Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanks for Stephen Alcorn

One more day to highlight the NCTE Poetry Award and invite comments about your favorite award winners and their works. The fifteen recipients have included:

David M
cCord, Aileen Fisher, Karla Kuskin, Myra Cohn Livingston, Eve Merriam, John Ciardi, Lilian Moore, Arnold Adoff, Valerie Worth, Barbara Esbensen, Eloise Greenfield, X. J. Kennedy, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, and now Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Two people will be chosen from today's commenters to receive a free copy of Dear One, the poem anthology created in honor of Lee Bennett Hopkins' receiving the NCTE Poetry Award on Nov. 20. Yesterday's winners are Dianne White and Susan Taylor Brown.

In the mean time, I would also like to showcase the work of the fabulous illustrator, Stephen Alcorn, who so generously donated the front and back cover art for Dear One. He has collaborated on five poetry collections with Lee Bennett Hopkins, including:
  • America at War
  • My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States
  • Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More
  • Home to Me: Poems Across America
  • Hoofbeats, Claws, and Rippled Fins: Creature Poems
As well as illustrated poem anthologies compiled by Catherine Clinton:
  • A Poem of Her Own: Voices of American Women Yesterday and Today
  • I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry
His bold and graphic art gives each of these books an even greater impact, both visually and emotionally. And the same thing applies to Dear One, our tribute anthology for Lee. Stephen's art pulled the whole thing together and gave it a unity and dignity for which we are all very grateful.

I'd pa
rticularly like to highlight his recent work, A Gift of Days; The Greatest Words to Live By (Simon & Schuster, 2009), a gorgeous book that celebrates "visionaries and heroes from all walks of life" featuring quotes for every single day of the year alongside graphic portraits of many of the individuals quoted in the book. Read more about it on Stephen's web site here. I'm a big fan of quotes and use them in my teaching all the time. Here is a fresh resource that integrates the well known with the fresh and surprising, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Madonna-- a true gem for teachers and quote-lovers of all kinds!

Posting c Sylvia Vardell 2009. All rights reserved.

Image credit: Amazon, AlcornGallery


janet wong said...

I'm one of those people who loves quotes, though I had forgotten it until recently. I opened A Gift of Days just now and found a perfect quote for the season, by Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." I liked Emily Dickinson's entry, too: "Forever is composed of nows."

Anonymous said...

I am honored that Stephen did the artwork for DEAR well as
the brilliant contributins he has
made to my anthologies.

In addition to being a great, accomplished artiste, he is one
grand man.

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Oh I am so excited to have won a copy of DEAR ONE! Will email you my address.

Like Janet, I love quotes too. I am going to seek out A GIFT OF DAYS. Sounds like a wonderful holiday gift.

Anonymous said...

Another quote lover here. My old Bartlett's got heavy use when I was younger, and I often look for quotes to share.
Stephen's artwork is exquisite, and his Gift Of Days looks beautiful.
As a school and public librarian, I loved showing Lee Bennett Hopkins' poetry with my students and pointing out Alcorn's illustrations. Theirs is a wonderful collaboration.

Sylvia Vardell said...

I'm so tickled to connect with fellow quote-lovers-- and to promote the work of Stephen Alcorn, too. And I agree, his latest book, A GIFT OF DAYS, is a perfect holiday gift book, too.

Anonymous said...


To have been called upon to conceive the jacket DEAR ONE was an honor--an honor for which I am most grateful.

And what a pleasure it is to work with Janet! This artist's dream-come-true if ever there was one.

Infine, thank you, thank you, thank you Janet, Silvia and Lee for your kind words... and for welcoming me (and my work) into your magnificent fold, as it were (no pun intended:-).

Evviva la poesia, (and all those who make and CELEBRATE it)!

With profound admiration,


Sylvia Vardell said...

Dear Stephen,
Thanks so much for stopping by-- and for all your wonderful work and support of our project. It was such a privilege and a pleasure!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed your website! Your book reviews are wonderful reading. Have you heard of Danny the Dragon? It’s worth a review: Please let me know if you are interested in reviewing this nominee for Best Children’s Book of 2009! Thank you, Rosie