Poetry Friday: A Little of This, A Little of That

IMG_1077I’m so happy to be hosting Poetry Friday this week. Did you see the news about the CYBILS winners on Wednesday.  So many great reads.  And if you haven’t gotten your hands on this book, I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING, you should. It’s the 2017 CYBILS Poetry Winner.  Guaranteed to make kids of all ages laugh out loud.


And just wanted to share the postcards I received last month:

White Simple Specials Coffee Photo Collage

Which brings me to the 10th Annual Student Poetry Postcard Event.  Sign up today. Get a postcard in the mail in April for National Library Month. This may be the last year for this project with my retirement at the end of the year.Art Photo Collage

Sign up here.


Announcement! Annoucement! Announcement! CYBILS Poetry Winner


I want to thank these terrific Round 2 Judges. It’s never an easy task to decide one winner from seven finalists.

Linda Baie

Joy Acey Frelinger
Poetry for Kids Joy

Kate Hillyer
Kid Book List

Heidi Mordhorst
My Juicy Little Universe

Buffy Silverman
Buffy’s Blog

A decision was reached after back and forth critical discussion. And I am pleased to announce our winner:

by Chris Harris
Illustrated by Lane Smith
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Jen N.

No one is immune to stress in this era of political rancor and natural disaster, including kids. Luckily, a stress-busting antidote is served up in the impeccably rhymed I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups, written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith. Hilarious, sweet, and thought-provoking, this collection bowled the judges over with its bouncing rhythms, dazzling word play, and rank foolishness. (And the judges weren’t the only ones–review copies kept disappearing into the bedrooms and backpacks of nearby middle-graders.)

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming is a literary tour de force that consistently delights. It’s A. A. Milne crossed with Shel Silverstein, seasoned with a dash of Oscar Wilde and a hint of Roseanne Roseannadanna. It reads like a giant inside joke–a joke that anyone with a funny bone and a few minutes to read can get inside. (Except for 11 ½- year-olds. They have to come back when they are 12. Just read the jacket flap.)

There are stunning visual quips like The Duel, where the letters b and d face off (it doesn’t go well, resulting in p and q). There’s an ongoing feud between Harris and Smith, as seen in I Don’t Like My Illustrator and its lovely accompanying portrait of the author. It has groan-worthy puns, (The Old Woman Who Lived in Achoo) and plenty of the absurd (Just Because I’m a Turkey Sandwich and Some Chips Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Have Feelings Too, You Know!) Masterfully sprinkled throughout the silly, naughty, and nonsensical are poignant moments like I’m Shy on the Outside:

I’m the life of the party here under my skin.

So keep knocking—

Someday I might let you in.

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming will make poetry lovers of young and old, from any background and experience, even the poetry skeptics–it’s just subversive enough that kids will be passing it around the playground like contraband candy. Best of all, it will make them laugh. Giggle. Chortle. Guffaw. And couldn’t we all use a little more of that these days?

Congratulations to Chris Harris and Lane Smith.

For more winners go to the CYBILS.

Poetry Friday: Student Work

Thanks to Sally at SallyMurphy.com.au for hosting Poetry Friday.

Fifth graders wrote haiku/short poems in the library based on the different biomes that they created in the fall.

Gloomy day
Worms come out
Like ninjas

©Aeven N.


Green leaves vines all around
Animals waterfalls and plants
Trees and beautiful flowers everywhere

©Alexis L.


I´m lost in the jungle
Living in a fantasy wonderland
Reading is my life

©Caitlin L.


The tundra is icy cold.
In the winter it is beautiful in the dark.
I like the icy cold snow in the winter.

©Edgar G.


Sandy deserts
Beautiful sunny sky
Lovely cute animals

©Emma Roehl


Desert hot and dry
Sand tosses and turns by the wind
Hot in day cold in night

©Sean Conley


Cold water
Unique sea creatures
Turtles are swimming

©Milina W.


Icy winter
Cars slipping
snow everywhere

©sebastian a.


Rains very hard
Tree frogs hopping tree to tree
So very green

©sarah dahl


The tundra is icy cold
Polar bears warm
Not very much plants there

©Will M.

Poetry Friday: Featuring Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro #CYBILSPoetry

IMG_1077Thanks Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

Oh, my goodness.  I have had an upper respiratory infection that I finally called “uncle” last week and went to the doctor.  I had no energy to get a post written.

Today let’s talk about THINGS TO DO by Elaine Magliaro.  It was a CYBILS Poetry nomination that got away as a finalist.
things to do
What I love about this book is the melding of the artwork by Catia Chien with Magliaro’s poetry.  Her acrylic illustrations are moving and whimsical.  The words sing and dance on the page.  Some of the magic of the book also comes from book designer, Jennifer Tolo Pierce at Chronicle Books. 

What I love is how Magliaro takes an extraordinary look through the eyes of a child at the ordinary.  We see and imagine what we can do if we are those things.

Here are two of my favorite poems from the books.  I photoed the pages because the plain text doesn’t truly show the book’s beauty.


Things to do if you are DAWN

Shoo away night
Wash the eastern sky with light.
Wake the sleeping sun:

Rise and shine!

Rouse resting roosters
Set songbirds singing
Left dreams  drift away

Start a new day.


Things to do if you are an


Be pliable and pink.
If I draw before I think

Rub out every mistake

That I happen to make.

That’s what your job’s all about.
Go on–

Wear yourself out!

It’s a fabulous book to have in any collection.
Author: Elaine Magliaro
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Published: 2017
Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: Kids of all ages
Publisher: Chronicle
ISBN: 978-1-4521-1124-7
Source: From the Clackamas County Library

My  fib response:

do if
you are a
POEM dance with
the words on the page
twirl and spin, create a vision
from the unseen worlds
Cause laughter

©jone rush macculloch