Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole
Written by Irene Latham
Illustrated by Anna Wadham
Millbrook Press 8/01/2014
Age 4 to 8 32 pages
oxpecker and lion.
This water hole is yours.
It offers you oasis
beside its shrinking shores.
“Spend a day at a water hole in the African grasslands. From dawn to nightfall, animals come and go. Giraffes gulp, wildebeest graze, impalas leap, vultures squabble, and elephants wallow. Irene Latham’s gorgeous poems are accompanied by additional facts that provide further details about the animals and their environment. Imaginative illustrations from Wadham complete this delightful collection.”
Dear Wandering Wildebeest, is composed of 15 poems about wild African animals, a glossary of possibly unusual words, and a section of advanced reading, enhanced by beautiful illustrations of the animals and the African land in which they live.
If you like giraffes, monkeys, lions, and elephants, you are in luck. There are also rhinoceros, small nightjars, vultures, marabou storks, oxpeckers, and, of course, wildebeest. Don’t worry, there are many more animals than that in this wonderful book. The pages look like the African Plains have jump onto the paper, leaving nothing bare. The beautiful skies change with the day, sometimes the dark blue of midnight or the rosy shade of dusk.
Some of the poems rhyme and some do not, but all are easy to read aloud. Impala Explosion swiftly jumps off the reader’s tongue.
peace shatters . . .”
—Impala Explosion, (partial poem) by Irene Latham © 2014
Kids will love the poems. They will understand them all, and any word that is foreign to them is most likely sitting in the glossary waiting to spread some understanding. If you like the aforementioned giraffes, Ms. Latham wrote a triptych in its honor. What is a triptych, you ask? I have no idea, but the glossary knows. Let’s check.
“triptych: a work of art divided into three sections”
That would be correct. The giraffe’s poem is divided into three sections:
Feeling parched, the giraffe craves a drink. Giraffe’s must be cautious, as it has no idea what other animals will be at the water hole. It could be dangerous. To quench its thirst, the giraffe must be courageous and confident because other animals will pounce on a weak animal. Giraffes are cool creatures. If the poem does not convince you of this, read the information box in the lower left side of the spread.
Each spread has an information box containing interesting things about the animal or animals illustrated. I really like the information the author/poet adds to the spread, much of it new information that I found fascinating. For instance, did you know the impala could jump as high as eight feet? Eight feet! That is high enough to clear the privacy fence in your backyard, if you have one, and have two feet between the top of the fence and the impala’s belly. How about this, in one year, the wildebeest travels—looking for food—more than 800 miles across the Serengeti. This is equivalent to you traveling across the state of Kansas, east to west (or west to east) twice, or the state of Rhode Island from north to south (or south to north) a whopping 20 times! The extra information is very interesting.
The illustrations are simply gorgeous. The African animals depicted in detail and the landscapes of various colors are easily as beautiful as the animals—except maybe snakes. I do not like snakes. If you do, they are covered and you will think they are beautiful. Check out each animal’s eyes. There is always something going on that draws their attention. (I think that darn snake is looking at me!) There is so much to see on each spread.
Dear Wandering Wildebeest is one of those picture books that will delight nearly 99% of those most who read its poems and view its lovely art. Kids, you will love the animals, the sometimes-quirky poems, the illustrations, and all the interesting side information about life at an Africa watering hole for the wild creatures that need it for survival. If you love poetry and animals, Dear Wandering Wildebeest is a book is for you. It is really that simple. With school right around the corner, Dear Wandering Wildebeest is perfect book for show and tell or light research for a book report on an African watering hole and the animals that depend upon it.
DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST: AND OTHER POEMS FROM THE WATER HOLE. Text copyright © 2014 by Irene Latham. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Anna Wadham. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN.
Purchase a copy of Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole at Amazon—B&N—Book Depository—Millbrook Press—your favorite bookstore.
Learn more about Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole HERE.
Meet the author/poet, Irene Latham, at her website: http://www.irenelatham.com/
Meet the illustrator, Anna Wadham, at her website: http://annawadham.blogspot.com/
You can find more poetry at the Millbrook Press website: https://www.lernerbooks.com/
Millbrook Press is a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
Also by Irene Latham
The Sky Between Us
Don’t Feed the Boy
Read Review HERE.
Also by Anna Wadham
The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat
Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm
Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK
, Children's Books
, Library Donated Books
, Picture Book
, Top 10 of 2014
Tagged: African animals
, Anna Wadham
, children's book reviews
, Irene Latham
, Lerner Publishing Group Inc.
, Millbrook Press
, picture book
Beyond Boundaries: Networking and Workshopping in Lake Como, Italy, Part II
Guest post by Thelma T. Reyna.
Here's a link to Part I of Thelma's Guest post on Melinda Palacio's Friday column. That column opens like this:
I was invited by one of my publishers to attend a national/international conference they co-sponsored at Lake Como last month. This “Abroad Writers Conference” (AWC) was designed as advanced learning for published authors from the U.S. Their “faculty” included 4 Pultizer Prize winners and 2 National Book Award recipients teaching intensive one-week workshops. Embracing this rare opportunity, I headed to Lake Como in my first overseas networking, workshopping, poetry reading experience. . . .
Debut Reading from My New Book
My poetry reading at Lake Como was a highlight for me. How often do we have the opportunity to “debut” a new book in Europe? Instead of reading poems from my two chapbooks (all the poetry readers read from their chapbooks), I chose my new full-length collection—Rising, Falling, All of Us. I also purposely selected poems that my workshop fellows had not seen. It was my way of breaking from the norm.
Comprised of published poets and other authors, it was a tough audience. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Rae Armantrout sat in the front row to my left. Next to her was Paul Harding, a Pulitzer novelist. The famed poet Nikky Finney sat farther back. One of the conference co-sponsors, editor and publisher of Kentucky’s Finishing Line Press, Leah Maines, sat in the front row to my right. For about 20-25 minutes, I shared my poems about famous and infamous people, real and make-believe, dead and alive: my “persona poems,” for this new book is a gallery of snapshots of people we know or wish we did, people we’ve read or heard about. My opening poem was appropriate for being in Italy, I told the audience: “Pope Francis.”
With much relief, I can say that the audience was engaged, kind, and receptive.
Reading in the lovely, architraved room of the Villa Galliata.
Looking to the Future…for All of Us
|My Poetry Workshop colleagues, |
with Rae (in black jacket) in the center.
The next AWC is scheduled for Spain (http://abroadwritersconference.com/
). Though I had never heard of these AWC’s, I learned that Como was the tenth. Others were held in France, Ireland, Thailand, and other exotic places. Sometimes some of the same top authors (“faculty”) teach the 15 intensive hours of each workshop. There is, thus, a cyclical consistency, with faculty and attendees making repeat appearances.
Regardless of where other AWC’s are held, I hope there will be greater ethnic diversity in attendees as well as faculty. At Como, Nikky Finney, a divine African-American poet and National Book Award winner, taught a workshop. Of approximately 50 attendees, I met 3 African-Americans and the 2 Asian-Americans in my poetry group. As stated before, I never saw other Latinos.
A colleague of mine believes that more ethnic minority authors are not involved in international venues such as AWC primarily for economic reasons. This may be so. AWC presenters, however, are subsidized; and this is where diversity can be injected into AWC as a jumpstart. Imagine if our Latino heavyweights, especially our Pulitzer Prize winners (See http://hispanicreader.com/2012/04/15/latinos-and-the-pulitzer-prize/
) were included as faculty. Or if Asian-Americans, such as Amy Tan, taught workshops along with African-American authors. The more diversity, the better.
There are those who’ll say, “If Latinos are not in attendance, interest in them would be moot.” Perhaps. But if it is beneficial for all authors to have visibility in international settings, to build national networks for learning, collegiality, and visibility purposes, then a means must be found for Latino authors to do this. Perhaps this is a discussion for La Bloga or other literary forums. How can authors of color obtain necessary resources for enhancing our work, our careers on a broader stage? Can there be “common pots” of financial support, for example, that are identified, created, and nurtured? Or do these exist already? How can awareness of these be expanded and leveraged?
I know that, personally, going to Lake Como was worth my investment of time, money, and effort. I believe that, for months if not years to come, my experiences there will impact my work somehow. For example, I am still in email contact with several friends I met there, and at least two book projects in which I’ll be involved are under consideration.
Writing—as is true of any other complex, serious undertaking—requires ongoing economic sustenance. True, all authors, except the big names, struggle to an extent. And AWC is not a be-all, end-all resource. But we can see what is and work toward what can be…for greater benefits for greater numbers.
* * *
Thelma T. Reyna,
|Photo by Jesus Treviño|
Ph.D., is the author of four books, including Rising, Falling, All of Us—issued in summer 2014. Reyna’s short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in anthologies, literary journals, textbooks, blogs, and regional print media off and on for over 30 years. Visit www.ThelmaReyna.com
Ten On the Fifth of the Eighth: August On-line Floricanto
Mark Lipman, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Devreaux Baker, Ralph Haskins Elizondo, David Romero, Antonio Arenas, Iris De Anda, Josefa Molina, Gerardo Pacheco Matus, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
Four years ago when La Bloga and the Facebook group, née Poets Responding to SB1070,
launched this ongoing series of On-line Floricanto readings, energies and passions drove hundreds of poets to fashion thousands of poems, giving them an audience via postings on Poets Responding to SB1070: Poetry of Resistance
, the group's current identity. From those, the Moderators nominated five poems to appear in On-line Floricanto.
Moderators of the internet group, founded by Francisco X. Alarcón, nowadays name five exemplary works for monthly publication in La Bloga's On-line Floricanto. The volume of work entering the literary churn had been so ample that On-line Floricanto went weekly.
In recent days, poets' voices rise again. Sparked by world events and increasingly empowered racism at home, a deluge of poetry floods the Moderators. Reflecting the upswell of expression, this month the Poets Responding
Moderators advance ten voices, several of them familiar from those heard in poetry's initial throes of disgust at Arizona's state-sponsored hate.
"The Border Crossed Us" By Mark Lipman
"Collecting Thoughts from the Universe" By Odilia Galván Rodríguez
"Ten Aspects of The World Without War" By Devreaux Baker
"Murrieta’s Morning Sun" by Ralph Haskins Elizondo
"The Ladder - Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas" By David Romero
"Sin Fronteras" By Antonio Arenas
"Here" By Iris De Anda
"La Llorona" By Josefa Molina
"The Children of La Frontera" By Gerardo Pacheco Matus
"The Boys of Summer" By Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
The Border Crossed Us
By Mark Lipman
I step onto land
where my ancestors
planted our family tree
over 1,000 years ago.
I have known no other sand
between my toes
under my feet
this is my only home.
One day though
a stranger arrived
sat down at our table
drank our wine
ate our bread
raped our women
burnt our village
then declared me illegal.
The color of my skin
the language on my tongue
the god that I chose to believe in
demonized in order to justify their cruelty.
The freedom that I enjoyed
my right to self-determination
gone, victim to yet another
simply a broken olive branch
cut from the tree they tore down.
rubble, beneath the tracks
of their bulldozers.
All I have ever had
all that I’ve ever known
all, taken from me.
turned into their gold.
broken from generations
of lies and betrayals.
If you cut me, do I not bleed?
Crushed, beneath the boot of technology
by persons with no soul or body to touch
with no heart to feel
eyes, blinded by hatred
ears, closed to any reason
mouths, shut out of fear
comfortably tucked away in their beds
while human beings die in the streets
under the batons and artillery shells
of a militarized police state
Wrapping oneself in a flag
worse yet, a religion
while making excuses for genocide
sanctioning the murder of children.
News actors continue to blame the victims
force feeding us lies, calling us terrorists
because we were born onto the land that they coveted.
Who is the real enemy,
the one who believes in something different than you,
or the one uses what you believe in to change who you are?
There is no escaping the soul staring back in the mirror
regardless of the shifting lines on some map
human rights have no borders.
Collecting Thoughts from the Universe
By Odilia Galván Rodríguez
What do the stars say
about children dying
or is it their spirits
big smiles on their faces
there's no suffering there
At the border
people act less than human
frighten traumatized children
in yellow school buses
their small faces pressed
against the windows
the gnashing of teeth
hear shouts of rage.
What kind of war
is being waged here
these children fleeing war
looking for a place to dream
or looking for what's left
of their family
that's already flown away
for fear or promise
We wage wars
heads of State
the false war on drugs kind
the raining down bombs
on innocents kind
the scaring of innocent children
riding on yellow school buses kind.
And who do we help
does all this war make life better
who is the real enemy
in a land
where one percent of people
owns more wealth
than the rest of us put together and
can we be put together again
Ten Aspects of the World without War
By Devreaux Baker
This is the morning soldiers dismantle guns
And abandoned tanks become nesting grounds
For cranes and starlings
This is the morning that trees are planted in the ruins
Of village streets and bunkers become seed exchange
Stations for non-gmo farmers
This is the morning that prayer flags fly
From the highest buildings in cities
That ring the world with chants or songs
This is the morning that snipers learn
The ancient recipes for baking bread
And distribute their loaves for free
This is the morning long tables are set
In the middle of rubble strewn fields
And musicians gather to welcome everyone
This is the night where stars are recognized
In the deepest recesses of space
As a saving grace
And men, women and children
Drift into sleep where there are no longer
The faces of war…but only the sound of wind
In trees, or water forming waves
Against some forgotten
Murrieta’s Morning Sun
By Ralph Haskins Elizondo
Murrieta’s morning sun had beamed
with hope for hospitality and shelter.
Greyhound buses filled with teddy bears
and dolls drove into town today.
Little eyes peered out from tinted windows
searching for their welcome party.
Instead the darkened crowds had gathered
blocking out all rays of hope.
Their signs and chants eclipsed
the chance for children.
Buses stopped and turned around,
every child a delicate piñata
filled with fear, ready to be broken
with the stick of hatred.
And as the day wore down
the heavens blushed in shame.
Sickened by the hateful scene below,
the mourning sun plunged off the western sky,
it spilled its darkest red upon the land
and died. There are no children left
to mourn Murrieta’s morning sun.
The Ladder – Anastasio Hernández-Rojas
By David Romero
This poem was written during a session of Last Words: Giving Victims a Voice.
Is a ladder
Is a ladder
My name is Anastasio
I know all about climbing ladders
I’m a painter
They tell me
Coyotes or police
I will fall off
In screams and shadow
In bones and blood
You’ll only fall
If you look down
Will only look down
If you’re too afraid
I’ve never been afraid
I know all about climbing ladders
I’m a painter
This life is a ladder
Tijuana is a ladder
The desert is a rung
Parched lips are a rung
Dry throat is a rung
Blistered feet are a rung
Hours waiting for work are a rung
The bosses are a rung
Cheap pay is a rung
But between the cold steel
Is a view
Than the one before
My kids go to college
They find work
In the shade
Never have to spend a day
Climbing ladders in the sun
I buy my wife a car
One that doesn’t immediately break down
She puts her feet to the pedal to visit her cousin
A new washing machine
For the first time
Under one roof
This freshly painted house
Shines like the afternoon
It rests at the top of the ladder
I can see it
I can breathe it
I can taste it
Like when I rise from my work
And rest on my haunches
Look out over a roof
See the tiles
Like a glass jar of money
I can see it
I feel it
The border is a ladder
And I am getting closer
With each job
Even at night
I will climb
My hands will grasp each rung
Because I have to
Because I am almost there
My hands reach out
The ladder is gone
On the desert floor
More than a dozen
Illuminated by the glow of tasers
Striking like rattlesnakes
They sting and bite
I cringe and cry
Each kick is a rung
Each baton is a rung
Each kick is a rung
Each baton is a rung
Each kick is a rung
Each baton is a rung
So many, many rungs
Bones and blood
Somewhere far in the distance
I see San Diego
Has the ladder gone?
By Antonio Arenas
Sin fronteras caminamos por el mundo,
Gritando a los cuatro vientos,
Que viva la paz entre hermanos,
Y liberando nuestros sentimientos.
Libertad de pensamientos,
Libertad de expresión,
Libertad de correr bien fuerte,
Por la emoción,
Como vuelan libres las aves,
Cantando un estribillo,
De paz y amor,
Y Teniendo de coro a un pueblo,
Que canta con el corazón,
Queremos paz en la tierra,
Sin fronteras en ninguna región,
Sin discriminación de razas,
Ni convicción política, ni religión.
Sin fronteras jugamos al fútbol,
Sin fronteras nos inventamos los juegos,
Sin fronteras escuchamos la música,
Que viva el idioma de los pueblos.
Regresan las aves a sus nidos,
Porque no podemos regresar a nuestra tierra,
Si es una tierra de hombres libres,
Un manantial de paz y belleza,
Donde se respira un aire puro,
Que no tiene fronteras.
By Iris De Anda
here we are
wings & wire
flutter over under
hope in heart
future in fingertips
truth in tongue
I AM dreaming
this here now
this you I
this us them
we are all together
there was no time
only jade spirals
rises morning sun
roja, amarillo, naranja
deep ocean waves
daughters of desert
Mother Earth drum
lagrimas lapis lazuli
here we are
La LLorona/ CihuacoatlBy Josefa Molina
Let me drop the withered bodies of my young
at your doorstep, children eaten
by the Beast or left to die in deserts
next to bone dry water tanks shot full
of holes by local cowboys with
delusions they were sheriff.
Let me drop my dying children at your feet,
praying for refuge from the coyotes that follow,
that you've fed, that salivate
over the fear-filled scent of frightened children.
Coyotes call, promising home, then slit
small, smooth, brown throats and devour their prey.
Let me drop my ghost children at your border,
hoping for compassion in a land where full~ bellied,
ranting "Patriots" want to send them back
to the slaughter they've risked life and limb to escape.
"Patriots" cursing and spitting out jagged shards
of hate that dismember with a familiar terror.
I howl with anguished cries as I mourn
my sons and daughters. If only I could feed them
with my withered breast and let them drink salty tears,
I might save them. Instead, I'm left to wail
each dread full night, as I gather up the remnants
of their souls and softly call them each by precious name.
Josefa Molina, PhD
All rights reserved.
The Children of La FronteraBy Gerardo Pacheco Matus
we are the children of la frontera
left to live, to rot and to dream en el desierto
day and night, we follow the old coyote’s shadow
through this dry world of cacti and rattlesnakes
en el desierto, the dead speak to us
disguised with our father and mother’s voices---
we listen to their feeble hearts
beat as soon as they tell us
the old coyote left them to die
alone and thirsty en el desierto
some dead children smile too glad to see us
others cry and shriek like crows
too fearful to see the old coyote
guide us through this wasteland
day and night, we follow the old coyote
through this labyrinth of bones and shadows
hoping we will live
free en el gabacho
we wear La Virgen de Guadalupe’s medal
so mother Death knows
we are the children of la frontera
day and night, we wait en el desierto
chewing and gnawing at dry cactus roots
until la migra breaks our spell…
day and night, we wait for la chansa
de cruzar la linea, no matter what…
as we are the children of la frontera;
The Boys of Summer
By Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
In Carpinteria, California a preteen boy in red shorts
runs down a clouded over beach to play at junior lifeguard.
He is lost in a sea of boys and girls just like him
all smiling and learning lessons on how to be safe.
In Brooks County, Texas a boy with a note pinned to his shirt
addressed to an aunt in New Jersey
wrestles with his mother’s hopes pinned to this his shoulders.
Death pins his dehydrated and cramping leg muscles together.
On a beach in Gaza four cousins play soccer.
One calls Messi while another calls Neymar before the injury.
The score is tied. They set up penalty kicks on the edge
0 Comments on Beyond Boundaries Part II. Ten On the 5th of the 8th: On-line Floricanto as of 8/5/2014 3:40:00 AM