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Only, I've been a little distracted. I skipped off to the city for my local SCBWI meeting - an art show, a lecture from book-wise and witty editors Mary Kate Castellani and Caroline Abbey, and then a consultation and workshop with art director, professor, and story genius Joy Chu.
This is the same Joy who guided me over the last two winters in visual storytelling classes through the UCSD online extension program.
I'm still reeling with inspiration. I could have listened for days. Months. Years.
Now I'm home, all bright and hopeful, waiting for my brain to shape so many beautiful tips and ideas into working order. Time to let the front thoughts simmer. Time to play with poetry.
We started with a poet-tree. The wildebeests and I cut out branchy trees and labeled each branch with simple word: sky, go, sea, etc. Next, we cut out dozens of leaves - in all flutters of color, because it just looks more exciting that way.
Each branch grew rhyming leaf words: sky = cry, my, pie, etc.
Because we like to make life even more thrilling, and sometimes complicated, I thought it might be fun for the older wildebeests to thread their leaves on yarn. Winnie added a button.
Pip used gold pen. She's really into gel pens lately.
And their finished masterpieces.
I'd love to meet a tree like this someday, shimmering with colors, yarns, and words! I think I'd move in.
I'll share more poetry play next time.
Until then, here are a few favorites:
A Kick in the Head, An Every Day Guide to Poetic Forms - compiled by Paul Janeczko, ill. by Chris Raschka
The Random House Book of Poetry - edited by Jack Prelutsky, ill. by Arnold Lobel
Switching on the Moon - collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Peters, ill. by G. Brian Karas
Chicken Soup With Rice - by Maurice Sendak
When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne, ill. by Ernest Shepard
Now We Are Six By A.A. Milne, ill. by Ernest Shepard
Except instead of wax and feathers, I'm patched together with glitter glue, writing morsels and cups of hot tea. Struck by a blaze of new story lightning, I'm going down.
That's a good thing, right? ...Right?
Muttering at walls, scribbling "Words are my wings!" on sticky notes, covered in ink smudges, I'm delightedly doomed. But not too doomed to help with peg dolls. Indeed! And Ancient Greek peggies at that. Athena, patron of wisdom, and arts and crafts!
She's an owl lady. Aphrodite, patron of love.
Posiedon. Sea guy. And that's his trident.
Hera, wife of Zeus, patron of marriage. Peacock lady. Also compared to a cow in some circles. Now you know. Parthenon? Ruler. Cardboard. Scissors. Tape. White glue.
And now for the drum-roll, please... we'd like to announce a winner! A hearty thanks to all of you who entered Margaret Bloom's Making Peg Dolls giveaway, and thank you to Margaret for the fantastic blog tour. Our winner is... Barb Davis-Pyles. Congratulations, Barb!
I hope you will all go out and find this beautiful book. You are going to LOVE it. And did you know SACRED DIRT has a facebook page? "Like it" to get posts on the beautiful mess of artsy writing, daily dirt, and parenting sent directly to your facebook feed.
Ancient Greece on the page:
Greek Myths For Young Children, by Heather Amery, ill. Linda Edwards Explore Ancient Greece! Greek Myths - Ann Turnbull, ill. by Sarah Young A Gift From Zeus - Jeanne Steig, ill. by William Steig The Adventures of Odysseus, by Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden, ill. by Christina Balit Aesop's Fables - Lisbeth Zwerger