Nonfiction Monday: Underground

Underground Finding the Light to Freedom written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans is a story about a family’s  journey to freedom.  It’s nominated for the NFPB category for the CYBILS.  The text is deceptively simple.

For example:

The darkness.
The escape.
We are quiet.

The illustrations carry the weight of a fleeing family via the Underground Railroad, crawling to freedom and looking for the light of freedom.  This is a book for the youngest of readers as the combination of spare text and illustrations will make this topic accessible to them.  It will also work with older readers as well. 

The illustrations are subdued which provides a somber tone  until the very end when they reach freedom. 

The story of the Underground Railroad is a story of today as well.  There are men, women, and children who desire to escape their circumstances and find the light of freedom.  There is an afterward by the author.

Title: Underground Finding the Light to Freedom
Author: Shane W. Evans
Illustrator: Shane W. Evans
Published: 2011
Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: K-3
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
ISBN: 978-1-59643-538-4
Source:  From the local library

Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Books Together.

Happy Reading.
MsMac

 

Poetry Friday: Spinster Goose, Twisted Ryhmes for Naughty Children

Spinster Goose, Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children by Lisa Wheeler is one of the nominated books in the CYBILS Poetry category.

Where do you send children who are too naughty for Mother Goose? Why she sends them to her sister Spinster Goose!   Biters, pinchers, and those who eat chalk can all be found here.  Spinster Goose has her ways to get the naughties to behave.

The first poem is an introduction from Mother Goose about her sister’s:

There are many naughty children
far beyond my expertise.
I tried my best to help
but the problems would not cease.

So…

I sent them to my sister.
Her school is well designed
to deal with uncouth urchins
who have manners unrefined.

Take a tour and please be sure
to follow every rule.
Remember…disobedience
will land you in her school.

The remaining poems feature beloved Mother Goose characters such as Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Little Jack Horner,  and others in a twisted way.  As a hair twirler when I was in elementary school, I liked this one:

The Hair Twirler

There was a little girl
who liked to twist and twirl
every single curl in her head
When she was good, she was very, very,good
But when she was bad, she was bald.

With “Mary, Mary quite contrary ” as “the interrupter”, Old Mother Hubbard as “The Custodian”, and Peter, Peter the Pumpkin Eater as a cheater, readers will be engaged in these rhymes.  It’s a good choice to use in a classroom to discuss manners.

Sophie Blackwell’s illustrations add great lines depicting the children and other characters so naughty. She compliments the satirical tone of the poems.

Title: Spinster Goose, Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children
Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: Sophie Blackwell
Published: 2011
Pages: 41
Reading Level: K-3
Publisher: Atheneum
ISBN: 978-1-4169-2541-5
Source:  From the local library

Poetry Friday is hosted by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.  I have an original poem at Deowriter in response to the Poetry Stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Happy Reading

MsMac

Poetry Friday: A Poem by Pablo Neruda

On Monday, I featured Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People for Nonfiction Monday.  Today a poem from Pablo Neruda.

Only in Death
~translated by Robert Bly

There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

The rest of the poem can be found HERE.

Poetry Friday is at Teaching Authors.  I have some original poems for Poem A Day challenge for November at Deowriter.

Happy Reading.

MsMac

PAD: Day 10

Written, Thursday, November 10

I Come From

I come from a Scottish grandfather I never met.
He sailed to India in a three-masted schooner.
I lament never meeting him.
I come from mystery and intrigue.

He sailed to India in a three-masted schooner.
He married my grandmother years later.
I come from mystery and intrigue.
Conversations at dinner were lively.

He married my grandmother years later.
I come from my grandmother’s laughter and love of writing.
Conversations at dinner were lively for adults
especially when my grandmother visited.

I come from my grandmother’s laughter and love of writing.
Stories about my grandfather were told,
especially when my grandmother visited.
Self-tattoos in tribal designs, a runaway, and becoming mayor

Stories about my grandfather told.
I come from a Scottish grandfather I never met.
Self-tattoos in tribal designs, a runaway, and becoming mayor
I lament never meeting him.

This poem was started a month ago at the Silver Falls writing retreat. I didn’t get it finished and the threads were waiting to be woven together.

My grandfather was born in 1863.  He left Scotland at 13 and claimed that wherever the British flag flew there was slavery.  My grandmother was 26 years younger than him. He was sixty years old when my father was born.

Nonfiction Monday: Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown has been nominated for the NFPB category of the CYBILS.  And no wonder, this title introduces young readers to one of the world’s most famous poets.  The words flow and swirl while readers discover that a young boy named Neftali loved the wild, words, and quiet things.  His teacher, Gabriela Mistral encouraged him with books and Neftali decided he wanted to be a writer, too.

Neftali changed his name to Pablo Neruda as a teenager and began publishing poems. He found his poetic life in Santiago with his friends, writers and artists.  But when Pablo discovered that coal miners were working in dangerous conditions, he realized their story must be told. Brown writes about Neruda’s rise as the “poet of the people” and of his harrowing escape when the government was after him.

Brown’s text is complimented and enhances by the illustrations of Julie Paschkis.  They are detailed exquisite with Spanish and English words spilling throughout the two page spreads.  One of the most stunning spreads is that of day and night in which Pablo’s love of opposites plays out. It guaranteed to make readers linger over the pages.

Brown includes an afterword and a resources following the biography.

Title: Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People
Author: Monica Brown
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
Published: 2011
Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: K-3
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9198-4
Source:  From the local library

Nonfiction Monday is hosted at Charlotte’s Library. Head over to see what other great titles are reviewed today.

Happy Reading.

MsMac

Poetry Friday: November Poem A Day

Some writers are busy writing for either NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or NaNoFiMo (National Novel Finishing Month). Then there are the poets who say it’s another opportunity for a poem a day. That’s what I am doing. It’s been quite the drought since June for writing except the work on my novel in verse. I have decided to get back into gear with the hopes that writing a poem a day in November will be welcome rain for the drought.

Here’s today’s attempt:

A ragged envelope
surfaced on the writing desk.
Once used as a coaster
evidenced by the pale brown
coffee stain.
Inside the letter
written by my mother
faded words stated,
“you deserved to be happy.”
I held it close
and whispered
“Yes, I do, yes I am.”

Poetry Friday is Here

Happy reading.
MsMac