Posted tagged ‘Poetry’

Kwame Alexander Teaches Us – HOW TO READ A BOOK

February 27, 2020

Frequent readers of my blog know – I love picture books! I just glommed on to a fabulous picture book, and I don’t want to let it go!

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How to Read a Book is written by Kwame Alexander, a New York Times bestselling author and winner of multiple awards. He received the Newbery Medal in 2015 for The Crossover, and in January of this year, he won a Newbery Honor for his book The Undefeated. Kwame Alexander’s picture book is a lyrical poem written from the heart. His powerful words evoke wonder and excitement and encourage children to open a book and “peel its gentle skin, like you would a clementine.” He writes about the feel, the smell, the sound, the look, and the taste of words readers discover in books. Alexander’s awe-inspiring poem speaks to the soul and opens the door to the joys of reading. Melissa Sweet’s illustrations add another dimension to Alexander’s delightful text. Sweet is also a New York Times bestselling author and artist, a two-time winner of the Caldecott Honor Medal, and winner of the 2012 Sibert Medal for Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. Melissa Sweet’s unique collage illustrations complement Kwame Alexander’s poetic words. She uses a variety of materials including neon paint colors and pages from a discarded copy of Bambi which adds to the overall experience as readers immerse themselves in this book. Besides the eye-catching colors and attention to detail, Sweet also includes fold-out pages and smaller pages within pages that will appeal to readers. Each page turn is a gift of words and art.

This book is truly magic!

 

 

Poetry Sings!

April 4, 2019

April is National Poetry Month.

Meghan Trainor sings, “…I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass…” She’s got the rhythm. She’s got the beat. So does poetry. It’s all about using language to create rhythm and sounds that have the ability to elicit emotions. Meghan Trainor sings and so does poetry.

Poetry can be many things —evocative, lively, joyful, whimsical, humorous. During National Poetry Month, take some time to find your favorite type of poetry and enjoy!

Below are some delightful poetry book suggestions for young readers.

Sing a Song of Seasons

My First Book of Haiku Poems

Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry

More poetry book suggestions:

4 Great Kids’ Books for National Poetry Month

Other websites to check out for National Poetry Month.

Reading Rockets

30 Ways to Celebrate — A Poem A Day and More

 

 

National Poetry Month and Jane Yolen

April 26, 2018

National Poetry Month has been lucky for me. At the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference this past weekend, I won a Limited Edition poem from Jane Yolen.

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Jane Yolen is an extraordinarily talented, award-winning author of books, poetry, and so much more. She is an icon in the children’s literature community.

As a children’s book writer, I will cherish this poem not only because it was created by Jane Yolen but for how the poem speaks to the writer in me.

Earth Day and Poetry

April 19, 2018

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd, and this is National Poetry Month. I thought it would be fun to celebrate books that combine poetic text and environmental themes. Take a look.

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A Walk Through the Woods written by Louise Greig and illustrated by Helen Musselwhite, Sterling Children’s Books, 2018

earth

Earth Verse  Haiku from the Ground Up written by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by William Grill, Candlewick Press, 2018

tomatoes

When Green Becomes Tomatoes written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad, Roaring Brook Press, 2016

snnow

Best in Snow written by April Pulley Sayre and photographs by April Pulley Sayre, Beach Lane Books, 2016.

underground

Thunder Underground written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Josée Masse, Wordsong, 2017

planted

We Planted a Tree written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake, Dragonfly Books, 2016

water

Water Is Water written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Brook Press, 2015

This year’s Earth Day campaign is End Plastic Pollution. Here’s a book you won’t want to miss.

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One Plastic Bag written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press, 2015

 

 

April Is Poetry Month

April 5, 2018

Poetry is rhythm, rhyme, lyrical language, imagery, emotion, and so much more. Think of the words of Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Walt Whitman …

Encourage your youngsters to get hooked on poetry. Begin by choosing fun poems with rhyme and rhythm. Think of the words of Mother Goose, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky …

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R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet written by Judy Young and illustrated by Victor Juhasz is an excellent book to share with readers. It introduces different forms of poetry and gives examples and explanations of how each is written. It’s a perfect book that lets youngsters explore how to write a variety of poetry and how they can employ those techniques to create their own masterpieces.

Poetry is a special literary device that can make readers laugh, love, cry, and carry the words in their heads and hearts. Take time to feed your soul with a good poem.

 

 

 

 

Take Your Pants for a Walk Day

July 27, 2017

We all wear pants at some time or another, and most of us do some walking. Well, today it’s National Take Your Pants for a Walk Day. So, put on some fancy pants and go for a walk. If you’re not in the mood to do that, maybe one of these pantsy picture books will tickle your fancy.

greenpantsGreen Pants written and illustrated by Kenneth Kraegel, Candlewick Press

petePete With No Pants written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins, Chronicle Books

grumpyGrumpy Pants written and illustrated by Claire Messer, Albert Whitman & Company

whereWhere Do Pants Go? written by Rebecca Van Slyke and illustrated by Chris Robertson, Sterling Children’s Books

ohOH, NO! Where Are My Pants? edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch, HarperCollins

Coming in September 2017

princessPrincesses Wear Pants written by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim and illustrated by Eva Byrne, Abrams Books for Young Readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

March 2, 2017

cat

One book, two books.

Old books, new books.

 

Some are short and funny, too.

Some are long like a size twelve shoe.

 

Magic happens in a book.

Turn the page and take a look.

read

 

Books can fly you to the moon

Just by riding on a spoon.

 

Happy, sad, or full of flair

Books can take you anywhere.

So …

Grab a book and grab a friend.

Read a book until the end.

 

It’s Read Across America Day!

Do you know what Dr. Seuss would say?

 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

hats-off

 

In Celebration of Black History Month

February 4, 2016

February is Black History Month.  There are many excellent books dealing with the tragedies, triumphs, and accomplishments of African-Americans. Below is a short list of fiction and non-fiction picture books to share with young readers. Enjoy them, discuss them, and celebrate the successes Black Americans have made and how they have helped shape the history and culture of our country.

Non-fiction:

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate

Brick by Brick written by Charles R. Smith, Jr. and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

The Cart That Carried Martin written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Don Tate

Freedom in Congo Square written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery by Cynthia Grady, illustrated by Michele Wood

Jazz Age Josephine written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Frank Morrison

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence written by Gretchen Woelfle and illustrated by Alix Delinois

Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman: Olympic High-Jump Champion written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Two Friends:  Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass written by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome

Fiction:

A Dance Like Starlight written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Firebird written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers

The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen written by Thelma Lynne Godin and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison

White Water: inspired by a true story written by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein and illustrated by Shadra Strickland

Wind Flyers written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Loren Long

“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.” ~ Carter Woodson

 

 

Winnie-the-Pooh and Twin Girls, Too!

July 23, 2015

We recently moved from the Midwest back to the East Coast. It’s been an adventure, but the best part of it is that we are now closer to our daughter and son-in-law. And the pièce de résistance is the impending births of identical twin girls. Yes, we’re going to be grandparents!

Last Sunday we celebrated the upcoming births with a baby shower. Close friends and family made the Winnie-the-Pooh-themed gathering a perfect afternoon. Come join the fun!

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Enter

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It’s the 100 Aker Wood!

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Presents and Balloons

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Pooh’s friends and Pooh books were there.

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There were flowers, food, and drinks.

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Tigger Tails, Rabbit’s Munchies, Eeyore’s House Sticks, Piglets in a Blanket, Kanga’s Chicken Salad Pockets

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Roo’s Fruit Salad, Rabbit’s Carrot-Top Rolls, Tigger’s Twisted Pasta Salad, Eeyore’s “Whine”

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Pooh’s Honey Cupcakes, and Piglet’s Haycorns

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There were games, prizes, and a take-home honey bear.

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There was love. There was laughter. And the beautiful mother-to-be!

Having twins? Check out this book.

Take Two! A Celebration of Twins written by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen and illustrated by Sohpie Blackall

THE CROSSOVER

May 21, 2015

Last week while my brain was a blank page, I read Kwame Alexander’s book, The Crossover. The title refers to a basketball maneuver used by one of the main characters. Deservedly, Alexander received the Newbery Award and Coretta Scott King Honor Award for his efforts.

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The story, written in verse and poetry that has you moving and grooving, is narrated by twelve-year-old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother, Jordan, are talented basketball players. They’re like two peas in a pod until a love interest threatens to rupture the special bond the twins have. Kwame Alexander intertwines family, loyalty, sibling rivalry, and lessons of life with basketball skills to strike a rhythm that keeps readers turning the pages. When the boys are faced with a life-changing event, remembering the importance of a loving family pulls them together and makes for a heartwarming story. For me this book is a slam dunk.


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