Saturday, July 02, 2011

A Blast with Mike Artell

I took my handy dandy FlipCam with me to the 8th annual ALSC Poetry Blast and made short movies of the poets reading their works to share with you. Next: Mike Artell.

Here's the short, lovely intro written and presented by host and poet Marilyn Singer and used with permission.

When asked about his humorous books, Mike Artell says, "I was always a funny kid… but in the 5th grade, my teacher actually laughed at a funny poem I wrote. At that moment, I realized how important my sense of humor was to me. I believe the value of humor in books is the same as in conversation: sometimes we want to have a serious discussion with someone about something, but (hopefully) more often our conversations are light and fun... and I think that’s what books are like. Some books are serious and thought provoking—others are just meant to be fun.”

Author, illustrator, TV cartoonist, conference speaker, musician, storyteller and humorist, Mike Artell speaks to thousands of school kids and major business, educational, healthcare and association conferences each year. Because of his work with children, he was recognized by the Northshore (Louisiana) Chapter of the International Reading Association for "exemplary service for the promotion of literacy." 
Among his many award-winning books, Petite Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood, was named by the National Association of Elementary School Principals as its 2009 Read Aloud Book of the Year. It has also become a musical theatre production which has been staged at many theatres across the U.S. and in England.

His astronomy book, Starry Skies, was named a Best Science Book for Children by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mike has also co-written and performed Calling All Children to the Mardi Gras, a CD of original music, which has been awarded a Parents’ Choice Foundation award.
 A New Orleans native, he lives in Covington, LA with his wife, a middle school librarian.

Here is Mike reading a clever poem from a work in progress that riffs on his Cajun/Southern dialect, too!

[I tried to load a video of Mike reading the entire text (at audience urging!) of his rhyming picture book, Petite Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood complete with Cajun dialect-- a totally engaging N'awlins experience, HOWEVER, Blogspot would simply not cooperate, despite multiple tries. Sorry-- because it is truly a gem!]

Image credit: 

Sylvia Vardell

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


Mike Artell said...

So sorry you weren't able to upload the video of me reading PETITE ROUGE. Any chance you could include my link in your list of poets (on the right side of the page)?

Mike Artell

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Mike. Yes, I can add a link-- and I'll try to email the PETITE ROUGE clip to you directly. I hope you'll write and publish more poetry, too!