Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Question for Lee Bennett Hopkins

Yesterday, I asked Lee a question that had popped into my head after I had completed my interview with him. I thought I'd post my question and Lee's answer for you today.

Once again, I encourage readers to pose their own questions to Lee by leaving them in the comments section or by emailing them to me. If you do, your name will go into a drawing to win a poetry book written or compiled by Lee--and you get to pick the book!

P.S. I'll post Lee's answers to your questions next week at Wild Rose Reader.

My Question
I got to thinking yesterday about all the poetry books you've published over the years. You've written a few/several books of poems--but you've compiled about a hundred anthologies. Did you make a conscious decision years ago to put more of your creative energy into producing anthologies on a variety of subjects than on producing your own original work?

Lee's Answer
Regarding your query about my work: I never thought about it before. I do know I wanted to create anthologies so that readers would have a wide variety of voices and subject matter in their classrooms. I have created more anthologies than anyone else in the history of children's literature in the United States, another thing I never thought about until someone mentioned I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records!

I always believed poetry should be an integral part of the curriculum: Read a nonfiction book about dinosaurs and read a poem about a dinosaur; play soccer-- share a poem about it; read a novel--share a poem about the subject of a book. In other words, bring poetry into children's lives all the time--not just in April!

Poetry has taught me so much. It has lead me to prose with two picture books on the horizon: Mary's Song (Eerdman's) and Full Moon and Star (Abrams). Mary's Song is about the Virgin Mary's quest to be ALONE with her baby; Full Moon...about two children who write plays for one another about the moon and stars. I'm SO excited over this new venture.

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