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Showing posts from April, 2010

Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St Vincent Millay

Afternoon on a Hill
I will be the gladdest thingUnder the sun!I will touch a hundred flowersand not pick one.
I will look at cliffs and cloudswith quiet eyes,Watch the wind blow down the grass,and the grass rise.
And when the lights begin to showup from the town, I will mark which must be mine,and then start down!
-Edna St Vincent Millay
(Imagine your own view from a hill!)

African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways poems by Avis Harley, photographs by Deborah Noyes

African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways, poems by Avis Harley and photgraphs by Deborah Noyes, is more than just a book of poems, it's a puzzle, too. Not only are there acrostics, there are double acrostics (the first AND last letter of each line), the cross acrostic, which you find by reading diagonally, and the multiple acrostic! For a great interview with Avis Harley, visit The Miss Rumphius Effect, a blog discussing poetry, children's literature and issues related to teaching children and their future teachers.


To start things off right, Harley begins with this poem:
ACROSTIC (uh-KROS-tik)
Welcome all poets - both newOr well versed. Non-rhymers orRhymers! Come,Dive in headfirst!
Inviting all writers -Now you're just the right age.
Explore the acrostic that ridesDown the page.Get at word youEnjoy and would like to define.Write it down verticallyAnd fill in each line.Your name is a very good way to begin.Surprise yourself. Find that poem within!
Did you see the acrostic? W…

EARTH DAY 2010!

There are plenty on non-fiction books for children on the market these days covering everything earth related from recycling to global warming, getting the point across with facts, crafts and mazes. Any bookstore or library you walk into this month should have a display of some or all of these books.
Having a literary focus on my blog, I will leave the reading of these books up to you. I want to take this day to feature some books that I have loved for a long time, before I even knew I needed to save the earth (when I was a kid, environmentalism was called "ecology" and the only public expression of a drive for consciousness in this area was a commercial with a Native America standing in a landfill with a tear rolling down his face...)Some are based in reality, some are fantasy. I also want to feature some new books along the same lines that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing over the past two years.



April being National Poetry Month, I have to start with The …

Mary Ann Hoberman Day!

As first ever National Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky may seem like a hard act to follow. But, Mary Ann Hoberman has a wealth of poems and poetic picture books on her literary resume, as well as her first young adult novel, which I read and and adored, Strawberry Hill. And, in 2010 Hoberman, along with Linda Winston, selected (and contributed to) poems to The Tree of Life: A Celebration of Nature, Science and Imagination, a book that marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin with a range of poems that honor both nature and animals. But, more than writing and editing books of poetry, being the National Poet Laureate, for children or adults, is about getting out in the world and sparking a love of poetry and words in everyone., and Hoberman is definitely doing that. When I was planning to celebrate National Poetry Month, I emailed Ms Hoberman and asked if she had any thoughts on poetry she could share with me and my readers. This is the pearl of wisdom she passed on …

The Disappearing Alphabet by Richard Wilbur, illustrated by David Diaz

Richard Wilbur, poet and writer, has twice won the Pulitzer Prize and served as National Poet Laureate. In 1998 a series of poems he wrote for The Atlantic Monthly was paired with the magnificent artwork of Caldecott winning illustrator David Diaz. Diaz is also a gifted graphic designer, which shows in his work, especially his illustrations for Newbery winner Sharon Creech's book The Castle Corona, which has the feel of an illuminated manuscript from the middle ages.


The Disappearing Alphabet, available in paperback and hardcover, is the work of these two gifted minds. The book begins with this poem:

If the alphabet began to disappear,
Some words would soon look raggedy and queer
(Like QUIRREL, HIMPANZEE, and CHOO_CHOO TRAI),
While other would entirely fade away;
And since it is by words that we construe
The world, the world would start to vanish, too!
Good Heavens! It would be and awful mess
If everything dissolved to nothingness!
Be careful, then, my friends, and do not let
Anything hap…