As we dig deep into the oeuvre of Pat Mora, I’d like to offer just a sampling of activities centered around her work—which includes picture story books, picture book biographies, picture book folktales, picture book poetry collections, poetry for young adults, and works for adults, both poetry and resource books (Zing!).
For example, Mora has also created an anthology of poetry by other Latino/Latina poets in Love to Mama: A Tribute to Mothers (Lee & Low Books 2001). Fourteen poets write in both English and Spanish about the love, joy, and humor to be found in the bonds between mothers, grandmothers, and children. Children can choose a favorite poem to read aloud to a family member on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day or a special birthday in English or Spanish.
Pat Mora reflects her own feelings and experiences growing up in the Southwest (El Paso) in her poems in This Big Sky (Scholastic 1998). She celebrates the people, the animals, and the landscape of the region. Follow up with her pictures books, Listen to the Desert - Oye Al Desierto (Clarion Books 1994) or The Desert is My Mother – El desierto es mi madre (Arte Publico Press 1994).
For young children, Mora has authored both alphabet and counting books with rhyming text which once again naturally incorporate Spanish and English words. This includes ¡Marimba!: Animales from A to Z (Clarion 2006) and Uno Dos Tres, One, Two, Three (Clarion 1996). Both tell engaging and even humorous stories, while also celebrating the gift of being bilingual.
Pat Mora’s Confetti is available in two formats, in English with Spanish words intermingled (Confetti, Lee & Low 1999), and entirely in Spanish (Confeti, Lee & Low 2006). If there are Spanish speakers in the community, invite them to participate in sharing these poems aloud in both Spanish and English.
Pat was kind enough to participate in my National Poetry Month (April) game of Poetry Tag. Poet Marilyn Nelson “tagged” her and Pat shared her poem, “Spanish,” a powerful, bittersweet poem. Don’t miss it.
I reviewed Pat’s most recent work of poetry, Dizzy in Your Eyes, for Valentine’s Day this year. Check it out. I loved the LOVE theme and found the inter-generational points of view a powerful frame for young readers—and readers of all ages. Plus, it’s chock full of many poetic forms. A gem!
Please help spread the word about Pat’s work and her participation in this preconference blogathon. She’ll respond to questions, so please comment below with any questions you might have for her. Finally, I’ll offer an autographed copy of her 2010 book, Dizzy in Your Eyes (to be mailed after the conference) to a randomly selected commenter during this focus on her work.