Summer Reading: Book Spine Poetry

(blog post by Library Programming Assistant and resident Children's Book Fanatic and Expert Carol Raby)

Have you ever thought of making a poem from book spines?

Here are two examples using books from the LMU Library Curriculum Materials Collection. After gathering books about the ocean and the beach, I stacked them up and read them aloud. I invite you to go ahead and read them out loud right now! 


Sally Goes To The Beach

Beach day! Yes day! Utterly otterly day!

The seashore book to the beach,

Dolphins in the sand.

Beach! Flotsam! Little boat! Fishes!

I wonder why the sea is salty?



Seaside Dream

Hello ocean, all the water in the world!

A place for fish, weird and wonderful fish.

Living wild whales, face to face with manatees.

Alien deep, diving dolphin,

Sergio makes a splash!



Want to try it for yourself? Here are 5 easy steps to get you started on a summer of book spine poems: 

  1. Search the catalog at your favorite library or browse the shelves for books on a subject or theme.
  2. Check them out.
  3. Stack the books different ways and read the titles out loud.
  4. Magic! You have created a book spine poem. Take a photo to remember your poem.
  5. Now, shuffle the books and see how many poems you can make. This is a great activity for adults and children!


This is a great activity for an older child to do with a younger, emerging reader. And, don’t forget to read the books together before you return them and hunt for more summer reading treasures.


Happy summer!