Sunday, February 24, 2013

More award updates

I noted last week that the Cybils award went to BookSpeak! by Laura Purdie Salas. This seems like a good moment to round up a few other recent poetry award announcements.

The 20th recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs.

The Claudia Lewis Poetry Award this year went to The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis. Check out the digital trailer for this book and educator's guide linked to Common Core standards here.

The most recent (2012) Lion and Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry goes to Roots and Blues: A Celebration by Arnold Adoff.

Congratulations, winners! Thanks for setting the bar high for all of us. And thank you, award committees, for these marvelous, diverse selections. So glad to see science poetry, anthologies, and African American heritage get this special recognition.

Over the last few years. my wonderful library school students and I have worked to create toolboxes of guides and digital trailers for each of the poetry award and honor books to help teachers, librarians, and parents share these wonderful books with young people. Be sure to check them out!

The Lee B. Hopkins Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox. Click here.

The Claudia Lewis Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox. Click here.

The Lion and Unicorn Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox. Click here.

We'll be working on creating resources for the newest winners very soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cybils, Bookspeak and Laura Purdie Salas

The Cybils awards are being announced today and I’m happy to join the chorus celebrating the poetry winner...

BookSpeak! By Laura Purdie Salas

The CYBILS are the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary awards and I was lucky enough to serve on the second round of judges that selected the winner.

Congratulations to all the Cyblis Poetry Finalists:
In the Sea by David Elliott
Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen
Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry compiled by J. Patrick Lewis
UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian
Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs

Here’s our “official” review of BookSpeak!

If a book remains unopened

and no reader turns its page,

does it still embrace a story

or trap words inside a cage?

BookSpeak! celebrates all things books. One of our judges stated that it shows kids "how to look at a common object with new eyes." Another said, "I love the many 'voices' she created within the book world." A third judge noted, "when read aloud, I feel these poems have heaps of personality--and utility, too." 

Laura Purdie Salas, explores reading, writing, stories, and book components in a wide variety of poetic forms, styles, and imaginative voices. From the lyrical "Skywriting" to the clever personification of “Index,” the poems flow from beginning to end, providing helpful models that young writers may enjoy exploring and imitating.

Josee' Bisaillon's use of collage, digital montage, and drawings completes the whole package. Complemented by a distinctive use of typeface and energetic and expressive illustrations, BookSpeak! is a book of book poems that readers of all ages will return to again and again.

This book has been such a hit with my students—who are teachers (and I think will be with kids of all ages). One student created a digital trailer for the book available here. (Thank you, Kendra Duckworth!)

I also loved Laura’s previous poetry collection, Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School! (Clarion. 2009) and reviewed it here.

And Laura also created a wonderful set of 10 poetry picture books tied to the content areas and produced by Capstone publishing:
1.    Lettuce Introduce You: Poems About Food
2.    Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems About Pets
3.    Chatter, Sing, Roar, Buzz: Poems About the Rain Forest
4.    Always Got My Fee: Poems About Transportation
5.    Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems About Fall
6.    Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems About Weather
7.    Tiny Creams, Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States
8.    And Then There Were Eight: Poems About Space
9.    Flashy, Clashy, and Oh-So-Splashy: Poems About Color
10.    Do Buses Eat Kids? Poems About School

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should also like to add that Laura has contributed poems to The Poetry Friday Anthology (both for K-5 and for the new book for 6-8) and we have so enjoyed working with her. Good thing we grabbed her BEFORE she got hugely famous! 

Finally, be sure to check out Laura’s blog, Writing the World for Kids, full of helpful teaching and writing tips and her website, of course.

Thanks to our noble chair, Jone MacCulloch and my fellow committee members, Diane Mayr, Renee LaTulippe, Ed DeCaria, and Linda Baie. What fun we had talking/writing about poetry in depth!

Image credit:

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Poetry for Valentine's

 Just giving a poem—any poem-- is a lovely Valentine gesture, but if you’re looking for poetry for young people specifically ABOUT Valentine’s and all kinds of love, you won’t have much trouble. Poets have been pouring out their hearts for centuries. Young readers feel this same longing and often gravitate to very emotional “love” poetry—both in their reading and in their writing. You might even be surprised how popular these can be with adolescent readers (both boys and girls). This list is one of 150+ similar topical lists from my book, The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists. I hope you’ll check it out. Meanwhile, Valentine's poetry...

“Love” poetry for children
  1. Adoff, Arnold. 1997. Love Letters.  New York: Scholastic.
  2. cummings, e e. 2005. Love: Selected Poems by e e cummings. Ill. by Christopher Myers.
  3. Greenfield, Eloise. 2003. Honey, I Love. New York: HarperCollins.
  4. Grimes, Nikki. 1999. Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
  5. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2005. Valentine Hearts: Holiday Poetry. New York: HarperCollins.
  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
  7. Katz, Alan. 2010. Too Much Kissing; And Other Silly Dilly Songs About Parents. Simon & Schuster.
  8. Lear, Edward. 2007. The Owl and the Pussycat. Toronto: Kids Can Press.
  9. Levine, Gail Carson. 2012. Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems. Ill. by Matthew Cordell. HarperCollins.
  10. Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1985. Celebrations. New York: Holiday House.
  11. Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1987. Valentine Poems. New York: Holiday House.
  12. Marzollo, Jean. 2000. I Love You: A Rebus Poem. New York: Scholastic.
  13. Mora, Pat. 2001. Ed. Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers. New York: Lee & Low.
  14. Pearson, Susan. 2006. Slugs in Love. New York: Marshall Cavendish.
  15. Prelutsky, Jack. 1996. It’s Valentine’s Day. New York: HarperTrophy.
  16. Sidman, Joyce. 2007. This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Ill. by Pamela Zagarenski. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  17. Singer, Marilyn. 2011. Twosomes: Love Poems from the Animal Kingdom. New York: Knopf.
  18. Steptoe, Javaka. Ed. 1997. In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers. New York: Lee & Low.
  19. Strachan, Linda. 2003. What Colour is Love? London: Bloomsbury.
  20. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2001. A Mother’s Heart, A Daughter’s Love: Poems for Us to Share. New York: HarperCollins.
  21. Walker, Rob D. 2009. Mama Says: A Book of Love For Mothers and Sons. Ill. by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Scholastic.
  22. Wilson, Karma. 2003. Bear Hugs: Romantically Ridiculous Animal Rhymes. New York: McElderry Books.
  23. Yolen, Jane. 2009. How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? New York: Scholastic.
  24. Young, Ed. 1997. Voices of the Heart. New York: Scholastic.

“Love” poetry or young adults
  1. Block, Francesca Lia. 2008. How to (Un)Cage a Girl. New York: Joanna Cotler.
  2. Fletcher, Ralph J. 1998. Room Enough for Love: the Complete Poems of I Am Wings and Buried Alive: Poems. New York: Aladdin.
  3. Franco, Betsy. 2008. Falling Hard: Teenagers on Love. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
  4. Hemphill, Stephanie. 2012. Sisters of Glass. New York: Knopf.
  5. Herrera, Juan Felipe. 1999. Crashboomlove. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  6. Herrick, Steven. 2004. A Place Like This. New York: Simon Pulse.
  7. Herrick, Steven. 2004. Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair. New York: Simon Pulse.
  8. Holbrook, Sara and Wolf, Allan. 2008. More Than Friends; Poems from Him and Her. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  9. Janeczko, Paul B. Ed. 2004. Blushing: Expressions of Love in Poems and Letters. New York: Scholastic.
  10. Merriam, Eve. 1983. If Only I Could Tell You: Poetry for Young Lovers and Dreamers. New York: Knopf.
  11. Mora, Pat. 2010. Dizzy in Your Eyes. New York: Knopf.
  12. Myers, Walter Dean. 2009. Amiri and Odette: A Dance for Two. New York: Scholastic.
  13. Pockell, Leslie. Ed. 2003. The 100 Best Love Poems of All Time. New York: Warner.
  14. Sayer, Viv. Ed. 2008. Poems of Love and Longing. London: Pont Books.
  15. Soto, Gary. 1990. A Fire in My Hands. New York: Scholastic.
  16. Soto, Gary. 2009. Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing. Orlando: Harcourt.
  17. Tregay, Sarah. 2012. Love & Leftovers. New York: Katherine Tegen.
  18. Vecchione, Patrice. Ed. 2004. Revenge and Forgiveness. New York: Henry Holt.

Image credit:

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

Friday, February 08, 2013

Sneak Peek for 2013

It’s sneak peek time again!
 I was able to glean a few more nuggets about forthcoming poetry in 2013 while attending the ALA Midwinter conference in Seattle last week. It seemed to me that the numbers were down a bit and there wasn't as much poetry set to be published this spring as usual, but maybe I missed a bunch. Anyhoo,  here is my stab at my annual “sneak peek” list of the poetry titles that are scheduled to be published in 2013, thus far. Of course this is subject to change with additional titles likely as the year rolls along.

Please let me know of any others I can add. I’ll be coming back to this posting throughout the year and continually adding titles, hoping to offer a one-stop spot here for referencing a 2013 list of poetry for kids throughout the year (and beyond). (Last year there were 82 titles published, so we have a way to go before hitting that mark!) Meanwhile, I am happy to share my beginning list of titles of poetry for young people (including novels in verse) coming soon…    

  1. Ada, Alma Flor and Isabel F. Campoy. 2013. Yes! We Are Latinos. Ill. by David Diaz. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  2. Argueta, Jorge. 2013. Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem. Ill. by Domi. Toronto: Groundwood.
  3. Bingham, Kelly. 2013. Formerly Shark Girl. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  4. Brown, Calef. 2013. We Go Together!: A Curious Selection of Affectionate Verse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  5. Brown, Marc. 2013. Marc Brown’s Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn and Play Together. New York: Little, Brown. 
  6. Burg, Ann. 2013. Serafina’s Promise. New York: Scholastic.
  7. Cheng, Andrea. 2013. Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet. New York: Lee & Low.
  8. Clark, Kristin Elizabeth. 2013. Freak Boy. New York: Macmillan.
  9. Crossan, Sarah. 2013. The Weight of Water. New York: Bloomsbury.
  10. Cyrus, Kurt. 2013. Your Skeleton is Showing: Rhymes of Blunder from Six Feet Under. Ill. by Crab Scrambly. New York: Disney/Hyperion. 
  11. Engle, Margarita. 2013. The Lightning Dreamer. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  12. Engle, Margarita. 2013. Mountain Dog. New York: Holt.
  13. Flood, Nancy Bo. 2013. Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo. Ill. byJan Sonnenmair. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  14. Flores-Scott, Patrick. 2013. Jumped In. New York: Henry Holt. 
  15. Froehlich, Susan and Rodman, Jonathan. 2013. Rabbit Turds. Edina, MN: Beaver’s Pond Press.
  16. Frost, Helen. 2013. Salt. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  17. Gerber, Carole. 2013. Seeds, Bees, Butterflies and More! Poems for Two Voices. New York: Holt.
  18. Gerber, Carole. 2013. Spring Blossoms. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  19. Grimes, Nikki. 2013. Words with Wings. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. 
  20. Held, George. 2013. Neighbors: The Yard Critters Too. Ill. by Joung Un Kim. New York: Filsinger & Co., Ltd.
  21. Hemphill, Stephanie. 2013. Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. New York: HarperCollins.
  22. Homer. 2014. The Odyssey. Translated by Stephen Mitchell. New York: Atria Books.
  23. Hopkins, Ellen. 2013. Smoke. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  24. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2013. All the World’s a Stage. Ill. by Guy Billout. Minneapolis, MN: Creative Editions.
  25. Hughes, Langston. 2013. Lullaby (for a Black Mother). Ill. by Sean Qualls. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  26. Keenan, Sheila. 2013. As the Crow Flies. Ill. by Kevin Duggan. New York: Feiwel & Friends.
  27. Kennedy, Caroline. Ed. 2013. Poems to Learn by Heart. Ill. by John Muth. New York: Hyperion.
  28. Koertge, Ron. 2013. Coaltown Jesus. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  29. Koertge, Ron. 2013. The Ogre’s Wife: Poems. Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press.
  30. Lawson, JonArno. 2013. Enjoy It While It Hurts. Wolsak & Wynn.
  31. Lesynski, Loris. 2013. Crazy About Basketball! Toronto, CA: Annick Press.
  32. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. Face Bug: Poems. Photos by Frederic Siskind. Ill. by Kelly Murphy. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  33. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. The Good Ship Crocodile. Ill. by Monique Felix. Creative Editions.
  34. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  35. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of. Ill. by Anna Ruff. Somerville, MA. Candlewick Press.
  36. Maccarone, Grace. 2013. Princess Tales: Once Upon a Time in Rhyme with Seek and Find Pictures. New York: Feiwel & Friends.
  37. MacDonald, Maryann. 2013. Odette’s Secrets. New York: Bloomsbury.
  38. MacLachlan, Patricia and Charest, Emily MacLachlan. 2013. Cat Talk. Ill. by Barry Moser. New York: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.
  39. McGrath, Barbara Barbieri. 2013. Teddy Bear Patterns. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  40. McPhail, David. Comp. 2013. My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes, Songs, and Concepts. New York: Roaring Brook.
  41. Morpurgo, Michael and Clare. 2013. (Reprint) My Wellies Take Me. Ill. by Olivia Lomenech Gill. Templar.
  42. Ode, Eric. 2013. Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast. New York: Sasquatch Books/Random House.
  43. Pendziwol, Jean K. 201. Once Upon a Northern Night. Ill. by Isabelle Arsenault. Toronto, Canada: Groundwood. 
  44. Powell, Patricia Hruby. 2013. Josephine. Ill. by Christian Robinson. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  45. Prelutsky, Jack. 2013. The Silver Moon: Lullabies and Cradle Songs. Ill. by Jui Ishida. New York: Greenwillow/HarperCollins.
  46. Prelutsky, Jack. 2013. Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
  47. Rampersad, Arnold and Blount, Marcellus (Eds). 2013. Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry. Ill. by Karen Barbour. New York: Sterling. 
  48. Sax, Aline. 2013. The War Within These Walls. Ill. by Caryl Strzelecki. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  49. Schmidt, Amy. 2013. Dog-Gone School. Ill. by Ron Schmidt. New York: Random House.
  50. Sidman, Joyce. 2013. What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  51. Singer, Marilyn. 2013. Follow, Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems. New York: Penguin. 
  52. Singer, Marilyn. 2013. Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents. Ill. by John Hendrix. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
  53. Smith, Charles R., Jr. 2013. Brick by Brick. New York: Amistad/ HarperCollins.
  54. Sones, Sonya. 2013. To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  55. Sternberg, Julie. 2013. Like Bug Juice on a Burger. Ill. by Matthew Cordell. New York: Abrams.
  56. Thompson, Holly. 2013. The Language Inside. New York: Delacorte.
  57. VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig. 2013. Forest Has a Song. New York: Clarion.
  58. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. 2013. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (Grades 6-8). Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
  59. Vestergaard, Hope. Digger Dozer Dumper. Ill. by David Slonim. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  60. Weston, Robert Paul. 2013. Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff. New York: Razorbill/Penguin.
  61. Wheeler, Lisa. 2013. The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses. Ill. by Zachariah OHora. New York: Atheneum.
  62. Winters, Ben H. 2013. Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night. Penguin/Price Stern Sloan. 
  63. Wissinger, Tamera Will. 2013. Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse. Ill. by Matthew Cordell. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  64. Worth, Valerie. 2013. Pug. Ill. by Steve Jenkins. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  65. Yolen, Jane and Dotlich, Rebecca. 2013. Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy Tales with a Twist. Ill. by Matt Hahurin. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.

Meanwhile, join us at A Teaching Life where Tara is hosting the always fabulous Poetry Friday line up.

Image credit:

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

Friday, February 01, 2013

Poetry at ALA Midwinter (Awards)

I’m still working away on gathering my notes and scribbles about the forthcoming poetry for 2013 (which I’ll post soon), but meanwhile I wanted to give a shout-out to the poetry books that got a nod at this week’s announcements of awards at ALA Midwinter.

The good news?
There were several wonderful poetry (and near-poetry) books recognized. The bad news? There were woefully few. (Nonfiction books seemed to be the biggest winners.)

The biggest thrill and surprise was the Newbery winner, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, which I felt was a work of poetry—although many disagree with me. Either way, it’s a tender story beautifully rendered. Spare and thoughtful. With prose written by a gorilla of a writer. You may remember Katherine Applegate’s novel in verse, Home of the Brave—also powerful writing from an authentic (YA) point of view.

Bryan Collier won the Coretta Scott King illustrator award for his art for the classic Langston Hughes poem, “I, Too, Am America.” His graphic collages give the beautiful a fresh and slightly edgy interpretation in the picture book adaptation.

And congratulations to Lesléa Newman for garnering a Stonewall award honor for her heart-breaking novel in verse, October Mourning. That story (about Matthew Shepard’s murder) is so hard, and the poetry from multiple points of view is achingly beautiful—so well crafted.

And that’s it! As far as I saw, these were the only poetry books among the big winners—although the Notables list (released separately) did include several poetry gems. Yay! And I had a good conversation with an ALSC board member about proposing an award for poetry (finally) and he was glad to help move that idea forward. Double yay! He said the task might be “Herculean,” which I know, but we’ll keep hoping that the stars will eventually align to make that happen. That’s my dream: to see an ALA award that showcases poetry for young people every year. And just poetry. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? (I’ll keep you posted, but it will take AWHILE since many good people have been working on this for some time already, myself included!)

Happy February everyone. Watch for the sneak peek list of 2013 poetry coming soon.

And join the Poetry Friday party at Teaching Authors. See you there!

Image credit:

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