Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Celebrating NCTE Award Poets Again

Congratulations, Steven Withrow and Kelly Fineman, our first winners of our free “Dear One” giveaway. (Please email me your preferred mailing address.) Two more lucky winners will be chosen from today's commenters. So weigh in on your favorite NCTE Award poets here. In the mean time, guess what?

At the NCTE conference, I picked up a copy of an ARC (advance reader copy) of a new poetry collection from Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. It’s a new “expanded edition” of their unique collection of poems by the NCTE Excellence in Poetry Award winners, Another Jar of Tiny Stars. The first Jar of Tiny Stars appeared in 1996 and was a unique attempt to gather a handful of poems for each of the award winners up to that time. This new edition goes even further, including ALL the recipients, even Lee himself! In addition, there are 5 poems by each poet presented and those poems were chosen BY CHILDREN as their favorites—isn’t that fun? In addition, there is a sketch of each poet, a quote from him/her, and a short biographical sketch (and an index). It’s a one-stop spot to sample the best of the best—and I look forward to the publication of this tremendous resource (as soon as the rights are all finalized, I believe).

Meanwhile, here’s one of the featured poems in the book by Lee—his anthem, really—originally written for the bookmark produced for the annual National Children’s Book Week celebration hosted by the Children’s Book Council every year. It’s great to cheer with kids in two groups using alternating lines (antiphonally!). Enjoy!

Good books.
Good times.
Good stories.

Good rhymes.
Good beginnings.

Good ends.
Good people.
Good friends.
Good fiction.

Good facts.

Good adventures.

Good acts.
Good stories.
Good rhymes.

Good books.

Good times.

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2009. All rights reserved.

Image credit: SV, Stephen Alcorn

6 comments:

Karla said...

"Celebrating NCTE Award Poets Again"

Sylvia, How perfect that you posted LBH's "Good Books, Good Times" poem. I was thinking of that poem when I clicked on the blog because the NCTE poet that I wanted to write about today is the wonderful Lee Bennett Hopkins! :-)When I was an elementary school teacher one of my favorite memories is this poem performed by the children as we visited other classrooms to provide a "Poetry Break." The children shared a number of LBH poems in a reader's theater format. Good Books, Good Times was loved by everyone and quickly memorized! Children on the playground would sing "Good Books, Good Times..." A highlight of this last year for me was to call Lee and share with him the winner and honor books that the LBH poetry award committee had chosen for 2009. I was shaking...I was sooo nervous! He was so kind, so wonderful, and quickly put me at ease. It was just kind of emotional for me to think of loving his work for so many years, sharing that work with children and preservice teachers, and then serving on an LBH award committee...and having an opportunity to visit with him! I feel so fortunate to work at Penn State and the PA Center for the Book where the LBH poetry award is administered. :-)
Karla Schmit karla.schmit@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

One of the things I am thankful for
is Sylvia Vardell's blog. There
are not enough words to express my
gratitude for what you did for me at NCTE.

You have earned a new name:
POETRY GODDESS.

My love to you...

Lee Bennett Hopkins

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Linda said...

One of my favorite NCTE Awards Poets,is Eve Merriam. Eve was a talented writer. One of my favorites is her PB, The Wise Woman and Her Secret. It is wonderful for teaching figurative language, and the story is just lovely. I use several of her poems every year. "Umbilical" is great for choral reading and teaching rhythm.

Linda said...

Sylvia,thanks for letting us know about Another Jar of Tiny Stars! I can't wait until it's available! I'm putting it on my wish list.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you for your celebration posts and kind comments-- you especially, Lee! I'm honored to be in your circle, one and all.