Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TLA Videos: Douglas Florian

It's catch up time and I'd like to share a few video snippets that I created for each of the poets who came to Houston for my 8th annual Poetry Round Up at the Texas Library Association conference last month. It was another wonderful event with such a range of voices-- "old" and new-- and our audience was completely engaged, even volunteering to do yoga poses to accompany Janet's yoga poems! It was the perfect way to end the conference. The panel of poets included:

Douglas Florian
(courtesy of Houghton Mifflin)
Dana Jensen
(courtesy of Houghton Mifflin)
Stasia Kehoe
(courtesy of Penguin)
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
(courtesy of Lee & Low)
Timothy McLaughlin
(courtesy of Abrams)
Janet Wong
(courtesy of Charlesbridge)

We were also lucky to include the Texas champion of the Poetry Out Loud competition, Krista Lambert, who completely WOW-ED us with her poise and power! Snippet to come.

First off, the wry and clever Douglas Florian.

Douglas Florian started his career by creating illustrations for newspapers and worked as a political illustrator and cartoonist before turning to children’s books. Florian says he was inspired to write poetry after he read a book of poems by William Cole called Oh, That’s Ridiculous.

Two of Douglas's first books of poetry, Bing Bang Boing (Harcourt 1994) along with its companion volume, Laugheteria (Harcourt 1999) are both filled with rhythmic humorous poetry accompanied by odd and interesting pen and ink sketches-- crossing nearly all age levels. He has also created four poetry books that focus on the seasons of the year (Summersaults, Autumnblings, Winter Eyes, Handsprings).

But he is probably best known for his picture book collections of animal poetry full of facts, humor, and clever word play. These include:
  • On the Wing (Harcourt 1996) birds
  • In the Swim (Harcourt 1997) fish
  • Insectlopedia (Harcourt 1998) insects
  • Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs (Harcourt 2001)
  • Bow Wow Meow Meow (Harcourt 2003) cats and dogs
  • Zoo’s Who (Harcourt 2005)
  • Dinothesaurus, about dinosaurs and their unusual names.

He has not one, but two, new books out this year: Poem Runs; Baseball Poems and Paintings and Unbeelievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings. As usual, he employs a wonderful variety of media, including watercolor, crayon, cut paper collage, and rubber stamps. This combination of materials creates layered, textured illustrations that children enjoy studying for every tiny detail. And the humor in his poems is pretty irresistible too.

Here he is sharing from his new book, Unbeelievables, complete with audience participation. Enjoy!

Selected books by Douglas Florian

Florian, Douglas. 1994. Bing Bang Boing. Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 1998. Insectlopedia. Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 1999. Laugh-eteria. Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 2001. Bow Wow Meow Meow. Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2002. Summersaults. Greenwillow.
Florian, Douglas. 2004. Omnibeasts. Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2005. Zoo’s Who. Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2006. Handsprings. Greenwillow.
Florian, Douglas. 2007. Comets, stars, the moon, and mars. Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2009. Dinothesaurus. Simon & Schuster.
Florian, Douglas. 2010. Poetrees. Simon & Schuster.
Florian, Douglas. 2012. Poem Runs; Baseball Poems and Paintings. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2012. Unbeelievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings. Beach Lane.

More to come...

1 comment:

Janet Wong said...

Thank you for hosting us, Sylvia. I really enjoyed listening to everyone--you do a great job of mixing new poets with us "old poets." I especially enjoyed hearing Douglas Florian perform his baseball poems; that book was the perfect gift for my Fantasy Baseball fanatic husband. And yes: Krista's performance was really terrific! (How could she remember all that?!)