Friday, January 25, 2013

Poetry about Weather

Has the weather been crazy where you are?

Here in Texas we had a mostly cold January (as one would expect) and then this week it kept warming up til yesterday it hit 80 degrees! That's nutty, even for (Dallas) Texas. And then I heard there might be four feet of snow coming to the northeast. FOUR FEET! Now I'm heading to Seattle (for the ALA Midwinter conference) and there it is supposed to be chilly and predictably wet. So, of course this got me thinking about the poetry books I know that feature weather as their thematic thread. And there are quite a few! I have found that kids really enjoy weather poetry-- they are very tuned in to the weather (like puppies!) and enjoy how poets describe various weather-y days. In addition, this is a topic that is very appealing to children learning English as a new language. Weather words quickly become part of their conversational vocabulary (Is it raining? I am cold, etc.), so the poetry is accessible and relevant, too. Something to think about!

Poetry about the seasons offers many observations about nature, but some poets focus specifically on the weather in writing for young people. Snow, ice, rain, clouds, storms are all elements that fascinate both children and poets. Check out these examples.
  1. Alarcón, Francisco X. 2001. Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems/ Iguanas en la Nieve y Otros Poemas de Invierno. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  2. Bauer, Caroline Feller. Ed. 1986. Snowy Day: Poems and Stories. New York: HarperCollins.
  3. Cooper, Kay. 2001. Too Many Rabbits and Other Fingerplays about Animals, Nature, Weather, and Children. New York: Cartwheel Books.
  4. Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. New York: Henry Holt.
  5. Florian, Douglas. 2003. Autumblings. New York: Greenwillow.
  6. Francis, Lee. 1999. When The Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  7. Gray, Rita. Ed. 2010. One Big Rain; Poems for Rainy Days. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  8. High, Linda Oatman. 2004. City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888. New York: Walker.
  9. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1994. Weather: Poems for All Seasons. New York: HarperTrophy.
  10. Hubbell, Patricia. 2010. Snow Happy! San Francisco: Tricycle Press.
  11. Kosaka, Fumi. 2001. Let’s Count the Raindrops. New York: Viking.
  12. Levy, Constance. 1998. A Crack in the Clouds. New York: McElderry.
  13. Paolilli, Paul and Brewer, Dan. 2001. Silver Seeds. New York: Viking.
  14. Prelutsky, Jack. 1984/2006. It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! Winter Poems. New York: HarperCollins.
  15. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems About Weather. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
  16. Yolen, Jane. Ed. 1993. Weather Report. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
  17. Yolen, Jane. 1998. Snow, Snow:  Winter Poems for Children. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
  18. Yolen, Jane. Ed. 1997. Once Upon Ice and Other Frozen Poems.  Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.

Do you enjoy lists of poetry books? I have over 150 of them in my book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. This "weather poetry" list is one of them. Check it out! Here's the book-blog with mini-samples of every list.

And join the rest of the Poetry Friday gathering hosted by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference. See you there!

Watch for my "Sneak Peek" list of forthcoming poetry for 2013 next week.

Image credit:

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Favorites of 2012

I'm back! Sorry for the long, long absence, but I took a wonderful holiday break, plus celebrated my son's graduation from college and then jumped into another project (more about that soon) and started a new semester. All that is to say... life intervened.

So, I hope you'll indulge a bit of wrap up for 2012 as I head to the ALA Midwinter conference next week to research my 2013 "Sneak Peek" list of upcoming poetry.

I always like to post my list of my favorite poetry books of the year as a way to highlight some of the wonderful titles that were published. It's always a challenge, since I enjoyed nearly all of the poetry books that crossed my desk! But my goal is to help nudge readers to buy more poetry and advocate for adding more poetry to their school and library shelves. So, here goes.

My Favorite Poetry for Young People 2012

1.    Applegate, Katherine. 2012. The One and Only Ivan. New York: Harper.
2. Coombs, Kate. 2012. Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems. Ill. by Meilo So. San Francisco: Chronicle.
3.    Corcoran, Jill. Ed. 2012. Dare to Dream… Change the World. San Diego, CA: Kane Miller.
4.    Elliott, David. 2012. In the Sea. Ill. by Holly Meade. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
5.    Engle, Margarita. 2012. The Wild Book. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
6.    Florian, Douglas. 2012. Unbeelievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings. New York: Beach Lane.
7.    Harrison, David. 2012. Cowboys. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
8.    Heard, Georgia. Ed. 2012. The Arrow Finds its Mark: A Book of Found Poems. New York: Macmillan.
9.    Heidbreder, Robert. 2012. Noisy Poems for a Busy Day. Ill. by Lori Joy Smith. Toronto: Kids Can Press.
10.    Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2012. Nasty Bugs. Ill. by Will Terry. New York: Dial.
11.    Hoyte, Carol-Ann and Roemer, Heidi Bee. Eds. 2012. And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems. Ill. by Kevin Sylvester. Victoria, BC: FriesenPress.
12.    _______. 2012. I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail. Ill. by Ramsingh Urveti. Tara Books.
13.    Jensen, Dana. 2012. A Meal of the Stars; Poems Up and Down. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
14.    Lewis, J. Patrick and Yolen, Jane. 2012. Take Two! A Celebration of Twins. Ill. by Sophie Blackall. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
15.    Lewis, J. Patrick. Ed. 2012. National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry. Washington DC: National Geographic.
16.    Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. If You Were a Chocolate Mustache: Poems. Ill. by Matt Cordell. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
17.    Merchant, Natalie. Ed. 2012. Leave Your Sleep. Ill. by Barbara McClintock. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
18.    Newman, Leslea. 2012. October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
19.    Singer, Marilyn, 2012. Every Day's a Dog's Day: A Year in Poems. New York: Dial.
20.    Singer, Marilyn. 2012. A Strange Place to Call Home: The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats and the Animals That Call Them Home. Ill. by Ed Young. San Francisco: Chronicle.
21.    Wong, Janet. 2012. Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year. PoetrySuitcase.

Plus, I have to include my own book and since I didn't write any of the poems, I hope it's not too shameless to plug it!
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2012. The Poetry Friday Anthology. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.

Janet and I are so pleased that our book has been such a hit! There has been a hue and cry for a middle school version of this anthology, so.... that's what we're working on now! Stay tuned as we hope to release it in early March just in time for National Poetry Month.

Meanwhile, I hope you'll revisit these and other poetry gems for 2012 and I look forward to sharing my next list of poetry to anticipate in 2013.