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“No modern poet, to my knowledge, has such a clear, child-like perception as E.E. Cummings — a way of coming smack against things with unaffected delight and wonder . . . This candor results in breathtakingly clear vision.” (S.I. Hayakawa)

When I first heard a few months ago that a new picture book biography of E. E. Cummings was being published by Enchanted Lion Books, my heart literally skipped a beat. Cummings is, after all, my all-time favorite poet. Then when I learned the book was being illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo, who did Take Away the A (one of my favorite alphabet books), it was all I could do to contain my excitement until the book finally hit shelves earlier this month.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

In Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings, debut picture book author, scholar, educator and poet Matthew Burgess recounts Cummings’s life from his magical childhood in Cambridge, through his days at Harvard, to when he finally settled in Greenwich Village, where he lived for nearly four decades.

Kids will enjoy seeing how Cummings loved playing with words from a very early age, received lots of encouragement along the way, and found the courage to remain true to himself, ultimately becoming one of the most innovative and inventive poets of the 20th century, a true champion of individuality whose lyrical experiments with grammar, syntax, and punctuation continue to baffle and delight.

(click to enlarge)

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Is it just me, or is it hotter than blue blazes around here?

David L. Harrison is the Christopher Award winning author of more than 70 books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry that have sold over 15 million copies and earned numerous honors. David’s work has been presented on national television and radio, produced on cassette and CD-ROM, widely anthologized in books, and published in many magazines and professional journals. (photo taken by David’s wife Sandy at their home in Springfield, MO)

 

☕ Cuppa of Choice: “I’m strictly a Lipton’s man.”

☕ Hot Off the Press: Cowboys: Voices in the Western Wind (Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, 2012), illustrated by Dan Burr.

☕ Visit David L. Harrison’s Official Website

☕☕ Sip this poem David wrote just for us:

 

THE SECRET TO SUCCESS

I took my Folgers
To my chair
In hopes my muse
Would meet me there.

Alas the date
Was not to be,
My muse preferred
Her Lipton’s tea.

I’m brilliant now,
Don’t wish to brag,
The secret was in
The Lipton’s bag.

~ Copyright © 2015 David L. Harrison. All rights reserved.

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Charles Waters is a NYC-based poet, actor and educator whose work has been featured in several anthologies. Charles conducts his one man show POETRY TIME, as well as poetry performance workshops for elementary and middle school audiences all over the nation, while seamlessly incorporating the Common Core Curriculum. He has performed in more than 30 states from Alaska to Louisiana to New York. He has also worked with several theatre touring companies and has appeared in television commercials.

(photos by Carlos Vizcaino/GustOrganics)

 

☕ Cuppa of Choice: “One of my favorite kinds of tea is Green Tea. Power packed and good for you. Sometimes I may put almond milk in it as well as agave. The restaurant where I bought the tea is GustOrganics, which is located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. They serve organic vegan cuisines. I don’t go there often, but when I do, it’s happy time. Don’t get me started on their Tiramisu! Happy Tea Drinking, Everyone!”

☕ Hot Off the Press: Poems in Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems, edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte (CreateSpace, 2015), and The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year in English and Spanish, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2015). 

☕ Visit Charles Waters’s Official Website and Blog. You can also find him at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

☕☕ Lap up this poem Charles wrote just for us:

HONEYMOON

Sipping tea, you and me,

Gazing at the sparkling sea

We are now a family,

Holding hands, breath to breath,

There’s no place I’d rather be.

Copyright © 2015 Charles Waters. All rights reserved.

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Be still my heart. I need to go lie down and cool off.

Cabana boys, fan me with palm fronds.

♥ More hotTEAs of Children’s Poetry here.

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

Happy Tuesday!

Enjoy these bits and bobs on today’s mixed platter. :)

1. I’m quite partial to elephants and pancakes and love Tina Kugler’s charming German Pancakes recipe at They Draw and Cook. Tina’s new picture book, In Mary’s Garden (HMH, 2015), which she wrote and illustrated with her husband Carson, is about Wisconsin artist Mary Nohl.

(click for larger image at TDAC)

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2. Have you been following Stéphanie Kilgast’s (PetitPlat’s) Daily Miniature Roots, Veggies & Fruit project? Since the beginning of the year, she’s been creating a new tiny sculpture each day from polymer clay. She decided to do this after discovering a lot of people don’t like veggies. She wanted to celebrate the great diversity of fruits and veggies the earth has to offer as well as arouse our curiosity and appetite.

Stéphanie was one of the first artists we interviewed for our Indie Artist Spotlight Series. I still think she’s the best miniature food artist out there. Don’t know how she does it, but she keeps getting better and better. Her miniature fruits and veggies brilliantly showcase all their beautiful colors, shapes and textures. Incredible! You can follow her project on Facebook, tumblr, or Instagram.

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A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas (Schwartz & Wade, 2015) is the perfect Poetry Month book, as it will get kids excited about writing their own poems and reading them aloud. The story centers around Elinor, a conscientious model student who struggles with a major case of writer’s block when she tries too hard to write the perfect poem.

In this third book in the series about Mr. Tiffin’s class, Elinor and her classmates are very excited that Emmy Crane, “a great American poet,” will be visiting their school on Poem in Your Pocket Day. The plan is to learn as much as they can about poetry by reading and memorizing poems, and by writing poems in their journals. They will then select one of their poems to put in their pockets, which they will read aloud at the school assembly for Ms. Crane.

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Supremely confident, somewhat braggy Elinor plans to wear jeans with six pockets when Ms. Crane comes, with an original poem stashed in each one. She dives right into studying everything and anything about poetry a full month ahead of the class. When April rolls around, Mr. Tiffin teaches them about figures of speech (similes, metaphors), and different poetic forms (haiku, acrostic, concrete). Everyone has fun reading sample poems and writing their own, while strangely silent Elinor has nothing to share, reassuring the others that she will come up with something amazing for Ms. Crane’s visit.

(click to enlarge)

Mr. Tiffin takes the class outdoors so they can practice using their “poet’s eyes.” Another day, he gives them each a brown paper bag and asks them to write a poem about what’s inside. Everyone is eager to read their poems aloud for the others to guess, but Elinor’s journal remains blank.

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Jorge Argueta is a celebrated Salvadoran poet and author whose bilingual books have won many awards, including the Americas Award, the International Latino Book Award, and the IPPY Award for Multicultural Fiction (Juvenile/Young Adults). With his wife Holly Ayala, he publishes and sells multicultural bilingual children’s books at Luna’s Press and Bookstore in San Francisco’s Mission District.

BUENO! CALIENTE!

(photos by Holly Ayala)

PICANTE!

 

☕ Cuppa of Choice: “I love mango tea, mint, lemon, ummmmm camomile, is hard to say.”

☕ Hot Off the Press: Salsa: Un Poema Para Cocinar/A Cooking Poem, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Groundwood Books, 2015).  (My review of this chili pepper-laced book is here.)

☕ Visit Jorge Argueta’s Official Website

☕ Check out the Luna’s Press and Bookstore Facebook Page

☕ Read this chat with Jorge to find out more about Luna’s Press and Bookstore

 

Spicy Hot! 🔥🔥🔥

Somebody call the fire department!

♥ More hotTEAs of Children’s Poetry here.

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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