Friday, January 13, 2023


I am so honored to reveal the cover of Laura Shovan's new book of poems, 
with illustrations by Michael Rothenberg
(published by Loyola College/Apprentice House) 

Meet 16 weird and quirky monsters in art and poems! Monster neighbors, monster houses, monster moos, bubblegum monsters, hungry monsters, monster birthdays, chicken monsters, shy monsters, angry monsters, root monsters, sad monsters, micro monsters, monster bugs, and more. Hey, maybe monsters are just like us!

Author and poet Laura Shovan writes: 
I am a doodler. Robots are my favorite thing to draw because they’re made out of simple shapes: square heads, rectangular bodies, lines for arms and legs. My friend, the poet Michael Rothenberg, also loved to play through art.

A few weeks before the pandemic began, Michael messaged me. He’d drawn a blue monster with red lips and six pink feet! The monster was so cute that I was inspired to write a poem. I sent it off to Michael as a surprise.

Michael, who passed away in November, was a creative force. In no time, he sent me a second monster, and then a third and a fourth. It was impossible to keep up with his burst of artistic energy, but I tried. When I sat down with a monster and my poetry notebook, I learned to trust whatever thoughts and images showed up – just as my friend was doing with his drawings.

All through the pandemic, the monsters gave Michael and me a way to look at our fears and sadness, to express our silly sides and feelings of joy. I hope this book acknowledges that children are emotional creatures who “laugh and talk, play and cry, sing and dance… hide when they are afraid, cry when they hurt, kiss and hug when in love,” as Dr. Mercedes B. ter Maat says in her introduction to the book. And I hope that educators will use Welcome to Monsterville as a springboard for classroom conversations about sitting with strong emotions, rather than burying them or pushing them aside.

Laura Shovan is a children’s author, educator, and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt, and Stone won the inaugural Harriss Poetry Prize. Her work appears in journals and anthologies for children and adults. Laura’s award-winning middle grade novels include The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, Takedown, and the Sydney Taylor Notable A Place at the Table, written with Saadia Faruqi. Laura is a longtime poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council. She serves on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

THANK YOU, Laura, for sharing your new book with us and honoring me with your special COVER REVEAL! Like everyone, I LOVE book covers and getting the flavor of the book based on this image. Clearly, Welcome to Monsterville is full of fun and it definitely makes me want to draw a monster! 

Head on over to Chicken Spaghetti where Susan is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Sneak Peek List 2023

I may be retired and blogging a lot less, but I still love keeping track of poetry for young people and I'm looking forward to all the new poetry for young readers that is due to be published in the year ahead. Here's my "sneak peek" list of poetry collections, anthologies, and novels in verse that are set to be published in 2023. If I am missing any new poetry books, please let me know. Or if I have mis-categorized a book, just let me know. (I don't include rhyming picture books. There are other places where those are featured.)  I'll keep updating this list all year long as I learn about new poetry books. I hope the list serves as a helpful resource for library collection development or for anyone seeking new poetry for young readers. Next step: FIND and READ and SHARE these books!  

Sneak Peek List of Poetry for Young People 2023
  1. Akhbari, Parisa. 2023. Just Another Epic Love Poem. Dial.
  2. Alexander, Kwame. 2023. An American Story. Ill. by Dare Coulter. Little, Brown.
  3. Ashman, Linda. 2023. Champion Chompers, Super Stinkers, and Other Poems by Extraordinary Animals. Ill. by Aparna Varma. Kids Can Press.
  4. Baldwin, Cindy. 2023. No Matter the Distance. HarperCollins.
  5. Baptist, Kelly J. 2023. Eb and Flow. Penguin Random House.
  6. Bécotte, Jonathan. 2023. Like a Hurricane. Translated by Jonathan Kaplansky. Orca.
  7. Bowles, David. 2023. The Prince and the Coyote. Ill. by Amanda Mijangos. Levine Querido.
  8. Bramer, Shannon. 2023. Robot, Unicorn, Queen. Ill. by Irene Luxbacher. Groundwood Books. 
  9. Browne, Mahogany L. 2023. Epicenter. Crown.
  10. Brunskill, Amelia. 2023. Wolfpack. Little, Brown. 
  11. Bulion, Leslie. 2023. Galápagos: Islands of Change. Ill. by Becca Stadtlander. Peachtree Press. 
  12. Burgess, Matthew. 2023. Words with Wings and Magic Things. Ill. by Doug Salati. Tundra Books. 
  13. Burgess, Sarah. 2023. Skip! Andrews McMeel.
  14. Castle, Jiordan. 2023. Disappearing Act. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  15. Coelho, Joseph. 2023. Courage Out Loud. Ill. by Daniel Gray-Barnett. Wide Eyed Editions.
  16. Cole, Olivia. 2023. Dear Medusa. Labyrinth Road. 
  17. Coombs, Kate. 2023. Today I Am a River. Sounds True.
  18. Datcher, Dr. Michael. 2023. Harlem at Four. Ill. by Frank Morrison. Random House Studio. 
  19. Dotlich, Rebecca Kai and Heard, Georgia. 2023. Welcome to The Wonder House. Ill. by Deborah Freedman. Penguin Random House.
  20. Dyer, Madeline. 2023. Being Ace. Page Street.
  21. Edinger, Monica and Younge, Lesley. 2023. Nearer My Freedom. Lerner/Zest.
  22. Elhillo, Safia. 2023. Bright Red Fruit. New York: Random House.
  23. Elliott, Zetta. 2023. A Song for Juneteenth. Ill. by David Anthony Geary. Little, Brown.
  24. Engle, Margarita. 2023. Destiny Finds Her Way. National Geographic Kids.
  25. Engle, Margarita. 2023. Water Day. Atheneum. 
  26. Engle, Margarita. 2023. Wings in the Wild. Simon & Schuster.
  27. Fritz, Joanne Rossmassler. 2023. Ruptured. Holiday House. 
  28. Fussner, Kate. 2023. O&E. HarperCollins.
  29. Ghigna, Charles. 2023. The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry: 101 Favorite Poems for Children. Ill. by Sara Brezzi. Schiffer Kids. 
  30. Gianferrari, Maria. 2023. Fungi Grow. Ill. by Diana Sudyka. S&S/Beach Lane Books.
  31. Gopal, Jyoti Rajan. 2023. Desert Queen. Ill. by Svabhu Kohli. Levine Querido. 
  32. Gow, Robin. 2023. Ode to My First Car. Macmillan/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 
  33. Green, Shari. 2023. Game Face. Groundwood Books.
  34. Grimes, Nikki. 2023. A Walk in the Woods: Lullaby for the King. Ill. by Michelle Carlos. Beaming Books.
  35. Grimes, Nikki. 2023. Garvey’s Choice: The Graphic Novel. Ill. Theodore Taylor by Astra/Wordsong.
  36. Harjo, Joy. 2023. Remember. Ill. by Michaela Goade. Random House Studio.
  37. Harjo, Joy. 2023. The Good Luck Cat. Ill. by Shonto Begay. Random House Studio.
  38. Hood, Susan. 2023. Harboring Hope. HarperCollins.
  39. Hopkins, Ellen. 2023. Last Chance. Putnam/Nancy Paulsen Books. 
  40. Hughes, Langston. 2023. An Earth Song. Ill. by Tequitia Andrews. Cameron Kids. 
  41. Iloh, Candice. 2023. Salt the Water. Dutton.
  42. Jules, Jacqueline. 2023. Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember. Bushel & Peck.
  43. Kemp, Laekan Zea. 2023. An Appetite for Miracles. Little, Brown.
  44. Kim, Kyunghee. 2023. See Us Bloom. Ill. by Emily Paik. Modern Marigold Books. 
  45. Kramaroff, Dana. 2023. The Do More Club. Rocky Pond Books.
  46. Krasner, Barbara. 2023. Camp Nordland. Astra/Calkins Creek. 
  47. Kuyatt, Meg Eden. 2023. Good Different. Scholastic. 
  48. Lai, Thanhhá. 2023. When Clouds Touch Us. HarperCollins.
  49. LaRocca, Rajani. 2023. Mirror to Mirror. HarperCollins/Quill Tree. 
  50. LaRocca, Rajani. 2023. Your One and Only Heart. Ill. by Lauren Paige Conrad. Dial.
  51. Latham, Irene. 2023. The Moon Is a Museum: Poems About Things Left on the Lunar Surface. Bushel and Peck Books.
  52. Levington, Rebecca Gardyn. 2023. Whatever Comes Tomorrow. Ill. by Mariona Cabassa. Barefoot Books.
  53. Levinson, Suzy. 2023. Animals in Pants. Ill. by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell. Cameron Books.
  54. Lukidis, Lydia. 2023. Deep, Deep Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Marianna Trench. Ill. by Juan Calle. Capstone. 
  55. Madan, Vikram. 2023. Zooni Tales: Keep It Up, Lucky Pup! Holiday House.
  56. Magee, Bridget. Ed. 2023. Two Truths and a Fib Poetry Anthology. Wee words for wee ones.
  57. Mali, Taylor. 2023. The Teachers I Loved Best. Ill. by Erica Root. Doubleday.
  58. McCullough, Joy. 2023. Enter the Body. Dutton.
  59. Mendez, Jasminne. 2023. Aniana del Mar Jumps In. Dial.
  60. Metcalf, Lindsay H., Bradley, Jeanette; Dawson, Keila V. Eds. 2023. No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change. Charlesbridge.
  61. Patel-Sage, Krina. 2023. Watch Me Bloom: A Bouquet Haiku Poems for Budding Naturalists. Lantana.
  62. Peters, Lisa Westberg. 2023. Push-Pull Morning: Dog-Powered Poems About Matter and Energy. Ill. by Serge Bloch. Astra/Wordsong.
  63. Petrus, Junauda. 2023. Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? Ill. by Kristen Uroda. Dutton. 
  64. Ponweera, Thushanthi. 2023. I am Kavi. Holiday House. 
  65. Quigley, Dawn. 2023. Red Bird Danced. Heartdrum. 
  66. Ramos, NoNieqa. 2023. Best Believe. Ill. by Nicole Medina. Lerner/Carolrhoda.
  67. Romero, R. M. 2023. A Warning About Swans. Peachtree Teen.
  68. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2023. Zap! Clap! Boom!: The Story of a Thunderstorm. Ill. by Elly MacKay. Bloomsbury.
  69. Sandberg, Carl. 2023. Theme in Yellow. Ill. by Tatyana Feeney. Cameron Kids.
  70. Sawyerr, Hannah V. 2023. Call Him by Name. Abrams. 
  71. Schechter, Robert. 2023. The Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children. Word Galaxy.
  72. Schu, John. 2023. Louder Than Hunger. Candlewick.
  73. Scott, Jordan. 2023. Angela’s Glacier. Ill. by Diana Sudyka. Holiday House. 
  74. Scott, Jordan. 2023. Worms for Baba’s Garden. Ill. by Sydney Smith. Holiday House.
  75. Shepard, Ray A. 2023. Long Time Coming: The Ona Judge to Barack Obama Chronicles. Ill. by R. Gregory Christie. Astra/Calkins Creek. 
  76. Shovan, Laura. 2023. Welcome to Monsterville. Ill. by Michael Rothenberg. Apprentice House Press. 
  77. Silverman, Erica. 2023. The City Sings Green and Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife. Ill. by Ginnie Hsu. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  78. Smith, Crystal Simone. 2023. Dark Testament. Henry Holt. 
  79. Smith, Danna. 2023. Peek-a-boo Haiku. Ill. by Teegan White. Little Simon.
  80. Sorell, Traci and Waters, Charles. 2023. Mascot. Charlesbridge.
  81. Stone, Tiffany. 2023. Super Small: Miniature Marvels of the Natural World. Ill. by Ashley Spires. Greystone Kids. 
  82. Sumner, Jamine. 2023. Glory Be. Atheneum.
  83. Tafolla, Carmen. 2023. Warrior Girl. Penguin Random House. 
  84. Taylor, Susan Johnston. 2023. Animals in Surprising Shades: Poems About Earth’s Colorful Creatures. Ill. by Annie Bakst. Gnome Road Publishing.
  85. Thompson, Holly. 2023. Listening to Trees: The Woodworking Ways of George Nakashima. Ill. by Toshiki Nakamura. Holiday House.
  86. Tison, Ari. 2023. Saints of the Household. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 
  87. VanderLugt, Dana. 2023. Enemies in the Orchard: A World War 3 Novel in Verse. Zonderkidz. 
  88. Weatherford, Carol B. 2023. All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Ill. by Ashley Evans. Crown. 
  89. Weatherford, Carole B. 2023. Kin. Ill. by Jeffery Weatherford. Atheneum. 
  90. Weatherford, Carole B. 2023. You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland. Ill. by E. B. Lewis. Astra Books for Young Readers. 
  91. Weatherford, Carole B. 2023. How Do You Spell UNFAIR? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee. Ill. by Frank Morrison. Candlewick.
  92. Wilson, Kip. 2023. One Last Shot. Versify.

For this first Poetry Friday of the new year, Catherine is hosting us over at Reading to the Core. See you there!