Poetry Friday: Sneak Peak at Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

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Thank you Carol W. at Carol’s Corner for hosting today’s Poetry Friday. A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have Margarita Engle send me an ARC of SOARING EARTH. This is the companion memoir to ENCHANTED AIR.

Now if you haven’t read ENCHANTED AIR yet, stop by your local library and borrow it. It was nominated for a CYBILs Poetry Award in 2015.

SOARING EARTH continues as Engle begins high school just as the social issues: Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, environmental concerns are heating up. In Engle’s lyrical language, she paints a landscape of what it’s like for a teen during the late 60’s.

Despite not being allow to travel to Cuba (thanks to the revolution there), Margarita finds other way to spread her wings through friends, writing and education.

Readers of both books are in for a treat of rich and delicious language. It’s sure to make your spirit soar.

Available in the world in February. Give youself the Valentine of a book and purchase a copy or make sure your local library has it in their collection.

Title: SOARING EARTH
Author: Margarita Engle
Illustrator:
Published: Available, February 2019
Pages: 192
Reading Level: 7th gr and beyond
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781534429536
Source: ARC sent to me by the author

The ARC I have is available for the next reader. If you’d like to read it and share the love, leave a comment and I’ll draw a name next week.

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Poetry Friday: Voices in the Air by Naomi Shihab Nye

IMG_1077Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

This week, I want to show case the title I nominated for the CYBILS Poetry Awaed:  VOICES IN THE AIR, POEMS FOR LISTENERS by Naomi Shihab Nye.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I consider her a mentor.  Last April, I attended the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture given by Naomi Shihab Nye.   I, of course, bought her latest book.

What if we were the listeners of all the voices in the air? Those who came before us or those we have yet to meet? What if we took the time to listen? What would we notice?

VOICES is divided into three sections: Messages, Voices in the Air, and More Worlds.

Nye begins with an introduction, a pondering of making sense of the strange world we currently reside in with a quote by Galway Kinnell, “To me, poetry is someone standing up to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.”

She reflects on a conversation student at the Yokohama International School in Japan. She said listening and writing poetry give us more yutori– a place to stand back to contemplate what we are living and experiencing…more spaciousness in being and more room to listen. I love this!

This ninety-five poem collection is contemplative and we should listen to one another read these poems aloud. Many of the poems were written for specific people. At the end of the book, Nye includes Biographical Notes.

We should take the time to slow down and listen.

Some of my favorite poems in this collection include: “Twilight”, “Train Across Texas”, and “Where do Poets Find Images, and For the Birds”.

Here’s the first few lines of perhaps my favorite (I’m not sure I can really choose)

Reserved for Poets
(Signs on first rows of chairs at poetry festival. La Conner, Washington)

Sunsets.

Trouble.

Full moons.

No really–they’re everybody’s.

Nothing is reserved.

I highly encourage to find this book, read it, and listen.

Title: VOICES IN THE AIR, POEMS FOR LISTENERS
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Illustrator:
Published: 2018
Pages: 190
Reading Level: YA
Publisher: Greenwillow
ISBN: 978-0-06-269184-2
Source: Personal purchase

Poetry Friday: H IS FOR HAIKU Book Talk

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Thanks to Linda B. at TeacherDance who is hosting Poetry Friday today. It’s going to be great.

This week, I’m starting a new chapter on this blog. The last few years, the blog has focused more on student work and less on book reviews/talks/ recommendations. Over the last month, I’ve been mulling over what to do with this blog. Certainly, when the opportunity presents itself to showcase student work, I will.

So I’ve decided to feature poetry books on this blog for Poetry Friday.

I am please to share with you H IS FOR HAIKU A TREASURY OF HAIKU FROM A TO Z by Sydell Rosenberg today. Rosenberg was a chartered member of the Haiku Society of America (HSA). She was a public school teacher and used her experiences as a springboard for haiku.

In Amy Losak’s introduction of her mom’s book, she speaks of the small moments that haiku makes big. This is what I love. It’s the very reason I write haiku and teach students about the form. In a society where the small moments can be missed, slowing down for discovery is so necessary.

H IS FOR HAIKU begins with Rosenberg’s definition. My favorite part of her explanation? “Haiku can’t be gimmicked; it can’t be shammed. If it is slicked into cuteness, haiku losses what it has to give.”

Here are a few examples as page spreads.

adventures over
the cat sits in the fur ring
of his tail and dreams

first library card
and a promise to read all
authors A to Z

queuing for ice cream
sweat-sprinkled office workers
on Queens Boulevard

Whether you are a first grader practicing a recorder or Xavier at the beauty parlor or seeing children with umbrellas as mushrooms, each haiku is a fresh small moment that still resonates today. It’s difficult to believe that the original haiku were written long before the publishing of the book. Rosenberg’s word choice is impeccable and rich.

Sawsan Chalabi’s illustrations are a bright complement to the text. Did you know she was responsible for the lettering of the haiku? To me it adds to the structure of the book. I’m not sure the book would work as well had the lettering been a standard font and size.

I would recommend getting this book if you need a mentor text in haiku. Losak addresses the English interpretation of haiku as being the 5-7-5 structure while explaining that many writers (including her mom) aren’t so strict about the syllable count. I think this is important when teaching young writers. I’ve been told that rules were created to be broken and the hard fast syllable structure should be broken when appropriate.

H is FOR HAIKU is nominated for the CYBILS Award in Poetry.

Title: H IS FOR HAIKU
Author: Sydell Rosenburg
Illustrator: Sawsan Chalabi
Published: 2018
Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: 3rd grade and up
Publisher: Penny Candy Books
ISBN: 978-0-9987999-7-1
Source: Personal purchase

Poetry Friday: Flashlight Night

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Thank you, Matt, at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, for hosting Poetry Friday. And happy almost book birthday to FLASHLIGHT NIGHT.

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One of the nicest things waiting for me at school in August was a galley proof of Matt’s book.  Besides getting a sneak peek, I love that I can show students as part of the book making and publishing process.

Today, I shared with Mrs. L’s second-grade class.  There were lots of “oohs” and “aahs” over the words and illustrations.  Here are some comments:

‘The fence looks like the zombie apocalypse.” ~ Carter

“The cat is also the tiger.” ~ Amy

“It looks like a haunted house with the crooked fence.” ~Chase

“You can imagine things that aren’t real.” ~Lani

The author wants you to imagine”. ~Naomi

“I like to play hand puppets with a flashlight.” ~Morgan

I can’t wait to get the finished copy when it arrives on the shelves.  I absolutely love the work play and rhymes.

And Fred Koehler’s muted tones of the book makes you want to pour over the drawings for awhile.

Congratulations, Matt, for a stunning first book.  It’s going to be fun to compare the galley proof with the actual book.

 

Poetry Friday: The Poetry Love Edition

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Welcome to Poetry Friday.  I am so glad you’re here.  This week was Valentine’s Day and there was so much love, poetry love in the air.

First off, Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell sent copies of HERE WE GO, the latest  Poetry Friday Power Pack.

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Just this week, our Family Engagement Committee discussed how we can best help our students during the world today.  How can we raise the level of social justice and make them feel safe?  This is the perfect book to help students make some sense of the world.

There are many ways to approach this book; read the thirty-six poems like a story or use the poems as a springboard for writing.  The end of the book is chock full of resources for both students and adult. One the resources, Poetry Performance Tips, will be used with my Poetry Rocks group, grades 1 through 3.

Poetry Rocks worked on some “What If” poems after school today in groups.  We wrote as a quick write after reading Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Blue Bucket and Janet Wong’s response poems by Jenna and Ameera.

What if our teachers were gingerbread
instead of people
What if blueberries could talk
instead  of regular blueberries
What if our bodies could talk
instead  of our mouths talking
What if trees were sweet tarts
instead  of regular trees
What if our homes were gingerbread
instead  of normal homes
Then everything would be weird.

By Nevaeh, Amiah, Lauren
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What if we were ghosts
instead of people
What if we could join our friends on their journey
instead just reading them
What if we could go to a land of magic
instead of going to school
What if school was fun and exciting
instead of being boring
What if our homes were made of gingerbread
instead of wood
Then life would be cooler.

By Haylie, Macy, Ricky, Taylor
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What if I could change the laws
instead of going to school
What if I could eat cookies all day
instead of celery
What if chocolate
instead of tomatoes being food
What if everything was made of chocolate
instead of trees
What if there was no play
instead of school
Then I would be very sad.

By Bentley, Jazzlynn, Taryn, Charlie
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What if I could play on my PS 4
instead of dad saying no
What if school was one hundred miles away
instead of a shortcut to home
What if there dragons
instead of moose
What if you could just float in the world
instead of outer space
What if I lived in Texas without electricity
instead of Washington

By William
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What if I could teleport
instead of walk
What if there was no school
instead of school
What if school had only recess
instead of learning
What if the sea was filled with hot chocolate
instead  of salt water
What if there was no light
instead of light
That would be bad.

By Marcella, Ella, Gabe, Italy
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What if we had no homework
instead of homework
What if babies ruled the world
instead of crawling
What if humans were dogs
instead of humans
What if the world was made out of candy
instead of not being candy
Then that would be weird.

By Angel, Jazlyn, Eliza, Dakota

Next week due to the holiday and conference, we won’t have Poetry Rocks but I have challenged them to write their own “What If”poems. We’ll see what they write.  I wrote my own “What If” poem which is posted at Deowriter.

I am going purchase some copies for our library I have a fourth grade class fired up about social justice. Can’t wait to share. Do you want your own copy? I have five copies to give away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MORE POETRY LOVE!!

Congratulations to Laura Shovan for winning the CYBILS Poetry Award.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: CYBILS Poetry Finalists

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Thank you to Linda at Teacher Dance for hosting Poetry Friday.

ICYMI: On Sunday, January 1, 2017, the CYBILS’ finalists for Poetry were announced. 

I must tell you that this was perhaps one of the most difficult years to whittle forty titles in Poetry down to seven finalists.  There were SO many great books. So, so many.  I am proud of our committee: Joy Acey, Linda Baie, Carol Wilcox, Kortney Garrison, Sylvia Vardell, and Tricia Stohr-Hunt.  We came to consensus on the list that represents diversity and something for all ages.

And here are the finalists:

Booked
by Kwame Alexander
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Nick Hall is a typical eighth grader who loves soccer and hates school. Unfortunately, he has a father who is a linguistics professor afflicted with chronic verbomania.* Nick’s father loves words so much that he has written a dictionary, Weird and Wonderful Words, which he is forcing Nick to read, one letter at a time. And of course, his father is much more interested in developing his son’s cognitive abilities than in supporting Nick’s passion for soccer.

Most of Nick’s problems are typical middle school dilemmas– boring classes, budding interest in a girl, and dealing with the school bullies, twins who steal Nick’s bike. And of course the book has a couple of caring adults- one of whom happens to be a former Grammy-winning rapper turned school librarian, Mr. MacDonald. Nick’s life takes an unexpected turn when his parents inform him they are separating and his mother is moving out of state to return to her first love, training horses.

What’s not typical about this book are Kwame Alexander’s poems. Alexander uses a variety of poetic forms- including free verse, acrostics, found poems, and many others. And thanks to Nick’s father, there’s tons of interesting and unusual vocabulary- codswalloped, limerence, cacchinate, to name a few.

A novel-in-verse that’s sure to engage even the most reluctant reader.

*a love of words

Carol Wilcox, Carol’s Corner

Fresh Delicious
by Irene Latham, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
Wordsong
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Irene Latham’s poems and Mique Moriuchi’s illustrations bring to the reader one of the colorful pleasures of summer in this “fresh” and “delicious” poetry. Here we go into the farmer’s market, baskets on our arms. They might be filled with “a fleet of green submarines” (cucumbers), ” a “mountain of mice-sized swords” (okra) or “rows upon rows/of tiny noses” (corn on the cob). The poems open the senses to new ideas about fruits and vegetables found. They are mouth-watering to imagine through the words, with illustrations that show the animals shopping in the happiest of ways. In the poem Wild Honey, Irene writes that it makes “our tongues/buzz/with pleasure.” In this book of poetry, readers will do the same. Irene also shares recipes after the market shopping, just right for kids to help with the cooking.

Linda Baie, Teacher Dance

Garvey’s Choice
by Nikki Grimes
Wordsong
Nominated by: MissRumphius

A middle grade verse novel that strikes at the heart of early adolescent angst, Grimes has given us a heartfelt, realistic portrayal of what it means for a young person to navigate school, friendships and family life. Garvey, who is overweight and not the athlete his father hoped he would be, has dreams of his own. Written in tanka, Grimes’ short verses pack an emotional punch, sharing the highs and lows of Garvey’s journey to figure out who he is, while simultaneously making himself happy and his father proud. Father and son eventually find that connection, and I dare you not to tear up when they do. Grimes has a gift for getting to the heart of middle school angst and gives readers a boy they will love and won’t soon forget.

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, The Miss Rumphius Effect

Guess Who, Haiku
by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Kortney Garrison

Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell is a fun introduction to the puzzle of poetry. Each spread presents a farm animal’s poem–a riddle in haiku form–on bright pages with simple, engaging illustrations by Bob Shea.

The familiar barnyard animals and the rhythm and rhyme of the repeating lines make this an excellent read-aloud. It’s the perfect book for groups of mixed age children at library storytime or at home. The youngest children will enjoy the riddles while older children will want to take up the writing challenge.

Deanna Caswell plays with language, and then invites her readers to join the fun! The delightful end matter continues the game and helps to answer the last, most surprising riddle of all.

Kotney Garrison, One Deep Drawer

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
by Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books
Nominated by: Adrienne Gillespie

A teacher and her students work together to try to save their school from demolition in this novel in verse snapshot of one fifth grade class across a whole school year. Ms. Hill’s class of 18 students includes a mix of boys and girls, twins, Spanish speakers, children from a variety of cultural backgrounds, shy kids, leaders, friends, “frenemies,” all trying to express themselves through poetry. Each poem reflects an individual point of view that changes and grows over the year contributing to a complete narrative detailing their classroom dynamics as well as their struggle to take an active stand for their school. Shovan effectively employs 17 different forms of poems throughout this novel in verse including acrostic, concrete, diamante, epistolary, fib, found, free verse, haiku, limerick, list, narrative, ode, rap, rhyming, senryu, sonnet and tanka poems. This is an engaging school-based story in poems that can inspire young readers to become activists in their communities and to consider writing poetry as a vehicle for achieving some of their goals.

Sylvia Vardell, Poetry for Children

To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party
by Skila Brown
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Jonemac

Donner Party. This ill-fated party began their westward journey from Illinois to California in the spring of 1846. An ill advised detour proves deadly as less than half of the party actually survived.
Through the eyes of 19-year-old, Mary Ann Graves, readers travel on the trail with her family.
Skila’s poems match the mood of the party. In the beginning, they are light with a quick tempo. But as the travel slows, challenges surface along with danger, and so does the cadence and tone of Mary Ann’s voice. Readers are with her during that ominous snowstorm. when the entire party takes shelter and are forced into cannibalism to survive.
Skila captures a compelling story of adventure, despair and survival that readers will want to read again and again.

Jone Rush MacCulloch, Check It Out

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons
by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by  Julie Morstad
Roaring Brook Press
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano gently leads the reader through a year’s worth of journal entry poems to celebrate the seasons. Written without capitalization or punctuation, the poems take advantage of caesuras and spacing on the page to draw the reader through the poems. There is a Zen like/haiku feeling of discovery in the short poems.

These poems frolic in nature and provide fresh language for young ones just learning language and for jaded old timers who need new ways of seeing and discovering their environment.

Joy Acey, Poetry for Kids Joy

Stay tuned and wait for Valentine’s Day when our winner is revealed.  Until then I will be featuring books that were on my shortlist but were left behind.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: A Visit from St. Nicholas

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I woke up this morning and realized I had lost a day and that it was Friday! Poetry Friday!

Visit all the other posts at Buffy’s Blog, she’s hosting today.

One of my favorite things to do with students is to read the various versions of this classic poem.  I love the discussions we have about the illustrations and the interpretations.  And someone ALWAYS asks “Where is Rudolph?” Which is a fun story, too.

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One of my  favorite rendition’s of this poem is Rachel Isadora’s rendition of the story.

I love that it’s set in Africa and that Santa has dreadlocks.  Her artwork is stunning and so detailed. It makes for lively conversation with students.

The poem was published on December 23, 1823.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

Read the rest at The Poetry Foundation

Enjoy the season!

Happy Friday.  Happy Poetry.