Poetry Friday: The Late Edition with Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face by Jack Pretlusky


Poetry Friday was hosted by Violet with a fabulous recap of Poetry Camp.

On Thursday, I came home from school and after dinner instead of writing my posts (one for Deowriter), I fell asleep.  And Friday was just a busy day at school.  I can usually squeeze in the writing of the posts as I usually know what I’m going to post but that was not to be yesterday.

Oh, it’s been quite a week.  Attending Poetry Camp last weekend was one of the highlights of 2016.  Being in the company of almost forty poets left my heart full.  One of the best parts of the weekend, was listening to Jack Pretlusky who was the first Poet Laureate for Children.  He rarely performs anymore so it was a real treat.


I was delighted to hear him perform the following poem.  Some of my Poetry Rocks kids have performed it.  I can’t wait to share the video with them.

Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.
Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.
The rest of the poem is HERE

CYBILS Update:

Nominations for the CYBILS are open until next Saturday, October 15, 2016.  To date, Poetry has twenty plus nominations.  We’d love to have more!  Please nominate HERE.

Need some ideas?  Visit this post at Poetry for Children.  Happy nominating.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.


Poetry Friday: First Student Poetry of the School Year


Thanks to Karen for hosting Poetry Friday.

Greetings from Bellingham, WA and the Poetry Camp!

Announcement, announcement, announcement!  CYBILS Nominations open
TOMORROW, October 1.  Here’s the link:  CYBILS Nominations.

 This week, students brought me two poems for me to share.


Happy Poetry.

Happy Friday.

Poetry Friday: To the Light of September


Poetry Friday is hosted by Penny at A Penny and Her Jots. Thanks, Penny.

School’s back in session.  I saw the turning of leaves this week.  And the morning air is a bit more cool.

Here’s a poem to celebrate September.

To the Light of September
When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not
and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground
                                      Read the rest at the Poetry Foundation


I am honored again this year to be the chair person for the Poetry category.  We need people who love poetry and want to discuss poetry.

You can apply on the CYBILS website, HERE.

Not sure?  Have questions?  These FAQs should provide answers.

Judging Round One information HERE.

Judging Round Two information HERE.

September 14 is the deadline to turn in an application.  I really hope to see your name on the application list.

Poetry Friday: The Late Edition with a CYBILS Announcement


Thanks to Heidi who’s hosting Poetry Friday at My Juicy Little Universe.

All good intentions to get this post up yesterday.  The distraction of ‘Will my district settle a contract before school?” occupied my mind yesterday. I started the day walking for an hour, holding a sign, with about a thousand others at the four local high schools.  It was great for getting my steps done for the day.  I was toast when I got home.

time for the CYBILS
consider being a judge
ask for poetry


I am honored again this year to be the chair person for the Poetry category.  We need people who love poetry and want to discuss poetry.

You can apply on the CYBILS website, HERE.

Not sure?  Have questions?  These FAQs should provide answers.

Judging Round One information HERE.

Judging Round Two information HERE.

September 14 is the deadline to turn in an application.  I really hope to see your name on the application list.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: Found Word Poem


Thanks to Julianne for hosting Poetry Friday today.

Last week, I shared a Found Word poem from Joy.  She sent me an envelope of words.


Today I created a word poem which is also a statement about my re-visioning my verse novel.  Verse Novel and I have been on a sabbatical.  I have been processing so much in my head about it.


As you can tell, Joy provided many words so I can create more word poems.

Please Put This on Your Radar

It’s almost time to apply to be a CYBILS judge.  This usually happens toward the end of August.  Always in great need for poetry people who are passionate about poetry.

The chair people are already discussing and planning for this year’s awards.  Stay tuned.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Celebrate: Five Star Things About the Week

IMG_0626Thank you Ruth Ayres for providing a place to celebrate our week. There has been much goodness in the week.


The CYBILS Awards have been announced! Head over to see the full list.  But I am so happy to announce that Voices From the March on Washington by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon. Here’s the blurb:

Voices from the March on Washington by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon takes the reader on a journey to August, 1963, when thousands converged on Washington in a march for civil rights. Through eloquent prose and verse poems that showcase a range of poetic forms and voices, the poets have recreated the individuals, both historical and imagined, who participated in the march and were changed by the experience.

A thoroughly engaging introduction by Lyon, a “Guide to the Voices” at the end, and all the interwoven stories in between combine to give us an authentic and accessible glimpse into the period and this important event — and offer older readers the chance to meet and imagine the widely diverse marchers, their personal backgrounds, and the private hopes that enticed them to join the march.

The immense amount of factual information contained in the poems invites further research, while the themes of civil disobedience, community protest, and racial tension serve as a mirror for current events regardless of where readers live.

The book’s timeliness–and timelessness–is summed up in this short verse, the title of which could easily be rewritten with the date 2015.

For All, 1963

If you contend the noblest end
of all is human rights, amend
the laws: The beauty of the sun
is that it shines on everyone.

Thanks to the judges:Diane MayrRenee LaTulippe, Matt Forrest, Laura Shovan, and Linda Baie.  They worked tirelessly to determine the winner from the Spectacular Seven Finalists.


Author Day at Silver Star. Author, Deb Lund, spend the day with us on Tuesday:

IMG_0050 20150210_133414


Top Readers and Author Lunch:



Having dinner with Deb Lund and other friends from my writing community.


This week I leaned on my OLW: OPEN to address a work situation.  I hate conflict and it’s very difficult for me when there is conflict but it was a situation I in which I needed to be open.

What are you celebrating?

Poetry Friday: Valentine Edition


Thank you, Cathy for hosting this heart filled Poetry Friday.  At her blog, Merely Day By Day, there are more candy heart poetry. My afternoon Poetry Rocks club, put together some candy heart Valentines:



20150212_163434I wish the candy sayings showed up more.  Most of my students are first through third grade.  Some of them have choir on Thursday afternoon so the group was small yesterday.  We have today off. My favorite comment of the afternoon was that of a third grade girl, “This is totally sweet.”  In so many ways.

And the best Valentine of all will be the CYBILS’ announcement for all the winners tomorrow.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

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.

Poetry Friday: CYBILS Nominations Open


Thanks for visiting. Thanks to Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for stepping in and hosting today.
<br /
It's Day Ten of the annual CYBILS nominating window for fabulous Children’s and YA books published from October 16, 2013-October 15, 2014. There are so many books and so little time as indicated by the nominations in all categories.

I noticed today that some poetry books have yet to be nominated. If you need an idea of what to nominate in poetry, here are some suggestions:

Cleary, Brian. Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems. Ill. by Andy Rowland.

Gittins, Chrissie. Stars in Jars: New and Collected Poems.

Swaim, Jessica. Classic Poetry for Dogs: Why Do I Chase Thee. Ill. by Chet Phillips.

Nominations are open until Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.