Poetry Friday: Winter Poems by Fourth Grade Students



Thanks to Paul for hosting Poetry Friday at These 4 Corners.  Perhaps one of my favorite things as a teacher librarian is when students and/or their teachers bring me poetry from the classroom.  That happened this week.  These are fourth graders from Mr. Y’s classroom.  They worked on rhyming.

Looking at the snow
through the chilly window
hoping it won’t go
for I will have to mow.

Two from Alex. She loves poetry.

The sky is dark and the ground is white
the world is peaceful on the wintry night.
No one around, not a sound to be heard,
not a laugh, not a car, not even a bird.

I made myself a snowball as
perfect as could be
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
and let it sleep with me.

Cats tramping in the snow.
Sniffing, smelling the winter glow
Hard walking through winter long.
Having a snow fight better go throw.

The air makes my cheeks red.
it’s dark, I better go to bed.
I like the trees, decorations, lights
I see the children’s snowy sled.

I love the pure white snow
the kind that’s easy to blow
building a white snowman
that has a glimmering white glow.
~Noah C

I love the snow when it glows.
I don’t like when I get cold
I make a snowball and that I throw>
I make a snow angel in the snow.

The winter fog and mist you see.
In winter, you pay a fee>
The warm room, you need a key>
You’re in the snow and you say, “EEE.”

We are all wishing for snow in the Pacific Northwest.

Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.


Celebrate: Five Star Things About the Week

IMG_0626 Thanks to Ruth Ayres Writes for providing a place to celebrate the goodness in the week.

I am SO thankful to see a new week. But here are five things about last week that were star quality.
Reveling in the learning that occurred at the Darcy Pattison Novel Revision Retreat, January 16-18. It was just what I needed at that this particular time.

It’s supposed to be raining and cold. However, winter is tricking us now with warm temperatures and beautiful skies. This is what greeted me as I left school last week.

This surprise gift from Johanna Wright.
image I love owls and books so I fell in love with this print when Johanna Wright first posted it on Facebook. I can’t wait to get it framed and pair it with my other print by her, a tribute to our friend, Bridget Zinn.. Johanna has a great Etsy shop and prints are reasonable.

Book talking the Sasquatch(Washington state) and the Young Readers’Choice Award reader choice nominations to fourth and fifth graders on Thursday. The public librarian comes out and we do the book talks together.

Time to work on my One Little Word 2015: OPEN. And with the week I had last week, it’s good to remember this word. I am taking a class from Ali Edwards. She provides monthly prompts and encourages keeping a notebook.

What are you celebrating?

Poetry Friday: Remembering William Stafford


Thank you, Tara, for hosting Poetry Friday today.


Often a crumb on my plate at the last
looks at me. On my tongue like a snowflake
it melts for awhile– and splendor discovers
itself in this world out of such quiet things.
Those times, anything breathed on or thought
about, even for an instant, is bread.

At the corner just below the streetlight
theres a branch twisted by the wind. Surround
by darkness, hardly surviving that branch
waits to wave in its yellow cone
when anyone passes and looks up. For years,
it lives by such notice, eyes and the sun.

Strange–things neglected begin to appeal
to a part inside us. It is call the soul.
These times, it lives on less and less.

–William Stafford
Poetry Magazine, October/November 1987

Notice is a favorite word. And that last stanza grabs my heart. It’s been a week. I needed some Stafford to lift me up.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: “Deeper Wisdom Poem”

2015/01/img_10771.jpg Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday today.

At Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle recently interviewed Joyce Sidman who challenged readers to write a “deep wisdom” poem. It’s raining here so what’s the deep wisdom of rain?

What does the rain know?
Sponge clouds gathering moisture
School children running between raindrops
The pop-up gardens of umbrellas.

What does the rain know?
The wind whispering secrets
School children with open mouths catching raindrops
The beginning and end of rainbows.

© 2015 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

I an honored to be featured at Michelle’s “Haiku Garden” today.

Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.

Celebrate: Five Star Things About This Week

2015/01/img_0626.jpgThanks to Ruth Ayres Writes for providing a place to share all the goodness in our lives. And we need to celebrate the goodness.

Middle and youngest Grandgirls were here for last weekend. So good to see them. As you can see they love to put on shows.



Receiving these New Year postcards from everywhere. I also sent them out to the group who expressed interest in sharing.


Having lunch with the top readers for November.


Time for research in the library. Learning that sometimes we need to shift our topics if the materials aren’t available.


Selecting my One Little Word for this year: OPEN.

Poetry Friday: CYBILS Poetry Books Left on the Shelf


Poetry Friday is being held by the fabulous Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Thanks for being part of the community.

Last week the CYBILS finalists were announced. The Poetry category had thirty-eight titles which were discussed.  There were stellar nominations this year.  And that makes the committee’s task more difficult.  With the goal to have between five to seven finalists, there will be those titles that are ever so close to becoming a finalist.  These books are ones that were left on the shelf and not sent to the round two judges. I highly recommend that if you are wanting a poetry book that you check these out as well.

ASHLEY BRYAN’S PUPPETS: MAKING SOMETHING FROM EVERYTHING by Ashley Bryan, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Ashley Bryan takes found objects from the seashore to create puppets.  They are complete with a name and a poem that describes what they are made of and their vision.  The Spirit Guardian sums it up best: “We are born of cast-off pieces / And, like magic, brought alive / By your own imagination. / That’s the gift / By which we thrive.”  Readers are invited to write their own poem at the end for two unnamed puppets.

EVERYTHING IS A POEM By J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Maria Cristina Pritelli. published by Creative Editions.
A collection that celebrates the best of J. Partick Lewis. Serious, humorous,and  historical poems provides a fantastic introduction to the world our former Children’s Poet Laureate. Pritelli’s illustrations are brilliant and playful.

ODE TO A COMMODE: CONCRETE POEMS by Brian Cleary, illustrated by Andy Rowland, published by Millbrook Press.
A fun collection of poems that are shaped as the specific object. Cleary does an excellent job with a one page introduction about Concrete poems.  The cartoon illustrates add to the light-hearted poems.

ON THE WING by David Elliot, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander, published by Candlewick.
These poems are a lyrical delight capturing the characteristics of birds from hummingbirds to the great horned owl.  The acrylic illustrations creat an illusion that the birds will fly of the page.

THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END by  Joan Bransfield Graham, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, published by Two Lions. Ryan O’Brian, a boy who loves to write poetry, writes them everywhere: soccer field, bathroom, cafeteria.  Is it a poetry book, a picture book, or a hybrid?  One thing for sure is that it’s a book with great kid appeal.  Readers learn about Ryan’s poetry writing obsession and get to read his poems.  Ryan provides a guide to poetic forms that invites readers to try writing a few of their own. Brooker’s illustrations are colorful and lively.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: CYBILS Poetry Finalists Announced

Welcome to the first Poetry Friday of 2015. It’s hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect and one of our panelist for the first round of the CYBILS in Poetry. The seven member committee worked diligently to come up with the spectacular seven books. They are diverse, varied in audiences and stretch boundaries.

And with out further ado here they are (again) in case you were away from the computer or the digital highway.

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
Brown Girl Dreaming is many things in one rich collection – memoir, history, biography – and lyrical, exquisite poetry. Events of the author’s personal and family history provide the framework for a series of individual poems. Woven throughout are key events of the Civil Rights journey and also personal effects of racism and discrimination. In this beautiful and powerful tapestry of verse, one hears the poignant reflections of Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, who kept on dreaming through tough times and good times and who keeps on writing in mesmerizing verse.

Nancy Bo Flood , The Pirate Tree; Social Justice and Children’s Literature

Dear Wandering Wildebeest And Other Poems from the Water Hole
by Irene Latham, illustrated by Anna Wadham
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Amy @ Hope Is the Word
Dear Wandering Wildebeest’s poetry bounces with the impala and peeps like the meerkat. With childlike illustrations by Anna Wadham, Irene Latham takes us on a journey to the water hole of the African grasslands. Each poem is accompanied with factual information that will inform even the oldest readers.

To All the Beasts who Enter Here, there is word play with “Saw-scaled viper/ rubs, shrugs,/ sizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzles,” form experiments in Triptych for a Thirsty Giraffe, humor with “Dung Beetle lays eggs/ in elephant poop,” and even danger, “Siren-howls/ foul the air./ Vultures stick to task.” Children and adults alike will love the language and learning that wanders in this book along with the animals of the watering hole.

Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
by Paul B. Janeczko
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Danyelle
Prolific anthologist Paul B. Janeczko brings the old and the new together in Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems. The collection of 36 poems contains poems by classic poets such as Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. Intermingled with these are poems by well known children’s poets including J. Patrick Lewis and X. J. Kennedy. Firefly July takes readers through the seasons beginning in spring and ending with winter. The poems take readers to different locations as well. Both city and country settings appear in the poems. As the subtitle states, the poems are short, but the images they evoke are almost tangible. Melissa Sweet’s mixed media illustrations are colorful, playful, imaginative, and whimsical. They draw readers into the poems. Firefly July is a stellar collection that will likely be a family favorite for years to come.

Bridget R. Wilson, What Is Bridget Reading?

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons
by Jon J Muth
Nominated by: Bridget Wilson
Inspired by his twins, Muth wrote a haiku book that doesn’t followe the often used three line, 5-7-5 syllable form. This made this title a stand out among other haiku books.
Readers take a seasonal journey from summer through spring by Koo the panda. (Thus the pun in the title: Hi Koo!) Beginning with a simple observation about the wind: /found!/ in my Coat pocket a missing button/ the wind’s surprise, to the last haiku: becoming quiet/ Zero sound/ only breath/ Muth offers to young readers a new way to experience haiku.
The watercolor and ink drawings complement the text. The subtle alphabet theme adds another dimension to the book.
The author’s note at the book’s beginning sets the tone: “…haiku is like an instant captured in words–using sensory images. At its best, a haiku embodies a moment of emotion that reminds us that our own human nature is not separate from all of nature.”
This book of poetry will help readers to slow down to appreciate the small moments of nature and daily happenings.

Jone Rush MacCulloch, Check It Out

Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole (Carolrhoda Picture Books) (Junior Library Guild Selection)
by Bob Raczka
Carolrhoda Books
Nominated by: Stephanie Whelan
Who knew that among his many talents, Santa was an expert at writing haiku? In this collection of 25 poems using the 5-7-5 format, Raczka brings us Santa’s many observations, some about his job: “Wishes blowing in/from my overfilled mailbox–/December’s first storm” and others about the weather, the time of year, and Christmas preparations: “Clouds of reindeer breath/in the barn, steam rising from/my hot chocolate”. A fun read all at once, or one per day in anticipation of Christmas, some of the haiku work for winter in general as well: “Just after moonrise/I meet my tall, skinny twin–/’Good evening, shadow.’”

Kelly Ramsdell Fineman, Writing and Ruminating

Voices from the March on Washington
by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon
Nominated by: Sylvia Vardell
Voices from the March is a historical novel in verse that focuses specifically on the momentous march on Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his landmark “I Have a Dream” speech. Six fictional characters (young and old, black and white) tell their tales on this historic day in cycles of linked poems alongside the perspectives of historic figures and other march participants for a rich tapestry of multiple points of view. It’s been 50 years since the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, when discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin became against the law. In this powerful work, Lewis and Lyon tackle issues of racial and social justice in 70 lyrical poems that reflect the perspectives of young people and adults struggling with taking action for positive change in peaceful ways. In addition, extensive and helpful back matter includes a guide to the fictional and historical voices, bibliography, index, and list of websites and related books.
Sylvia Vardell, Poetry for Children

Water Rolls, Water Rises Water Rolls, Water Rises: El agua rueda, el agua
by Pat Mora
Nominated by: Sylvia Vardell
In a series of free verse poems in English and Spanish, our most precious natural resource takes center stage. Water rolls, rises, slithers, hums, twists, plunges, slumbers and moves across the Earth in varied forms and places. Mora’s three-line poems are filled with imagery and emotion. “Water rises/ into soft fog,/ weaves down the street, strokes and old cat.” (In Spanish: “El agua sube/ formando suave neblina/ que ondula pro la calle, acacia a un gate viejo.”) The lyrical movement of water described in verse is accompanied by Meilo So’s gorgeous mixed-media illustrations highlighting 16 landscapes from Iceland, to China, to Mexico, the United States and more. Back matter includes an author’s note and information about the images in the book. A joyous, bilingual celebration, this collection brings water to life.

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, The Miss Rumphius Effecto

Be reading this year and discovering new poetry titles to nominate for next year.
Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.