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1. Celebrating Water


California is experiencing severe drought conditions and rationing water. It's a good reminder of what a precious and essential resource water is. Poet George Ella Lyon feels passionately about this topic and has authored a poem about it, “World Water Day," as well as a beautiful picture book, All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon (Atheneum, 2011). Here, Sharon T. has recruited a teenager to read George Ella's beautiful poem. 


March 22 is officially World Water Day and you can learn more about this United Nations celebration HERE

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.


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2. Celebrating Daylight


Want to help children learn about the time change every March? Here's a poem to help you remember and to pull out again in October when it's time to switch again. Elena B. has gathered readers the library to read the poem “Daylight Saving Time” by Shirley Duke in both English and Spanish. Enjoy!



As always, we suggest "Take 5" activities for every poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. For THIS poem, here are the suggested "Take 5" activities:

TAKE 5

  1. Use a real or toy clock or watch as your poetry prop as you read this poem aloud. 
  2. Invite children to join in on the first line of each stanza (Spring forward! and Fall back!) while you read the rest of the poem aloud.
  3. Talk about the pros and cons of changing the clock twice a year based on the details in this poem. One resource is TimeAndDate.com.
  4. Pair this poem with the picture book Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta (Square Fish, 2008) and talk about the many ways Ben Franklin’s ideas have shaped our lives today.
  5. Connect this with another poem about the changing of seasons, “The Rollerbears” by Jack Prelutsky (October, pages 260-261), and with poems from Once Around the Sun by Bobbi Katz (Harcourt, 2006) or Sharing the Seasons edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (McElderry, 2010).

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish) along with "Take 5" activities for every poem, order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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3. April 19-25, 2015 Celebrating National Coin Week


When I was a little girl, I loved collecting pennies and putting them in those hard blue folders with the circles for holding each penny. (I still have that collection more than 50 years later!) And I love keeping a coin from each country I visit too. So I was tickled to discover there is a bona fide holiday celebrating COINS! And that holiday starts TODAY! Yes, it is National Coin Week this week, April 19-25, 2015. 

To celebrate, let's pause for a poem about coins. Cynthia H. has gathered a group of four young readers with each girl taking one stanza of the poem, reading with a lot of enthusiasm and in both English and Spanish. Plus, Cynthia has added visuals, music, and sound effects (clinking coins!). Enjoy their reading of "Pocket Change" by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman.


And do you want to know more about such numismatic events? For more information about National Coin Week, click HERE.

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.



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4. Celebrating Letter Writing


Letter writing may be a dying art, but it's still important to know how to communicate, whether by email, text, tweet, note, OR letter. Need a model of how to? Check out this poem, "Sincerely" by Robyn Hood Black. Here, the narrator in Jenny G's video has really captured the spirit of the poem with such a great smile and clear enunciation. And don't miss the hilarious blooper bits too!


You can share this lovely poem next March during National Write a Letter of Appreciation Day or ANY DAY when you want to nudge children to try writing someone they care about. You'll find a Pocket Poem card version of this poem at Pinterest too right HEREWe have a whole "board" of CELEBRATION Pocket Poems there to share and enjoy. Just click HERE.


For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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5. Celebrating Breakfast Cereals


This video of Andy reading "Picky Eater" by Matt Forrest Esenwine is hilarious. Watch him keep his composure as boxes of breakfast cereal are tossed at him! Plus, he reads both the English AND Spanish versions of this poem beautifully! Thank you, Cynthia A. for this awesome video! 


Yes, there is an actual National Cereal Day on March 7, but this poem is fun to share on any day you're eating cereal-- and that's nearly every day for me! Want to know more about this unique holiday? There's a dedicated website, of course. Just click HERE.

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

And head on over to Life on the Deckle Edge where Robyn is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering this week. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm honored to be interviewed there-- along with Janet.) Click HERE to go there! (And thanks so much, Robyn-- all around!)

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6. Celebrating Seuss


It's always fun to celebrate Dr. Seuss! Crystal H. has created a fun video reading of the poem, "Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss" by Carole Gerber in honor of Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day (March 2). (Can you hear the dog barking? I think Dr. Seuss would have loved that!) Check it out:



For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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7. Celebrating All Kinds of Kids and Friends


This is the week for the annual conference of the Texas Library Association and today I'm leading the 11th annual Poetry Round Up-- always a popular session. In honor of our 11th anniversary, I'm hosting 11 poets too: Jorge Argueta, Brian Rock, Leslie Bulion, J. Patrick Lewis, George Ella Lyon, Kenn Nesbitt, Micol Ostow, K.A. Holt, Nancy Bo Flood, Janet Wong, and illustrator Don Tate reading from his new book, Poet. (Lee Wardlaw was scheduled to come, but has had to postpone till next time.) Of course, I'll bring a full report (and maybe videoclips) later on this blog. Meanwhile, here's another poem-plus-video to enjoy!

Renee M. LaTulippe provides today's marvelous poem, "Friends," in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (held every December 3). Joni H. has organized this video and features two young readers who really capture the spirit of the poem including their own drawings and a bit of discussion in response to the poem.
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For more information about International Day of Persons with Disabilities sponsored by the United Nations, click HERE.  

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.


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8. Celebrating Girls and Women and Poetry


Just last month (in March), we paused to celebrate the contributions of girls and women during National Women's History Month. And of course we have a poem honoring girls and women in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. Jeannine Atkins penned that powerful poem entitled, "A Long Time Ago." Here you can see and hear a young leader of the future reading the poem aloud, complete with pink beret, big glasses, and puppy dog! Monica C. has orchestrated this video and even incorporates terrific images of real and active women and girls.


For the official website of the National Women's History Project, click HERE.

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.


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9. April 12-18, 2015: Celebrating the Week of the Young Child


April is a BIG month! As you've probably already noticed, it's both National Poetry Month AND Arab American Heritage Month. Plus, we have National Library Week and at the same time (this year), the official "Week of the Young Child"-- April 12-18, 2015. In celebration of early childhood, we have a wonderful poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations entitled, "I'm Bigger" written by Kristy Dempsey from the child's point of view.
Here's one school's celebration of the Week of the Young Child: 



If you'd like more information about the official celebration of the Week of the Young Child sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), click HERE.
For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.



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10. April 12: Celebrating D.E.A.R. Day

In my opinion, it's perfect that DEAR Day occurs during National Library Week this year! What is "DEAR Day," you ask? It's a day to Drop Everything and Read (D. E. A. R.), of course! And we have a poem to celebrate, " “Stop! Let’s Read” by Kristy Dempsey from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. In addition, Suzy G. has corralled several 7th and 8th graders and filmed them reading this fabulous poem in English AND Spanish (and in the library!). Click HERE to check that out! 

For more information about DEAR Day held every year on April 12 (TODAY!), click HERE. (Yes, there is a dedicated website for this!)

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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11. April 12-18, 2015: Celebrating National Library Week


It’s time for a real-time holiday celebration: National Library Week (April 12-18) which starts tomorrow! Since I teach in a library school, this is a BIG DEAL at our house! And I hope library lovers everywhere are pausing to celebrate the fact that we have a place to go for free books, storytimes, Internet access and so much more! For more information about National Library Week, click HERE.

Just for fun, check out this clever video that the Allen County Public Library created to celebrate National Library Week. It’s a clever, crazy trail of books falling down like dominoes.

Our poem for National Library Week (in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations) is “My Place to Fly” penned by Ted Scheu and we’ve created a Pocket Poem card for it. You’ll find it below and on Pinterest!
For this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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12. Celebrating Poetry and Pizza


It’s Friday! Time for pizza! The second day of the year officially kicks off National Pizza Week. To celebrate that holiday (or pizza on any day), share “Pizza Week Menu” by Michelle Schaub (from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations). Here, adorable Josephine reads the poem aloud complete with multiple pizza props!


Thanks to (student and mom) Veronica W. for organizing this video (and procuring the pizzas, I’m guessing!). For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

Meanwhile, poet and author Laurie Purdie Salas is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering this week over at Writing the World for Kids—just click HERE. See you there!

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13. Celebrating our Ancestors


Today we look back and remember those who have come before us. In The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, we feature The Day of the Dead which is celebrated on November 1 or 2. Here, spunky fifth grader, Alyssa, offers a very expressive reading of the poem for this day, "On the Day of the Dead" by by René Saldaña, Jr. 



Thanks to Amy G. for orchestrating this reading and video! For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.
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14. Celebrating Poetry, Beeps, and Fire Safety


One of the things that made a deep impression on my children as they were growing up was learning about what to do in case of a fire. We learned about having a plan, exiting a bedroom safely, designating a meeting place outside our home—just in case-- and all about “stop, drop, and roll.” This is a scary prospect for children (and for all of us), but it helps to be prepared. In the poem, “Beep, Beep, Beep” by Suzy Levinson from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, we can give kids an informative AND playful way to learn key steps. Here Thais G. has recruited a lively teenager to read the poem and then provides a read-along text for participation too—complete with BEEP BEEP BEEP alarm!


The second week of October is designated as Fire Prevention Week every year. For more information about celebrating this week, testing smoke alarms, applying for an educator grant, and even sending e-cards featuring Sparky the Fire Dog (who was created in 1951), click HERE. And for the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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15. April 7: Celebrating Metric System Day


What do the United States, Liberia and Burma have in common? We are the only countries in the world that do NOT use the metric system for measurement in everyday life! (Of course it is used in the U.S. for many things like scientific work, medical care and international trading.) In Heidi Bee Roemer’s poem, “Just Weight,” from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, kids can learn a bit more about how these two measurement systems compare. Seven-year-old Lily reads the poem in this fun video created by Lisa P. complete with heaps of fun hippo photos! Celebrate Metric System Day TODAY with this fun poem.


For the full text of both of these poems and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. And for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.



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16. Celebrating Poems, but not Germs


Did you know there is a day dedicated to promoting hand washing around the world? Yep, it’s Global Handwashing Day on October 15 designed to prevent diseases and save lives. Here’s a link. Did you know? The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries.” I’ve even seen a clever PSA commercial with people saying repeatedly in rapid-fire succession, “I washed my hands with soap.” To help promote this ideal, we included the fun and engaging poem, “Bubbles” by Jacqueline Jules to celebrate Global Handwashing Day in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. Here Rachel C. has recruited young Garrett to perform this poem too (complete with antibacterial prop!):


For the full text of this poem, Take 5 activities, and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.


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17. Celebrating Easter and Passover


In The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, we feature poems for Easter and Passover along with activities to help introduce each poem and learn more about these celebrations and traditions. For example, Buffy Silverman's poem describes the special family Passover dinner with the tradition of hiding the afikomen. The Take 5 activities provide a link to a short Sesame Street video with actor Jake Gyllenhaal explaining this tradition. Click HERE for that fun link.

For Easter, Stephanie Hemphill's poem features an egg tapping contest that is a tradition found in many cultures across the globe. Here's a fun video of that tradition in action:


For the full text of both of these poems and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. And for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.


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18. April: Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month


<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]--> In The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, we feature DAYS, WEEKS, and whole MONTHS of celebration, too. We've already showcased December 10: Dewey Decimal Day; April 2: International Children's Book Day; and 2nd Week of February: Random Acts of Kindness Week. Today, we're featuring Arab American Heritage Month-- the month of April.

We're so pleased to feature poems by Palestinian American poet, Ibtisam Barakat, who has her own YouTube channel of poem readings here Here is her original poem in celebration of Arab American Heritage Month from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. You can listen to her read the poem aloud by clicking here and see it translated into Arabic here. Cool, right?


For a lovely note with more information and details from Ibtisam, click here.
And here are the Take 5! activities that accompany this poem in the book:
  1. Introduce the idea that tree-planting traditions are found around the world from Arbor Day to Christmas to the Tree Day Celebration in Arab countries, India, and elsewhere. Then read the poem aloud with a pause between stanzas.
  2. Work with children to plan a dramatic interpretation of the poem, with two volunteers (one as child, one as tree) pantomiming the planting, measuring, sleeping, and sharing stories while you read it aloud again. 
  3. Share planting experiences (of trees, bushes, flowers, etc.) and talk about the steps involved.
  4. Pair this poem with the picture book Sequoia by Tony Johnston (Roaring Brook, 2014). Explore the tree’s point of view and note what the tree sees.
  5. For another poem about a special tree, look for “Christmas Tree” by Joseph Bruchac (December, pages 326-327), and share more tree poems from Poetrees by Douglas Florian (Simon & Schuster, 2010.
For this poem and 155 more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. And for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.
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19. Poet-a-Palooza for SCIENCE!

I'm so excited to report that the amazing Renée La Tulippe from the fabulous No Water River site is featuring The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science today-- complete with videos of seven poets reading their poems from the anthology. If you haven't ever visited No Water River, do it now. Here's the link!

I'll wait. 

She is really creating a rich resource that supports poetry sharing and teaching. I especially love the video component-- so fun for kids (and adults!). Here's a link to my previous post about "How to use NoWaterRiver in the classroom

She is also a poet herself, author of Lizard Lou: A Collection of Poems Old and New, and contributor to our anthologies, too. And she teaches a very popular online writing course, the Lyrical Language Lab

In case I haven't bombarded you enough with information about our book, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, it features 218 new, original poems for children in grades K-5 written by 78 different poets who specialize in poetry for young people. Plus, we have tied the poems to the Next Generation Science Standards and offer Take 5 activities that help you connect poems and science skills (as well as CCSS and TEKS skills in reading/language arts). It earned the National Science Teachers Association "seal of approval" and rave reviews from science author extraordinaire Seymour Simon, among others.

And here are the individual links to poet videos on YouTube in case that is helpful.

Renée also provides many more links to all the poets who contributed to the book and much, much more. Her posts are a one-stop shop for fantastic poetry teaching tools!

Thank you, poets, for your poems AND your videos and thank you, Renée, for creating this wonderful forum for HEARING poems read aloud!

Now head on over to Merely Day by Day where Cathy is hosting Poetry Friday.

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20. Poet to Poet: Allan Wolf and Leslie Bulion


It's time for another installment of my Poet to Poet interview series. This time, Allan Wolf is asking Leslie Bulion some fun questions about her new book, Random Body Parts.


First, you may know Allan Wolf, author, poet, performer, and educator who lives in North Carolina and travels around the country (collecting hotel toiletries and) presenting poetry to audiences of all ages. He was the educational director for Poetry Alive for many years and is one of the driving forces behind that national Poetry Slam movement. He's the author of several books including the historical novels in verse, New Found Land and The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic, as well as More Than Friends: Poems from Him and Her (with Sara Holbrook) and Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life. His book, The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems about Our Parts, is one of my favorites and the main reason I thought of pairing him with Leslie since both have books of poetry about the human body-- a rare and special treat! 


Leslie Bulion was born in New York City and graduated from Cornell University with a degree in biology and society and became a social worker. She has also attended the University of Rhode Island and received an M.S. in Oceanography and Southern Connecticut State University receiving a Masters in Social Work. Her first children’s book, Fatuma’s New Cloth was inspired by her family’s travels in Africa and received the 2003 Children’s Africana Book Award. Here books of poetry include Hey There, Stink Bug; At the Sea Floor Café; Odd Ocean Critter Poems, and her latest, Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse.

Allan kicks things off right away:

Allan: First off, Leslie, I must get a little bit “fanboy” on you and tell you that I love your latest collection of poems, Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse. I mean, honestly, you had me from “borborygmus.” (For those of you who have been living under a rock, borborygmus—bor/bor/RIG/mus—is the growling sound made by your stomach and intestines as they digest your food.)

Question One:
Random Body Parts is what I’d call “anacomically correct.” That is to say, the poems are not just funny, they are also accurate and informative. Your book is obviously well researched, requiring you to transform “informational text” into “literary text.” Do you find it difficult to transform real facts into fantastical verse? How do you find the right balance between accuracy and entertainment?

Leslie: Incredibly kind words coming from the poet who penned The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems About Our Parts, Allan--thank you! And the credit for "borborygmus" goes to my friend, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman (newest: By Mouse and Frog) who bestowed that borbor-gorgeous word upon me in early days of Random Body Parts--a gift she knew would be fully appreciated. Speaking of fabulous phrases, I'm adopting "anacomically correct" as the official Random Body Parts tagline. 

As a kindred wordplay spirit, I find the lexicon of science perfect fodder for writing what I hope will be funny and informative poetry. Science words have their own wonderful parts, are inherently rhythmic, and lend themselves to rhyme surprises. Those surprises are often the source of humor--they're funny to hear and fun to say. I tend to focus on one or two ideas to tell a science story using juicy words and captivating ideas I discover while researching my subjects. The natural world IS fantastical, so there is no shortage of science stories to inspire--no need to make it up! 

Allan: Question Two:
Random Body Parts combines poetry, prose, riddles, diagrams and pictures. It also includes extensive back matter including a glossary of anatomy terms, a bibliography, and detailed notes on the various poetic forms you’ve included: sonnets, haikus, cinquains, and double dactyls to name a few. And if that isn’t enough, each of the book’s poems also has some intentional connection to William Shakespeare! 

Do you think children’s poetry books today are expected to “do” more, and “be” more, than poetry books of the past?

Leslie: This is an interesting question, Allan. I think all genres of writing for children change, over time, don't you? As an example, "slice of life" picture books with minimal story arc, once popular, are not as big in today's market. I dislike hearing "quiet book" in its current pejorative iteration, but we all know books of poetry and prose that might not have made it into print following current trends. I do think children's poetry collections in today's market benefit from a clear and unique focus, which helps define and distinguish the poet's voice or the anthologist's sensibilities. 

There are, of course, beautiful, current collections of poetry for children that don't have, and certainly don't need to have as many elements as I've crammed into Random Body Parts. When I start each new poetry collection, I seem to add a layer--some new twist. I've probably already caused head-shaking in editorial quarters, and if I continue in this vein my tenth collection will be more back matter than book body. 

But at some level there is a method to my madness, because there are many different types of readers out there and I'm interested in all of them: those who'll devour a poem, and those who'll gravitate toward the prose science note. Those who will look up every science word in the glossary, those who will be flinging around Shakespearean phrases by the end of the day, and those who will pore over the brilliant illustrations--I hope to share my fascination with science with all of them, and to make reading and writing poetry approachable and fun on many levels.

Allan: Question Three (or is this four questions in one?):
You are also the author of middle grade novels. Can you move from one discipline to the other fluidly? Or is it more complicated? What can poetry do that prose cannot? When do you feel like poetry is the perfect tool for the writing task at hand?

Leslie: I am something of a logical-sequential type. My preference is NOT to multi-task; I like to start one job and work to its completion. I do not work on a novel in the morning and write poems in the afternoon--my gears won't switch like that. For me, writing a novel is immersive. I have a difficult time picking up my writing flow after vacation or Thanksgiving--lots of rereading and wheel-spinning. But life does intervene; I've (mostly) learned to expect it. I try not to worry overmuch as I work my way back into the heads, hearts and voices of my characters. 

When I'm researching a poetry collection, that experience tends to be somewhat immersive too, because I'm trying to assimilate a body of knowledge--the big picture. I need a lot of background information to help me shape my approach and subsequent selections for individual poem subjects. Once my research is mostly done, working on a poetry collection is a bit more forgiving in terms of dealing with interruptions. If I've internalized the big idea, I can break between poems, then resume without losing too much ground. 

Poetry and science both embody elegance: an idea honed to its core of communication, so they're a natural fit, don't you think? My writing process includes careful selection of poetic form to enhance each science story. I try to choose forms that are accessible to readers and to writers. I hope students will want to choose from the variety of forms I include to tell their own juicy science story in verse. 

Each poem I write could include a whole book as further science reading, so when I add prose, I try to limit those science notes to the information that deepens and enhances the poem's specific ideas, rather than an exhaustive treatise on the overall subject. I go back to those prose notes and cut, cut, CUT. I try to be as ruthless as when I'm jettisoning...er...saving photos for a vacation album: I only need one shot to remind me that I caught my husband with this oldie riddle:

Thanks so much for your thought-provoking questions, Allan, and for sharing this space with me!

Sylvia: Thank you both, Allan and Leslie, for engaging in this entertaining AND enlightening back-and-forth dialogue! 

Now join the Poetry Friday gathering over at Author Amok hosted by Laura this week.

And don't miss the March Madness fun over at ThinkKidThink where poets are rising to the challenge of a poetry tournament!



Image credits: Amazon, Flickr, Leslie Bulion, Peachtree, Allan Wolf

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21. PFA #4! The Poetry Friday for Celebrations

I’m excited to announce the publication of the FOURTH book in the Poetry Friday Anthology series! It’s The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations  (Teacher/Librarian Edition and Children’s Edition) compiled with the amazing Janet Wong. You’ll find poems for 156 holidays in English and Spanish, including: Random Acts of Kindness Week, Children’s Book Week, World Laughter Day, National Camping Month, International Literacy Day, Global Hand Washing Day, and more! 


Poets include: Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Joyce Sidman, Margarita Engle, Marilyn Singer, Nikki Grimes, Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, Ibtisam Barakat, Uma Krishnaswami, Francisco X. Alarcón, Linda Sue Park, Jane Yolen, Kenn Nesbitt, Jorge Argueta, Grace Lin, Joseph Bruchac, Douglas Florian, Laura Purdie Salas, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, and 95 others. 

And did I mention that every poem is presented in both English AND Spanish? We are so excited to offer this additional access point for even more future poetry lovers!

As usual, the Teacher/Librarian Edition contains "Take 5!" activities, but this time we include picture book pairings for every poem and extra tips for sharing, plus booklists, and (CCSS, TEKS, and NCSS) skills charts. We removed all that "adult stuff" from the Children's Edition and inserted illustrations. Both are available on Amazon and QEPBooks.com (best if you need to use a purchase order). 

Teacher/Librarian Edition
available from Amazon
available from QEP Books

Student Edition
available from Amazon
available from QEP Books

You can find more info at:

FYI: the Children's Book Council chose The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations as one of its "Hot Off the Press" titles for March! We are so excited about this honor. 

In honor of the first day of spring TODAY, here’s a poem from the Celebrations book along with the accompanying Take 5! activities. Thank you, Jane Lichtenberger Patton for sharing this gem. Enjoy!

I’ll be featuring student-made videos based on MANY of the poems in the Celebrations book throughout National Poetry Month in April, so please swing by again then. Plus, we’ll have more info about our other online resources too!

And for an opportunity to win a free copy of the Celebrations book, check out Janet Carey’s blog post here.

And just in case you missed them, the previous three installments in the Poetry Friday Anthology series include: 

Meanwhile, don’t forget to join the Poetry Friday gathering where Catherine is hosting at Reading to the Core.

Finally, this is my blog's 700th post since its beginning in 2006. Whoa! That feels good, too!



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22. Something to celebrate

In my opinion, there is almost always something to celebrate! Just ask my kids who have enjoyed half-birthdays and even "sister of half-birthday boy" occasions! Any excuse for a special meal, cupcakes, song, or a party! Planned or spontaneous, big or little, let's have more fun together. And if you spend any time at all with young children, you know they revel in discovering and celebrating the fun, odd, interesting things they're learning about every day. So, it's no surprise that I have loved being part of producing the latest installment in our POETRY FRIDAY series of anthologies: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. It was so fun to research the various occasions that are featured in that book, to work with Janet (Wong, my partner in celebration) to curate the perfect poem for each day, week or month, and to think about how to engage kids in experiencing each poem.  

But you may not know that each of our books (in the Teacher/Librarian edition) also features some front and back matter that we hope will help the adult reader with tips, lists, and guidelines on selecting and sharing poetry with all kinds of kids. For example, we always include a bibliography of OTHER poetry books that are connected to the topic of the book, so we can get kids reading even MORE poetry!

In the back of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, you'll find a list of other poetry books full of occasional poems and poems for various holidays and celebrations. Here is that list just for you.

POETRY BOOKS ABOUT CELEBRATIONS
Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day, President’s Day, or another occasion, sharing a poem can make for a memorable moment. Here is a selection of books with poetry for children about a variety of celebrations. 

Ada, Alma Flor and Campoy, Isabel. 2015. Días y Días de Poesía: Developing Literacy through Poetry and Folklore
Andrews, Julie and Hamilton, Emma Walton. Eds. 2012. Julie Andrews’ Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year.
Brown, Calef. 2010. Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness
Carlstrom, Nancy White. 2002. Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Poems for the Very Young.
Farrar, Sid. 2012. The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons
Ghigna, Charles and Ghigna, Debra. 2000. Christmas Is Coming! 
Ghigna, Charles. 2003. Halloween Night: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems. 
Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Under the Christmas Tree. 
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Christmas Presents: Holiday Poetry
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Hanukkah Lights: Holiday Poetry
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Valentine Hearts: Holiday Poetry.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2014. Manger. 
Hopkins, Lee. Bennett. Ed. 2010. Sharing the Seasons. 
Janeczko, Paul. Ed. 2014. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
Jules, Jacqueline. 2001. Clap and Count! Action Rhymes for the      Jewish Year
Lewis, J.  Patrick. 2007. Under the Kissletoe: Christmastime Poems
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of  of the School Year. 
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of. 
Mak, Kam. 2001. My Chinatown: One Year in Poems
Mora, Pat. 2001. Ed. Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers
Mora, Pat. 2008. Join Hands: The Ways We Celebrate Life
Muth, Jon. J. 2014. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons
Nesbitt, Kenn & Linda Knaus. 2006. Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney.
Newman, Lesléa. 2014. Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays. 
Orozco, José Luis. 2004. Fiestas: A Year of Latin American Songs and Celebrations
Prelutsky, Jack. 2007. It’s Thanksgiving!  
Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. It’s Christmas! 
Raczka, Bob. 2010. Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. 
Raczka, Bob. 2014. Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole.  
Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems about Fall.
Sidman, Joyce. 2009. Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors.
Sidman, Joyce. 2013. What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings. 
Singer, Marilyn, 2012. Every Day's a Dog's Day: A Year in Poems.
Sklansky, Amy E. 2004. Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans: Poems for Halloween
Swaim, Jessica. 2010. Scarum Fair
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag
Whitehead, Jenny. 2007. Holiday Stew: A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems
Yolen, Jane and Peters, Andrew Fusek. Eds. 2007. Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry.
Yolen, Jane and Peters, Andrew Fusek. Eds. 2010. Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems.  
Ziefert, Harriet. 2008. Hanukkah Haiku. 

For the month of April, I will be featuring short videos of children reading some of the poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. These were produced by my amazing graduate students and shared with their permission. We even have one BLOOPER reel!  So stop by next week and throughout April for this fun celebration of National Poetry Month. 
In the mean time, if you need more information about the book (and you missed it in the 1000 places I've been tooting that horn), here you go:

It's the FOURTH book in the Poetry Friday Anthology series! It’s The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Teacher/Librarian Edition and Student/Children’s Edition). You’ll find poems for 156 holidays in English and Spanish, including: Random Acts of Kindness Week, Children’s Book Week, World Laughter Day, National Camping Month, International Literacy Day, Global Hand Washing Day, and more! 

Poets include: Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Joyce Sidman, Margarita Engle, Marilyn Singer, Nikki Grimes, Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, Ibtisam Barakat, Uma Krishnaswami, Francisco X. Alarcón, Linda Sue Park, Jane Yolen, Kenn Nesbitt, Jorge Argueta, Grace Lin, Joseph Bruchac, Douglas Florian, Laura Purdie Salas, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, and 95 others.

Get your copy of the Teacher/Librarian Edition (with mini-lessons) here:
Amazon
QEP Books

Get your copy of the Student/Children's Edition (poems only) here:
Student/Children's Edition
Amazon
QEP Books

You can find more info at:
PomeloBooks.com
PoetryCelebrations.com 

Plus, check out our new boards at Pinterest where we have poem visuals for each of our books. Just look for Pomelobooks (one word) at Pinterest.com.

Speaking of Poetry Friday, head on over to Jone's place for more poetry goodness!

Image credits: pomelobooks.com;churchgoers.com;shorpy.com


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23. Celebrating National Poetry Month in April AND December

April is National Poetry Month and I have big plans for daily posts for you! This year, I'm featuring short videos that my students created of children reading poems (and posted with their permission). All of these poems come from my new book with Janet Wong and 100+ other poets: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year in English & Spanish. Many of the poems and videos feature holidays from April and I'll post those examples on the actual dates during April. But some of these poems showcase holidays from other days and months of the year (like this one from December) and I'll include many of those too-- and make it clear which poem is for which holiday on which date. 

First up, is this poem for December 10: Dewey Decimal Day!

Elizabeth Steinglass wrote the poem, "Looking for a Book" to celebrate Dewey Decimal Day (and books and libraries year-round) and Donna W. created this video featuring two adorable girls acting out and reciting the poem. Here it is:


For this poem and 155 more, order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HEREAnd for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

Share a poem, read a book, and visit the library-- with kids you care about!



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24. Celebrating International Children's Book Day


It’s April 2 and it’s officially International Children’s Book Day. Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday on April 2, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books all around the world.

Each year a different National Section of International Board on Books for Young People sponsors the day. They pick a theme and create a special poster to celebrate the day. A prominent author from the host country writes a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator designs the poster. Many countries have nation-wide celebrations. This year’s poster is created by the IBBY section of the United Arab Emirates. 

The video for today was created by Ashley W. and showcases the poem, “Books” by Nancy White Carlstrom from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. Here’s the "poemovie" featuring two young readers reciting "Books" against a background of library shelves FULL of books-- first in English and then in Spanish-- complete with proud smiles at the end!


For this poem and 155 more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. And for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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25. Celebrating Snow, Kindness & Poetry


It’s Poetry Friday and the perfect day to share another poem from The POETRY FRIDAYAnthology for Celebrations—named after this fabulous tradition. Today’s poem actually features a holiday from February. It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, the second week of every February. For more info on this celebration, click HERE. In The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, we feature DAYS, WEEKS, and whole MONTHS of celebration, too. You'll see examples of each throughout this month's postings.

Elna R. has recruited several kids to perform Eileen Spinelli’s poem, “How to Love Your Little Corner of the World” all set in their snow-filled neighborhood!


And just for fun, Elna shares the “blooper reel” showing their mistakes and giggles which is almost as much fun as the poem performance! Enjoy them both.


For this poem and 155 more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. And for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

And don’t miss the Poetry Friday fun over at Amy LV’s Poem Farm. See you there!

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