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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Our Week in Books: August 23-30

Books We Read This Week - Here in the Bonny Glen

 

Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller & Anne WilsdorfSophie’s Squash by  Pat Zietlow Miller & Anne Wilsdorf. Read to: my boys.

If you only pick up one new picture book for fall, let this be it. Here’s what I wrote in a Picture Book Spotlight post last year:

We first read this absolute gem of a picture book last year during the CYBILs. Fell so utterly in love with it—the lot of us—that a library copy wouldn’t do; we had to have our own. Huck and Rilla were overjoyed when I pulled it out this morning. Sophie’s instant bond with a butternut squash is utterly believable, and not just because Huck formed a similar attachment once upon a time, long before we encountered this book! “Bernice” becomes Sophie’s best friend and closest confidant, all through a bright and beautiful autumn. But as winter approaches, Bernice begins to get a bit squishy about the edges. Sophie’s parents make gentle attempts to convince Sophie it’s time to let her friend go, but since their suggestions involve treating the squash like, you know, a squash, Sophie’s having none of it. Her own solution is sweet and heartwarming, and it makes my kids sigh that contented sigh that means everything has come out exactly right.


 

How to Read a Story by Kate MessnerHow to Read a Story by Kate Messner, illustrated by Mark Siegel. Read to: my boys.

Well, I was sure I had posted a video of Huck reading this book last March. He was enchanted by the story from the first—a little step-by-step guide to enjoying a book with your best reading buddy, charmingly illustrated—and one day I caught him reading it out loud to himself, putting in all the voices. ::melt:

 

(In case the video won’t play for you, here’s a Youtube link.)


 

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris RaschkaCharlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka. Read to: my boys.

One of our longtime family favorites. The rhythm and whimsy of the text has captivated each of our small fry in turn. And the art is bold and funny and altogether wonderful.


 

Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C. DavisDon’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis. Read to: the teens.

Another of the texts Beanie, Rose, and I are using for our 20th-century history studies. We continue to enjoy reading history texts aloud together, which allows us all to stay on the same page (literally) and—even more important—fosters discussion and fruitful rabbit trailing. We try to reserve two 45-minute blocks a week for this, supplementing with other books (including graphic novels, historical fiction, and biographies) and videos.


 

Poetry:

Walt Whitman, selections from “Song of Myself
Gwendolyn Brooks, “kitchenette building


 

Books Continued from Last Week:

(Rillabooks in the top row)
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfeild audiobook

Best of H.P. Lovecraft An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

I’m nearing the end of To the Lighthouse and am feeling pretty well shattered. And I sort of want to start it all over from the beginning.


 

Related:

books to read with my 9yo  TEXT HERE (2)

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2. New Sarah Kay Poetry Video Unleashed

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3. Button Poetry Live Show Series Featured on Kickstarter

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4. School Poems

Goodbye Summer Reading!  Hello School Time!

My cape is tucked away and our library super hero readers are almost off to school!

Laura Purdie Salas’s poem captures the summer reading theme of “Every Hero Has a Story” with imagination and books just as our super readers return to class.

SuperReaders
Her cape is sewn from favorite pages
He battles bullies, beasts, and crooks
Their weapon is another world–
the world they choose–
inside of books

Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

I picture students just like Salas’s poem with flying capes made out of book pages, backpacks filled with school supplies and lunches ready to eat.

School supplies ready! photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

School supplies ready! photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Let’s start off the school year with some poetry noise. From Messing Around on the Monkey Bars: and Other School Poems for Two Voices by Betsty Franco to Shout!: Little Poems that Roar by Brod Bagert.  Sharing school poems is the perfect way to start the school year out.

Favorite school poetry books created on Riffle.

School Poetry Activities:

  • Listen to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poem, “New School New Year.”  After record your own.  Start out with the same word, “School.” Have everyone say it together, “SCHOOL!” Then go around the classroom and have the whole classroom share one word.  Maybe it’s their favorite subject in school, maybe it’s what school smells like or maybe it’s a favorite time like recess.  Go around the classroom having each student share one word then again faster and louder.  End the poem with everyone saying the word “school” together.
  • Create a School Poetry Display with your favorite school poems and school supplies. (If you have a school poetry display already created please share in the comments below.)
  • Attach a long piece of butcher paper in the shape of pencil on the back of a classroom or library door.  Invite students throughout the day to write what the pencil might say if it could talk.  Then read the poem, “Things To Do If You are a Pencil” by Elaine Magilano.
  • Write a school bus concrete poem or shape poem-Draw a HUGE school bus, add school bus noises and things students might say on the way to school.
  • Write a separate poem on “How are you getting to school?” Read “The Very First Day of School” by Deborah Ruddell.  Have the students use their imagination and create their own vehicle or way to get to school.  Examples: Flying chair, jumping shoes, rainbow wings…
  • Find an unusual object in the classroom and write a concrete poem.  Stuffed hedgehog, cuckoo clock on the wall, pink velvet chair—what unusual object do you see in the classroom? Describe it! Use butcher paper, crayons, pencils, markers and make it BIG or use colorful sticky notes and make a tiny concrete poem.  Display them around the room.
  • Write a list poem about what the desk, chair or chalk board (smart board) are saying when children are in the room.  One word after the other-Ouch! Thud!  Write another poem about the same object but when the classroom is empty. What do they when everyone has gone home?
  • Read “On Menu for School Today” by Rebecca Kai Doltish then write a quiet and LOUD poem about a pencil sharper and create new sounds! Thud! Clank!  The first word is in lower case and is quiet and then the second word is in all caps and is LOUD. Continue with one quiet word and then one loud word.
  • Act out “Kids Rule” by Brod Bagert.  Everyone up!  Tell everyone, we are going to do three things (hold up three fingers) and we are going to do those three things three times.  The three things are Run, Chew and Read! (act out)  Practice the three things. Run three times while saying run, run, run.  Pretend to eat your lunch while saying chew, chew, chew.  Hold up your hands like a book and read, read, read. At the end of the poem, have everyone shout out together, “Kids Learn!” “Kids Rule!”  Ready?

Explore more school poems and poetry ideas with Laura Purdie Salas, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and Betsy Franco.

photo by istockphoto and poem by Deborah Ruddell

photo by istockphoto and poem by Deborah Ruddell

Enjoy and share, “The Very First Day of School” by Deborah Ruddell.   Check out her new book, The Popcorn Astronauts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paige Bentley-Flannery is a Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library. For over fifteen years–from Seattle Art Museum to the New York Public Library to the Deschutes Public Library-Paige’s passion and creative style for art, poetry and literature have been combined with instructing, planning, and providing information. Paige is currently serving on the ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee, 2015 – 2017. She is a former Chair of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force and member of the ALSC Great Websites Committee.

 

 

 

The post School Poems appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Harts Pass No. 263 - For Tom Zbyszewski, Andrew Zajac, and Richard Wheeler

For those of you farther from home, the three young firefighters remembered above, recently lost their lives while keeping our community safe. Famous is a poem that Tom Zbyszewski, a local kid working summer fires, performed in his state finals for Poetry Out Loud in the spring of 2013. He may also have performed it here at Twisp's Merc Theater, as I swear that I can picture him reciting it.

In any case, it is a fine poem and a worthy tribute (I hope) to the everyday but still heroic efforts that our firefighters and many others make to keep others safe -- even at times at great cost. A humble kind of service that is inherently heroic of course, but never demanding of any particular praise or recognition. Thank you all for your service and rest in peace.

0 Comments on Harts Pass No. 263 - For Tom Zbyszewski, Andrew Zajac, and Richard Wheeler as of 8/27/2015 11:21:00 AM
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6. Put poetry into your writing tool kit all year!

Naturally, April seems to be the month to introduce poetry units of study as either part of writing or reading workshop, and that is a lovely celebration to look forward to. But, why wait until April? Why not bring the power of poetry into our workshops from the very beginning of the school year?

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7. On Elizabeth Bishop

She began with the idea that little is known and that much is puzzling.

coverSo begins Colm Tóibín”s wonderful little book, On Elizabeth Bishop. The book is one of those pocket-sized books, has generous margins, and is only 199 pages long. That probably doesn’t sound short, but believe me, it is. Because Tóibín has such a beautiful, smooth, creamy voice. He is thoughtful and meditative. And while he makes thought-provoking observations, they are delivered so softly that you find yourself wrapped up in them like a cozy blanket and mulling them over before you even realize how interesting it all is.

On Elizabeth Bishop is criticism but not of the academic sort. It is a book written by someone who loves Bishop’s poetry and wants you to love it too. He delves deeply into a number of poems but even if you haven’t read them he does not leave you lost. Because while he delves Tóibín also brings up patterns and images and techniques that range across Bishop’s work. He’ll say things like how what Bishop does not say in a poem is oftentimes as important as what she does say. And then we are looking at “The Moose” and Tóibín is picking it apart, pointing out the gaps, providing us with biographical information and context, and suddenly you understand why “The Moose” is one of Bishop’s most famous poems.

Tóibín also uses other poets and other forms of art as a way to see the poetry in a richer light. He writes of Marianne Moore, poet and mentor to Bishop, and the friction that would arise between them because Moore wanted Bishop to write like her but Bishop continued to develop her own style and voice. Tóibín compares the two writing of Moore’s poems:

They were close to certain pieces by Stravinsky, all brass and disturbed tones, unashamed of their own noise, or indeed paintings by Kandinsky, unashamed of their own swirling colors, whereas Bishop’s poems had the sad gaiety and inwardness and sparseness of Weborn or Mondrian or Klee.

And without reading either Moore or Bishop you get an idea of what their poetry is like and understand that Moore was never going to succeed in making Bishop into her very own Mini-Me.

The book has an overall effect of a long, intimate conversation, one you don’t want to end but reluctantly have to conclude. If you want to know more about Elizabeth Bishop, do read this book. Heck, if you are a fan of Tóibín’s you will probably like the book too and finish it wanting to read Elizabeth Bishop. And if you think he could never convince you to read poetry, allow me to say, Tóibín is very persuasive.


Filed under: Books, Nonfiction, Poetry, Reviews Tagged: Colm Tóibín, Elizabeth Bishop

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8. Dave Harris Poetry Video Goes Viral

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9. Academy of Poets Kicks Off Teaching Initiative

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10. #723 – Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate

Layout 1
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Written & Illustrated by Don Tate
Peachtree Publishers      9/01/2015
978-1-56145-825-7
32 pages       Age 4—8

“GEORGE LOVED WORDS. But George was enslaved. Forced to work long hours, he wqas unable to attend school or learn how to read. GEORGE WAS DETERMINED. He listened to the white children’s lessons and learned the alphabet. Then he taught himself to read. He read everything he could find. GEORGE LIKED POETRY BEST. While he tended his master’s cattle, he composed verses in his head. He recited his poems as he sold the fruits and vegetables on a nearby college campus. News of the slave poet traveled quickly among the students. Soon, George had customers for his poems. But George was still enslaved. Would he ever be free?” [inside jacket]

Review
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is indeed remarkable. Author and artist, Don Tate, has written an amazing story which he illustrated—with gouache, archival ink, and pencil—beautiful scenes of Chapel Hill, North Caroline, circa mid-1800’s. George Moses Horton is a real person. Young George’s desire to read and write were so strong that he listened in on the white children’s lessons while working long hours for his master. With diligence and hard work, George mastered the alphabet and learned to read and then write. He loved the inspirational prose he found in the Bible and his mother’s hymnal, but most of all, George loved poetry. He wrote poems while working those long hours in the field, but without paper or pen, he had to commit each poem to memory.

Poet-interior-FINAL-page-004[1]At age 17, George and his family were split up and George was given to the master’s son. George found the silver lining in his situation while selling fruit on the University of North Carolina’s campus(where he was teased by students). George distracted himself from his tormentors by reciting his poetry. It was not long before George was selling his poetry, sometimes for money—25c—other times for fine clothes and fancy shoes. A professor’s wife helped George put his poetry onto paper and get it published in newspapers, making him the first African-American to be published. George often wrote about slavery and some poems protested slavery, which made his work extremely dangerous in southern states—some states actually outlawed slavery poems, no matter the author’s skin color. The end of the Civil War officially made George a free man, yet his love of words and poetry had given George freedom since he learned to read,

“George’s love of words had taken him on great a journey. Words made him strong. Words allowed him to dream. Words loosened the chains of bondage long before his last day as a slave.”

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is one of those “hidden” gems the textbooks forget about, but history should not. Tate’s picture book portrays George’s life with the grim realities of the era, yet there are moments of hope when the sun literally shines upon a spread. This is more than a book about slavery or the Civil War. Those things are important, because they are the backdrop to George’s life, but Tate makes sure the positives in George’s life shine through, making the story motivational and awe-inspiring.

Poet-interior-FINAL-page-010[1]Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is about following your dreams and then taking your dream and yourself as far as you can go, never giving up on yourself, regardless of negative influences. For those who dream of a better life, especially writers and poets, George Moses Horton’s story makes it clear that the only thing that can truly get in your way is yourself. Schools need to get this book into classrooms. Stories such as George Moses Horton’s should be taught right along with the stories American history textbooks do cover.

POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. Text and illustrations (C) 2015 by Don Tate. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

Buy Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksPeachtree Publishers.

Learn more about Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton HERE.
Find a Teacher’s Guide HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Don Tate, at his website:  http://dontate.com/
Find more picture books at the Peachtree Publishers’ website:  http://peachtree-online.com/

AWARDS
A Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2015
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Also by Don Tate
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw
Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite
Hope’s Gift
She Loved Baseball
. . . and many more

.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.Full Disclosure: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate, and received from Peachtree Publishers, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: African-American History, American History, Civil War, Don Tate, George Moses Horton, Peachtree Publishers, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, poetry, prose, slavery, University of North Carolina

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11. A comma in Catullus

Only Oscar Wilde could be quite so frivolous when describing a matter as grave as the punctuation of poetry, something that causes particular grief in our attempts to understand ancient texts. Their writers were not so obliging as to provide their poems with punctuation marks, nor to distinguish between capitals and small letters.

The post A comma in Catullus appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. ‘The Heartbreaker Poem’ Video Goes Viral

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13. Copper Canyon Press to Publish the English Edition of a New Pablo Neruda Collection

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14. Poetry and pictures

Poetry appears in many forms in these four illustrated books: one collection of old favorites, two books that present original poetry in both Spanish and English, and one biography of an enslaved man who became a poet.

yoon_beastly verseJooHee Yoon’s sixteen selections of poems about animals in Beastly Verse include the usual suspects from Nash, Blake, Belloc, and other favorite poets, but the pictures are the collection’s highlight. Belloc’s yak, for example, is a big red scribbly beast planted firmly in a snowy mountain landscape. The book is big and square and sturdy, with thick off-white paper contrasting with the embellishment Yoon pours onto each animal and scene via overlays of three primary colors. But as eye-catching as the pictures are, the artist knows to pay attention to the poems and reflect their moods. (Enchanted Lion, 3–6 years)

paschkis_flutter and humWritten first in Spanish then translated into English by author-illustrator Julie Paschkis, each poem in Flutter & Hum: Animal Poems / Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales is intricately connected to its corresponding painting, with additional, thematic words found throughout the pictures. The colors and line-work in the gouache illustrations vary according to the subject: the playful dog is all bright colors and curving, bouncy balls, while the crow is dark with sharp edges and straight lines. Readers will find themselves carefully studying every little detail of the pictures while being charmed by the poems. (Holt, 3–6 years)

argueta_salsaJorge Argueta creates a mouth-watering musical recipe in Salsa: Un poema para cocinar. As a boy and his family prepare their weekly salsa roja, the child’s imagination runs wild. Ingredients become musical instruments—an onion is a maraca, tomatoes are bongos and kettledrums. Argueta’s use of onomatopoeia and detailed descriptions play on the various senses to convey the sounds, flavors, and feelings coming together as the boy’s family dances, sings, and cooks. Duncan Tonatiuh‘s illustrations, rendered primarily in greens and reds, complement the two types of salsa mentioned in the poem. A message of love and family creating something special shines through. (Groundwood, 4–7 years)

tate_poetPoet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate is the story of a man who taught himself to read and compose poetry, and who lived as a slave until age sixty-six. When George Moses Horton finds an audience at the University of North Carolina, where he sells fruits and vegetables on weekends, he becomes a paid poet, delivering love poems aloud and finally learning to write from a professor’s wife. Tate’s gouache, ink, and pencil illustrations are as straightforward as his text, but still pack an emotional punch. Young readers may need an adult to explain the historical context, but this is a compelling story for any age, by turns sad and uplifting. (Peachtree, 4–7 years)

From the August 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

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15. Bad-Poem-A-Day, Where Are My Books?, Sherlock Holmes, Music and the Brilliance Of Kari Maaren

I've been a fan of YA writer Kari Maaren fan ever since I heard her perform Kids These Days, a song from the viewpoint of a traditional vampire complaining about the Twilight generation of vampires. The song in the video above, Being Watson, is one of my favorites of Kari's; Kari is a Sherlock Holmes fan but is especially fascinated by Watson. You can hear the song and read the lyrics on Kari's Being Watson page. Do check out Kari's other songs, which range from Everybody Hates Elves (one of her extra-popular songs, especially with her kazoo solo!), a musical plea to George R.R. Martin to finish his Game Of Thrones books, a song about YA book clichés, an unusual take on Disney princesses, and a song in praise of Voldemort.

Anyway, Kari recently launched a tongue-in-cheek Bad Poem A Day blog and GUESS WHAT? Her poem today mentions my picture book, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? woohoooo!!!

Check out Kari's poem today, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?

You can find out more about Kari and her projects (including upcoming book projects) at Karimaaren.com.

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16. Poetry Friday: ISO Haiku


Once, my son found a "help wanted" ad:

Remove nest of baby copperheads
from under porch. Will pay $20.

I always wondered if anyone was desperate enough to answer.  I mean, come on---they're BABY copperheads, right?

That's the thing about classifieds. They suggest (perhaps willfully) that if only you answer them, the full story will be revealed. More likely, the truth is that if you answer the ad, you become part of the story, too.



I think the same give and take applies to poetry. Which is good, because this month, the Poetry Sisters are playing with haiku/senryu in the form of classified ads. I wrote several because I couldn't help myself.



WANTED: rain, heavy
Must pelt/soak; no peevish squalls
Will pay in fresh corn.


LOST: my perspective
No reward; meet me for cake 
mountains>molehills>crumbs.


FREE: to a good home:
One book, never read, but loved.
#coverseducedme


POETS: Start today; 
word your way up; could capture
moon in fifty years.

----all poems by Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)


Read my Poetry Sisters efforts here: Liz, Tanita, Tricia, Laura, Kelly, Andi. 

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.



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17. Review of the Day: Hypnotize a Tiger by Calef Brown

HypnotizeTiger1Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything
By Calef Brown
Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt (an imprint of Macmillan)
$17.99
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9928-7
For ages 9-12

Why do I do this to myself? Let me tell you something about how I review. Board books? Pshaw. I can take one and write a nine-paragraph review parsing precisely why it is that Bizzy Bear’s preferred companions are dogs and bunnies. Nonfiction? Lay it on me. I’ll take infinite pleasure in discussing the difference between informational texts when I was a child (long story short, they sucked) and our current golden age. But there is one book genre that lays me flat. Stops me short. Makes it exceedingly difficult for me to get my head in order. Truly, children’s poetry books are the hardest to review. I don’t know exactly why this is. They are the most unloved of the books for kids. No American Library Association accredited awards are made specifically for them. They get checked out of libraries one month a year (April = National Poetry Month) and then lie forgotten. Yet so many of them are bite-sized wallops of greatness. Hypnotize a Tiger by Calef Brown is one of these chosen few. Not many poetry books for kids sport blurbs from Daniel Pinkwater (who found a soul mate in Brown’s art) to Jack Gantos to The Book of Life director Jorge R. Gutierrez. And few author/illustrators are allowed to go as positively wacky and wild as Brown does here. From tomato ultimatums and loofah tortes to velocipede odes and dodgebull (rather than dodgeball) you honestly never know where the book is going next. And you’re grateful for it.

So if it’s so great (and it is) why is reviewing a book of this sort the devil to do? There are any number of reasons. When reviewing a book with, say, a plot, it’s awfully easy for me to merely recap the plot, dish on the characters, bring up some single strange or scintillating point, then close it all down with a conclusion. Easy peasy. But poetry’s not really like that. There’s no plot to Hypnotize a Tiger. There’s not even a running gag that keeps cropping up throughout the pages. Each poem is its own little world. As a result, I’m stuck generalizing about the poems as a whole. And because we are dealing with 84-85 (depending on how you count) of them in total, I’m probably going to end up saying something about how some of the poems work and others don’t. This is kind of a cheat when you’re reviewing a collection of this sort because almost no children’s poetry book is absolutely perfect (Example A: The fact that Shel Silverstein wrote “Hug-a-War” . . . I rest my case). They will always consist of some verses that work and others that do not. In the end, the best I can hope for when reviewing poetry is to try to find something that makes it different from all the other poetry books published in a given year. Fortunately for me, Mr. Brown is consistently interesting. As Pinkwater said in his blurb, “He is a bulwark against mediocrity.”

HypnotizeTiger2I’m very interested in the question of how to get kids around to reading poetry. My own daughter is four at this time and we’ve found that Shel Silverstein’s poetry books make for good bedtime reading (though she’s still thrown off by the occasional grotesquerie). For many children, Silverstein is the gateway drug. But Calef Brown, though he swims in Shel’s surrealism soaked seas, is a different breed entirely from his predecessor. Where Shel went for the easy silly ideas, Brown layers his ridiculousness with a bit of sophistication. Anyone could write a poem about waking up to find a beehive attached to the underside of their chin. It takes a Calef Brown to go one step further and have the unfortunate soul consider the monetary implications. Or to consider the verbal capabilities of Hoboken-based gnomes. So Hypnotize a Tiger becomes a book meant for the kid with a bit of prior poetry knowledge under their belt. You wouldn’t hand this title to a reluctant reader. You’d give it to the kid who’d already devoured all the Silverstein and Prelutsky and came to you asking, “What else you got?” That kid might be ready.

It is useful to note that you need to read this book aloud as well. There should be a warning sticker on the cover that says as much. Not that Brown makes it easy for you. Take the poem “Hugh”, for example. Short and simple it reads, “Meet my Belgian friend / He lives near Bruges, on a farm. / His name is Hugh Jarm.” Then at the bottom one of the tiny interstitial poems reads, “I once had a dream I was visiting Bruges – / snacking on chocolates while riding a luge.” Now the correct pronunciation of “Bruges” isn’t really necessary in the first poem, though it helps. The little tiny poem, however, is interesting because while it works especially well when you pronounce it correctly, you could probably mangle the wordplay easy peasy and still end up with a successful poem. SLJ probably said it best when they mentioned in their review of the book that, “Though there is more than one line that does not roll easily off the tongue and awkward rhymes abound, it is easy to see this clumsiness as part of the spirit of the collection.”

HypnotizeTiger3The subtitle of the collection is “Poems About Just About Everything” and that’s a fairly accurate representation. It does not mean, however, that there isn’t an internal logic to what’s being included here. There’s a chapter of animal poems, of people, insects, vehicles, schools, food, and then more esoteric descriptions like “Facts Poetic”, “Word Crashes”, and “Miscellaneous Silliness.” No poem directly applies to another, but they still manage to work together in tandem fairly well.

I don’t think it’s a serious criticism of a book to say that it’s not for all audiences. Calef Brown is an acquired taste. A taste best suited to the cleverest of the youngsters, absolutely, but acquired just the same. Not everyone is drawn to his style, and more fool they. To my mind, there is room enough in this world for any Calef Brown collection you can name. This book doesn’t have the widely popular feel of, say, a We Go Together but nor is the author writing poems simply to hear himself speak. Hypnotize a Tiger is a book built to please fans of creative curated silliness. Don’t know if you’ll like it? There’s only one way to find out. Pick this puppy up and read it to a kid. The book may surprise you (and so might the kid!).

On shelves now.

Source: Final copy sent from publisher for review.

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Misc:

  • I think this may honestly constitute the greatest class visit of all time.

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18. Academy of American Poets Forum This October

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19. New Winter Book

We have just completed the final edits on our new winter story told in verse.  We are now beginning the illustration process.  We are so excited about this next story and can’t wait to hear your feedback.  Here’s a few hints about what our next story will be about.  Aren’t they just beautiful?  What other animal reminds you of winter?

Red Fox 3

 

 

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) on snow at sunset, Kamchatka, Russia

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) on snow at sunset, Kamchatka, Russia


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20. Gabriel Green Poetry Video Goes Viral

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21. Good Night, Paresky Room

With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown, a recap of Homecoming inspired by the homiest book of them all.

In the Paresky room,
Bird-Window-Chil-Institute.ashxthere were tweeting phones
and thought balloons
with pictures of
the places we’ve dwelt, and with whom.
There were dogs and bears,1 and familiar chairs,
and pulses2 that quicken at art, not at chickens.
Home, and publishing house,3
and a pig and his spouse,4
and a book-signing rush, and the impulse to gush,
and a dean in her teacher voice begging us, “Hush.”
Thank you room
with hallowed aura.
Thank you silent, dancing Flora.5
Thank you artists who fuss and fuss.6
Thank you authors who board the bus.7
Thank you Rita
and thank you Rita.8
Thank you fashion
and thank you passion.9
Thank you shelves
that locate selves.10
Thank you Jack, who kept to theme.11
Thank you Tobin’s Delaware dream.12
The stories of Simmons could fill quite a tome.13
We’re clicking our heels, for there’s no place like home.

_______________________________________

1. and Laura Vaccaro Seeger
2. like Bryan Collier’s
3. such as Neal Porter Books
4. David Hyde Costello’s example of casual porcine diversity
5. created by the delightfully talkative Molly Idle
6. including but not limited to Hyewon Yum
7. led by Kwame Alexander
8. Rita Williams-Garcia, age 33, and Rita Williams-Garcia, age 58, who held an enlightening conversation
9. and thank you Elaine Dimopoulos, who has both
10. because, as Emily Jenkins put it, “Home is where you keep your books”
11. Jack Gantos brings home the record for use of the word “home.”
12. M. T. Anderson’s version of Delaware may have involved some imagination
13. Or a three-act play performed by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire

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22. Poems New and Collected

One of only 13 women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (out of 111 total laureates), Polish poet Wisława Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-vah shim-BOR-ska) was awarded the world's highest literary honor in 1996. A career-spanning work that features poems from eight separate collections, Poems New and Collected offers some four decades of the poet's finest [...]

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23. ‘Worst Day Ever?’ Poem Goes Viral

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24. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle

Please tell us about your latest book, Enchanted Air.

Thank you for your interest!  Enchanted Air, Two Cultures, Two Wings, is a verse memoir.  In one sense it’s a travel book about the unusual experience of visiting relatives in Cuba during the Cold War.  On another level, it’s simply about being bicultural, an experience shared by so many U.S. Latino children.  I wrote this memoir as a plea for peace and family reconciliation, a process which quite amazingly began on December 17, 2014, during the same week when advanced review copies of Enchanted Air arrived on my doorstep!  Of course, I rushed to revise the historical note to include President Obama’s announcement about the renewal of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations, changing my tone from a desperate plea to a song of gratitude.

There have been a number of verse memoirs published the last few years.  Could you explain how you decided to use verse for your memoir?  What does verse offer that prose doesn’t?

While I was writing Enchanted Air, I had no idea that Jacqueline Woodson and Marilyn Nelson were also working on their own verse memoirs!  I was familiar with wonderful older verse memoirs by Lee Bennett Hopkins and a few others, but basically I expected Enchanted Air to languish alone on a librarian’s cart, with no one quite sure where to shelve it.  Now, thanks to Brown Girl Dreaming’s National Book Award, I think verse memoirs will suddenly find their own place in the world.  I chose poetry because free verse allowed me to transform memories into present tense, bringing childhood emotions back to life. 

Already, Enchanted Air has garnered enormous praise.  It’s a Junior Library Guild title and has earned three starred reviews.  Your other books have won such prestigious awards as the Pura Belpré Medal, the Claudia Lewis Award, the Newbery Honor, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award, the Américas Award, the Jane Addams Award, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor, just to name a few. 

How have you learned to deal with such acclaim?  How do you set the possible pressure of such praise aside when working on something new?

Acclaim is wonderful when it happens, but life keeps me humble.  I still receive plenty of manuscript rejections, especially for my biographical picture books about great Latino scientists who have been forgotten by history.  As far as pressure, there’s nothing I can do to influence grownup reviewers and award committee members.  All I can do is write from the heart, picturing my readers as children.

This is your fourth book to release this year.  How do you handle the juggle while continuing to work on new projects?

Three picture books—Drum Dream Girl, Orangutanka, and The Sky Painter—were released within weeks of each other by sheer coincidence.  I wrote them all in different years, but publication coincided simply because the illustration and book design process is so much slower and less predictable than the writing.  Now I’m back to working on historical verse novels, with only an occasional burst of inspiration leading to another picture book idea.

Learn more about Margarita and her books at www.margaritaengle.com.

The post Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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25. ‘To Be Black and Woman and Alive’ Poetry Video Goes Viral

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