Announcement! Announcement! Announcement!

IMG_1322Nominations for the 2014 CYBILS Award opened this morning.

Do you love reading?  Have a favorite book for children or YA and published between October 16, 2013-October 15, 2014? It’s time to nominate!  From Graphic Novels to Fiction Picture Books to Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction and others, you need to head HERE and nominate a book.

Of course, as chair of the CYBILS Poetry Award, I sincerely hope you will nominate some fabulous poetry books for the panelists to read, discuss and determine the “Fantastic Seven Finalists.”

Do you need a list to refresh your memory on titles?  Head over to Sylvia Vardell’s Poetry for Children blog.  She compiles a list each year.

Don’t dawdle as nominations close on Wednesday, October 15!

Celebrate: Five Star Things About the Week

IMG_0626Celebrate with others at Ruth Ayres Writes.


I found out that due to my school growing a class and the school where I teach two overload classes, I get to stay at my school.  Hooray!! Although I will say that the fifth grade I taught is getting a raw deal, they wanted the regular librarian and now they will have a second itinerant teacher.  A class that depends on relationships.



This is the result of cleaning out my closet and drawers! So very much needed!  And a test for my shoulder. I had to use a step stool to bring down the clothes and I was tired BUT shoulder did great!


I worked out in the yard and attacked invasive like Rose Briar invasive. Slow going, I can’t overdo the shoulder. But it was so fabulous to be outside!


Teaching about Banned Books Week.  I love teaching this and tying it to the Bill of Rights.  I am able to share with students my own experiences with parents challenging books.  At the end, one student said “Thank you for defending Harry Potter.”


Coffee with a former student. She wants to write for children and is sharing what she’s done thus far.  I love that she’s putting her work out there in the world.  And I encouraged her to look into getting an MFA.

What are you celebrating?

Poetry Friday: Announcing the CYBILS Poetry Panelists and Judges


It’s Friday. Head to The Poem Farm for more poetry.

Selecting from the CYBILS applicants is always SO difficult. There are such good applicants that are passionate about poetry. It makes me do the happy dance!  After considering those who are seasoned and those who are new, blending together a mixture of librarian, author, parent, and teacher bloggers; may I present Round One and Round Two.  The poetry books will be read by two fabulous groups.

And please, if you weren’t selected or had too much on your plate to consider being on the CYBILS Poetry Team, start thinking about which poetry books should be nominated starting on October 1.

Round One
Kelly Fineman
Writing and Rumination

Nancy Bo Flood
The Pirate Tree

Jone Rush MacCulloch
Check It Out

Margaret Simon
Reflections on the Teche

Tricia Stohr-Hunt
The Miss Rumphius Effect

Sylvia Vardell
Poetry For Children

Bridget Wilson
What is Bridge Reading

Second Round
Linda Baie
Teacher Dance

Matt Forrest Esenwine
Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme

Renee La Tulippe
No Water River

Diane Mayr
Kurious Kitty’s Kurio

Laura Shovan
Author Amok

Are you lamenting the end of summer?  Visit the Summer Serenity Gallery created and hosted by Carol Varsalona.  Several of us Poetry Friday contributors are showing their work.

Happy Poetry.

Happy Friday.

Poetry Friday: Gathering Leaves in Grade School


And thanks to Renee at No Water River for hosting Poetry Friday.

The leaves have been scuttling this week. I ran across this poem at The Poetry Foundation which reminded me of something I loved creating.

Gathering Leaves in Grade School

They were smooth ovals,
and some the shade of potatoes—
some had been moth-eaten
or spotted, the maples
were starched, and crackled
like campfire.

We put them under tracing paper
and rubbed our crayons
over them, X-raying
the spread of their bones
and black, veined catacombs.

We colored them green and brown
and orange, and
cut them out along the edges,
labeling them deciduous
or evergreen.

Read the rest of the poem HERE

Find a leaf, “x-ray” it with crayons to find its black, veined catacombs.
Happy Poetry.
Happy Friday.

Celebrate: Five Star Things About This Week


It’s Saturday.  Time to celebrate the week with others at Ruth Ayres Writes.


Students returned to school this week.  Everyone has the spirit and promise of a new year.  I love seeing that in not only the students but the parents and staff.


Students love reading and they want to know you are a reader.

Two comments from students (one actually a sigh)…in answer the question of “what’s your favorite part of the library?” The answer was “I’m surrounded by books.”  

The other was a sigh when I answered the question to “did you read more than ten books this summer?” I said no ( I read nine both kid and adult books). I rechecked my list after class and discovered I actually read ten books. So I plan to share my list.


Am reading Reading in the Wild by Donalynn Miller (was the PD online book for the summer which with shoulder surgery I missed). I. Love. It.  So needed this inspiration.

Als reading Countdown by Deborah Wiles. Incredible.


Meeting with three other writers through Google Chat on my writing this week.  Such a great way to connect.


Signs of fall sneaking in:



What are you celebrating?

Poetry Friday: A Final Poetry Swap Poem


Thank you, Laura, for hosting Poetry Friday at Author Amok.

Last week, I found this poem in the mail.  From Margaret Simon.

On the outside this lovely photo.

Drops of dew Photo credit is "Drops of Dew" @Sergey Khakimullen Dreamstine Stock Photos.



On the inside this even lovelier poem:

Ode to Grass

For today, I will step lightly
for you tenderness 
for the light of the sun upon your greenliness
for tickling my belly
for wriggling between my toes
for your fresh sweet scent
for the settled earth you can draw strength from
for your canvas of wildflowers
for clover crowns
for hiding rollie-pollies, fleas, and snakes
for grass. 

©Margaret Simon, 2014

I love that for all the fabulous things she’s telling the reader that grass does for her, a twist that it hides rollie-pollies, fleas, and snakes…so unexpected.



Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Celebrate: Five Star Things About the Week


It’s Saturday; time to reflect on the goodness of the week. Thanks to Ruth we have a place to share at Ruth Ayres Writes.

Community: I hosted Poetry Friday yesterday. It’s always fun to see who shares poems, originals, and poetry books. Yesterday didn’t disappoint.

Perseverance: Nothing like awaking early this morning, adding a late entry to Poetry Friday, and clicking something which causes all your work to dissapear. So I needed to persevere and rewrite my Poetry Friday post.

Friendship: This week, I was able to have lunch dates with friends. The end of summer means catching up with friends in a leisurely way.

Students and Parents: Thursday evening we had our annual back-to-school bar-b-que. It was so great to reconnect with families after summer break. Students meet their teachers for the coming year.

Poems: I received a poem in the mail this week from Margaret Simon. (plan to share next Friday). The Summer Poetry Swap was a great way to be connected to community and keep writing.

What are you celebrating?