Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 2006

The Children’s Poet Laureate was established by the Poetry Foundation in 2006 to raise awareness of the fact that “children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.”
The first Children’s Poet Laureate was Jack Prelutsky, chosen in 2006. 

Mary Ann Hoberman was selected as the second Children’s Poet Laureate in 2008. 

J. Patrick Lewis
was selected as Children’s Poet Laureate in 2011 and also received the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children that same year. 

The next Children’s Poet Laureate will be announced in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Wishing everyone happy El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) celebrated every April 30. Buy a book of poetry for someone you love today!

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

Image credits: nwbookfest;poetryfoundation;forum.teachingbooks.net

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1997

In 1997, Karen Hesse’s novel in verse, Out of the Dust, was awarded the Newbery medal and set the stage for an explosion of the novel in verse form.

And sad to say, that was pretty much IT for poetry books winning the Newbery award until 2008 when Laura Amy Schlitz won for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village (Candlewick, 2007). That’s four poetry winners in 90 years!

1981-- Nancy Willard’s A Visit to William Blake’s Inn
1988-- Paul Fleishman's Joyful Noise
1997-- Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust
2008-- Laura Amy Schlitz's Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

Do you like the verse novel? I do! And tweens and teens certainly do. Look for these new verse novels coming out in 2013:

1.    Cheng, Andrea. 2013. Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet. New York: Lee & Low.
2.    Clark, Kristin Elizabeth. 2013. Freak Boy. New York: Macmillan.
3.   Crossan, Sarah. 2013. The Weight of Water. New York: Bloomsbury.
4.    Engle, Margarita. 2013. The Lightning Dreamer. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
5.    Engle, Margarita. 2013. Mountain Dog. New York: Holt.
6.    Frost, Helen. 2013. Salt. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
7.    Grimes, Nikki. 2013. Words with Wings. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
8.    Hemphill, Stephanie. 2013. Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. New York: HarperCollins.
9.    Hopkins, Ellen. 2013. Smoke. New York: Simon & Schuster.
10.    MacDonald, Maryann. 2013. Odette’s Secrets. New York: Bloomsbury.
11.    Sones, Sonya. 2013. To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story. New York: Simon & Schuster.
12.    Thompson, Holly. 2013. The Language Inside. New York: Delacorte.
13.    Weston, Robert Paul. 2013. Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff. New York: Razorbill/Penguin.
14.    Wissinger, Tamera Will. 2013. Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse. Ill. by Matthew Cordell. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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

Image credits:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1993

In 1993, Lee Bennett Hopkins established the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award (in association with Pennsylvania State University) for an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of children's poetry. The first recipient was Ashley Bryan for Sing to the Sun. 

For a complete listing of all the award and honor books, as well as teaching guides and digital trailers (created by my wonderful librarian students) for many of these books, go to the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.

Followed by:
In 1995
, Lee Bennett Hopkins established the Promising Poet Award in collaboration with the International Reading Association to encourage new poets in their writing beginning with Deborah Chandra (Rich Lizard and Other Poems, 1993). The most recent recipient is Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Under the Mesquite, 2011 ). Here’s the complete list:

2013 -- Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Under the Mesquite. New York: Lee & Low, 2011)
2010 -- Gregory Neri (Chess Rumble. New York: Lee & Low, 2009)
2007 -- Joyce Lee Wong (Seeing Emily. New York: Abrams, 2006)
2004 -- Lindsay Lee Johnson (Soul Moon Soup. Asheville, NC: Front Street, 2002)
2001 -- Craig Crist-Evans (Moon Over Tennessee: A Boy’s Civil War Journal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999)
1998 -- Kristine O’Connell George (The Great Frog Race and Other Poems. New York:  Clarion, 1997)
1995 -- Deborah Chandra (Rich Lizard and Other Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993)

Followed by:
In 1998, Bank Street College established the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award for the best poetry book of the year in honor of the late Claudia Lewis, a distinguished children's book expert and longtime member of the Bank Street College faculty. The first recipient was The Invisible Ladder; An Anthology of Contemporary American Poems for Young Readers compiled by Liz Rosenberg.

For a complete listing of all the award and honor books, as well as teaching guides and digital trailers (created by my wonderful librarian students) for many of these books, go to the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.


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

Image credits: cbcbooks.com;leebennetthopkinspoetryaward;univofpa

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1992 (world poetry!)

The year 1992 was a big one for poetry for young people, with more and more significant collections of poetry for young readers by poets of color in the U.S. and around the world being published including:

•    Michio Mado’s The Animals: Selected Poems (1992) from Japan, 

•    Joseph Bruchac’s Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back (1992), a milestone work of Native American poetry for children which followed Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve's collection of poems by Native young people, Dancing Teepees: Poems of American Indian Youth (1989).

•    and Naomi Shihab Nye’s This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World (1992), a landmark compilation of world poetry for young people still in print.

Myra Cohn Livingston, the Grande Dame of poetry for young people, may have set the stage with her ground-breaking anthology for young adults, A Tune Beyond Us published by Harcourt, Brace back in 1968.

Contemporary Connections: IYL White Ravens poetry
I always look for the latest “White Ravens” list that comes out every spring from the International Youth Library in Munich. They include their favorites from countries around the world and in many genres. This year, their poetry selections featured the 16 titles below (annotations provided by IYL).

From Belgium
Herbauts, Anne (text/illus.)

De quelle couleur est le vent? (What colour is the wind?)

[Bruxelles] [et al.]: Casterman, 2011. – [48] p. 
(Series: Les albums Casterman) 

ISBN 978-2-203-02016-0

Wind – Colour – Poetry

Early morning, the little giant leaves his home to find the wind and to learn more about its colour. Every being in its surroundings (dog, wolf, tree, window) gives the little giant a new answer. The topic of the book is inspired by Anne Herbaut’s encounter with a blind child who asked: what colour is the wind? In this picture book she attempts to answer the poetic question in various ways, which ultimately must remain open-ended. This is because things that one feels sometimes remain invisible and colourless even for the sighted. This is an extraordinary and tactile-focused book, made with a love for detail. It is lamentable that only the title was printed in Braille and not the entire text. (Age: 6+)

From (French-speaking) Canada
Various authors (text) 
Rogé (illus.)
 Bacon, Joséphine (transl.)
Mingan, mon village. Poèmes d’écoliers innus (Mingan, my village. Poems by Innu students)

Montréal: Éd. de la Bagnole, 2012. – [41] p.

ISBN 978-2-923342-76-4 

Mingan Indian Reservation – Innu – First Nations – Poetry

Together with the French poet Laure Morali and the Innu poet Rita Mestokosho, the illustrator Rogé held a writing workshop on the Mingan Reservation, which is located in the nearly inaccessible northern region of Québec. Many Innu children of the Teueikan School there took part in the workshop. Out of it came poetic prose texts and short poems that stand up forcefully and hopefully to the contemporary worries of Innu society. Rogé presents fifteen of the selected poems from this writing workshop in French translation and includes portraits of the young poets. Unfortunately, the original Innu texts do not appear alongside the French, but only at the very end of the book after the poets Morali and Mestokosho have been intro-duced. (Age: 8+)

From China

Lin, Huanzhang (text) 
Li, Qingyue (illus.)

Zai xin li zhong yi ke shu (Plant a tree in your heart)

Chengdu: Sichuan shao nian er tong chu ban she 
(= Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Books Publishing House), 2012. – 183 p. + CD

(Series: Zhongguo er tong wen xue ming jia jing pin chang xiao shu xi)

ISBN 978-7-5365-5524-2

Nature – Language – Poetry

Lin Huanzhang is one of the most esteemed writers of modern Chinese children’s verse. With his talent and creativity, the Taiwanese poet has contributed much to Chinese children’s literature. Many of his poems demonstrate the unique rhythm and expressiveness of children’s poetry in the Chinese language. This book is a collection mainly of his poems as well as of a few animal stories and essays about his own childhood. Lin’s works show a close kinship with nature. Not only do they explore a wide variety of natural imageries, but they also convey a profound respect and love for the natural world. (Age: 5+)

From the Czech Republic
Kratochvíl, Miloš (text)
 Sýkorová-Pekárková, Eva (illus.)

Pes nám spadla. Bláznivé basnicky (We let the dog drop. Crazy poems)

Praha: Mladá fronta, 2012. – 93 p.

ISBN 978-80-204-2690-1

Animals – School – Anecdote – Poetry 

»Follow us into the Kratochvíl universe!« The present anthology could begin with that line. It represents a journey through Miloš Kratochvíl’s world of frequently animal-related verse-anecdotes. The anthology contains well-known as well as brand new poems. Laughing is guaranteed, since the author is a master at inventing funny occurrences and knows exactly how to parse these into crisp rhymes. In four segments one encounters: a sparrow that organises a worm grill party, a child that plays the violin so badly that all birds fall unconscious out of the trees, and a pitiable mouse who has to share an apartment with four cats. All these tales are freshly and wittily illustrated by Eva Sýkorová-Pekárková. (Age: 4+)

Also from the Czech Republic
Malý, Radek (text)
 Čech, Pavel (illus.)

Listonoš vítr (co prinesl a co mi šeptal) (The Postman Wind [what he brought and what 
he whispered to me])

Praha: Albatros 2011. – [36] p.

ISBN 978-80-00-02697-8

Autumn – Mood – Poetry

Put the currently reigning Czech children’s poet and one of the most captivating illustrators of the country together and have them make a children’s book about autumn – the result is sure to be a hit. In fact, in 2012 »Listonoš vítr« won the most significant Czech literary awards in the children’s book category, »Magnesia litera« and »Zlata stuha«. The book charms with poignant poems about the rustle of leaves and of paper, the festival of the fall forest, chestnuts, pumpkins, and the special mood of the season. Paired with Pavel Čech’s occasionally quite mystical illustrations, Radek Malý succeeds in presenting the hazy autumnal atmosphere of colourful leaves, crisp air, and melancholic fogginess in a sensuous and arresting manner. (Age: 6+)

From France
Chedid, Andrée (text)
 Corvaisier, Laurent (illus.)

Le Chedid. Poèmes (The Chedid. Poems)

Paris: Mango Jeunesse, 2012. – 40 p. 

(Series : Album Dada)

ISBN 978-2-7404-2899-3 


Very shortly after the death of the great francophone poet and two-time Prix Goncourt award winner Andrée Chedid (1920-2011), Mango Jeunesse Publishers put out this selection of her most beautiful poems with illustrations by Laurent Corvaisier. Andrée Chedid was born in Cairo, grew up in the Egyptian capital and went to school there, then lived for many years in Lebanon, before coming to and staying in Paris. The poet was equally at home in the Arab as in the French world. Her poems bear witness to the tense as well as enriching encounter between the two cultural poles. Chedid’s poems always speak of wonder and of the resilience, i.e. the creative power of human brings, to withstand existential threats such as loneliness, violence and war. (Age: 9+)

From Great Britain
Morpurgo, Clare / Morpurgo, Michael (ed.) 
Gill, Olivia Lomenech (illus.) 

Where my wellies take me. A childhood scrapbook with poems and pictures 

Dorking: Templar, 2012. – 97 p. 

ISBN 978-1-84877-544-2 

Countryside – Girl – Walk – Animals – Nature – Poetry 

Inspired by the love for poetry of former children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare and by their happy childhood memories, this magnificent collaboration takes readers on a walk with little Pippa. Setting off from her aunt’s village home, the girl ambles along a country lane, across bridges, past fields and pastures, admiring the flora and fauna on her way. Cleverly embedded into the enchanting story of Pippa’s countryside ramble are the Morpurgos’ favourite poems by well-known poets such as Ted Hughes, William Blake, Edward Lear, and Grace Nichols. Olivia Lomenech Gill’s exquisite scrapbook-like design, including handwritten text, mixed-media collage pictures, a map of Pippa’s walk, etc. make this anthology-cum-diary a truly enjoy-able read for readers of any age. (Age: 6+) l

From Greece
Kyritsopulos, Alexēs (= Kyritsopoulos, Alexis) (text/illus.)

Ligo akoma ... Ena paramythi empneusmeno apo ta poiemata tu Giōrgu Sepherē (Just a little more … A fairy tale inspired by Giorgos Seferis’s poems)

Athēna: Ikaros / Museio Mpenakē (= Museum Benakis), 2012. – [61] p.

(Series: An diabaza … poietes tes genias tu ‘30)

ISBN 978-960-9527-49-1

Optimism – Courage – Solidarity – Zest for life – Sea

In dialogue with the poets of 1930s Greece, Alexis 
Kyritsopoulos cooks up an allegorical fireworks display for children in his signature style, making poems sparkle through images and images glow through words. Kyritso-poulos found inspiration for this book in verses by the poet Seferis that talk of sea waves and marble that shines in the sun. Encouraged by his grandfather, a child sails fearlessly and eagerly through Scylla and Charybdis into the open sea, dives into the colours of the sun, and meets mermaids and dolphins. In the end, the child returns from the journey that »entwined mountains and bore stars« back to his grandfather’s garden, where children fly kites that blossom »like vulnerable souls« high up in the sky. (Age: 5+)

From Japan
Funazaki, Yoshihiko (text)
 Ajito, Keiko (illus.)

Koko ni iru (I feel you)

Tokyo: Popurasha (= Poplar-sha), 2011. – 31 p.

ISBN 978-4-591-12616-5

Death – Grief – Poetry

Illustrator Keiko Ajito is a master at depicting the spiritual state of girls in real stories and fairy tales. Her black-and-white images are delicate and floating. They avoid background detail and thus seem quietly symbolic, sometimes even eerie. For this poem, too, the illustrator draws a girl who has lost those she loves most. Her deep-set eyes reflect pain and emptiness, but there is also hope. Memories and love can give the one in mourning the feeling that the departed are still present in the souls of those who remain, giving them the power to go on. With poetic intensity, the text and pictures provide consolation to overcome loss and grief. (Age: 11+)

From Korea
Nam, Ho-s1p (= Nam, Hoseop) (text)
 Ko, Chjan-gyu (= Ko, Chankyu) (illus.)

Ppl e ssoyptta (= Bule ssoyetda) (Stung by a bee)

S1ul-si (= Seoul): Chjangbi (= Changbee Publishing), 2012. – 134 p.

ISBN 978-89-36446-30-7

Aging – Death – Everyday life – Poetry 

This book includes forty-nine poems for children that deal with the lives of ordinary people – especially neighbours, both young and old. Although written for young readers, the poems do not only address the interests of children. Also, they do not only show the bright side of the world. Rather, the poet attempts to share every aspect of life, dealing with children’s common environments, the people next door, and their plain and unpretentious daily lives, thus blurring the boundaries between adults and children. He also addresses the issues of aging and death, inviting children to feel more empathy towards the world and towards people, and to realise that the world is a place in which everyone, young or old, must face sadness, joy, aging, and even death. (Age: 7+)

From La Réunion (France) (French)

Écormier, Joëlle (text)
 Gaboriau, Claire (illus.)

Un cœur de sardine (A sardine heart)

Saint-André (Réunion): Océan jeunesse, 2012. – [36] p.

ISBN 978-2-36247-042-4 

Pet – Sardine – Poetry

A capricious sardine lives all alone in a tin on the kitchen counter. Robert (named after the well-known canning factory on the island of La Réunion) peers into a dim future, for his sardine mates have already disappeared into the frying pan. Does the same fate await him? Facing these bad prospects, »pet« Robert is not easy to keep in a good mood. His homesickness for the Atlantic, for instance, can only be cured with grandiose stories – complete with fictional starry sky, silvery »light show«, and the works. At worst, Robert barricades himself in his tin, annoyed. Claire Gaboriau’s boldly shining illustrations emphasise the affectionate humour of Joëlle Ecormier’s quick rhymes. (Age: 5+)

From Latvia
Baltvilks, Janis (text) / Petersons, Reinis (illus.) 

Biki – Buki 
Riga: Liels un mazs, 2012. – [32] p.

(Series: Biki Buks; 001)

ISBN 978-9984-820-48-4 

Reinis Petersons (born 1981) is one of his country’s busiest illustrators and is nominated for the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. In 2012 he joined five colleagues (Juris Petraškevičs, Kristine Jurjane, Liga Kičena, Edmunds Jansons, Marija Liduma), all exemplary representatives of contemporary Latvian children’s book illustration, in illustrating the first volumes of the charming book project known as »Biki Buks«. Each of these six small-format bookspresents a popular Latvian children’s poem written between the years 1940 and 1990, illustrated in a new and fresh form. In this case, the poem featured is Janis Baltvilks’s »Biki-Buki« from the year 1987. One hundred poems, all still well remembered by different generations of readers, are planned to be showcased in this series. (Age: 3+)

From New Zealand
Mahy, Margaret (text) 
Duder, Tessa (ed.) 
Elliot, David (illus.) 

The word witch 

Auckland, N.Z. [et al.]: HarperCollins, 2012. – 168 p.
+ CD
ISBN 978-1-77554-001-4


The late Margaret Mahy, great dame of New Zealand children’s literature, was renowned not only for her many children’s and young adult books but also for her innumerable poems. This collection of sixty-six of her rhymed works includes funny and popular classics such as »Dashing Dog«, the tongue-twisting »Bubble Trouble«, or the limerick »My Sister«, as well as lesser-known texts such as »When I am Old and Wrinkled Like a Raisin«. All the poems are beautifully illustrated by David Elliot with atmospheric drawings in various sizes and different hues of colour that perfectly capture the texts’ peculiar moods. Originally published in 2009, the book now features a CD with twelve poems recited by the author herself. The performed poems, enhanced with subtle background sounds, sparkle with Mahy’s wit and make this a special treat. (Age: 4+)

From Poland
Rusinek, Michał (text) 
Rusinek, Joanna (illus.)

Wierszyki domowe (At home poems)

Kraków: Znak emotikon, 2012. – 176 p.

ISBN 978-83-240-1974-8

House – Home – Living room – Poetry

Reading this Polish »Children’s book of the year«  enables one to see 
one’s home with new eyes. Michał Rusinek (born 1972) shows how much potential for inspiring witty, refreshing, and simply extraordinarily good poems individual rooms in a house have, even the basement workshop and the garden. The washing machine in the laundry room might be a substitute TV, the front door a rampart against outside calamities (storms! vampires!) and the dark staircase a chamber of horrors à la Tim Burton. Thanks also to Joanna Rusinek’s (born 1978) poignant illustrations, »Wierszyki domowe« evokes a wonderfully weird feeling of being at home in one’s well-familiar house, but at the same time viewing it as an unknown, alien seeming site. (Age: 5+)

From Spain (in Spanish)
Benedetti, Mario (text) / Zabala, Javier (illus.)

Árboles (Trees)

Barcelona [et al.]: Libros del Zorro Rojo, 2012. – [24] p. 

(Series: Libros de cordel)

ISBN 978-84-96509-99-3

Libros del Zorro Rojo presents another pearl of Spanish-language literature in the form of a picture book. It is based on a text of the famous Uruguayan author Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), which is taken from his 2008 publication »Vivir adrede« (Conscious living). In the style of a prose poem, Benedetti describes the beauty of trees, their agreeableness and modesty in a discreet, almost tender manner. Trees bear mute witness to the speechlessness that defines relations between humankind and nature. Spanish illustrator Javier Zabala has created airy, transparent pic-tures to accompany the text, using a mixed-media technique of ink, water colour, and paper collage. With a few lines, brush strokes, colour splotches, and abstract shapes he grows delicate, magical landscapes, which translate the subtle poetry of the text in a congenial manner. (Age: 6+)

From Taiwan
Lin, Fangping (text)
 Lin, Xiaobei (illus.)

Ai hua hua de shi (Painting with poetry)

Taibei shi: Xin yi ji jin chu ban she (= Hsin Yi 
Publications), 2012. – [44] p.

(Series: Wen xue jiang xi lie)

ISBN 978-986-161-446-5

Chinese characters – Visual poetry – Poetry

This charming book is filled with »poems that love to paint« – as the Chinese title reads. Chinese characters 
are arranged to create »concrete poetry«, visual depictions of the topics addressed. These images proliferate joyfully amid colourful drawings, while verbal images add even more layers of meaning. Chinese characters flutter through peach-hued pages, snacking on flowers, or swim past mermaids, who sweep blue oceans clean. Are these poems umbrellas or candy canes topped by mountain peaks? Are these mountains of verse a giant’s green fingers stretching towards the shining gold ring of sun? Are those drunken girls wearing shoes of poetry adorned with bows of red wine? The old idea of using the typography of a poem to shape its subject is realised here in most enchanting ways. (Age: 6+)

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

Image credits: IYL;FourWindsPress;lepetitmonde;unibooks;poplar.co.jp;myabooks;jrlv;znak.co;herbuy.com;ikaros;ucebnice;sckn.cz;librairie.ciation

Friday, April 26, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1991

Valerie Worth, author of the “Small Poems” collections of free verse, received the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1991. 

With pen and ink sketches by Natalie Babbitt, these small books are some of my favorite examples of the most beautiful free verse for children. Here's my copy (at left) of small poems published in 1972! 

They almost seem like scientific observations in the most perfect, poetic language. Take “Garbage,” for instance (from All the Small Poems):

The stained,
Bucket tips out
Orange rind

Eggshell ivory,
Garnet coffee-
Grounds, pearl
Wand of bared
Chicken bone:

Worked back soon
To still more
Curious jewelry
Of chemical
And molecule.

Contemporary Connections
I’m so happy to report that a new compilation of Worth’s animal poems is out this year with wonderful paper illustrations by Steve Jenkins!

Worth, Valerie. 2013. Pug and Other Animal Poems. Ill. by Steve Jenkins. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

And pair it with a previous posthumous collection of Valerie's animal poems also illustrated by Steve Jenkins:

Worth, Valerie. 2007. Animal Poems. Ill. by Steve Jenkins. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Two lovely visual incarnations of her crisp and elegant poetry!

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

Image credits: Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Macmillan.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1990

Gary Soto published A Fire in My Hands, the first major Latino poetry collection for young people in 1990.

Then in 1996, the first mainstream Latina poet for young people, Pat Mora, published Confetti: Poems for Children.

Contemporary Connections
I am absolutely thrilled that we have so many new Latino/a voices writing poetry for young people today like Margarita Engle, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Francisco X. Alarcon, Jorge Argueta, for example. And more by Gary Soto and Pat Mora on a regular basis, of course. Check out these new titles by Latino/a poets coming out this year in 2013:

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.    Engle, Margarita. 2013. The Lightning Dreamer. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
4.    Engle, Margarita. 2013. Mountain Dog. New York: Holt.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the annual celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on April 30.

P.S. The all-knowing Lee Bennett Hopkins tells me that there was an earlier work of Latino poetry published for teens back in 1977: The Yellow Canary Whose Eye is So Black: Poems of Spanish Speaking Latin America edited and translated by Cheli Duran and published by Macmillan.

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

Image credits:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1988

Paul Fleishman’s unique poetry book for two voices, Joyful Noise, received the Newbery medal in 1988. This is the second book of poetry to win the Newbery award since 1922. (Remember that Nancy Willard’s A Visit to William Blake’s Inn won in 1981.)

Reading poems for two voices is the most complex and challenging form of choral reading, in my opinion, but also a lot of fun. It takes a bit of practice, but is very powerful. Two individuals volunteer to practice and perform poems for two voices (often with overlapping lines). It can be effective with two groups, rather than with two individuals, but it does take practice. (Underline the lines that are spoken simultaneously to help cue the children. Be aware that they may be saying different words at the same time.)

Contemporary Connections
More poetry books for reading with multiple voices:
Fleishman, Paul. 1985. I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices. New York: Harper & Row.
Fleishman, Paul. 2000. Big Talk:  Poems for Four Voices. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Franco, Betsy. 2009. Messing Around the Monkey Bars and other School Poems for Two Voices. Ill. by Jessie Hartland. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Greenfield, Eloise. 2006. The Friendly Four. Ill. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: HarperCollins.
Harrison, David L. 2000. Farmer’s Garden: Rhymes for Two Voices.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2001. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You; Very Short Stories to Read Together. New York: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2004. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together. New York: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2005. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You; Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together.  New York: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2007. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together. New York: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2010. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together. New York: Little, Brown.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1988. Side by Side: Poems to Read Together. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Singer, Marilyn. 2010. Mirror, Mirror. New York: Dutton.
Singer, Marilyn. 2013. Follow, Follow. New York: Dutton.

Bilingual Poetry
If you hunt, you can find poems that may not be intended for two voices but may be very effective delivered that way, particularly bilingual poetry collections with poems that appear in two languages. For example, Jennifer Clement’s poem “Arbol de Limon / Lemon Tree” appears in both Spanish and English (translated by Consuelo de Aerenlund) in Naomi Shihab Nye’s collection The Tree Is Older Than You Are. If you are a Spanish speaker, you can read the poem in Spanish, followed by a reading in English. Or you can ask a Spanish-speaking volunteer from the audience to read the Spanish version. Once the readers have taken turns presenting their versions of the poem, both read their versions simultaneously. Just be sure to encourage the readers to pause at the end of each line and to start the next line together. The effect is quite stunning. This can work with many bilingual collections of poetry like:

Ada, Alma Flor and Campoy, F. Isabel. 2011. Ten Little Puppies; Diez perritos. Rayo/HarperCollins.
Alarcón, Francisco X. 2005. Poems to Dream Together/ Poemas para Sonar Juntos. New York: Lee & Low.
Argueta, Jorge. 2012. Guacamole; Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem. Ill. by Margarita Sada. Toronto: Groundwood.
Argueta, Jorge. 2013. Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem. Ill. by Domi. Toronto: Groundwood.
Carlson, Lori M, comp. 2005. Red Hot Salsa; Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States. New York: Henry Holt.
Cashman, Seamus. 2004. Something Beginning with P: New Poems from Irish Poets. Dublin: O’Brien Press.
Henderson, Kathy. 2011. Hush, Baby, Hush! Lullabies from Around the World. Ill. by Pam Smy. Seattle: Frances Lincoln.
Luján, Jorge. 2008. Colors! Colores! Ill. by Piet Grobler. Toronto: Groundwood.
Mora, Pat. 1996. Uno Dos Tres/One, Two, Three. New York: Clarion.

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

Image credits: Groundwood;HarperCollins;Candelwick

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1987

Poet and author Georgia Heard published her seminal work about the teaching of poetry with young people, For the Good of the Earth and Sun: Teaching Poetry in 1987. (My students and I STILL read and refer to that book.)

Contemporary Connections
Georgia’s latest professional book provides guidance on poetry teaching AND the Common Core standards.

Heard, Georgia. 2013. Poetry Lessons to Meet the Common Core State Standards: Exemplar Poems with Engaging Lessons and Response Activities That Help Students Read, Understand and Appreciate Poetry. New York: Scholastic.

And her previous professional reference is also an excellent poetry resource:
Heard, Georgia. 1999. Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Don’t miss her recent poetry anthologies either:
Heard, Georgia. Ed. 2006 (reissued). This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Heard, Georgia. Ed. 2009. Falling Down the Page; A Book of List Poems. New York: Roaring Brook.
Heard, Georgia. Ed. 2012. The Arrow Finds its Mark: A Book of Found Poems. New York: Macmillan.

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

Image credits: Heinemann;Scholastic

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1983

In 1983, Jack Prelutsky, himself a notable poet, compiled and published one of the most popular and bestselling contemporary anthologies of poetry for young people, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. With 500+ poems organized in kid-friendly categories and illustrated in full color by the award-winning illustrator Arnold Lobel, this compendium is STILL in print and STILL popular with both kids and grown ups.

I remember looking at galleys of that book when Jack came to speak at a conference I was hosting in south Texas way back when. My baby girl spilled iced tea on the pages and I was mortified-- he simply renamed her, "Emily Tea-Knocker." (She is now a librarian herself and pursing a PhD!) That book will always have a special place in my family!

Prelutsky has published several other notable anthologies (Read-aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, The Beauty of the Beast, The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury), as well as an impressive body of his own work—it’s hard to believe that the still-hilarious The New Kid on the Block first appeared in 1984. I love that whole "series" illustrated by the droll and understated James Stevenson.

Contemporary Connections
Jack Prelutsky was the first person to be selected as the Children’s Poet Laureate and continues to create appealing poetry for young people. This year’s contribution?

Prelutsky, Jack. 2013. Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems. New York: Greenwillow.

Jack Prelutsky is one of those children’s poets whose poetry nearly everyone knows and whose work has endured. Which is your favorite Prelutsky poetry book?

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

Image credits: RandomHouse;Greenwillow.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1982

In 1982, John Ciardi received the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and was the creator of one of the most beloved contemporary children’s poems of all time, “Mummy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast” (according to Ann Terry’s study in the 1970’s). Here’s how that classic poem begins:

Mummy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast
By John Ciardi

Daddy fixed the breakfast.
He made us each a waffle.

It looked like gravel pudding.

It tasted something awful.

From: You Read to Me, I'll Read to You. Illustrated by Edward Gorey. Philadelphia: Lippincott. Reprinted. New York: HarperTrophy, 1987.

John Ciardi’s smart and often sardonic poetry paved the way for the work of Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Douglas Florian, and many others-- and for much of the humor we still see in poetry for young people today.

Contemporary Connections
Who writes like Ciardi (pronounced Chee-ardy)?

My vote goes to current Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis who demonstrates a similar mastery of form, puns, irony, and surprise. Pat has several new books out this year, of course (he is SO productive!). Look for:

Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. Face Bug: Poems. Photos by Frederic Siskind. Ill. by Kelly Murphy. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2013. World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of. Ill. by Anna Ruff. Somerville, MA. Candlewick Press.

And previously:
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2006. Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse. Ill. by Serge Bloch. New York: Simon & Schuster/Atheneum.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year. Ill. by Ethan Long. New York: Little, Brown.
Lewis, J. Patrick and Yolen, Jane. 2012. Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs. Ill. by Jeffrey Timmins. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. If You Were a Chocolate Mustache. Ill. by Matt Cordell. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.

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

Image credits: edwardgoreyelephanthouse.tumblr.com;Wordsong/BoydsMillsPress;Candelwick

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1981

Nancy Willard’s book, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers, was the first work of poetry for children to receive the Newbery medal from the American Library Association in 1981.


Contemporary Connections
Willard weaves together several poems to tell a story in picture book form. Multiple poems + one story line + fully illustrated = poem story picture book! That approach continues today with these contemporary examples.
  1. Clifton, Lucille. 2001. One of the Problems of Everett Anderson. Henry Holt.
  2. George, Kristine O’Connell. 2002. Little Dog and Duncan.  Clarion.
  3. George, Kristine O’Connell. 2009. Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems. Clarion.
  4. Greenfield, Eloise. 2011. The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Amistad/HarperCollins.
  5. Grimes, Nikki. 2005. Danitra Brown, Class Clown.  Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
  6. Gunning, Monica. 2004. A Shelter In Our Car. Children’s Book Press.
  7. Gunning, Monica. 2004. America, My New Home. Children’s Book Press.
  8. Kobayashi, Issa. 2007. Today and Today. New York:  Scholastic.
  9. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. The House. Illus. by Roberto Innocenti. Minneapolis, MN: Creative Editions.
  10. Medina, Jane. 2004. The Dream on Blanca’s Wall. Boyd’s Mill Press.
  11. Myers, Walter Dean. 2009. Amiri and Odette: A Love Story. Scholastic.
  12. Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. Awful Ogre Running Wild. Greenwillow.
  13. Raczka, Bob. 2010. Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. Houghton Mifflin.
  14. Rex, Adam. 2008. Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Harcourt Houghton Mifflin.
  15. Sidman, Joyce. 2007. This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Houghton Mifflin.
  16. Singer, Marilyn. 2012. The Boy Who Cried Alien. Hyperion.
  17. Wardlaw, Lee. 2011. Won Ton; A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. Henry Holt.
  18. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2006. Dear Mr. Rosenwald. Scholastic.

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

Image credits: Harcourt

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1979

In 1979, Karla Kuskin was the third poet to receive the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children (and she also designed the medallion for this award).

Karla Kuskin’s pictures and poetry are brimming over with the experiences of children growing up in a big city. For a wonderful compilation of poems from several previous works, look for Moon, Have You Met My Mother? The Collected Poems of Karla Kuskin (HarperCollins 2003). Kuskin also shared insights into her work in her autobiographical picture book, Thoughts, Pictures, and Words (Richard C. Owen 1995).

One of my favorite poems by Karla Kuskin is “I Woke Up This Morning” and I love to share it with kids beginning the reading with a soft voice, then gradually getting louder and louder as the poem builds momentum (and the fonts increase in size in the poem’s text). It’s the perfect follow up to a read aloud of Judith Viorst’s classic picture book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Contemporary Connections

Who wears the “Karla Kuskin” mantle? I nominate Marilyn Singer, Linda Ashman, Rebecca Dotlich, Heidi Bee Roemer, and even David L. Harrison, for the rhythms and subjects of their poetry and for their talents for genre diversity, too. A sampling:

Ashman, Linda. 2008. Stella, Unleashed. New York: Sterling.
Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 2003. In the Spin of Things: Poetry of Motion. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
Harrison, David. 2009. Vacation, We’re Going to the Ocean! Ill. by Rob Shepperson. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Roemer, Heidi. 2004. Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
Singer, Marilyn, 2012. Every Day's a Dog's Day: A Year in Poems. New York: Dial.

Whose poetry do you think is Kuskin-esque?

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

Image credits: education.wisc.edu;rcowen;HarperCollins

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1978

Aileen Fisher, a poet with a gift for capturing the natural world (I Heard a Bluebird Sing: Children Select Their Favorite Poems by Aileen Fisher, 2002), received the second National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1978.

Contemporary Connections
Aileen Fisher published her first book of poetry for children, The Coffee Pot Face in 1933 followed by over one hundred children’s books in a variety of genres. Look for some of those out of print gems to share with children (like Always Wondering available for a-penny-plus-shipping on Amazon and elsewhere!). You can also find some of her individual poems in new anthologies like The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry compiled by J. Patrick Lewis.

For more recent nature poetry like Aileen Fisher’s work, look for:
  1. Blackaby, Susan. 2010. Nest, Nook & Cranny. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. 
  2. Coombs, Kate. 2012. Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  3. Franco, Betsy. 2008. Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails, Patterns and Shapes... Naturally. New York: McElderry.
  4. George, Kristine O’Connell. 2004. Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems. New York: Harcourt.    
  5. Gerber, Carole. 2013. Seeds, Bees, Butterflies and More! Poems for Two Voices. New York: Holt.
  6. Gerber, Carole. 2013. Spring Blossoms. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  7. Levy, Constance. 2002. Splash! Poems of Our Watery World. New York: Orchard.
  8. Mordhorst, Heidi. 2009. Pumpkin Butterfly: Poems from the Other Side of Nature. Honesdale PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  9. Ruddell, Deborah. 2009. A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
  10. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems About Pets. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
  11. VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig. 2013. Forest Has a Song. New York: Clarion.
Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day, one and all!

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

Image credits: poetrymusing.blogspot.com;HenryHolt;Capstone

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1977

In 1977, the National Council of Teachers of English established the first award for poetry for young people with the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children to honor a living American poet for his or her lifetime achievement in works for children ages 3–13. It is now presented every two years.

The first one was awarded to David McCord (Far and Few: Rhymes of the Never Was and Always Is, 1952) creator of “The Pickety Fence” and many other beloved poems.

All of the NCTE poetry award winners:

2011    J. Patrick Lewis
2009     Lee Bennett Hopkins
2006     Nikki Grimes
2003     Mary Ann Hoberman
2000     X. J. Kennedy
1997     Eloise Greenfield
1994     Barbara Esbensen
1991     Valerie Worth
1988     Arnold Adoff
1985     Lilian Moore
1982     John Ciardi
1981     Eve Merriam
1980     Myra Cohn Livingston
1979     Karla Kuskin
1978     Aileen Fisher
1977     David McCord

Contemporary Connections
The latest NCTE prize is going to the marvelous Joyce Sidman who has a new book coming out this fall that I am very very excited about:

Sidman, Joyce. 2013. What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

And of course you know about her other wonderful works of poetry:

Just Us Two: Poems about Animal Dads
Eureka! Poems about Inventors
The World According to Dog: Poems and Teen Voices
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems
Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poetry
This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
Red Sings From Treetops; A Year in Colors
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors

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

Image credits: classroom.jc-schools.net;HoughtonMifflinHarcourt

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1974

Shel Silverstein published his first of several irreverent works, Where the Sidewalk Ends in 1974. It would become the bestselling children’s poetry book ever. (There's also a CD of selected poems performed by Shel himself and a 30th anniversary edition with additional poems.) When I taught sixth grade (back in 1976!), this was THE ONE book I always said I would want to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island with my students!

This same year, scholar Ann Terry conducted a touchstone study of the poetry preferences of elementary school students finding a predilection for rhyme, narrative, and humor. Her study is still cited as the baseline for where to start in sharing poetry with children.

Contemporary Connections
Even though he passed away, Silverstein’s poetry continues with this posthumous collection:

Silverstein, Shel. 2011. Every Thing On It. New York: HarperCollins.

And for more humor and outrageousness, check out Katz, Katz, and Katz:

Image credit: JohnLund.com
Katz, Alan. 2008. Oops. McElderry.
Katz, Alan. 2011. Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking. Simon & Schuster.
Katz, Bobbi. 2001. A Rumpus of Rhymes:  A Book of Noisy Poems.  Dutton.
Katz, Bobbi. 2004. Pocket Poems. Dutton.
Katz, Bobbi. 2009. More Pocket Poems. Dutton.
Katz, Bobbi. 2009. The Monsterologist; A Memoir in Rhyme. Sterling.
Katz, Susan. 2002. Mrs. Brown on Exhibit: And Other Museum Poems. Simon & Schuster.
Katz, Susan. 2004. A Revolutionary Field Trip: Poems of Colonial America.  Simon & Schuster.
Katz, Susan. 2007. Oh, Theodore! Guinea Pig Poems.  Clarion.
Katz, Susan. 2011. The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About U.S. Presidents.

What’s up with those funny Katzes?!

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

Image credits: HarperCollins

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1972

Poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins published Pass the Poetry, Please! in 1972, the first major work about sharing poetry with young people  followed by Kenneth Koch’s landmark book, Rose, Where Did You Get That Red? Teaching Great Poetry to Children in 1973.

Lee has always been an amazing poet and anthologist, as well as a teacher, mentor and advocate for poetry for young people. He just celebrated a birthday and is looking forward to another publication this year, All the World’s a Stage, illustrated by Guy Billout and due out this summer (with Creative Editions in August). He tells me that this young adult anthology features an eclectic look at the Seven Ages of Man based on Shakespeare's monologue from “As You Like It.” Poems include works by Lewis Carroll, Ralph Fletcher, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Contemporary Connections
Lee laid the path for other professional resource books to come—including supporting many of my efforts—like Poetry Aloud Here: Sharing Poetry with Children (the second edition is due out next month), Poetry People: A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets, The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists, and more. (Thank you, Lee!) Some of my other favorite poetry-teaching resource books include:

1.    Barton, Bob and David Booth. Poetry Goes to School:  From Mother Goose to Shel Silverstein.
2.    Bauer, Caroline Feller. The Poetry Break: An Annotated Anthology with Ideas for Introducing Children to Poetry.
3.    Booth, David and Moore, Bill. Poems Please! Sharing Poetry with Children.
4.    Burkhardt, Ross. M. Using Poetry in the Classroom: Engaging Students in Learning.
5.    Chatton, Barbara. Using Poetry Across the Curriculum.
6.    Fitch, Sheree and Swartz, Larry. The Poetry Experience; Choosing and Using Poetry in the Classroom.
7.    Franco, Betsy. Conversations With a Poet: Inviting Poetry into K-12 Classrooms.
8.    Heard, Georgia. For the Good of the Earth and Sun; Teaching Poetry.
9.    Heard, Georgia. Poetry Lessons to Meet the Common Core State Standards: Exemplar Poems with Engaging Lessons and Response Activities That Help Students Read, Understand and Appreciate Poetry.
10.    Heitman, Jane. Rhymes and Reasons; Librarians and Teachers Using Poetry to Foster Literacy, Grades K-6.
11.    Holbrook, Sara. Practical Poetry; A Nonstandard Approach to Meeting Content-Area Standards.
12.    Holbrook, Sara and Salinger, Michael. Outspoken: How to Improve Writing and Speaking Through Poetry Performance.
13.    Israel, Susan E. ed. Poetic Possibilities; Using Poetry to Enhance Literacy Learning.
14.    Janeczko, Paul B. Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades: 20 Poems and Activities that Meet the Common Core Standards and Cultivate a Passion for Poetry.
15.    Kennedy, X. J. and Kennedy, D. Knock at a Star.
16.    Livingston, Myra Cohn. The Child as Poet: Myth or Reality?
17.    Livingston, Myra Cohn. Climb into the Bell Tower: Essays on Poetry.
18.    Livingston, Myra Cohn. Poem-Making.
19.    McClure, Amy. Sunrises and Songs; Reading and Writing Poetry in the Elementary Classroom.
20.    O’Connor, John S. Wordplaygrounds; Reading, Writing, and 
Performing Poetry in the English Classroom.
21.    Partington, Richie. I Second that Emotion: Sharing Children’s and Young Adult Poetry: A 21st Century Guide for Teachers and Librarians.
22.    Sloan, Glenna. Give Them Poetry; A Guide for Sharing Poetry with Children K-8.
23.    Stanley, Nile. Creating Readers with Poetry.
24.    Tiedt, Iris McClellan. Tiger Lilies, Toadstools, And Thunderbolts: Engaging K-8 Students With Poetry.

And of course there are many wonderful blogs and websites that are jam-packed with guidance on sharing poetry with kids, too.

Also,  check out these brand new teaching resources from poet David L. Harrison, too:

Let's Write This Week with David Harrison
The kit includes twenty 5-minute DVD tips on writing (featuring Harrison), a teacher's guide co-authored with Laurie Edmondson (interim director of the school of education and child development at Drury), 20 copies of a student writing journal, and three of Harrison’s trade books (poetry, fiction, and nonfiction) used as examples in the classroom activities and take home suggestions written by Edmondson all tied together with CCSS connections. 

Learning Through Poetry
His second series provides strategies that include phonemic matching, phonemic isolation, phonemic blending, phonemic substitution, and phonemic segmentation. Take-home activities are included to encourage linguistic interaction with friends and family members, which is especially useful for English language learners and their families. The titles include Short Vowels, Long Vowels, Rimes, Consonants, and Consonant Blends and Digraphs. These books feature digital resources that include activity pages, poems, family letters, and an audio recording of each poem (96 in all). This resource also supports the Common Core State Standards.

He'll be launching these at IRA this weekend! Meanwhile, here's a clever poem poster (poem by Harrison, poster by Highlights) that is hot-off-the-press. Enjoy!

Used by permission of Highlights for Children, Inc.

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

Image credits:
Image credits: www.barnesandnoble.com;books.google.com;BiblioObscura;Amazon