Friday, October 18, 2019

Poetry Friday: Ciardi, Reid, Brown...and Paschkis!

Today, I'm going to send you over to Books Around the Table, a Wordpress blogsite I share with four other writers, because this whole month we've been posting some of our favorite kids' poems. Specifically, I'm going to link you to the post by the multi-talented author and illustrator Julie Paschkis, because I love her choices: a poem by John Ciardi, a wordplay delight by Alistair Reid, and a poem (and book) completely new to me by Margaret Wise Brown. Julie P. recites that last poem to the crows in her neighborhood.

To lure you in, I'll post the Margaret Wise Brown poem here, but take the time to read Julie's choices - then, if you have time, click on the links she lists where each one of us (Bonny Becker, Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Laura Kvasnosky and I) posted a few favorites.

Little Old Rook
Little Old Rook
Where do you look? 
At the very last page
Of this very same book
Said the Little Old Rook.  

from Where Have You Been? by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

The Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted today by the incomparable Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Head over there to see what other people have posted. Jama's blog always puts a smile on my face and often makes me hungry!  Thanks, Jama, for hosting!

Friday, October 11, 2019



Such fun! Don't you love nominating your favorite children's books of the year for the annual Cybils Awards? It means a lot to me to shine a light on my favorites, especially if they've been flying a little under the radar. Sometimes it's important to pull for the underdogs, right? Time for some sunshine, favorites!

Of course, many of my favorites are books of poetry, and it's wonderful to see 33 books already nominated in the Poetry category. But there are SO many more that need to be nominated, and OCTOBER 15TH is the last day for nominations, so don't delay. You'll find all the information you need at the Cybils website, including an FAQ page in case you end up with questions.

Here's a description of the kind of books which qualify for the Poetry category, offered up by Bridget Wilson, this year's Poetry Chairperson:

What belongs in Poetry? 

  • Anthologies or collections written by multiple authors
  • Anthologies or collections written by a single author
  • Novels in verse or verse novels
  • Some poetry will have illustrations. Some will not.
  • Verse written for children and young adults 
  • The audience can be toddlers, preschoolers, elementary, middle grade, or young adult.
  • Poetry does accept eBooks. 

I've been busy down at my local library, reading through the newest children's books (nominated books need to have been published between Oct. 16, 2018 and Oct. 15, 2019)  trying to get a handle on what to nominate in the Poetry category.

Right now, on my shelf of Still-Must-Reads, I have an anthology called Thanku: Poems of Gratitude, put together by Miranda Paul. It has poems by many fine poets, including Naomi Shihab Nye, an outstanding poet for both children and adults. I'm also looking forward to reading Marilyn Singer's Wild in the Streets: 20 Poems of City Animals and  Margarita Engle's Dreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems. Loved Boom! Bellow! Bleat!: Animal Poems for Two or More Voices by Georgia Heard - definitely would  love to hear kids perform those! Also loved The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander - that's one I just might nominate, especially if I don't see anyone else nominating it. It deserves to be considered.  

I have no individual poem to post today for Poetry Friday. Just want to encourage you to click here for the Cybils website and get busy nominating your favorite kids books of 2019. 

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Catherine over at Reading to the Core. Head over there to see what other people have posted. And thanks, Catherine!