Poetry Friday: Happy New Year

Written in 1850 as an elegy  remembering his sister’s fiance, this poem has become popular as a  poem for the new year.

In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

   The flying cloud, the frosty light:

   The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

   The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

   For those that here we see no more;

   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

 by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Read the rest HERE.

Happy New Year.

Carol is hosting Poetry Friday today at Carol’s Corner.

Tomorrow’s the day. The announcement of the CYBILS finalists.

Happy Reading.



Nonfiction Monday: Belated Hosting

First of all, my sincere apologies as I forgot when I left Christmas Day that I was hosting on December 27.  It was the first Christmas away from our one daughter and her family as they relocated to southern Oregon in November.  We visited them and Internet access was limited.

So I am thick into the deciding with my panel on the shortlist for the CYBILS NFPB, therefore I am skipping an actual review.  I will list the book reviews I did receive.

First up is Bookends is featuring The Chiru of High Tibet. (This should have been my first clue something was up today.)

Roberta’s blog Wrapped in Foil is featuring Mammoths and Mastodons.

Lisa at Shelf-Employed is featuring T is for Taj Mahal.

Shirley at Simply Science has Oceans and Seas by Margaret Hynes for our consideration.

Abby the Librarian takes to the air with Soar, Elinor.

Are you interested in acrostics?  Take alook at Wild About Nature, where African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways is reviewed.

If there is anyone else lingering out there with a nonfiction book review, please leave me a comment or email me at macrush53 @yahoodotcom.  Again my apologies for missing this.

Happy Reading.  I am off to do some TOP SECRET CYBILS work. Stay tuned on Saturday January 1, 2011 for the big announcement.


Nonfiction Monday: Dinosaur Delights

Three books on dinosaurs were nominated for the CYBILS NFPB category.  Each one takes a different approach on the topic.  Dinosaurs are a known hits with readers.

Dinosaurs?! by Lila Prap takes a look at dinosaurs with the guiding question, “Did chickens descend from dinosaurs?”  Big and little chickens are in disbelief at the book’s beginning. Questions aplenty are listed in speech boxes.  Each two page spread begins with a statement such as ” the Word “Dinosaur” Means “Terrible Lizard.” It’s followed by an illustration of a specific dinosaur which is surrounded by text boxes giving specific information about the dinosaur and how the history of digging up bones.  the chickens are in the borders as well with questions and comments such as “Why didn’t they call them TERRIBLE CHICKENS if they are our ancestors?”, “These are not my ancestors! We never has any such strange-looking types in our family.”  The chickens are humorous.  The end pages of the book have a great flow chart that shows how chickens evolved from the dinosaur. The illustrations are bold, strong, anc colorful. It’s a clever take on a popular subject and also introduces young readers to the idea of present day animals evolving from dinosaurs.

Born to be Giants; How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World by Lita Judge looks at this topic through the lens of  what were dinosaurs like as babies.  The text is bound to grab readers at all levels who are fascinated by dinosaurs.   Based on findings at many dinosaur digs, readers find out that Psittacosaurus couldn’t leave their babies unguarded for a moment, that the Maiasuara fed their babies, and the Troodon probably lived in packs and learned to hunt through play. The book ends with a timeline, more information about the dinosaurs in the book (which many were new to me), a glossary, bibliography, and author’s note.  Readers will be able to tell that the author is passionate about the subject matter.

Dinosaur Mountain: Digging in the the Jurassic Age by Deborah Kogan Ray gives readers a bird’s-eye view of the history of  digging up dinosaur bones. Did you know that there were the “Bone Wars” in the 1800’s?   In particular, Earl Douglass began to survey the entire Morrison Formation which covered almost all of Colorado and Wyoming and the neighboring states.  The book focuses on Douglass’ life long adventure in to the world of dinosaur digging.  Andrew Carnegie played a significant role in funding the excavations.  The text, with an inset text boxes full of timelines and other information and illustrations which capture the vastness of such a project helped to create a captivating book.  Ray has also provided a map showing the extend of the dinosaur digs, further information about Earl Douglass, and Andrew Carnegie along with a glossary and bibliography.

Three books for dinosaur lovers of all ages. 

The wonderful Shirley Duke is hosting Nonfiction Monday today.  Head over to see the other great choices in nonfiction.

Happy Reading.  For all of your who celebrate Christmas, may yours be very merry.



Nonfiction Monday: Steve Jenkins

It’s been a busy 2010 for author, Steve JenkinsNever Smile at a Monkey, How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships, and Bones all hit the bookstores this year.  All three were nominated for the NFPB CYBILS award.

Never Smile at a Monkey and 17  Other Important Things to Remember

Have you ever wondered about collecting cone shells, smiling at a monkey, or petting a platypus?  If you have, you might put yourself in great danger as these animals along with others have developed ways to protect themselves.  Cone shells have poisonous barbs, smiling at a monkey is a sign of aggression, and a platypus has venomous spurs behind the feet.  But wait, there are fifteen other creatures that could harm you as well.  Readers of all ages will be fascinated by the many ways that animals protect themselves.  Jenkins includes more detailed information about the animals at the end of the books.  The torn and cut illustrations are vibrant and fun.

How to Clean a hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships

This is a collaborative effort with Steve Jenkins and Robin Page which explores the symbiotic relationships of animals.  I enjoyed reading the step-by-step close-up look at the ways.  Did you know that the hippopotamus spends so much time in the water, algae and water plants cover the skin.  The African helmeted turtle helps to clean off the hippo and in return the hippo provide a spot on its back for the turtle to sun itself.

Readers will spend lots of time reading and re-reading about the different relationships.   Coyotes, plovers, crabs, badgers, giraffes, humans and dogs are some of the forty plus animals featured.  Again the illustrations are torn and cut paper collages.


This books reminds me of Actual Size by Jenkins. It’s bound to be a hit with those young scientists interested in skeletons in all varieties.  The bones, human to dinosaur, to bat and more are illustrated in a various scales. Readers will especially love the skulls page as the illustrations at actual size.  The book has an afterward with more information about bones, stories, and history.  Again, the amazing illustrations are done in cut collages.

All three of Jenkin’s will be excellent choices for the library and for readers of all ages interested in science. The detailed illustrations, the interesting facts, and the unusual topics will delight the scientist in us all.

Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Books Together.  Hop on over and see what awaits the world of nonfiction.

Happy Monday.  Happy Reading.


Potery Friday: Candy Cane

I found a wonderful poem for the season by Valerie Worth in Christmas Poems selected by Myra Cohn Livingston. I love Worth’s poems as she always selects common everyday things to write about.

Candy Cane

Hot wintry
mint, striped
round with
fire and snow.

Sweet icicle
that melts
and burns
and chills,

And fills
the mouth with
fumes of frost
and flame,

Crackling cold
on the tongue
like the word

Poetry Friday is at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Happy Reading.


Poetry Friday: “The Coming of Light”

I discovered this wonderful poem about light.  So looking forward to December 22 when the days start becoming longer.

The Coming of Light

by Mark Strand
Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light. 
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves, 
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows, 
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine 
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.

Poetry Friday is at The Miss Rumphius Effect.  Thank you, Tricia.

Final call for the Season of Love and Hope Auction for my friend, Bridget Zinn.  The auction ends on Saturday, 10 PM CST.  Our hope is to raise $10,000 for Bridget’s medical costs.

Happy Reading.