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Elaine Magliaro is a former teacher and school librarian who now teaches a children's literature course at a large university. Children's books and children's poetry are my passion.
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1. DANDELIONS: A Mask Poem

I LOVE writing mask poems! It's fun pretending to be an animal, a plant, an element of nature, an inanimate object and speaking in a voice other than your own. I enjoy imaging what it might be like to be the sun or the moon, a lion or a grizzly bear, snow or the rain,  an evergreen tree in winter or a maple tree in autumn.

Years ago, I wrote a collection of animal mask poems (Voices All around Me)--which is still unpublished. Months ago, I decided to include some of those poems in a new seasonal collection of animal and plants that children often see/hear in their own environment--including spring peepers, honeybees, apple blossoms, ladybugs, a garden snake, earthworms, a mole, a maple tree, wild geese, snowshoe hare, a spruce tree, and a hibernating woodchuck.

The collection has received one rejection to date. I think I may try another publisher one day.

I thought I'd share Dandelions, one of the poems from that collection, this morning:


We go where WE want. We do as WE please.
We live without limits or boundaries.
Uplifting breezes carry our seeds
Hither and yon. YOU call us weeds!
We don’t grow in gardens. We live wild and free.
We’re independent. That’s how it should be.


Mary Lee has the Poetry Friday Roundup over at A Year of Reading

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2. A Little Poetry News from Wild Rose Reader

I am happy to announce that I have poems that will be included in two upcoming anthologies:

One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to Send You off to Sleep, edited by Kenn Nesbitt and illustrated by Christoph Riemann (Little, Brown)--which is due to be released this coming November...


A Rocketful of Space Poems, edited by John Foster and illustrated by Korky Paul (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)--which will be published in February 2017.

I am looking forward to getting copies of both books. 

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3. POETRY FRIDAY: Birds, a Nighttime Poem

Some time ago, I began working on a book of nighttime poems. Then I gave it up! I felt some of the poems seems a bit forced. Later, I put a more serious effort into a couple of other collections--one is a seasonal collection of mask poems told in the voices of told in the voices of plants and animals. The other is also a collection of mask poems that are told in the voices of a farmer and his wife, their domesticated animals, a few wild animals, the sun and the moon. I have tentatively titled it Farm Talk.

 Here is one selection from my collection of nighttime poems:

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The birds outside have stopped their cheeping.

Now they’re in a tree top sleeping.

They’re fluffed up in a cozy nest…

Getting a good…

goodnight’s rest.


I also wrote a follow-up collection to my Things to Do book. The follow-up takes place on a winter day. I have sent both Farm Talk and Things to Do: Winter Poems off to publishers. I am hoping that at least one of them will be accepted for publication. I'm not getting any younger!

FYI: The new release date for Things to Do (Chronicle Books) is February 7, 2017. Note: I sold the manuscript in the fall of 2011. I hope I'm still alive when the book is published.


Katie has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Logonauts.

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4. POETRY POTPOURRI—April 3, 2016

In this article, three well-known children’s poets—Rebecca Kai Dotlich, J. Patrick Lewis, and Carole Boston Weatherford—talk about their school visits. They “reveal how some of the magic happens, what they hope to leave behind, and how much more they take back home with them.”

 Rebecca Kai Dotlich

 J. Patrick Lewis

 Carole Boston Weatherford


Rhyme & Reason: Celebrating NCTE’s 2016 Notable Poetry List (School Library Journal)

Every year, the members of the National Council of Teachers of English Excellence in Poetry for Children Award Committee compile an annotated list of the best children’s poetry books. For 2016, the members selected nineteen titles that would be excellent for teachers/librarians to share with their students and for parents to share with their children.

Click here to view a printable pdf version of the NCTE 2016 Notable Poetry Books of the past year.


Here are two poetry videos that my granddaughter Julia loves to watch:

How Do I Love Thee?

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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5. Why Is Children’s Poetry So Invisible?

Late last year, I was surfing the Internet looking for articles about children’s poetry when I came across a piece in The Guardiantitled Why is children’s poetry so invisible? In the article (dated 28 April 2015), Chrissie Gittins, an award-winning British children’s poet, said that it was time “to get confident about children’s poetry…” because children love it. She suggested that publishers, bookshops, and libraries should stop hiding it and start celebrating it.

Chrissie Gittins:

Hoorah for the just-out CLPE poetry award shortlist! What treasures! In fact it’s the only award for a book of children’s poetry in this country. Lucky for writers of children’s fiction there are at least 10 opportunities for them to submit to prizes which are solely for fiction. But, is poetry eligible for the Carnegie Medal, the Costa Book Awards, and the National Book Awards? Yes it is! Have you ever seen poetry shortlisted for these awards?

The last time a poetry collection was shortlisted in the children’s section of Costa prize was in 1999 when it was still called the Whitbread Book Awards. This year, out of 91 nominations for the Carnegie prize, only one was for a poetry collection, and that book didn’t make the longlist. (Any professional librarian can nominate a book and it is added to the nominations.) 

Certainly children’s poetry doesn’t win these prizes, even on the very rare occasion it is shortlisted. Why is that?

If you read summer and Christmas book round-ups, or lists of top 10/50/100 book recommendations, they hardly ever include poetry. If you go into bookshops and libraries, do you see signs for children’s poetry? Not many? Is it perhaps because in many bookshops poetry is likely to be found under signs which say “Fairy Tales and Gifts”, “Jokes”, “Rhymes and Giggles” and “Hobbies”? Do you see much stock of children’s poetry? No? Why is that?

Click here to read to the full text of Why is children's poetry so invisible?


It appears that children’s poetry is treated much the same way “across the pond” as it is here in our country. Children’s poetry books are pretty much invisible in book stores. They rarely win a Newbery Medal or Newbery Honor Award. Although novels in verse get more attention these days, poetry collections—especially those for younger children—rarely get serious consideration for the “big awards.” What is the reason for that? Do children’s librarians think that poetry is a fringe literary genre that is, for the most part, unworthy of awards?

I’m glad that the National Council of Teachers of English acknowledges America’s most gifted children’s poets with its NCTE Award  for Excellence in Poetry for Children and that there is a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for the best children’s poetry books of the year—but neither of those awards is broadcast on the Internet like the ALSC awards. They are only “big deals” to poetry lovers like me.


Back in 2006, I wrote Children’s Poetry and the Cinderella Syndrome, my first post for the Blue Rose Girls blog. Here is an excerpt from Part I:

Poetry is the Cinderella—pre-fairy godmother—of children’s literature. It is often a neglected genre in the school curriculum. It is usually relegated to the servants’ quarters of education. Schools do not purchase multiple copies of poetry books for teachers to share and discuss with children in reading groups. Many teachers—and, sad to say, librarians—are unfamiliar with the names of some of our most accomplished children’s poets and their works. And most administrators consider poetry a frill, as literature to be shared with children—if shared at all—when there is that rare free moment in the school day.

Alas! Children’s poetry usually doesn’t get invited to the royal ball either. It is seldom honored with the “big” award. To my knowledge, just two poetry books have been recipients of the Newbery Medal since 1922: Nancy Willard’s A Visit to William Blake’s Inn in 1982 and Paul Fleischman’s Joyful Noise in 1989. Surely, there have been other poetry books published over the years worthy of acknowledgement. Am I mistaken to infer that the people who are most knowledgeable in the world of children’s literature also perceive poetry as a genre that is less important than fiction and other nonfiction? Why are there so few Prince Charmings willing to squire Cinderella Poetry around town unless she’s all dolled up for a special event? If I were Rodney Dangerfield, I might opine on the state of poetry for children: It don’t get no respect.

Over the years, I witnessed how the reading and writing of poetry with my students helped them to reach inside themselves, to unlock original ideas and thoughts, and to find their own unique voices. There were times when I was awestruck by the poetry they created. Some of my second grade students even modeled their poems after the works of such esteemed authors as Myra Cohn Livingston, Valerie Worth, Barbara Juster Esbensen, Marilyn Singer, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Poetry definitely enriched my classroom and the lives of my students. I know this not only from what I observed in the classroom—but from letters I received from parents and students at the end of each school year.

One June a mother wrote: “When Kate sits in our window and responds to the moon and stars by writing poetry, I glow with happiness.” Another mother wrote: “Thank you so much for helping Alex discover his ‘new eyes’ in your class. Your love of poetry and music enriched him…” In his letter, Sam said: “…And I love the poems you read to us.” Noah wrote: “When I read poetry, that encourages me to write poetry. Writing poetry gets my imagination going.” Notes such as these reinforced my belief that poetry—all kinds of poetry—should be an integral part of every child’s education.

Poetry has been a genre too long neglected and too often overshadowed by other children’s literature. For years, I have been on a mission to bring it out of the shadows and into the limelight. Unfortunately, there is only so much enthusiasts like me and a few respected anthologists and advocates like Lee Bennett Hopkins and Paul Janeczko can do to achieve such a goal. I encourage all bibliophiles—teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, reviewers, parents, booksellers, children’s literature bloggers, and experts who sit on awards committees—to join in an effort to see that poetry for children is acknowledged as an equal, is invited to the royal ball more often, and when it arrives at the palace, is escorted down the red carpet to the grand hall where it can bask in the attention that it truly deserves.


Do you think children's poetry is invisible? Do you think it should receive more attention from teachers and librarians...and from ALSC? Do you think that children really do enjoy poetry?

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6. SPRING THING: Welcoming April...and National Poetry Month!

Being a nanny granny for two little ones is a lot more tiring than I had expected. Julia is four now—and Allison just turned one in early March. Sorry to say that I don’t have much time or energy for blogging these days. I have managed to carve out some time for writing poetry. In fact, I wrote three new collections this year. The first one I completed is a seasonal collection of mask poems told in the voices of plants and animals. The second one is also a collection of mask poems--told mostly in the voices of farm animals. The manuscript that I just finished last week is my second collection of “things to do” poems. This collection is about winter.

 Julia and Allison

FYI: Things to Do, my first poetry/picture book, won’t be published until February of 2017—not this coming October as originally planned.


Here are some poems about April and Spring to start Poetry Month off:

And now spring settles in,
Pitches her green tent
Robins return, daffodils dance
In the garden, fruit trees explode with blossoms, as the sun
Lays her warm yellow hands over the earth.

Softly, raindrops come to call. Can you
Hear them gently tap-tapping
On the
Windowpane, on the roof with an
Even, steady beat…
Repeating the song that April loves to

Patter of April showers.

Up go our umbrellas,

Down go our booted feet…

Down into shimmery

Liquid looking glasses.

Everywhere we go we’re

Splashing in pools of fallen sky.

Soft, scented breezes, kite-catching winds, the
Pitter patter of warm rain on the
Roof, daffodils and daisies and lilacs
In bloom, apple trees wearing snow-white crowns.
Now the sun lingers at the edge of day and
Green…lovely green…has come home to stay.


Shower in the April sun

Shower in the light,

Streaming down on yellow days.

Stand out in the pouring rays.

Like butter on a toasty bun,

Let the sunlight melt and run

In golden rivers on your skin.

Feel it glowing deep within.

Feel the touch of early spring,

Feel the warmth that April brings.

Shower in the pouring rays

Washing winter cold away.


The talented children’s poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

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We have had some spectacular November weather up here in Massachusetts. Temperatures have reached into the seventies this week! That certainly isn't typical for this time of year. So happy that I have been able to take my granddaughters outside to enjoy the warm days and autumn foliage that still clings to some of the trees.

So often the poetry we hear/read about November focuses on Thanksgiving/giving thanks. I thought I'd post some November poems that include other aspects/thoughts about the month.

Here is a poem titled NOVEMBER RAIN by Maud E. Uschold. (NOTE: This poem is in the public domain.)

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This autumn rainfall
Is no shower
That freshens grass
And brings the flower.

This rain is long

And cold and gray,

Yet sleeping roots

Are feed this way.

Trees and bushes,

Nearly bare

Of leaves, now chains

Of raindrops wear

Along each twig.

Some clear beads fall.

A tree could never

Hold them all.


Here is an excerpt from a children's poem written by Dixie Willson about autumn and the month of November:


I like the fall,
The mist and all.
I like the night owl's
Lonely call—
And wailing sound
Of wind around.

I like the gray
November day,
And bare, dead boughs
That coldly sway
Against my pane.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Here is the first stanza of a poem about November written by Clyde Watson:

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

Click here to read the rest of the poem. 


Here is a cinquain written by Adelaide Crapsey, the woman who invented the poetic form:


Listen. . .
With faint dry sound, 
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

You can read about Crapsey here.


Here is an excerpt from Rita Dove's poem NOVEMBER FOR BEGINNERS:

Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.

Click here to read the rest of Dove's poem.


And here is an excerpt from Helen Hunt Jackson's poem NOVEMBER:

This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer’s voice come bearing summer’s gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
The violet returns...

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Here are the first two stanzas of Lucy Maud Montgomery's poem NOVEMBER  EVENING:

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Come, for the dusk is our own; let us fare forth together,
With a quiet delight in our hearts for the ripe, still, autumn weather,
Through the rustling valley and wood and over the crisping meadow,
Under a high-sprung sky, winnowed of mist and shadow.

Sharp is the frosty air, and through the far hill-gaps showing
Lucent sunset lakes of crocus and green are glowing;
Tis the hour to walk at will in a wayward, unfettered roaming,
 Caring for naught save the charm, elusive and swift, of the gloaming. 


NOTE: I have had trouble formatting the poems in my post this morning. I'll try to fix if I can when I have some free time. Friday is always a really busy day for me.



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8. SHADE: Two Short Poems and a Picture

Sorry that I wasn't able to post last Friday. I have been having major problems with Internet connectivity--even after someone from Comcast came out to fix things. After that, things were fine...for five days. Then last Friday I couldn't connect at all. It appears that we finally have the problem solved--but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Last Sunday, I was able to post three back-to-school list poems on my husband's laptop. Click here to read them.

Today, I have a photograph, a thirteen-syllable haiku, and a riddle rhyme for you.

bathing in sunlight
showering shade below


Beneath the trees
Where I am laid--
A lace of darkness.
I am _ _ _ _ _.


Catherine has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Reading to the Core.

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9. Three Back-to-School List Poems

I thought my Internet connectivity problems were solved after Comcast came out to our house last weekend. Things were great until Friday morning. Since then, I haven't been able to connect to the Internet at all. It's so frustrating! All my poetry files are on my computer. In addition, I have been using my computer to do research for a poetry book that I have been working on. It gets SO frustrating!

At least, I can get some posting done when I have access to my husband's laptop. I thought I'd copy and paste three of my original school-themed list poems that I have posted at Wild Rose Reader before as this is back-to-school season.


Click your metal jaws together.
Grip my papers
with your teeth of steel.
Then bite down hard
with all your might
and bind them together


Be sharp.
Wear a slick yellow suit
and a pink top hat.
Tap your toes on the tabletop,
listen for the right rhythm,
then dance a poem
across the page.


What’s in my backpack?
Hmm…let’s see:
a tunafish sandwich,
raspberry tea,
an apple for the teacher…
and one for me,
a pair of scissors,
a stick of glue,
washable crayons…
and markers, too—
three sharp pencils
my Winnie Pooh
a bright red folder,
a paper pad,
a calculator to help me add…
a little love note from my dad!

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10. Back to School 2015: Children's Books and Book Lists

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Off to School, Baby Duck!
Written by Amy Hest
Illustrated by Jill Barton
Candlewick Press, 1999

Baby Duck is nervous about going to school. It’s a good thing Grampa is on hand to help allay Baby’s fears and send her into class singing a happy song.

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Wemberly Worried
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow/HaperCollins, 2000


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Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow/HaperCollins, 1996

Today Was a Terrible Day
Written by Patricia Reilly Giff
Illustrated by Susanna Natti
Viking, 1982

Ronald Morgan gets discouraged at school one day when he does everything wrong—including making mistakes when reading aloud in class. Then, on the way home, he reads the note his teacher has given him without any help. The day’s troubles dissipate in the excitement of knowing that he can actually read. (Pair this book with Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day and have children discuss their “terrible” days.)


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David Goes to School
Written & illustrated by David Shannon
Blue Sky Press, 1999

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Morris the Moose Goes to School
Written & illustrated by B. Wiseman
Harper & Row, 1970

Morris can’t read or count. He goes to school to learn how. Young children will enjoy all the funny situations and experiences Morris has during his first day in an elementary classroom.

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Math Curse
Written by Jon Scieszka
 Illustrated by Lane Smith
Viking, 1995

A Fine, Fine School
Written by Sharon Creech 

 Illustrated by Harry Bliss
Scholastic, 2001

No matter how fine a school may be—too much of a good thing can prove to be a bad idea. Principal Keene learns about some of the other important things in children’s lives from a young girl who has the courage to speak up to an adult.


Written & illsutrated by Kevin Henkes  
Greenwillow, 1991

Hooway for Wodney Wat
Written by Helen Lester 
 Illustrated by Lyn Munsinger
Houghton Mifflin, 1999

Poor Wodney Wat (Rodney Rat) can’t pronounce his r’s. His classmates constantly tease him. When Camilla Capybara, a new student who is a big bully, enters the classroom, Wodney fears his days at school will only get worse. Fortunately for Wodney, he is a hero by story’s end because he gets rid of Camilla….forever.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon
Written by Patty Lovell
Illustrated by David Catrow
Penguin, 2001

Molly Lou is the shortest girl in first grade. She’s got buck teeth, has a terrible singing voice, and is quite clumsy. Her grandma gives her the courage to take pride in herself. Then Molly Lou moves to a new town away from her grandma and old friends. A bully picks on her and teases her—but Molly takes it all in stride and wins over her classmates…including her harasser.

Thank You, Mr. Falker 
Written &illustrated by Patricia Polacco 
Philomel, 1998

Autobiographical story about young Polacco who was teased by classmates and called a “dummy” because she couldn’t read. In fifth grade, a teacher who is both understanding and wise takes the time to tutor the young artist every day after school and opens the world of words to her.



Back to School Books (Bank Street)

Back to School Books (Parents' Choice)

Bookshelf Bests: Favorite Books for Back-to-School (Scholastic)

School Days (Reading Rockets)

It's Time to Think About...Back to School Books! (ALSC Blog)

Back to School (Powell's)

That Back-To-School Feeling: Picture Books for First Days (Booklist)

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11. Why Public School Teachers Don’t Want to Work in Indiana Anymore

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Valerie Strauss has an article in today’s Washington Post about a big problem facing the state of Indiana. Evidently, educators aren’t too keen about teaching there these days. According to Strauss, the problem has become so acute that some schools have had a difficult time finding teachers to cover classes for the new school year. She noted that some state legislators want a committee to discuss the teacher shortage.
In addition to Indiana, teachers are also leaving others states as well. Strauss provided the reasons for the teacher shortage in some parts of this country:

What’s going on? Pretty much the same thing as in Arizona, Kansas and other states where teachers are fleeing: a combination of under-resourced schools, the loss of job protections, unfair teacher evaluation methods, an increase in the amount of mandated standardized testing and the loss of professional autonomy.

I think Strauss is right.

Strauss pointed out one of the things that happened in Indiana recently. She said that Governor Mike Pence and the Republican leadership “showed their respect for teachers by working very hard this year to strip power from Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, a veteran educator who won election to the post in 2012…Oh, by the way, she is a Democrat.  David Long, the Republican president of the Indiana Senate, said while explaining why the legislature would want to remove Ritz as chairman of the state Board of Education: 'In all fairness, Superintendent Ritz was a librarian, okay?'”

Perish the thought that a veteran educator/media specialist who won teacher of the year awards at two different schools should have any power as the Superintendent of Public Instruction!  


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12. Here and There (August 9, 2015): Starring Children's Book Lists & Recommendations


The Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Fall 2015 




Great Read Alouds for Preschoolers

Great Read Alouds for Kindergarteners 

Great Read Alouds for First Graders

Great Read Alouds for Second Graders

Great Read Alouds for Third Graders

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13. Poetry for Little Ones: "Lullaby & Kisses Sweet"

Poems to Love with Your Baby
Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Alyssa Nassner
Abrams Appleseed, 2015

I haven’t written a poetry book review in ages! Actually, I haven’t been buying many children’s books since my husband and I downsized when moved into our new place—right next door to my daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. It took soooo long to move all my books—many of which are children’s poetry books—to my new abode. It also cost a lot of money to have custom-made bookcases built and installed in my new library/slash office and upstairs hallway so my books would be easily available when I wanted to get some to read to my granddaughter...or myself. I thought it best to cut back on book purchases. In addition, my favorite children’s bookshop closed its doors in June 2012. The owner—who is a good friend—couldn’t compete with big businesses like Amazon. I so miss visiting her store, browsing through the books there, chatting with her and getting her advice.

In the past week, though, I splurged and ordered a couple dozen children’s books from Barnes and Noble. First, I needed some baby gifts. (I always give books to new parents.) Second, I wanted to give Julia some picture books for her fourth birthday. Third, I wanted some new children’s poetry books for myself!

When I saw that Lee Bennett Hopkins had recently published a book of children’s poetry titled Lullaby & Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby, I knew I HAD to get three copies—two for the grandsons of a good friend and one for my five-month-old granddaughter Allison. When Julia saw the two copies that I had put aside for my friend’s grandchildren, she wanted one of them. I told her that they were gifts for some other children. She looked at me and said, “I want one for MY baby!” I asked, “Who is your baby?” She quickly replied—quite emphatically—Allison!

So…I fetched the copy that I had gotten for HER baby—and we read it while we sat side by side on the sofa. Then Julia took the book and “read” it by herself.

I’m so glad that I had found out about Lullaby & Kisses Sweet on Lee’s journal. My granddaughter Julia loves the book…and it’s a wonderful baby gift.

The book is divided into five sections: Family, Food, First, Play, and Bedtime.  

  • FAMILY includes poems about Mama, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa.  
  • FOOD includes poems about sitting in a high chair, eating spaghetti, and snack time.  
  • FIRST includes poems about a baby taking its first steps, getting its first tooth, and saying its first word (Ma-ma). 
  • PLAY includes poems about building with blocks, painting pictures, and playing in a sandbox.  
  • BEDTIME includes poems about bath time, reading books, and a night light. 

Lullaby & Kisses Sweet is a perfect little package—a padded casebound board book that contains thirty delightful short, rhyming poems, which toddlers will enjoy having read to them at any time of the day. Many of the poems are brand new—and I assume—were commissioned for this collection.

The poets whose works you’ll find in Lullaby & Kisses Sweetinclude: Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marilyn Singer, X.J. Kennedy, Laura Purdie Salas, Kristine O’Connell George, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

Alyssa Nassner's uncluttered illustrations are a fine complement to the poetry. The babies and parents and grandparents are depicted as cats and bears and bunnies and lions and foxes--all with friendly rounded faces.

The collection opens with Rebecca Kai Dotlich's poem Morning, which begins:

Sun woke up,
So did I.
Good morning, Mama. 
Good morning, sky.

The book ends with Michele Kruger's poem Lullaby, which begins:

Let the world grow dark
and spin.

It's time to tuck
sweet baby in.


If you're friendly with young parents who have a newborn, this would be a special little gift to give to them. It would be an excellent book to introduce toddlers to poetry.

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14. WHEN I GET ANGRY: An Original Poem

Many years ago, I wrote a mask poem about a grizzly bear—which I have posted at Wild Rose Reader on more than one occasion. Here it is:


I’m grizzly bear. I’m fierce and fat…

And dangerous. Remember that!

My teeth are sharp as sabers.

My curvy claws can cut like saws,

And when I prowl the woods I growl

And frighten all my neighbors.

I rule the land. This forest’s mine!

I ain’t NOBODY’S valentine!

Don’t think that you can be my friend…

My dinner?



The End

Earlier this year, I used Grizzly Bear as a springboard for writing a poem told in the voice of a child who is having a tantrum:  


When Iget angry, I’ma bear…

A grizzly bear

With coarse brown hair

And curvy claws that cut like saws…

And teeth that tear.

You best beware!

When Iget angry,

I clench my paws

And snap my jaws.

I prowl and growl

Around my room

And fuss and fume

And stomp the floor

And slam my door…


I’m not angry anymore.


Here are two picture books on the subject of of children dealing with their anger:


 The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Keri Recommends this week.

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15. A Blogging and Bookmaking Tale...and a Sneak Peek at Some of the Illustrations from My Not-Yet-Published Book “Things to Do”

As many of you know, until this past Friday, I had been away from blogging here at Wild Rose Reader for over a year. There's a number of reasons why I first cut back on my postings and then stopped writing for WRR altogether:

A first grandchild…being a nanny granny…buying a new home…renovating our new home…a sickness in the family…getting our old home ready to put on the market…moving thousands of books from our old home to our new place…selling old home…setting things up at new home…buying some new furniture and window treatments…decorating new place…settling in…writing for legal/political blogs…a death in the family…being a nanny granny...a second grandchild.

Allison & Julia

For sure, being a nanny granny for over three years has taken up quite a bit of my time. After the birth of my second grandchild Allison Mary in March, my daughter and then my son-in-law took family leave to care for her. I decided that I would use my free time during those four months to concentrate my energies on writing poetry for children once again. After getting back into the poetry writing groove, I realized how much I missed being part of Poetry Friday and the kidlitosphere.

I also know how long it can take to get a picture book published. Things to Do, my first collection of poems, will be five years in the making! I sold the manuscript in 2011…and the book won’t be published until the fall of 2016.

Why so long? First, it took several months for me to edit, revise, and write new poems for my book. The published book will be quite different from the manuscript that Chronicle Books bought. I am really happy about that now. Melissa Manlove, my wonderful editor, had a vision for the book that was more attuned to my original manuscript. I had added poems to my collection in hopes that it would be more attractive to book editors. (That story is for another day.) Melissa asked me to remove most of the poems that I had added.

Second, it took about eighteen months to find an illustrator for Things to Do. Some artists were busy with other projects; some turned down the opportunity to illustrate my poems. Then one day, Melissa sent me links to the websites of four illustrators—and asked if I like their work. The work of one of those artists, Catia Chien, stood out in my eyes. I fell in love with her work—and hoped with all my heart that she’d be able to illustrate my book. I was SO HAPPY when Melissa told me that Catia had accepted the job.
I can't wait until I see my poems in a book illustrated by Catia!


Here are some of the books that Catia has illustrated:


Clink here to view three of the illustrations that Catia created for my book Things to Do.

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16. TOO LITTLE!: An Original Poem

I have been away from posting at Wild Rose Reader for FAR TOO LONG! I made the decision recently to give up writing for legal/political blogs and to concentrate once again on writing poetry for children. I thought I'd post one of the poems that I had written in recent months for Poetry Friday this week. It touches on the frustrated feeling young children often get when they are told by parents, other adults, and older siblings that they are TOO LITTLE to do so many of the things that they would really love to do.

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by Elaine Magliaro

THEY say
I’m TOO LITTLE for this…
I’m TOO LITTLE for that.
I’m too little to do SO MANY things.
I wish I were big like my sister and brother.
I wish I were big like my father and mother.
I wish I were BIG—as be as can be…
Like the giant blue whale who lives in the sea.
There wouldn’t be ANYTHING bigger than me!
Then I’d shout and I’d spout, “Make way, make way!
I’m going to go where I want today.
I’m going to do what I want to do.
And you can’t say no ’cause I’m bigger than you!”


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Margaret has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Reflections on the Teche.

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17. A Poem about the Megalodon

I’ve already posted a number of poems from my unpublished collection titled Docile Fossil. Here’s another poem from that manuscript. I wrote it as a definition of the biggest prehistoric shark that ever lived—the Megalodon.

Megalodon: A Poetic Definition

Megalodon, Megalodon:
A giant-jawed phenomenon
Much bigger than a mastodon,
A predatory paragon,
A monster shark that preyed upon
Dolphins, whales…a beast of brawn—
The mightiest biter of the deep
Who’s gone to his eternal sleep.


Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

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18. MARSHMALLOW CHICKS: A Poem for Easter

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Here is my poetry selection for the Friday before Easter. It’s about PEEPS©--which I used to love to eat when I was a little kid.

By Elaine Magliaro

I hear them peeping

in their package,


Eat me!

Eat me!

I break open

their plastic shell,

hold soft hatchlings

in my hands.

One by one

I savor

a chattering of chicks,

chubby marshmallow chicks

coated with colored sugar.

I lick their bright yellow down

from my fingertips.


You’ll find the Poetry Friday Roundup over at Life on the Deckle Edge.

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19. PUDDLE MUDDLE: An Original Poem

I apologize for announcing the winner of PUDDLE WONDERFUL two days late. We're in the process of selling our house and things are moving along quickly at this point. I've been trying to get lots of things done. I've been packing up my children's books and poetry books and cookbooks and other books and taking them to my new house and organizing them in my new built-in bookcases. It seems like an endless task. I think I'm going to have to give more of my books away!

I'm happy to announce that Linda at Teacherdance is the winner of Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring. Congratulations, Linda! Email me your address and I'll send the book to you.

Note to the other book winners: I apologize for not getting your books in the mail yet. I hope to do that in the next week.


Here's one of my puddle poems for this Poetry Friday:


I’m in the middle of a puddle…

in the middle…

in a muddle.

The puddle’s much too deep.

It spilled

into my boots.

Now they’re filled

with muddy water

to the brim.

I hope my feet

know how to swim!


Liz Steinglass has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week. 


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20. TALL TALK: Two Giraffe Poems

I really enjoy writing poems about animals—especially animal mask poems. One thing I always think about is the most prominent characteristic(s) of certain animals before I decide what to say in my poems. So…when I wrote the following two poems about the giraffe, I thought about its height/long neck and proceeded from there.


Giraffe is very tall—
but has a voice so small
you never hear him
bark or roar,
sneeze or snore,
screech or howl,
grunt or growl,
or ever say a word at all.

Perhaps because his head’s so high,
his sounds get lost up in the sky.

TALL TALK (A Mask Poem)

I am taller than tall.
I’m the tallest of all
The mammals that live on the land.

I can nibble the leaves                                                                        
From the tip-tops of trees
I think being tallest is grand.

My head is so high
That it touches the sky.
I can wink at the birds as they go flying by.

I can nuzzle the clouds,
Feel the first drops of rain,
Enjoy the fine view from this lofty domain.

With my head at this height
The whole world is in sight!
I think being tallest is grand.


As in past years, I’ll be giving away a children’s poetry book at Wild Rose Reader every week during the month of April. If you leave a comment at one of my poetry posts during the last week and final days of National Poetry Month (April 21-30), I’ll enter your name into the drawing for a poetry book. If you leave comments at two posts, I'll enter your name twice...and so on. I’ll announce the winner of my last book giveaway on Wednesday, May 1st.

My book giveaway for the fourth week and final days ofNational Poetry Month will be Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring with poems selected by Bobbi Katz and illustrations by Mary 

NOTE: Puddle Wonderful is a Random House PICTUREBACK®. It was published in 1992 and is now out of print. It includes many wonderful poems about the spring season—including works by Eve Merriam, Bobbi Katz, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Charlotte Zolotow, J. Patrick Lewis, e.e. cummings, Dennis Lee, Lilian Moore, Langston Hughes, Karla Kuskin, and John Updike. It would be a great book to share with a young child and would make an excellent addition to an elementary classroom collection.


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21. UNDER THE TREE: An Original Poem

It has been many months since I last posted anything on Wild Rose Reader. I have missed the kidlitosphere--especially participating in Poetry Fridays. There has been much going on in my life...and I have had to focus on those things. Still, I couldn't let the year end without sharing a poem or two with you.

Several years ago, I began working on a collection of poems about candy. The collection takes one through the year with sweet treats. While writing the poems, I collected information on many different kinds of candy by reading books and by doing research on the Internet. I included short informational paragraphs about the candy along with the poems.

I have loved chocolate since I was little. One present that I always found stuffed in my Christmas stocking when I was a child was a small sack of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. How I enjoyed unwrapping them and letting the dark brown disks melt on my tongue!


Here’s a gift to savor…not save:
A sack of candy coins
Wrapped in gold…
Milk chocolate medallions
That melt on my tongue.
I won’t stash this sweet cash.
I’m putting this money
Where my mouth is!

Milk Chocolate
Milk chocolate coins wrapped in foil are given to children as Hanukkah gelt and are also often stuffed into children’s Christmas stockings. The giving of chocolate Hanukkah gelt is a European tradition, which most likely dates back to the late 18th or early 19th century. The giving of chocolate coins at Christmastime is believed by some to commemorate Saint Nicholas who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.

NOTE: It appears that my granddaughter Julia has inherited her “Gammy’s” love of chocolate!

You’ll find the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

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22. SKY: An Original Acrostic

I’ve been away from blogging at Wild Rose Reader for far too long. There have been many changes that took place in my life during the past few years. My attention has been diverted elsewhere. I haven’t even been writing much poetry. I’ve got to get my creative juices flowing once again.

For the first day of National Poetry Month, I thought I’d post the poem SKY from an unpublished poetry collection I wrote a few years ago titled Spring into Words: A Season in Acrostics.

Suddenly Earth’s blue dome springs to life, catches careening 
Kites, fills with the face of a smiling sun, the music of
Young songbirds and geese honking homeward.

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23. What a Pit-ty!: An Original Mask Poem

Several years ago, I embarked upon a new poetry project. I decided to write poems about fossils, dinosaurs, and other extinct animals. I spent a lot of time doing research on a number of animals—including the woolly mammoth, pterodactyl, dodo bird, Beelzebufo ampinga, megalodon, Euoplocephalus, megatherium—as well as a couple of places—the Petrified Forest and the La Brea Tar Pits. I’m kind of a science nerd—so doing the research was fun for me.

I’m offering one of my poems about the La Lrea Tar Pits from that unpublished collection titled Docile Fossil for this first Poetry Friday in National Poetry Month.

What a Pit-ty!

I’m a…
Boiling pool of gummy goo,
Bubbling pond of asphalt brew,
Black and icky pit of pitch
Not concocted by a witch.

One of my intriguing features:
The horde of hapless Ice Age creatures
That stepped into my greasy guck,
Got trapped and were forever stuck.

Horses, smilodons, and camels,
Woolly mammoths, other mammals,
Birds and mollusks…insects, too,
Stumbled into my sticky stew.

Once engulfed in my thick sludge
The helpless creatures couldn’t budge.
Now here they lie entombed in tar--
And here, preserved, their fossils are.

Find out more about the La Brea Tar Pits by clicking here.


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Poem Farm.

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24. DAMSELFLY: An Original Poem

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Here’s another poem from my unpublished collection Docile Fossil. It’s a mask poem in which I speak in the voice of a fossilized damselfly.


I was trapped in time!
Enrobed in sticky resin
that hardened over the ages.
Now you see me
preserved in amber--
a perfect specimen
of the me I was
millions of years ago.
Here I will remain forever
a prisoner of the past,
my wings outspread
in a semi-precious sky.

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25. Things to Do If You Are a Mole: An Original List Poem


I had hoped to post earlier today—but I’ve been having problems connecting to the Internet. It can be very frustrating when one spends as much time as I do at the computer most days.

For this second Friday of National Poetry Month, I have a “things to do” list poem for you.


Make your home

in the damp darkness


unknowing of snow

and stars

and summer breezes.

Live among roots

and rocks

and sleeping cicadas.

Excavate tunnels

in the moist brown earth.

Listen for the soft music

of seeds sprouting,

worms wiggling,

rain pattering on your grassy roof.

Spend your days in a world

of unending night.


Here are links to other poems that I’ve posted to celebrate National Poetry Month:


Michelle has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Today’s Little Ditty.


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