and contemplations.
Booklist (starred review)
Birds on a Wire is a lovely meditative portrait of the ordinary people, pets and places in a small American town, written as a series of spare lyrical poems. [Lewis and Janeczko] do a beautiful job with the call-and-response nature of this form, bringing to life their fictional community with a true eye for details.
2008 Parents' Choice Award Winner
This book would be a good introduction to poetic forms. There are opportunities for student learning activities and teacher/media specialist collaboration. Recommended.
Library Media Connection
This lovely book will inspire readers to [try to write their own linked poem]. Birds on a Wire is more contemplative that this team’s Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku. It shows the versatility of the authors and is a fine addition to most collections.
School Library Review