Thursday, May 28, 2020

NCTE’s 2020 Notable Poetry List

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) strives to recognize and foster excellence in children’s poetry by encouraging its publication and by exploring ways to acquaint teachers and children with poetry through such means as publications, programs, and displays. A committee gives the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children to honor a poet for his or her aggregate work every two years and also publishes a list of "notable" poetry books each year chosen "for their use of language and poetic devices and their appropriateness for children ages three to 13." Their most recent list includes 28 outstanding books of poetry and 11 novels in verse, including a biography in lyrical verse, hybrid works of poetry and informational text, and innovative collections. In some cases, these are newly published poems, while other titles include works of classic or contemporary children’s poets that are newly illustrated or edited into a fresh collection. The 2020 NCTE Poetry Committee members included: Trish Bandré, Donna Friend, Ted Kesler, Judy Rowe Michaels, Heidi Mordhorst, Lisa Pinkerton, and Yoo Kyung Sung.

NCTE’s 2020 Notable Poetry List

Complete annotations can be found in this article in School Library Journal. Meanwhile, here's the list in brief. 

Notable Poetry
AHMADI, Ahmadreza. When I Colored in the World. illus. by Ehsan Abollahi. tr. by Azita Rassi from Arabic. Tiny Owl. ISBN 9781910328491.

ALEXANDER, Kwame. How To Read a Book. illus. by Melissa Sweet. Harper Collins/Harper. ISBN 9780062307811.

ALEXANDER, Kwame. The Undefeated. illus. by Kadir Nelson. HMH/Versify. ISBN 9781328780966.

BRAMER, Shannon. Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children. illus. by Cindy Derby. Groundwood. ISBN 9781773060958.

BULION, Leslie. Superlative Birds. illus. by Robert Meganck. Peachtree. ISBN 9781561459513.

COOPER, Susan. The Shortest Day. illus. by Carson Ellis. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763686987.

FOGLIANO, Julie. If I Was the Sunshine. illus. by Loren Long. S. & S./Atheneum. ISBN 9781481472432.

FROST, Helen. Hello, I’m Here! illus. by Rick Lieder. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763698584.

HEARD, Georgia. Boom! Bellow! Bleat! Animal Poems for Two or More Voices. illus. by Aaron DeWitt. Boyds Mills/Wordsong. ISBN 9781620915202.

HEGEDUS, Bethany. Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou. illus. by Tonya Engel. Lee & Low. ISBN 9781620145876.

HOBERMAN, Mary Ann. The Sun Shines Everywhere. illus. by Luciano Lozano. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316523844.

JANECZKO, Paul B., ed. The Proper Way To Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems. illus. by Richard Jones. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763681685.

MAILLARD, Kevin Noble. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story. illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal. Roaring Brook. ISBN 9781626727465.

OWENS, Mary Beth. Hawksbill Promise: A Sea Turtle’s Journey.illus. by author. Tilbury House. ISBN 9780884484301.

My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem and a Dream. tr. by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen. illus. by Tracy Gallup. Tuttle. ISBN 9784805315156.

RANSOME, James E. The Bell Rangillus. by author. S. & S./Atheneum. ISBN 9781442421134.

RASCHKA, Chris. Mother Goose of Pudding Lane: A Small Tall Tale. illus. by Vladimir Radunsky. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763675233.

ROSSETTI, Christina. Blooming Beneath the Sun. illus. by Ashley Bryan. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. ISBN 9781534440920.

SALAS, Laura Purdie. In the Middle of the Night: Poems from a Wide-Awake House. illus. by Angela Matteson. Boyds Mills/Wordsong. ISBN 9781620916308.

SALAS, Laura Purdie. Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons. illus. by Mercè López. Lerner/Millbrook. ISBN 9781512498097.

SALAS, Laura Purdie. Snowman-Cold=Puddle: Spring Equations.illus. by Micha Archer. Charlesbridge. ISBN 9781580897983.

SCHAUB, Michelle. Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections.illus. by Carmen Saldaña. Charlesbridge. ISBN 9781580898751.

SINGER, Marilyn. I’m the Big One Now: Poems About Growing Up. illus. by Jana Christy. Boyds Mills/Wordsong. ISBN 9781629791692.

STEINGLASS, Elizabeth. Soccerverse: Poems About Soccer. illus. by Edson Ike. Boyds Mills/Wordsong. ISBN 9781629792491.

TURK, Evan. You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks. illus. by author. S. & S./Atheneum. ISBN 9781534432826.

VECCHIONE, Patrice & Alyssa Raymond, eds. Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience. Seven Stories. ISBN 9781609809072.

WOLF, Allan. The Day the Universe Exploded My Head. illus. by Anna Raff. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763680251.

WONG, Janet. A Suitcase of Seaweed & More. Pomelo. ISBN 9781937057336.

Notable Verse Novels
ARGUETA, Jorge. Caravan to the North: Misael’s Long Walk. illus. by Manuel Monroy. Groundwood. ISBN 9781773063294.

BARON, Chris. All of Me. Feiwel & Friends. ISBN 9781250305992.

ELLIOTT, David. Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc. HMH. ISBN 9781328987594.

HEMPHILL, Stephanie. The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. ISBN 9780062490117.

HOLT, K.A. Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle. ISBN 9781452172880.

LUCIDO, Aimee. Emmy in the Key of Code. HMH/Versify. ISBN 9780358040828.

MOSKOWITZ-SWEET, Gloria & Hope Anita Smith. It Rained Warm Bread: Moishe Moskowitz’s Story of Hope. illus. by Lea Lyon. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. ISBN 9781250165725.

NAGAI, Mariko. Under the Broken Sky. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. ISBN 9781250159212.

SALAZAR, Aida. The Moon Within. illus. by Joe Cepeda. Arthur A. Levine Bks. ISBN 9781338283372.

WARGA, Jasmine. Other Words for Home. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. ISBN 9780062747808.

WILSON, Kip. White Rose. HMH/Versify. ISBN 9781328594433.

Now head on over to A Year of Reading where the Grande Dame of Poetry Friday, Mary Lee is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Remembering Peggy Oxley

I learned that my colleague Peggy Oxley passed away recently and I wanted to take a moment to honor her memory. 

Peggy was a long-time classroom teacher and a lover of literature and poetry for young people. She and I served as co-chairs of the NCTE Poetry Award committee that chose Nikki Grimes as the recipient back in 2006. Peggy was such a wonderful collaborator--the kindest, gentlest soul. She taught second grade at St. Paul Catholic School in Westerville, Ohio for her entire 43-year teaching career, not retiring until age 86. Isn't that incredible? And she is everyone's dream of the perfect second grade teacher-- endlessly patient and positive. She brought authors, illustrators, and poets into her classroom long before that was a cool trend and helped parents and colleagues see the value in providing children with this special experience. 
Peggy also invested in ongoing professional development, founding The Literacy Connection (and serving as its longtime President), a well-regarded teacher support group and was an active presenter at conferences and author of scholarly publications like Reading and Writing, Where It All Begins: Helping your Children at Home (1991), receiving many awards throughout her career.  

Franki Sibberson, literacy leader and a fellow Ohioan like Peggy, wrote a lovely tribute at the blog she maintains with Mary Lee Hahn, A Year of Reading.

Janet Wong served on the NCTE Poetry Award committee along with Peggy and me and was kind enough to write a new poem honoring our friend, Peggy. I think it perfectly captures Peggy's love for nature, children, and poetry. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Rita Dove, Barack Obama & Poetry Love

I recently ran across this video of a poetry reading with Rita Dove that President Obama held in the White House back in 2011. I had never seen it before and I thought it was so lovely-- especially hearing Barack Obama talk about what poetry meant to him and hearing Rita Dove (one of my favorites) reading two of her poems aloud. I particularly loved this comment from the former President:

Now head on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup for a wonderful Poetry Friday gathering! She throws an awesome party! 

Friday, May 08, 2020

The Greatest Hits of Lee Bennett Hopkins

One of the silver linings of the terrible coronavirus is the greater access we are getting to digital resources that are usually only available to subscribers. For example, BOOKLIST and BOOK LINKS are providing access to all current issues for anyone who wants it. And as it happens, I have an article in the April issue of BOOK LINKS. It features the poetry legacy of the late Lee Bennett Hopkins-- with tributes from 23 poets who each chose a favorite from his amazing repertoire of poetry anthologies. That includes: Susan Blackaby, Leslie Bulion, Isabel Campoy, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Margarita Engle, Charles Ghigna, Joan Bransfield Graham, Nikki Grimes, David L. Harrison, Georgia Heard, Irene Latham, Renée M. LaTulippe, Jone MacCulloch, Elaine Magliaro, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Naomi Shihab Nye, Heidi Bee Roemer, Laura Purdie Salas, Marilyn Singer, Ludwig VanDerwater, Charles Waters, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Janet Wong. And these are SOME of the poets who collaborated with Lee during his many years of creating poetry anthologies and only SOME of the 100+ anthologies he created.

There's a downloadable pdf of the whole article here.

Now head on over to Today's Little Ditty where the lovely Michelle is hosting our Poetry Friday get-together.

Friday, May 01, 2020

"Poetry Friday" by Janet Wong

National Poetry Month may be over, but every day is a good day for sharing poetry-- especially Poetry Friday! And when you have a poem ABOUT poetry Friday, it's a MUST. Here's one more mini movie created by one of my lovely graduate students Carly B. featuring the poem "Poetry Friday" by Janet Wong from Great Morning: Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud (Pomelo Books, 2018). Enjoy!