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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Shel Silverstein, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 47
1. Shel Silverstein Books for National Poetry Month

I remember one of my nieces having a huge Shel Silverstein phase a few years back. They were the first books that she was excited to share with us, and I appreciated them for that. My grandmother also developed a strong enjoyment of Silverstein's poems late in her life. I still have her copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends. That is the beauty of Silverstein's work - his poems are timeless and appeal to people of all ages. 

This year, Harper Collins has released 40th and 50th anniversary editions of a number of Silverstein's books, including a special edition of Where the Sidewalk Ends that contains 12 extra poems. You might consider any of these for your National Poetry Month commemoration. Though I don't think there are very significant differences from earlier editions, these new editions are very crisp and shiny. I'm happy to have them for my daughter (with thanks to HarperCollins). 

1. Don't Bump the Glump! and Other Fantasies: 50th anniversary edition. These are particularly quirky, featuring short, illustrated pieces like this:

Long-Necked Preposterous

This is Arnold,
A Long-Necked Preposterous,
Looking around for a female
Long-Necked Preposterous.
But there aren't any

2. Where the Sidewalk Ends: 40th anniversary edition with 12 extra poems. This book contains lots of classic, kid-friendly Silverstein, including the Boa Constrictor song. I remember listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary's version of this when I was young (on a record player). The 12 extra poems were not in the original edition, but were apparently added as part of the 30th anniversary edition, and included here. And of course this:

"... Yes, we''ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends."

3. Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back: 50th anniversary edition. This one is an illustrated story (told in chapters), and not a collection of poems. Though Silverstein does certainly play with language. Here's the start:

"And now, children, your Uncle Shelby is going to tell you a story about a very strange lion--in fact, the strangest lion I have ever met. Now, where shall I start this lion tail? I mean this lion tale. I suppose I should begin at the moment when I first met this lion." 

4. A Giraffe and a Half: 50th anniversary edition. This is an illustrated, cumulative nonsense-filled story, suited to younger listeners. Here's a snippet from mid-way through:

"If he put on a shoe
and then stepped in some glue...

you would have a giraffe and a half
with a rat in his hat
looking cute in a suit
with a rose on his nose
and a bee on his knee
and some glue on his shoe."

5. The Giving Tree: 50th anniversary edition. While this story of continuing self-sacrifice is not my personal favorite, there are certainly people who like it. 

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). These books were received from HarperCollins. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

 

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2. Take It Outside

50 Book Pledge | Book #40: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

One of my favourite poems by Shel Silverstein is “Invitation.” Take a look:

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

Like Silverstein, Summer has an invitation all its own: To read our fantastical tales in the great outdoors. Take a page out of the Nature Conservancy of Canada‘s book and Take Time for Nature. And, why not? You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.


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3. The Giving Tree

Happy birthday to a very special boy! Keep reading… First published in 1964 The Giving Tree has been translated into more than 30 different languages. Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein, this story is about a relationship between a boy and a tree. The tree loved the little boy very much and the little boy [...]

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4. December, 2011: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 1, 2011

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Kids’ Christmas Books: For the Naughty & Nice

Cedella Marley Inspires with “One Love”

Author Interview: Gary Paulsen

Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Witch & Wizard: The Fire

by James Patterson and  Jill Dembowski

(Ages 11-15)

Big Nate and Friends

by Lincoln Peirce

(Ages 8-12)

Artemis the Loyal (Goddess Girls)

by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

(Ages 8-12)

Pretty Little Liars #10: Ruthless

by Sara Shepard

(Ages 14-17)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

Home for Christmas

by Jan Brett

(Ages 0-5)

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5. Playing with Famous Author Dolls

Over at UneekDollDesigns, artist Debbie Ritter sells handmade dolls of famous authors and celebrated literary characters.

The collection includes the trio of ghosts who haunt Ebenezer Scrooge. Ritter has also created dolls of Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel and Mrs. Haversham from Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit come as a matching set. Flavorpill made a list of other dolls, including Shel Silverstein, J.R.R. Tolkien and Joyce Carol Oates. Above, we’ve embedded a Mark Twain doll. What’s your favorite?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. Re-Seussification Project: The Results

It was kind of a kooky idea, I admit it.  I’ve seen plenty of sites where artists will reinterpret someone like Maurice Sendak in their own styles.  What I wanted was something a little different.  I wanted to see what would happen if great children’s book illustrators illustrated one another.  If a Lobel illustrated a Bemelmans.  If a Carle illustrated a Silverstein.  Trouble is, famous folk have a way of not bothering to illustrate one another (to say nothing of the fact that a bunch of them are dead as doornails).  The solution?  To offer a silly fun challenge.  And so the Re-Seussification Project was offered: To re-illustrate any Dr. Seuss book in the style of another illustrator.

Now there was some question at first about revealing the identities of the people making the mash-ups.  Some folks thought this fun contest was unfortunate because I wasn’t celebrating the great talents of up-and-coming artists.  So as a compromise, I’ll present the art first and then the names of the artists at the bottom of the page.  Makes it a little more streamlined anyway.

And now . . . the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . in the order of the faux artists, here’s the lot!

So, we’re all friends here, right?  Right off the bat I’m going to make a confession.  In offering this contest all I really wanted was for someone somewhere to do an Eric Carle.  It was a lot to ask since we’re talking about an artist dealing in the medium of cut paper.  It looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  Then, last night, the final submission was sent in and it was . . .

1. GREEN EGGS AND HAM IN AN ERIC CARLE STYLE

A brilliant way to start us off!

Next up, I’ve fond memories of this book.  As a child of Kalamazoo I was slightly obsessed with any and every mention of my hometown, no matter where it might be.  Dr. Seuss was one of the few authors to understand the true glory of my hometown’s name and for that I shall forever be grateful.  It lifts my heart a little then to see him memorialized in the form of . . .

2. HORTON HATCHES THE EGG IN A LAURENT DE BRUNHOFF STYLE

I particularly like how worried Babar appears.  One thing’s for certain.  That elephant bird is gonna be one snappy dresser.

This next image didn’t go the easy route, no sir.  Some illustrators have styles that are easier to imitate than others.  For this next one I was incredibly impressed by the sheer details at work.  From the border to the font to the colors to the fact that this looks like an honest-to-gosh watercolor.  Hold onto your hats folks, for you are now in the presence of . . .

3. GREEN EGGS AND HAM IN A TOMIE DEPAOLA STYLE

The best part is that his name is signed with dePaola’s customary little heart.  THAT is the attention to detail I crave.

10 Comments on Re-Seussification Project: The Results, last added: 3/1/2012
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7. Books of Poetry for Kids

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 25, 2012

Beautiful Dreamers

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve hand-picked ten many-splendored new books. Children are born loving poetry from the moment they form their first babbling words to when they begin to tackle more complex rhythms and tongue twisters. As they acquire language and enjoy how it rolls off their tongues, they also gain an appreciation for the beauty of creative expression. Nothing quite tops that moment when they learn to recite their first nursery rhyme. So leave a poem in your child’s pocket and help him discover the appeal of modern poetry.

Every Thing On It

By Shel Silverstein

If you’re like most of us, you may have grown up with Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, or The Giving Tree on your childhood bookshelf. Master wordsmith and doodler Shel Silverstein invented laugh-out-loud silly rhymes for us to endlessly ponder. Every Thing On It has been posthumously published as a new collection of his irreverent poems and characters drawn with his trademark squiggly offhand style. It’s a great joy to share his nonsense poems with a new generation to puzzle over and love for years to come.

Ages 8-11 | Publisher: HarperCollins | September 20, 2011

A Stick Is An Excellent Thing

By Marilyn Singer; Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

What a winning combination Pham’s playful illustrations and Singer’s amusing verse make in this lovely poetry collection. Bouncing rhyme and pictures of active children at play ensure even the most poetry-adverse child will warm to its magical delights. As Singer’s light-handed verse concludes, “A stick is an excellent thing if you find the perfect one.” We’ve certainly found the perfect book of poetry in this one. For more on LeUyen Pham, check out our interview with her.

Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | February 28, 2012

Water Sings Blue

By Kate Coombs; Illustrated by Meilo So

In her first book of poetry, Kate Coombs takes us on a voyage under the sea.

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8. Top 100 Picture Books #85: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

#85 The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (1964)
23 points

Somebody’s moving up in the world.  At last count Silverstein’s most divisive book was low at #93.  Now it has climbed the ranks to a respectable #85. And there we have it.  One of the most divisive books in children’s literature.  To my mind, you are either a Giving Tree fan or you loathe and abhor it.  My husband is a fan.  In fact, if you get him at a party he will explain at length how subversive the title is, and how Silverstein is playing with the reader and isn’t serious about the tree’s “giving”.  Others prefer to take the book at face value, finding it to be a tale of self-sacrifice and parenthood.  The story, just in case you are unfamiliar with it, is about a tree and the boy it loves.  The boy takes apples, wood, and eventually everything from the tree itself, and it is happy with the process.

It is also notable for this infamous author photo of Mr. Silverstein on the back.  Those of you who read the third Diary of a Wimpy Kid book will remember the passage where Greg’s dad kept him from getting out of bed at night by threatening him with the back of The Giving Tree, telling him Shel Silverstein would get him if he left his room.  You can see it here in this image of Tracy Morgan.

And you’re in luck folks.  There’s now a video out there of the book as read by the author himself:

To say nothing of the perhaps-not-workplace-friendly Sassy Gay Friend edition.

6 Comments on Top 100 Picture Books #85: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, last added: 5/20/2012
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9. John Vitale Leaving HarperCollins

John Vitale is leaving HarperCollins this month. He worked with authors that included Kurt Vonnegut, Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein.

Here’s more from the company memo: “John joined the company in April 1977 when Harper & Row acquired Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. In 1978, he was named Production Director for the Children’s Division. In 1998 he was promoted to Vice President of Book Production, where he added the Adult Trade Group to his existing responsibilities of Children’s and Audio.”

The publisher will promote Tracey Menzies to VP of production and creative operations to replace Vitale.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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10. Do You Remember Shel Silverstein? Ask Any Child.

When I was teaching, I never entered a classroom without several of Shel Silverstein's wonderful books of poetry. Later, when I substituted, I carried them in my case. And whenever the lessons ran dry or we finished early, out came the hilarious poetry and illustrations of one of the most prolific and humorous authors of our age. When I got my first glimpse of Shel, the man, I wasn't surprised--he looks just like his poetry--odd and different. In this posting, I just wanted to remind those who are familiar with him so you might find some of his books and read them again--just for laughs; and inform those who have never read him that his work is worth finding. And make sure there is a child beside you as you read and chuckle. Continue reading

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11. Poetry Friday ~ No Difference by Shel Silverstein

I have just spent the day going through all my daughter’s notebooks, art projects,  etc. that she brought home at the end of the school year. I came across her notebook entitled Poetry and in it was a poem that she had copied down along with comments on why she had chosen it as her favorite poem. It really struck a chord with me as well and, since it is Poetry Friday,  I thought I would share it with you.

No Difference

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We’re all the same size
When we turn off the light.

Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We’re all worth the same
When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!

– Shel Silverstein

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted at The Opposite of Indiference  – head on over.Todays

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12. Free activity sheets from Hannah Shaw, Shel Silverstein and David Melling

Here’s the next batch of free activity sheets from children’s book authors and illustrators! Happy creating, colouring and doodling!

Hannah Shaw has written 14 books, both picture books and chapter books, including the brilliant Great Hamster Massacre and School for Bandits (which I reviewed here). You can find out more about her and her work in my interview with her here.

Hannah’s website has plenty of excuses for getting the pens, pencils and scissors out including…

  • Designing a sheep!
  • Making a sandwich fit for a hungry squirrel
  • David Melling has illustrated over 60 books including Good Knight Sleep Tight and The Kiss that Missed.

    David Melling has created a really handy activity pack full of fun things to do including creating your own goblin family, designing and making your own shield and plenty of colouring in opportunities! He’s also got a useful Teaching Guide to his books which contains even more ideas for getting up to crafty fun.

    Shel Silverstein was an American poet, cartoonist, singer-songwriter (he wrote A Boy named Sue, made famous by Johnny Cash) and more. He’s well known in the US, although his famous children’ book The Giving Tree is widely loathed as much as it is loved.

    On Shel Silverstein’s website there’s…

  • A 20 page booklet of activities to go with Cuttin’ Kate and an 8 page poetry kit packed fun including word searches and rhyming games.
  • a number of online games and downloads
  • Once again, these activity sheets are great if you’ve read the books in question, but many also work well if you’ve not seen the book so don’t be put off from clicking on through if you’re not familiar with the author/illustrator in question. It’s a great chance to discover someone new to enjoy Display Comments

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    13. Web of Words: Where the Sidewalk Ends

    I present “Invitation” from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

    If you are a dreamer, come in,
    If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
    A hoper, a prayer, a magic bean buyer,
    If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
    For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
    Come in!
    Come in!


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    14. Central Park - Saturday, August 6, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    A tribute to the works of Shel Silverstein

    0 Comments on Central Park - Saturday, August 6, 2011 7:00 p.m. as of 8/2/2011 3:10:00 PM
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    15. September, 2011: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

    By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
    Published: September 1, 2011

    Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

    THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

    Back-to-School: Books About School

    Best Halloween Books for Kids: Scary, Spooky, and Silly

    20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy

    Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

    Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


    THE NEW RELEASES

    The most coveted books that release this month:

    Wonderstruck

    by Brian Selznick

    (Ages 9-12)

    LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia

    by DK Publishing

    (Ages 12 and up)

    Every Thing On It

    by Shel Silverstein

    (Ages 8-11)

    You Have to Stop This (Secret)

    by Pseudonymous Bosch

    (Ages 9-12)

    The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

    by Dr. Seuss

    (Ages 6-9)

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    16. Poetry Friday: Where the Sidewalk Ends

    Today I was eating lunch at the bookstore and leafing through my new purchase, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 when a father and son sat down at the table next to me to eat lunch and leaf through their new purchase, Where the Sidewalk Ends. It had obviously been a childhood favorite of the father's, and it was a nice treat to eavesdrop on their conversation as they read poems to each other, talked about poetry form, and how many books have someone write the book and someone else draw the pictures but in this case the same guy did both.

    So, in honor of that moment and today being Poetry Friday and all, here's a poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends

    Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
    Listen to the DON'TS
    Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
    The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON'TS
    Listen to the NEVER HAVES
    Then listen close to me--
    Anything can happen, child,
    ANYTHING can be.

    Today's round up is over at The Poem Farm.

    Also, just a brief note to wax poetic (get it?) about that sandwich I had for lunch. Grilled cheese with 4 kinds of cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and apple chutney. OMG YUM.


    Book Provided by... my parents for Christmas in 1987.

    Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

    2 Comments on Poetry Friday: Where the Sidewalk Ends, last added: 9/17/2011
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    17. New Shel Silverstein?!

    As a kid, I LOVED Shel Silverstein's books. I think I borrowed Where the Sidewalk Ends from the local library more than any other book from ages 6-10, mainly because it was just so darn funny! And in an event that I can now refer to as a huge compliment to Mr. Silverstein (though was quite embarrassing at the time), I even attempted to pass some of his poems off as my own. Yep...I plagerized Shel Silverstein. I was about 7 and brought his book up to my room, proceeded to copy four or five of the poems in about 20 minutes and quickly ran downstairs to tell my mother I had decided to become a poet, handing her the poems. I was so  proud of myself. She, however, was not impressed and I was punished for lying. So tragic.


    Now, even all these years later, kids are still entranced by the silliness that is a Silverstein poem. His family has apparently given permission for some never-before-seen poems and drawings to be published in a fourth collection, hitting shelves tomorrow. If you were a big fan like I was or are just now introducing your children or students to the hilarity inside these books, make sure you check out the new one!


    Every Thing On It
    Shel Silverstein
    208 pages
    Poety
    HarperCollins
    9780061998164
    September 2011

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    18. EVERY THING ON IT

    The day has come!  Shel Silverstein’s newest poetry collection, EVERY THING ON IT, is on sale today!

    You can get a peek at the book by using our Browse Inside feature, and check out the downloadable activities.  The New York Times also wrote a lovely piece about Shel Silverstein as an unexpected “authority on education.”  And don’t forget to check out Shel’s poems on NPR’s Morning Edition (seriously, you haven’t lived until you hear Shel’s editor Toni Markiet read “Italian Food” out loud!).

    The reviews are coming in and they positively glow about EVERY THING ON IT:

    “This posthumous collection of Silverstein’s poems and illustrations is not only familiar in design, but chockfull of the whimsical humor, eccentric characters, childhood fantasies, and iconoclastic glee that his many fans adore.” ~ Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    “Like the boy holding the delightfully absurd hot dog with everything piled upon it, this collection offers a Silverstein smorgasbord that won’t linger on the library shelves.” ~ School Library Journal (starred review)

    “Adults who grew up with Uncle Shelby will find themselves wiping their eyes by the time they get to the end of this collection; children new to the master will find themselves hooked.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

    It’s a historic day, and we’re so excited to share it with you, readers.  And if you’d like to share memories and/or favorite poems by Shel Silverstein in the comments, please feel free – we’d love to hear it!

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    19. October, 2011: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

    By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
    Published: October 1, 2011

    Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

    THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

    David Teague: Professor, Author, Dreamer

    Best Halloween Books for Kids: Scary, Spooky, and Silly

    20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy

    Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

    Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


    THE NEW RELEASES

    The most coveted books that release this month:

    Heroes of Olympus, The, Book Two: The Son of Neptune

    by Rick Riordan

    (Ages 9-11)

    Ranger’s Apprentice: The Lost Stories

    by John Flanagan

    (Ages 9-12)

    If You Give a Dog a Donut

    by Laura Numeroff (Author), Felicia Bond (Illustrator)

    (Ages 3-7)

    The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

    by Eric Carle

    (Ages 0-5)

    The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict’s Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums

    by Trenton Lee Stewart, Diana Sudyka

    (Ages 8-12)

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    20. November, 2011: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

    By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
    Published: November 1, 2011

    Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

    THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

    Cedella Marley Inspires with “One Love”

    Author Interview: Gary Paulsen

    Lessons from Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

    Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


    THE NEW RELEASES

    The most coveted books that release this month:

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

    by Jeff Kinney

    (Ages 8-11)

    Inheritance

    by Christopher Paolini

    (Young Adult)

    Home for Christmas

    by Jan Brett

    (Ages 0-5)

    Ivy an Bean: No News is Good News

    by Annie Barrows

    (Ages 6-9)

    Red Sled

    by Lita Judge

    (Ages 0-5)

    Steps and Stones: An Anh’s Anger Story

    by Gail Silver

    (Ages 4-10)


    THE BEST SELLERS

    <

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    21. HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD WRITE POETRY



    During my 33-year career as an elementaryschool teacher in Gates, NY, I also became a poet. I became a poet partly becauseI loved the poetry of Shel Silverstein, especially Where the Sidewalk Ends, and also I wanted to sharemy ideas and sense of humor with my own students. So I started writing poemsfor them and my two daughters. Writing lots of poems not only made me a betterwriter and a better poet, but it also inspired my students and my own childrento express themselves through writing poetry.
    Learning to write poetry--that is, carefullyselecting a few words to express an idea--not only helps a child express whatis in his soul, but it also helps him learn to think precisely. So I encourageall parents to help their kids write poetry.
    One way you can help your child write poetry isto encourage them to write poems by using a "recipe" for the poem, orsimply by completing sentences in an organized manner.
    Each month on my web site, www.joe-sottile.com,I host a poetry contest for kids. I usually post a new recipe poem and samplesto encourage kids to write poetry. These poems don't have to be great to win.They have to be interesting. Here are the instructions for entering my monthly contest.
    0 Comments on HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD WRITE POETRY as of 11/15/2011 8:23:00 PM
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    22. How to Write an Award Winning, Bestselling Children’s Book

    A lot of people stop by this site because they’re curious to learn what it takes to not only write a children’s book, but to write a successful one. Some authors appear at workshops where they charge hundreds of dollars to dispense such insider tips. Not me. Today, I’m giving the good stuff out for free. I only ask that you thank me in your acknowledgements and cut me in on any foreign rights. It’s a fair trade for this invaluable wisdom. Let’s get down to it.

    First off, the old advice is often the best advice. Write what you know. Do you know a puppy that’s a bit poky? How about some teenagers who hunt each other for sport? Connecting with children is about connecting with the world around you. A few monkeys don’t hurt either. That’s right. Forget wizards, vampires and zombies. Monkeys are what distinguish great children’s books. Try to imagine The Secret Garden without Jose Fuzzbuttons, the wisecracking capuchin whose indelible catchphrase “Aye-yaye-yaye, Mami, hands off the yucca!” is still bandied about schoolyards today? I don’t think you can.

    Of course, the magic that is artistic inspiration must find its way in there. So how do you grab hold of it? Christopher Paolini swears by peyote-fueled pilgrimages to the Atacama Desert. I’m more of a traditionalist. A pint of gin and a round of Russian Roulette with Maurice Sendak always gets my creative juices flowing. Have fun. Experiment. Handguns and hallucinogens need not be involved. Though I see no reason to rule them out. Find what works for you.

    Now, you’ll inevitably face a little writer’s block. There are two words that cure this problem and cure it quick. Public Domain. Dust off some literary dud and add spice to it. Kids dig this stuff. For instance, you could take some Edith Wharton and inject it with flatulence. The Age of Innocence and Farts.  Done. Easy. Bestseller.

    I give this last bit of advice with a caveat. Resist the temptation to write unauthorized sequels to beloved classics. I speak from experience. My manuscripts for You Heard What I Said Dog, Get Your Arse Outta Here! and God? Margaret Again…I’m Late have seen the bottom of more editors’ trash cans than I care to mention. Newbery bait? Sure. Immune to the unwritten rules of the biz? Hardly.

    Okay, let’s jump forward. So now you’ve got your masterpiece, but how the heck are you going to sell the thing? Truth be told, you’re going to need an advanced degree first. As anyone will inform you, kid lit authors without PhDs or MFAs are rarely taken seriously. If you can’t work Derrida or Foucault into a pitch letter, then you certainly can’t survive a 30-minute writing workshop with Mrs. Sumner’s 5th period reading class. So invest 60-100K and 3-6 years of your life. Then let the bidding war begin.

    In the off chance that your book isn’t going to sell for six figures, try blackmail. Sounds harsh, but the children’s book industry runs almost exclusively on hush money and broken kneecaps. I mean, Beverly Cleary doesn’t even own a car. So why is she always carrying a tire iron?

    Money is now under the mattress and the editorial process begins. Don’t worry at all about this. Editors won’t even read your book. They’ll simply call in Quentin Blake for some illustrations and then run the whole thing through a binding machine they keep in the back of the o

    2 Comments on How to Write an Award Winning, Bestselling Children’s Book, last added: 4/1/2011
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    23. Light Verse or Lightning Verse? (Joe Sottile, 2005)

    Cover of Once Upon a Time magazine, Sprint 2005 issue



    If you were to ask this elementary teacher of thirty-three years what type of poetry has the biggest impact on students, the thumbs up winner is light verse. Light verse is defined as "poetry that is playful or humorous and usually rhymed." If we extend the umbrellas of "light verse" to include such poetry as what we find in the late Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends or Falling Up, which is full of quirks, surprise rhymes, and free verse, then light verse is music to soul of most elementary students.

    Children love the poetry books of Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Judith Viorst, Bruce Lansky, Jeff Moss, and Kalli Dakoa. At first glance their poems look easy to write. Just pick a topic — any topic — from apples to zebras, and write a poem. You don't have to worry...

    To read the rest, click here...

    http://www.consideration.org/sottile/for-teachers/light-or-lightning.html

    0 Comments on Light Verse or Lightning Verse? (Joe Sottile, 2005) as of 1/1/1900
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    24. Shel Silverstein Reads ‘Backward Bill’ Poem

    Happy National Poetry Month!

    We reported earlier that HarperCollins will soon release Every Thing On It, a new collection of Shel Silverstein poetry. To prepare, we’ve dug up a video of Silverstein himself reading his poem “Backward Bill” featured in the beloved book, A Light in the Attic.

    What’s your favorite Silverstein poem?

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    25. Fusenews: Love to eat them mousies. Mousies what I love to eat.

    I feel like the White Rabbit here.  No time, no time!  We’ll have to do this round-up of Fusenews in a quick quick fashion then.  Forgive the brevity!  It may be the soul of wit but it is really not my preferred strength.  In brief, then!

    Dean Trippe, its creator, calls it YA.  I call it middle grade.  I also call it a great idea that we desperately need.  COME ON, DC!  Thanks to Hark, a Vagrant for the link.

    • The Scop is back!  This is good news.  It means that not only can author Jonathan Auxier show off a glimpse of his upcoming middle grade novel Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes but he also created a piece of true art: HoloShark with Easter Bunny.
    • If you know your Crockett Johnson (or your comics) you’ll know that long before Harold and that purple crayon of his the author/illustrator had a regular comic strip called Barnaby.  What you may not have known?  That it was turned into a stage play.
    • J.K. Rowling wants to create a Hagrid hut in her backyard?   She should get some tips from Laurie Halse Anderson.
    • Why do we never get sick of Shaun Tan?  Because the man is without ego.  So if you’ve a mind to, you can learn more about him through these 5 Questions with Shaun Tan over at On Our Minds @ Scholastic.
    • Thanks to the good people of Lerner, I got to hang out a bit with Klaus Flugge at a dinner in Bologna recently.  Not long after he showed The Guardian some of his favorite illustrated envelopes.  Hmm.  Wouldn’t be bad fodder for a post of my own someday.  Not that I have anything to compare to this:

    10 Comments on Fusenews: Love to eat them mousies. Mousies what I love to eat., last added: 4/26/2011

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