Friday, October 21, 2011

Poetry, peace and USBBY

This weekend I’m in Fresno, California attending the biennial IBBY regional conference with the theme, Peace the World Together Through Children’s Books. It’s sponsored by the US section of IBBY (the United States Board on Books for Young People), one of my favorite organizations since it’s devoted to international children’s literature. I’ve mentioned it many times, particularly since I love this conference and rarely miss it. In addition, I am winding up my 3 year term as co-editor of the IBBY journal of international children’s literature, Bookbird.

I will also be making a presentation on Saturday, “PEACE THROUGH POETRY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE” along with poet and artist Ann Grossnickle Hines, author of the recent poetry collection, Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace. Our session will focus on how poetry, in particular, fosters the IBBY vision of working toward a more just and peaceful world by featuring:

• An introduction to and bibliography of poetry for young people from around the world, including print and online resources
• Poetry in bilingual editions (English and Spanish, Japanese, Irish, Slovakian, etc.)
• Poems and poets from around the world featured in Bookbird

Anna will talk about her new book which has already received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, Peaceful Poems, a collection of 28 short poems about peace, a broad concept interpreted in varied ways through poetry and quilt art. She notes, “All of us are together in one world, where everything we do, every action, every thought and every breath, creates the network in which we all live.”

It’s a beautiful book—in both the quilt art illustrations and the various manifestations of peace that the poems reflect. Here’s just one example:

Peace: A Recipe
By Anna Grossnickle Hines

Open minds—at least two.

Willing hearts—the same
Rinse well with compassion.

Stir in a fair amount of trust.

Season with forgiveness.

Simmer in a sauce o
f respect.
A dash of humor brightens the flavor.

Best served with hope.

And just in case you’re interested in the bibliography I’ll be sharing, here you go:

Applegate, Katherine. 2008. Home of the Brave. New York: Square Fish.
Burg, Ann. 2009. All the Broken Pieces. NY: Scholastic.
Crist-Evans, Craig. 1999. Moon Over Tennessee: A Boy’s Civil War Journal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Engle, Margarita. 2006. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree; Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. New York: Henry Holt.
Frost, Helen. 2009. Crossing Stones. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Gordon, Ruth, comp. 1995. Pierced by a Ray of Sun: Poems about the Times We Feel Alone. New York: HarperCollins.
Greenfield, Eloise. 2006. When the Horses Ride by: Children in the Times of War. New York: Lee & Low Books.
Gunning, Monica. 2004. A Shelter In Our Car. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
Heard, Georgia. 2002. This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.
Hesse, Karen. 2003. Aleutian Sparrow. Simon & Schuster.
Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2011. Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace. New York: Greenwillow.
Holland, Trish and Christine Ford. 2006. The Soldiers’ Night Before Christmas. New York: Random House.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2008. America at War. New York: McElderry.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp. 1994. Hand in Hand: An American History through Poetry. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp. 2002. Home to Me: Poems Across America. New York: Orchard Books.
Janeczko, Paul. 2011. Requiem; Poems of the Terezín Ghetto. Candlewick.
Johnston, Tony. 2008. Voice from Afar: Poems of Peace. New York: Holiday House.
Katz, Bobbi. 2000. We The People: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Lai, Thanhha. 2011. Inside Out and Back Again. HarperCollins.
Levy, Debbie. 2010. The Year of Goodbyes; A True Story of Friendship, Family and Farewells. New York: Hyperion.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Heroes and She-Roes: Poems of Amazing and Everyday Heroes. New York: Dial Books.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2007. The Brothers’ War: Civil War Voices in Verse. Washington: National Geographic Children's Books.
LeZotte, Ann Clare. 2008. T4. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. 2001. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. New York: Handprint Books.
Meltzer, Milton. 2003. Hour of Freedom: American History In Poetry. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. 1998. The Space Between out Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Nye, Naomi Shihab, comp. 1999. What Have You Lost? New York: Greenwillow.
Rappaport, Doreen. 2008. Lady Liberty. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.
Robb, Laura, comp. 1997. Music and Drum: Voices Of War and Peace, Hope and Dreams. New York: Philomel Books.
Sidman, Joyce. 2007. This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Ill. by Pamela Zagarenski. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Thomas, Shelley Moore. 1998. Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace. Morton Grove: Albert Whitman.
Vecchione, Patrice. 2007. Faith and Doubt; An Anthology of Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
Volavkova, Hana, ed. 1993. I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942-1944. New York: Schocken Books.
Walker, Alice. 2007. Why War is Never a Good Idea. New York: HarperCollins.
Yolen, Jane. 1996. Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.

I'll also be sharing a bib of a sampling of wonderful international poetry for kids.

And my major points boil down to these three:
*poetry about peace can teach children about important concepts, events, experiences
*poetry from around the world can humanize other places that may be unfamiliar and provide a bridge of understanding
*poetry (period) encourages reflection, tolerance and peace (poets are lovers not fighters!)

Image credit: 

USBBY;AnnaGrossnickleHines; Greenwillow

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


Robyn Hood Black said...

Thank you for this wonderful post (and bibliography!). I enjoyed a workshop with Anna Grossnickle Hines at SCBWI-LA a few years ago and can't wait to get this new book. Appreciation to both of you for "passing the peace."

maria horvath said...

Good luck on your presentation, Sylvia!

One of my favorite poetry books is "I Like This Poem," a collection of poems chosen by children for children in aid of The International Year of the Child, 1979, edited by Kay Webb, a Puffin Original published by Penguin (1979).

GatheringBooks said...

I hope I'd have a chance to hear you speak soon. I love the theme about peace through picture books. Absolutely wonderful. And great bibliography as well. I shall definitely repost this. We'd be doing a Poetry-inspired theme over at GatheringBooks for November and December - your list here would definitely prove to be of great help to us as we scrounge around for books in the library.

Gail Aldous said...

I love your blog and I loved reading Peaceful Pieces! I'm going to use it in two poetry classes that I teach in the summer. Anna Grossnickle's other poetry books are beautiful too!

Thank you so much for your lists of verse novels. It has been so helpful. I love verse! In fact I'm writing my own YA verse novel.
On your list of war & peace poetry books, you didn't mention Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy, which is an excellent verse novel about Roy's aunt surviving the ghetto in WWII.

Your students trailers are great too! Tell them to keep up the great work!

Marge Pellegrino said...

What a wonderful presentation it was! Smart, informative, inspiring. I can't wait to use some of these books with my students.

Thanks for the presentation and this fabulous blog

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you all for your kind and generous comments. How special to connect with you at the USBBY/IBBY conference, too, Marge. Thanks for coming to my session!

laurasalas said...

Have fun, Sylvia! I know your talk will go wonderfully, and I need to get this new book--it looks gorgeous!