Poetry Friday: Marilyn Singer and the CYBILS

In honor of the CYBILS’ nominations opening on tomorrow, October 1, a poem from Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer.  This was the  CYBILS Poetry Winner for 2010.

In Reverse

it’s true–
the only view?
If you believe that,
this poem
will challenge
something new.

The rest of the poem can be found HERE.

I am so excited to finally share my great panelists for rounds one and two.

Round One
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater 
Susan Taylor Brown
Elaine Magliaro
Bruce Black
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Jone Rush MacCulloch
Carol Wilcox
Round Two
Diane Mayr  
The Write Sisters
Mary Lee Hahn
 A Year of Reading
Julie Larios
The Drift Record
Andi Sibley
Laura Purdie Salas
So set your clocks for midnight tonight as the CYBILS will open 12:00AM, October 1.
Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted by Read Write Believe.
Happy Reading.

Poetry Friday: Road Work Ahead

Today, I bring you a new book by Anastasia Suen, Road Work Ahead.  I am pleased to be part of her new book blog tour.  It’s a book in rhyme about a mom, a boy, and a dog driving to Grandmother’s house.  Of course, along the way they run into road work and lots of it.

Suen’s simple rhyming text makes the story fun to read rhythmically. Take a peek:

Hello, Grandma, here we come!
You’re making oatmeal cookies? Yum!

Road work ahead.
Move over. Go slow.

Jackhammers crack.
Look at them go.

Jannie Ho’s bold illustrations are well laid out. Playful surprises such as the re-appearing red bird, the lost chicken, and mama duck and her ducklings add to the fun of Road Work Ahead. I read the book to students K, 1 & 3 and their responses demonstrate that this book will not last on the shelves:

From kindergarten:

Addy like the part of the chicken.
Ayo worried that the bunny fell out of the house and that he could hit the bus
Connor noticed road work on every page.
Nicholas said that there animals and workers everywhere.
Abigail liked how th e ducks were crossing the road.

From first grade:

I like when the chicken was at the ice cream truck.- Wyatt
Alexa like the chicken eating the ice cream.
Jaden liked the chicken on a truck like my dad’s truck.
Juanita like that the chicken sneaked onto the ice cream truck.
Alex laughed when the chicken sneaked in for out meal cookies at Grandma’s house.
Morgan thought the two red birds and the one baby bird were just so cute.

From third grade. We looked at the main characters, the problem, setting, and the purpose:

Students agreed that the setting was the house, the road, outside and Grandma’s house.
They identified the boy as the narrator and one of the characters. There was discussion about the chicken being a main character.

The problem was easy for the group: road construction.

My favorite responses were for the purpose of the story:

Michael said that it was to show how to spend time with family and have fun.
Ashlyn said it was to tell readers about how road workers to their.
One unnamed person said it would help later in life to go SLOW and be careful.

Poetry Friday is hosted by  Picture Book of the Day. Thanks, Anastasia.

Happy Reading.



At any rate I don’t expect this book to sit on the shelf. I highly recommend it for a library for its high interest with readers.  And if in an ebook format, I can imagine the APPS to go with it.

Title: Road Work Ahead
Author: Anastasia Suen
Illustrator: Jannie Ho
Date Published: 2011
Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: K-3
ISBN: 978-0-670-01288-6
Source of Book: From the publisher for review

Nonfiction Monday: Corn by Gail Gibbons



September is such a great month to eat lots of corn in the Pacific Northwest.  As I was pulling out the books for fall and harvest, I came across Gail Gibbon’s Corn.

In Corn, Gibbons’ tells readers about the history of corn.  She uses well placed maps and bright illustrations to give  a clear picture about corn’s early days. 

The reader will learn through diagrams the different uses for corn in the days of the Pilgrims, what a common corn plant looks like, and the planting and pollinating of corn.

Did you know that there are four types of corn?  Gibbons’ explanation of the four types and their uses provide lots of new information for the readers.

Readers will be amazed to find out how corn isn’t just for eating.

Gibbons also includes a page of more corn trivia at the end.

Corn will be used as one of my upcoming lessons with kindergarten and first grade for a look at nonfiction.

Title: Corn
Author: Gail Gibbons
Date Published: 2008
Pages: 32
Reading Level: K-3
Publisher:Holiday House
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2169-5
Source of Book: In library collection

Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Tales from the Rushmore Kid.

Happy Reading.


Poetry Friday: The Words Under Words

I have been redoing my bookshelves and shelved Nye’s book, The Words Under Words.  I love the title poem.  In a week, where a memorial service for college friend’s mother was held, it really resonates with me.

The Words Under the Words




for Sitti Khadra, north of Jerusalem


My grandmother’s hands recognize grapes,


the damp shine of a goat’s new skin.


When I was sick they followed me,


I woke from the long fever to find them


covering my head like cool prayers.



My grandmother’s days are made of bread,


a round pat-pat and the slow baking.


She waits by the oven watching a strange car


circle the streets. Maybe it holds her son,


lost to America. More often, tourists,


who kneel and weep at mysterious shrines.


She knows how often mail arrives,


how rarely there is a letter.


When one comes, she announces it, a miracle,


listening to it read again and again


in the dim evening light.

You can find the rest of the poem HERE.

Naomi’s use of language is inspiring.  It’s the noticing of the little moments in life such as the goats following her when she was sick or how here grandmother’s hands are made of bread.

The last lines of the poem:

“Answer, if you hear the words under the words—

otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,

difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones.”

Find a stone today and listen for its words.



The application period to be a CYBILS judge has ended.  We are all working to finalize the lists and announcements regarding the panels will be published next week HERE.  There were so many applicants that were such high quality who applied this year. 

Nominations for books opened on October 1, 2011 and close on October 15.  Be thinking of which book to nominate.



To those attending the KIDLIT CON in Seattle, WA have lots of fun  learning, net working and socializing.  I know tha Jackie Parker and Collen Mondor has worked their brains out to host a fabulous event.  I am sorry to not be in attendance this year.

Poetry Friday is with Amy at The Poem Farm. Thanks. Amy.

Happy Reading.





Poetry Friday: List Poem About Summer

School started last with the yearly meetings. Students came on Wednesday so essentially summer is now over.  It’s been quite a summer on many different levels. 

Summer 2011

A summer of
east coast trips
saying good-bye to beloved aunt
discovering her secret love and wedding dress
a grandmother’s diary
a road trip
seeing great nephew
at one
visiting friends
time with cousins
seeing the sunrise
across the desert
grandgirls laughing
at the beach
a garden swing neglected
painting and
a little reading
time escapes

It was a busy, crazy summer.  Part of me would like a  summer do over to have more time to get more books read.

Hey! It’s CYBILS time.  Time to become a panelist or judge.  Find the 411 @ HERE. Poetry panelists and judges are needed.

The Miss Rumphius Effect is Hosting Poetry Friday.

Happy Reading.