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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. 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.



treetops
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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2. 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.



THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE A STAPLER

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
tight….tight…tight!

THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE A PENCIL

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.

BACKPACK

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…
and
a little love note from my dad!



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


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 GETTING THE JITTERS



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




A BAD DAY AT SCHOOL AT SCHOOL

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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.)


SCHOOL STORIES TO TICKLE YOUR FUNNYBONE
 

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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.

SCHOOL STORIES ABOUT TEASING AND BULLYING



Chrysanthemum
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

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


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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

BOOKLIST





BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS




THE HORN BOOK





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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GUYS READ
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6. Poetry for Little Ones: "Lullaby & Kisses Sweet"



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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7. 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:


GRIZZLY BEAR

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?

Yum!

GULP!

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 I GET ANGRY


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…

Till

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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8. 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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9. 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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TOO LITTLE!
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.
DRAT!
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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10. 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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11. 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.



MARSHMALLOW CHICKS
By Elaine Magliaro

I hear them peeping

in their package,

beseeching:

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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12. 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.

THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE A MOLE


Make your home

in the damp darkness

underground

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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13. 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.


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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14. 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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15. 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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16. 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!


UNDER THE TREE

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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17. 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:


PUDDLE MUDDLE

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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18. 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

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,
caterwaul…
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.

********************

BOOK GIVEAWAY REMINDER
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 
Morgan


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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19. THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE A BUS: An Original List Poem



So sorry that I didn’t announce the winner of David Harrison’s book COWBOYS last Sunday. We lost Internet connectivity here Sunday night. Then I left for my daughter’s house where I played fulltime nanny granny for a few days while my daughter and son-in-law went on a three-day vacation. I returned home yesterday afternoon and still had a problem connecting to the Internet. It happens here every now and again. I don't know why.

My husband and I are in the process of selling our house—so my life is a bit hectic at the moment. I spend much of my time when I’m at home emptying bookcases, drawers, and clothes closets—and also throwing away things that I will probably never need or use again. Although I plan to keep most of my children’s books, I have neighbors who have three daughters who LOVE to read so I’ve given them some of my novels /novels in verse for middle and older readers. It’s good to know those books will be read and valued.

********************

Today, I’m posting another of my “things to do” list poems.

THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE A BUS

Roll along
on big black feet.
Stop and go
up and down the street.
Open your door.
Let people in.
Take your passengers
for a spin.
When you’re thirsty,
guzzle gas.
At night,
light up
your eyes of glass.

********************

Book Winner Announcement
I am happy to announce that Bridget R. Wilson is the winner of COWBOYS. Congratulations, Bridget! Email me your address and I’ll send the book to you.




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BOOK GIVEAWAY REMINDER
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 of National Poetry Month will be Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring with poems selected by Bobbi Katz and illustrations by Mary Morgan.

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.

 ********************
Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Writing the World for Kids.



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20. MUD-LUSCIOUS: Poems for Spring


“Never forget that the subject is as important as your feeling; the mud puddle itself is as important as your pleasure in looking at it or splashing through it.  Never let the mud puddle get lost in the poetry –because, in many ways the mud puddle is the poetry.”Valerie Worth

e.e. cummings wrote [in Just-]a poem about spring titled in Just-. In the poem, cummings described the season as being “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.” And aren’t puddles and mud fun to play in when we’re young? I know I loved splashing in puddles and making mud pies when I was a child. I’m sure many of you did, too.

 Click here to read in Just-.
**********
Today, I ‘m posting some poems in celebration of mud and muddy puddles.


The Muddy Puddle
By Dennis Lee

I am sitting
In the middle
Of a rather Muddy
Puddle,
With my bottom
Full of bubbles
And my rubbers
Full of Mud,

While my jacket
And my sweater
Go on slowly
Getting wetter..

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

Haiku
By Issa

A bush warbler…
Muddy feet wiped
On the plum blossoms

MUD
By Elaine Magliaro

Messy, mushy, mucky
Ucky, oozy, wonderful wet 
Dark chocolate dirt perfect for pie making






DIRTY DOG
(A Triolet)
By Elaine Magliaro

Dirty, dirty, dirty dog!
Didn’t heed your master—NO!
Thought you’d run into the bog.
Dirty, dirty, dirty dog!

(I rant in my mad monologue.)
You frolicked where you shouldn’t go.
Dirty, dirty, dirty dog!
Didn’t heed your master—NO
!


MUD by Polly Chase Boyden



 ********************
BOOK GIVEAWAY
My book giveaway for the fourth week and final days of National Poetry Month will be Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring with poems selected by Bobbi Katz and illustrations by Mary Morgan. I’ll announce the winner of this book on Wednesday, May 1st.

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


I’m still recuperating from the nasty respiratory bug I came down with last week. Once again, I decided to dig into my poetry files to find a poem to post today. I chose this “things to do” list poems that I wrote several years ago: 

THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE A MOUNTAIN

Wear a snow-white cap

and a thick coat of evergreens.

Scratch your stony back with glaciers.

Tower over the tops of other mountains.

Let the sun sparkle on your summit.

Hide drowsing bears

in your deep brown pockets.

At night

poke your head above the clouds

and peek at the stars.

********************

Book Giveaway Reminder
My book giveaway for the third week of National Poetry Month (April 14-20) will be COWBOYS—with poems by David L. Harrisonand illustrations by Dan Burr. NOTE: I’ll announce the winner of COWBOYS on Sunday, April 21st.


 ********************

Irene Latham has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem…

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22. NESSIE: A Poem about the Loch Ness Monster



I know that the Loch Ness Monster is only a mythical being. Still, when my husband and I traveled through Scotland in 1972, we stayed in Inverness for a few days. We took a road trip down the western coast of the lake. Even when one knows the truth, it’s still fun to imagine that there might be a family of prehistoric creatures that dwell in that long, deep lake.


I wrote the following poem about the Loch Ness monster several years ago for my unpublished collection Docile Fossil.

Nessie

What is living in Loch Ness…
This ancient animal of lore?
A sinuous serpent?
A giant humped creature?
A prehistoric plesiosaur?

Is this fabled monster really
Lurking in the murky lake
Gliding through its chilly waters
Leaving legend in its wake?

********************

By Benjamin Radford
LiveScience

Though there are dozens, if not hundreds, of lake monsters around the world, one superstar marine denizen outshines them all: Nessie, the beast said to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness.
Some say it's a myth; others say it's a living dinosaur or even a sea serpent that swam into the lake before it became landlocked. Whether real or fictional, it is what Scotland is best known for around the world (aside from whiskey, bagpipes and kilts).

Some claim that the Loch Ness monster was first reported in A.D. 565, when — according to Catholic legend — St. Columba turned away a giant beast that was threatening a man in the Ness River, which flows into the lake. However tempting it is to suggest that the encounter was a true historical record of the beast's existence, it is only one of many church myths about righteous saints vanquishing Satan in the form of serpents and dragons.

In fact, there are no reports of the beast until less than a century ago. The Loch Ness monster first achieved notoriety in 1933 after a story was published in "The Inverness Courier," a local newspaper, describing not a monstrous head or hump but instead a splashing in the water that was described as appearing to be caused "by two ducks fighting." Some suggested a more monstrous explanation; however it wasn't until the following year that Nessie shot to superstardom with the publication of a famous photograph showing a serpentine head and neck. That image, taken by a London surgeon named Kenneth Wilson, was touted for decades as the best evidence for Nessie — until it was admitted as a hoax decades later.

********************

Book Giveaway Reminder
My book giveaway for the third week of National Poetry Month (April 14-20) will be COWBOYS—with poems by David L. Harrisonand illustrations by Dan Burr. NOTE: I’ll announce the winner of COWBOYS on Sunday, April 21st.

 

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23. SKY: An Original Acrostic


 
Ah! It’s finally warm and sunny here today. Unfortunately, I can’t enjoy the fine weather outside because I caught a bad bug. I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping the past few days. I’ve been too tired to do much on anything—including writing new poems. So…I dug into my poetry files once again and decided to post another acrostic poem from my unpublished collection 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.

 
********************
 

Book Giveaway Reminder

My book giveaway for the third week of National Poetry Month (April 14-20) will be COWBOYS—with poems by David L. Harrisonand illustrations by Dan Burr. NOTE: I’ll announce the winner of COWBOYS on Sunday, April 21st.

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24. Brontosaurus of Another Name: A Poem of Address



Several years ago, I began working on Docile Fossil, collection of poems about dinosaurs, fossils, and extinct animals. I really haven't done much with the collection--except to post some of its poems on Wild Rose Reader. Here is one of the poems that I thought I'd post today...after I reworked the third stanza.


Brontosaurus of Another Name


Oh, Brontosaurus,

for years

you wandered about in my brain

on pillared legs,

the vivid image

of a long-necked beast.



Oh, Brontosaurus,

my favorite imaginary pet,

you sauntered about happily

munching on greenery

in the jungle of my mind.



Oh, Brontosaurus,

I have learned that

you are NO thunder lizard.

It really is a shame.

Apatosaurus is your name.

********************



From Science Kids
The Apatosaurus is also well known as the Brontosaurus. Confusion was caused when bones of the giant dinosaur were first discovered back in 1877 by Othniel Charles Marsh. After naming the new dinosaur Apatosaurus (meaning deceptive lizard), he later found a larger set of bones and incorrectly thought they were a new species which he then named Brontosaurus (meaning thunder lizard). It turns out that the second set of bones were just the adult version of the Apatosaurus.

 ********************

Have some fun reading dinosaur poems! I recommend the following books:

Dizzy Dinosaurs: Silly Dino Poems
An I Can Read Book with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and pictures by Barry Gott.

Click here to look inside the book.


Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings,
which was written and illustrated by Douglas Florian.

Click here to look inside the book.

********************

Book Giveaway Reminder
My book giveaway for the third week of National Poetry Month (April 14-20) will be COWBOYS—with poems by David L. Harrisonand illustrations by Dan Burr. NOTE: I’ll announce the winner of COWBOYS on Sunday, April 21st.




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25. Second Week of National Poetry Month Book Winner

 
 
I am happy to announce that Linda at Teacherdance is the winner of Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles. Congratulations, Linda! Email me your address and I’ll send the book off to you.
 

My book giveaway for the third week of National Poetry Month will be COWBOYS—with poems by David L. Harrison and illustrations by Dan Burr.
 
Click here to look inside the book.
Free-verse cowpoke ruminations on the trail to Abilene, with paintings of long-horned dogies and grizzled riders beneath big skies.
Saddle up, pardner, leave the bunkhouse (where “[b]ugs gnaw plugs right outta your hide”) behind and look fer dusty days, freezing nights, rattlers, storms and meal after meal of beef and beans from Cookie. Harking back to cattle drives of yesteryear, Burr portrays leather-skinned figures with near-photographic realism. “You need sand in your gizzard / to wrangle wild cows, / chaps for fendin’ off thorns / or horses with a taste / for cowpoke leg.” They pose in full regalia, branding a calf, mending barbed wire, gazing up at the stars, trying desperately to stay on horseback amid a stampede, lazing around the chuck wagon, riding at last into town and ruefully bidding hard-earned wages goodbye at a poker table. Two saloon floozies at the end, a dark-skinned trailhand (“I’m on a journey of my own / figuring how it feels / to be free”) and a spirited filly in blue jeans left back at the ranch to fulminate are the only ones here who aren’t typecast Marlboro Men.
So git along, there, anyone with a mind to share cowboy dreams in romanticized, Old West style. (afterword) (Poetry. 10-12)


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