Friday, December 02, 2011

NCTE Poetry Award Winner J. Patrick Lewis + TOOLBOX

Although I announced the news about the NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award last year, J. Patrick Lewis officially received his award at the most recent NCTE Convention in Chicago. He also presented at a solo session where he read from his works and even shared some “outtakes” from his wonderful SPOT THE PLOT book of book-riddle poems. I shared a tiny clip of him reading two posts ago, fyi.

Today I’d like to highlight a new tool that my graduate students (of librarians and teachers) collaborated on this fall to promote the work of Lewis, our NCTE Poetry Awardee AND Children’s Poet Laureate. In September, I gave the students in two of my classes a list of all his poetry books. Each student chose a different book and then worked to create either a readers’ guide for classroom and library use OR a digital trailer designed to highlight and promote the book. They came up with some very rich and interesting resources for more than 40 of Pat’s books. Check out the J. Patrick Lewis Poetry Toolbox.

I’m also excited to share info about Pat’s forthcoming books in 2012 (subject to change):
  • Take Two! A Celebration of Twins (with Jane Yolen), Candlewick, Ill. by Sophie Blackall, March 2012.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems, Harcourt, Ill. by Michael Slack, April 2012.
  • Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs (with Jane Yolen), Charlesbridge, Ill. by Jeffrey Stewart Timmons, Spring 2012.
  • When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders, Chronicle Books, Ill. by "a showcase (6) of illustrators," Fall 2012.
  • Never Spit from a Roller Coaster (tentative title, 140+ poems), Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, Ill. by Matt Cordell, Fall 2012.
  • The Book of Animal Poetry (200 poems), edited by J. Patrick Lewis, National Geographic, with photos, December 2012.
Don’t these sound terrific? Lots to look forward to! (And I’ll post my usual “sneak peek” list of all anticipated children’s poetry titles in January. Watch for it.)

One final note: For those of you who are educators or work with groups of students, this notion of creating a collaborative blog (or wiki or other e-site) is something to consider. It’s been very rewarding for my students and for me (and I know other colleagues have also experienced success in similar Web ventures). My students create assignments that are all the more meaningful for being shared with a “real” audience (beyond the professor for a grade). I started with a “toolbox” site to promote the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award (and am working on another “toolbox” site to promote the Promising Poet Award). We’ve made several blogs now and I plan on creating more—and welcome any thoughts about where there’s a need in the children’s poetry world.

PLUS PTT: And of course, Janet Wong and I have used the blog format to anchor our e-books of poetry in our Poetry Tag Time series.

Isn’t it wonderful how the Web offers us opportunities to share our work and support one another so readily? I’ve been teaching for 30 years and have always tried to make it possible for students to share with each other, but this takes it to a whole new level. And who knows what’s next? Janet and I have plans for a children’s poetry “app” and then… 

Join the rest of the Poetry Friday crew at Carol's Corner. See you there!

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.


Charles Waters said...

What a comprehensive look at the works of some of the best children's poetry has to offer. Your grad students all deserve A++!!!!!

Linda at teacherdance said...

So much great info. I have all the 'tag' books & have loved them. Thanks for the tips & the list-so useful to have it put together!

laurasalas said...

You and Pat are both so prolific and generous. This toolbox is an awesome idea. Teachers will love it. And honestly, I want to just sit and watch Pat write for an hour. I think he just exhales poems. Magic.