Thursday, November 26, 2009

More thanks for poetry

One more day in our "thanks for great poets" thread. Today's winners of free copies of Dear One, a festschrift of poems and anecdotes celebrating Lee Bennett Hopkins are Karla Schmidt and Linda at Write Time (please email me with your preferred mailing address). Feel free to comment about him and all fifteen NCTE Poetry Award winners here. Two more lucky winners will be announced tomorrow drawn from this week's commenters.

And as we gather across the country to celebrate Thanksgiving, a new picture (not poetry) book just arrived by poet Pat Mora that I wanted to share. It's Gracias * Thanks, illustrated with colorful folk arty scenes by John Parra. Mora presents a very straightforward and inviting litany of things for which to be thankful, totally from a child's perspective and in a child-like voice, full of the details that kids notice and celebrate-- in both Spanish and English. The charm is in the perfect phrasing of each note of thanks which follows the pattern of "For..., thanks," beginning with:

Por el sol que me despierta y no permite que siga durmiendo por años y años, y que me crezca una larga barba blanca, gracias.
For the sun that wakes me up so I don't sleep for years and years and grow a long, white beard, thanks.

And continues with

Por mi hermanito, que la lanzó su puré de chícaros a mi hermana y me hizo reír tanto que me caí de la silla, gracias.
For my little brother, who threw mashed peas at my sister and made me laugh so hard
I fell off my chair, thanks.

And ends with

Por el grillo Escondido que nos canta una serenata antes de dormir, gracias!
For the cricket hiding when he serenades us to sleep, thanks!

(Lee and Low, 2009)

It's sweet and poignant, but not afraid to make us laugh, and walks the line of sentiment beautifully. This will be a terrific read aloud for Thanksgiving and any day, to be followed by a round-the-table sharing of other things to notice and appreciate. Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Look for Pat Mora's upcoming book of poetry, Dizzy in Your Eyes, coming in 2010 (from Random House/Knopf).

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell c 2009. All rights reserved.
Image credit:;


Linda said...

Sylvia, thank you so very much! I REALLY wanted a copy of Dear One. My students and I will enjoy it for years to come.

Is you email address on the blog? I couldn't find it.
Thanks again! YOu've given me one more thing to be thankful for.

Sylvia Vardell said...

You're welcome! Sorry that address wasn't easy to find. Just email me at svardell at twu dot edu