Friday, May 28, 2010

POETRY FRIDAY: Book Spine Poems

I’ve been extremely busy with a number of things lately. I haven’t had much time for blogging—but I didn’t want to miss Poetry Friday this week. I decided to have a little fun with book spine poems this morning. (Note: I used only poetry books for my poems.) Here are the results:

At Blue Rose Girls, I have another book spine poem.
Tricia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Children's Books for Summer Reading 2010

Books for Summer Reading

From Reading Rockets
2010 Big Summer Read
Recommended Books for 6-9 Year Olds
Recommended Books for 3-6 Year Olds
Recommended Books for 0-3 Year Olds
Audio Books
Books for the Beach
It’s Summer Vacation
Summer Stuff
Welcome Summer

From Wild Rose Reader
Rattletrap Car: A Great Summer Read-Aloud
A Perfect Pair: Olvina Swims...and So Does Baby Duck!
The Sounds of Summer
Picture Book Review: Apple Pie 4th of July

Over in the Ocean
Book Bunch: A SEAsonal Selection

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems
Poetry Friday: Summersaults and Lemonade Sun
Into the Sea Once More (A Review of Hotel Deep: Light Verse from Dark Water)

From Guys ReadGuys’ Summer Reads

From Booklist OnlineTop 10 SF/Fantasy for Youth: 2010

From The Horn BookSummer Reading

From the American Booksellers AssociationThe Summer 2010 Children’s Indie Next List

From Through the Looking Glass Book ReviewsSummer Days

From ScholasticFun in the Sun Books

From Choice LiteracyBooks to Get us Ready for Summer Vacation by Franki Sibberson

More Summer Reading Resources

From ScholasticTeaching Plan to Encourage Summer Reading by Risa Young

From PBS KidsRaising Readers: Stories & Reading Activities, Reading Activity Calendar

From A Fuse #8 ProductionNontraditional Review of the Day: Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy (May 24, 2010)

Friday, May 21, 2010

POETRY FRIDAY: A Bridal Shower Post

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. This past week has been an especially busy one for me. I was working on preparations for my daughter’s bridal shower, which we had last Saturday. I was also helping to get everything organized for our reading council’s spring dinner meeting on Wednesday. Both events were great successes. Family and friends had a grand time at the shower—and Sara received lots of fine gifts. Lita Judge made a fantastic presentation at our council dinner.
My Daughter Sara with Her Bridesmaids

I find that special occasions often lend themselves to poetry—so I brought a basket of poems to read at my daughter’s bridal shower. I wrote some silly little poems. The other poems I shared were written by J. Patrick Lewis, Donald Hall, Lucille Clifton, Denys Cazet, Martin Espada, and Pablo Neruda.

My husband, Sara, and I

I wrote three poems for the shower:
  • My Birth Day—which is told in Sara’s voice
  • Love Rhyme—a poem in two voices told by Sara and Jerry
  • A Note from Jack and Rudy—a poem in two voices told by Jack and Rudy, Sara and Jerry’s dog and cat.


My Birth Day

Mom’s water broke.
I was on my way!
February 12, 1980
Was a special day.
That’s when I arrived—
A princess true.
To my safe little kingdom
I bid adieu.
Then I met my mom
And tried to explain
Why I had caused her
So much pain.
She held me tight
And kissed my head
Just after the dear old
doctor said:
It’s NOT a boy!”
And that’s when daddy jumped for joy!!!

We decorated "wine bottles of the month" for Sara and Jerry.

Love Rhyme

Eeny meeny miney mo
I’ve picked my favoritest, specialest beau.
Jerry, Jerry, HE’S the man.
I’m gonna marry him if I can!

Eeny meeny miney moo
I KNEW Sara loved me too…
So I got down on bended knee
And I said: “Honeybunch, marry me!”

Eeny meeny miney my.
We’re getting married in July.
We’re so excited. We can’t wait.
Do come and help us celebrate!


A Note from Jack & Rudy

No need for a black tie.
No need for a gown.
No need for a silk vest
Or tiara-like crown.
Our master and mistress
Just want us to say
They’d love you to join them
On THEIR wedding day.

The Shower Cakes (Lemon & Red Velvet)


At Blue Rose Girls, I have a poem by Josephine Dickinson entitled My Lover Gave Me Green Leaves.

Laura Salas is doing the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

APPLE TREE: An Original Acrostic

I thought I’d attempt a two-word acrostic for my unpublished poetry collection Spring into Words: A Season in Acrostics. The two-word acrostic, Apple Tree, is also a mask poem.

I chose to post Apple Tree today for my mother. Last year, we had to have the apple tree in her backyard cut down. That made her sad because my father and her father had planted the tree there many years ago.

A cloud of
Pink blossoms rests in my branches.
Petals, like flakes of fallen snow,
Litter the
Earth below me. My new leaves flaunt their green.

Thousands of honeybees come to visit, flit
Round me, sip my nectar, powder their legs with my pollen.
Every year it’s the same when spring arrives in the orchard.
Every year I burst into bloom and buzz with life.

Note: I’d like to thank all of you who left kind words for my mother and me at my Poetry Friday posting on May 7th. This past week has been a bit easier than the previous week. My mom had a good Mother’s Day—with lots of visitors. She’s going through a period of adjustment now—as is our family. Fortunately, I’m not far from the facility where my mother is now living so I can visit with her often.


Jama has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Alphabet Soup.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Children's Book Week 2010: May 10-16

Sorry to be so late in posting these Children's Book Week Links. I've been busy with a serious family matter.

From the Children’s Book Council: Children’s Book Week 2010 Bookmark

From Crayola: National Children’s Book Week

From Scholastic: National Children’s Book Week

From the Children’s Book Council: CBC Announces 2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists

From The Beacon: Read with your kids for Children's Book Week
(Book recommendations and more from the Beaufort County Public Library)

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Poem for My Mother: Hope by Janet Wong

It’s been a difficult and emotionally draining week for me. I lost track of time. I actually thought it was Thursday when I awoke this morning.

I’m dedicating this post to my dear mother–who is going through an extremely difficult period in her life. She has been the best of mothers. I learned from her what being a mother is all about. She is the most selfless person I have ever known.
My Mother with One of Her Great Grandsons

When I realized what day it was, I began to wonder what I could post for this Poetry Friday. I didn’t have to think long. I went to the shelf where I keep my friend Janet Wong’s book The Rainbow Hand: Poems About Mothers and Children. Following is the final poem in Janet’s award-winning poetry collection.

by Janet Wong

In my own mother
I can see

I will need the strength of a bear,
strength to threaten those who would hurt my child—

Give me this strength.

I will need the softness of a deer,
to nudge my child down the right path—

Give me this softness.

I will need the courage of a fox
to leave my child behind, drawing harm my way—

Give me this courage.

I will need the calm of a tree,
knowing fires will happen,

and I will need to keep the hope I hold inside myself,
knowing that after the fires,

things grow again.

The Rainbow Hand received a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Honor Award in 2000.
You can find out more about the book here:
My Daughter Sara and Me

Diane has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Random Noodling.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Here & There: May 6, 2010

From Scrub-A-Dub Tub—Roundup of Resources for Literacy and Reading – May 2010

From Booklist—Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth: 2010

From Booklist—Core Collection: Spy Kids

From The Horn Book (May/June 2010 Issue)—Eating Reading Animals by Jennifer Armstrong

From The Horn Book (May/June 2010 Issue)—What Makes a Good Graduation Gift? by Horn Book staff & reviewers by Horn Book staff and reviewers

From The Horn Book (May/June 2010 Issue)—Over the Moon: An Imaginary Interview with Margaret Wise Brown by Leonard S. Marcus

From School Library Journal (5/1/2010)—As Easy as Pi: Picture books are perfect for teaching math by Marilyn Burns

From The Observer (4/25/2010)
Parents “must let children choose what they read”
As games consume youngsters' time, publishing expert Michael Norris says reading should not be forced on them

by Vanessa Thorpe

Little boys don't like reading any more and even little girls don't enjoy it as much as they once did: this is the accepted wisdom inside the book industry – and in many British families, too. Parents and booksellers tend to blame the growing appeal of online entertainment and handheld games, but research from the US is challenging these assumptions.

Michael Norris, an American publishing expert, will release findings in the monthly Book Publishing Report next month which show that, despite the best intentions, it is well-meaning mothers and fathers who often stop their sons and daughters from picking up the reading habit.

"Parents have too much of a role in deciding which books their child is going to read," said Norris. "It is turning children off. They should let them choose."

Norris, who is editor of the Book Publishing Report, urges parents not to give up on books. The results of a number of surveys Norris has carried out with hundreds of American booksellers over the past year have provided the basis for a series of tips for parents designed to help children find enjoyment in books. First, he argues, reading should never be described with "work words" which make it seem like a chore. Too many families, Norris suggests, have fallen into the trap of stereotyping reading as a "good" activity and digital or online game playing as "bad". Instead, it is important to let reading become associated with pleasure and achievement, just as game playing is.

NCTE / IRA Standards for the English Language Arts
Published jointly by NCTE and the International Reading Association (IRA), The Standards for the English Language Arts is designed to complement other national, state, and local standards and contributes to ongoing discussion about English language arts classroom activities and curricula.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Good News for Grace Lin!!!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace’s Lin’s wonderful fantasy novel—winner of a Newbery Honor Award and the Josette Frank Award for Fiction—has received yet another great honor. It recently received the 2010 Massachusetts Book Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature!

In this richly textured novel about a young girl on a magical journey, Grace Lin weaves characters and stories from Chinese folklore with universal themes of independence and attachment. The heroine finds her strengths in cleverness, friendship, and daring as she discovers essential truths for herself. The delicately detailed illustrations complement and augment the narrative experience. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is as beautiful to hold and view as it is to read. -- The MassBook Judges

Learn more about Where the Mountain Meets the Moon at Grace’s website:

You can download a copy of MASSBOOKS OF THE YEAR/CHILDREN’S/YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE: Recommended Reading from the 10thAnnual Massachusetts Book Awards at the following link:

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Small Graces May 2010 Auction Begins Today!

Painting by Author/Illustrator Diane deGroat

In 2009, the talented and generous author/illustrator Grace Lin donated 11 original paintings to the Foundation for Children's Books to be auctioned on eBay as a benefit for our programs in under-served schools.

This year, we are fortunate enough to have 12 different illustrators contributing to our "Small Graces" auction. Each month a small, unpublished, original painting will be auctioned on eBay with 100% of the proceeds to support the FCB's author/illustrator visits and residencies in urban schools. Each painting will illustrate a bit of wisdom, a proverb, or a "small Grace."

This month's painting (below), a wonderful watercolor of Gilbert the Opossum by Gilbert's creator author/illustrator Diane deGroat, is on auction now and through Friday, May 7.

To bid on the painting, click here for the eBay link. For those who find original art from children's books beyond their budget, this is a great way to buy affordable art. Please spread the word and bid!

Diane deGroat is an award-winning illustrator of over 120 books. She is the author and illustrator of the best-selling series about Gilbert--everyone's favorite opossum--as well as the "Annie Pitts" chapter books. Ms. deGroat resides in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Don't forget: you can purchase high-quality, hand-signed prints of three of Grace Lin's 2009 paintings online at the Child at Heart Gallery. The cost is $25, they make wonderful gifts, and half of the proceeds will support the Foundation for Children's Books.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010: And the Winner Is...

So sorry to be a day late in announcing the winner of Wild Rose Reader's final poetry book giveaway in celebration of National Poetry Month 2010. We had a family medical emergency yesterday.

Joan (the reading specialist) is the winner of Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School, which was written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Steven Salerno.

Congratulations, Joan! Email me your address so I can send you your poetry prize.

NOTE to Jama, Amy LV, and Joan: I had hoped to mail out all your poetry books tomorrow. There may be a little delay.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Final Days of National Poetry Month (April 29-30) in Review

Poetry Makers at the Miss Rumphius Effect
April 29—Bruce Lansky
April 30—X. J. Kennedy

Thirty Poets Thirty Days at Gotta Book
April 29—Liz Garton Scanlon—Reflecting
April 30—Walter Dean Myers—Walking

Poetry Tag at Poetry for Children
April 29—Douglas Florian is IT
April 30—Jack Prelutsky is IT

Poetry Potluck at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup
April 29—counting chips with miss rumphius, tricia stohr-hunt
April 30—friday feast: topping it off with our surprise guest, joyce sidman (and a giveaway)!

Haiga (Haiku & Photographs) at A Wrung Sponge
April 29—fence haiku
April 30—weed seed haiku

Haiku at Liz in Ink
April 29—Haiku 28
April 29—Haiku 29

Mary Lee’s Original Poem-a-Day About Teaching Or Learning at A Year of Reading
April 29—Poem #29—Newspaper Blackout Poem
April 30—Poem #30—Looking Inside (and Poetry Friday)

Wild Rose Reader
April 29—Fourth Week of National Poetry Month (April 22-28) in Review
April 29—Weather Report: A Book Spine Poem
April 30—Apostrophe: Poems of Address

Other Bloggers Who Posted Original Poems during National Poetry Month
Susan Taylor Brown
Jone MacCulloch
Elizabeth Moore
April Halprin Wayland
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater