Middle of the Night – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

The folks at Wordsong, an imprint of Highlights, remain at the forefront of picture book poetry. Take this fabulous bedtime book by Laura Purdie Salas, for example: What do toys, boring old kleenexes, clothing, overdue books, toothpaste, toilets, pencils, kitchen utensils, foods, and yard implements do while you're asleep? These poems provide answers: toys stage … Continue reading Middle of the Night – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Feed Your Mind – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Some picture book biographies are meant to be read by older elementary school kids. For example: a story about the events that turned August Wilson into a poet and playwright who goes on to win two Pulitzer prizes. Bryant's language is suitably lyrical for the subject. They call it "Little Harlem"—the city within a city. … Continue reading Feed Your Mind – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

A Bunch of Punctuation – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Lee Bennett Hopkins passed away earlier this year, but he left behind a massive body of work, both his own poems and ones of other poets collected for anthologies. Here we have a fine example, with a front cover that offers a glimpse of what we can expect inside. Then there's the playful back. For … Continue reading A Bunch of Punctuation – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Four Otters Toboggan – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I never thought I'd be smitten by a counting book. And I'm still not smitten by a counting book, because FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN is so much more than that. It's an ode to nature, a prayer, a salute, a love letter, a bedtime lullaby—all in the guise of a counting book. First the love letter … Continue reading Four Otters Toboggan – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Ick! Fran’s Tick!

What comes to mind when you read this title? If you're a child, well, it's obvious, right? Ew!     But if you're a poet like Michael Odom, it's secret code, a play on words, for ekphrastic. Odom explains that ekphrastic is "a very big, very cool word that will impress a teacher and probably … Continue reading Ick! Fran’s Tick!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

It appears that novels in verse are now the rage (at least for me), and it's a good rage (as opposed to the other rage I've been feeling lately.) I just finished the dazzling debut YA novel: by Elizabeth Acevedo, longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. In another life, Ms. … Continue reading The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

There Was An Old Giant Who Swallowed A Clock – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Looking for a new read aloud? One that's absurd—sure to make kids laugh? Look no further. But what's truly special about this book is its design and illustrations. The cover gives the reader a hint. The giant's stomach is a die-cut hole, filled with goodies. And as we open the book and read the first … Continue reading There Was An Old Giant Who Swallowed A Clock – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Fleecetown’s Turnaround – Holiday Contest Story

Well, well, well. Somehow we've made it to the end of yet another year. And once again we have Susanna Hill's 7th Annual Holiday Contest. RULES: 250 words or fewer, written for children ages 12 and under, and must contain a holiday surprise of some kind. Mine is 248 words. Here goes.....   Fleecetown’s Turnaround … Continue reading Fleecetown’s Turnaround – Holiday Contest Story

Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

In honor of National Poetry Month and Perfect Picture Book Friday, I'm shining the spotlight on a brilliant Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from 1997: "They took to the road in Waycross, Georgia Skipped over the tracks in East St. Louis Took the bus from Holly Springs Hitched a ride from Gee's Bend … Continue reading Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

Return from the Abyss

Summer slips away, leaving room for Fall. The first order of the day is to talk for a moment about a friend's book of poems, Selene by Michael Odom.  I see this book as a reflection of an obsession. A woman. A sorceress. A corpse. An eternal ambivalence, love and hate. The cover uncovers, revealing the … Continue reading Return from the Abyss