Happy Poetry Friday!
Can’t think of three other words, aside from, “Time to Eat!”, that fill me with as much joy and anticipation.
Poetry Friday has been a part of Alphabet Soup ever since I first came online in 2007. I didn’t know many other bloggers then, but I knew a good thing when I saw it: a progressive party where a mixed platter of poems, reviews, and musings were served up in friendly fashion by a group of enthusiastic word lovers. Most of them were uncommonly good looking and unfailingly generous and supportive. It’s still the best way to end a work week, take a break for a little special something, refresh, rejuvenate and connect!
A couple of months ago, I was thrilled to hear Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong were publishing The Poetry Friday Anthology (Pomelo Books, 2012), which would take this same concept into the K-5 classroom, turbo-charging it with Common Core curriculum support. As a fan of their PoetryTagTime Trio, I assumed this would also be an eAnthology. Well, it is, but it’s also a gorgeous, chunky paperback containing 218 previously unpublished poems by 75 of America’s finest contemporary children’s poets — some are Poetry Friday regulars, some have been Poetry Potluck guests, and a few others I was excited to meet on the page for the first time.
Janet and Sylvia are not only poetry evangelists, but pioneers for creating this invaluable, user friendly resource for educators, librarians and parents anxious to share poetry with children. A poem a week for each grade for the entire school year with “Take 5!” tips for reading aloud, engaging the audience, prompting discussion, connecting to language arts/poetry skills and concepts, and suggestions for extending the experience with additional poems or books. Wow!
I love the quality and variety of poems and weekly themes like school, pets, families, community, art & colors, song & dance, holidays, weather, water, and – *wait for it* — FOOD! Actually, two weeks are devoted to food. YES! You should have seen me smile when I read, “Week 10: Food, Week 11: More Food!” I didn’t think it was possible to love Janet and Sylvia more than I already do, but there you have it.
So today we’re celebrating this much needed, innovative, first-of-its-kind book, the overall awesomeness of Sylvia and Janet, and Janet’s birthday on Sunday(!) with three food poems from the anthology. Put on your favorite bib so you can drool and nibble and nosh and savor these poetic bites. Big thanks to Joan Bransfield Graham, Debbie Levy and Terry Webb Harshman, who graciously gave me permission to share their scrumptious poems. They also sent recipes just for this occasion. Huzzah! Before we dig in, let’s sing to Janet:
♪♪ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR JANET,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! ♪♪
Now, on with the Poetry Feast!
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♥ JOAN BRANSFIELD GRAHAM ♥
Kindergarten, Week 10: Food
WHO INVENTED COOKIES?
What clever, hungry person
took little dabs of dough,
spooned them out on pans to bake
and lined them up — just so . . .
Then popped them in the oven
to blossom soft and gooey,
turning into tasty treats,
all fragrant, warm and chewy?
So when we list inventions,
um-m, this is one to savor –
guess it didn’t change the world
but, WOW, it gave it flavor!
~ Copyright © 2012 Joan Bransfield Graham. All rights reserved.
The California Reading Association (CRA) in 2000 published a book of recipes from authors and illustrators, A Taste of Literacy. [Here is] the recipe (from my mom), which I offered for Cherry Delight — a festive dessert for upcoming holidays.
This is a simple recipe, but it takes three days, and so you have to plan ahead. The first day you make the crust, the next day the filling, and finally add the topping the day you’re planning to serve the dessert. People usually think the crust is made of nuts.
8 ounces pretzels
3 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine
Crush pretzels. (I use the steel blade on my food processor.) Mix with melted butter and sugar. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9″ x 12″ pan. Refrigerate 16 hours.
12 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 envelopes Dream Whip (prepare as on package)
Cream sugar and cheese. Fold in Dream Whip. Spread filling over crust. Refrigerate overnight.
Cover filling with two cans of pie cherries. Refrigerate. Enjoy!
Note: Since this is a three-day recipe, that gives lots of time for reading in between, doesn’t it?
* * *
♥ DEBBIE LEVY ♥
Second Grade, Week 10: Food
Chatty Charlene enjoys food that crunches,
carrots and croutons and nuts were her lunches,
breadsticks and celery and radishes at night,
granola with apples and toast at first light.
But one day Charlene said, “This is too much!
“The carrots and croutons and apples and such –
“The noise of the chewing,
the CRACK, CRANK, and CREAK,
“is so loud in my head I can’t hear myself speak!”
And that’s why Charlene changed the food that she eats
to soft stuff like puddings and well-boiled meats.
It’s sad, since Charlene is a mushy-food-hater.
Too bad no one told her:
Chew first and chat later.
~ Copyright © 2012 Debbie Levy. All rights reserved.
Debbie: Inpiration #1: C’mon, haven’t we all been in the situation where we’re chewing and talking, chewing and listening, chewing and — then we miss some important part of what our friend is saying because of all the CRUNCH-CRACKLE-CRUNCH-ing going on in our heads as we chomp away at our lunch?
Inspiration #2: I liked the sound of “Chatty Charlene.”
My favorite crunchy foods: This may sound unlikely, but celery is one of them. This is probably because my husband hates celery, which means I don’t usually keep it in the house, which means I don’t put it in tuna salad, where it belongs, or dip it in hummus, where it also belongs, or stuff it with peanut butter, which is another excellent pairing. So when I do get my hands on celery, I’m unusually enthusiastic about it! Another favorite crunchy food: peanuts. My father ate peanuts as a snack pretty much every evening when I was a girl. When I sat with him to watch the news or talk about the day, I naturally also ate peanuts. Dry-roasted peanuts: so good. And a third favorite crunchy food: potato chips. Surely the attraction of potato chips requires no elaboration.
I’m starting to feel sorry for the mushy-food lovers in your readership. So how about a mushy-food recipe that you can pair with crunchy food? I have a new guacamole recipe that I love. Scoop it up with crunchy tortilla chips. Or with celery!
GUACAMOLE (adapted from a Foodnetwork.com recipe)
4 Haas avocados
1 large lime
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup tomato that you have seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced cilantro
Halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pit. Place the avocado in a bowl and squeeze the lime over it. Stir to coat the avocado with the lime juice. Then mash the avocado with the salt, cumin, and cayenne. Add the onions, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro and stir so they are evenly distributed. Your guacamole is ready to eat, presumably with something crunchy.
* * *
♥ TERRY WEBB HARSHMAN ♥
Fourth Grade, Week 10: Food
New York bagels!
Irish soda bread
Crusty French bread!
Egg rolls, noodles!
Flat or curled –
I’ll eat my way
AROUND THE WORLD!
~ Copyright © 2012 Terry Webb Harshman. All rights reserved.
Terry: Global Gorging comes from a collection of bread poems that I have, titled Beastly Yeast.
Bread—ancient, life-sustaining—signifying home, hearth, prosperity, and all that is good. I’ve always been fascinated by both the simplicity and magic of bread—the fermenting action of the yeast, the rising of the dough, the elastic “live” feel of the dough in your hands, and that wonderful aroma when it bakes. So many varieties, shapes, and flavors. So little time to eat them all.
The Walrus thought so, too:
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need;
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed.”
~ Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
I do have a new muffin recipe that I’m happy to share with you. I edit Turtle Magazine for Preschool Kids and Humpty Dumpty Magazine (U.S. Kids Magazines), and this will be published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Humpty Dumpty. The muffins are not overly sweet, and I sneak in some whole-wheat flour (but don’t tell anyone). They’re yummy!
Favorite foods? I love Asian food, Mexican, Italian … darn … I love most everything but hominy. (I really don’t think that’s a food.)
BAKER BEAR’S STRAWBERRY MUFFINS
What You Need:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
- 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped
- Turbinado sugar
Adult: Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-muffin pan. (Do not use paper liners.)
What You Do:
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set the bowl aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, applesauce, milk, vanilla, zest, and strawberries.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir, just until ingredients are combined. (The batter should be thick and lumpy.)
- Use a spoon or small ladle to divide batter evenly between all 12 muffin cups.
- Sprinkle the tops of muffins with sugar.
Adult: Place the muffins in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
* * *
* burps* *licks lips* *sighs*
Was that as good for you as it was for me?
While you’re digesting all this poetic goodness, why not answer these questions from the Take 5′s for each poem just like Joan, Debbie and Terry did:
♥ What kinds of cookies are your favorites?
♥ What is your favorite crunchy food?
♥ What are some of your favorite foods (from around the world)?
Thank you for creating this amazing book, Sylvia and Janet, and for including Alphabet Soup as one of the “25 Children’s Poetry Websites and Blogs You Need to Know.” Hearty Congratulations to all the poets!
* * *
THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY
compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
published by Pomelo Books, 2012
Professional Resource Book + Delicious Poems, 288 pp.
Recommended for educators, librarians, parents, poetry lovers of all ages, soon-to-be poetry lovers
*Includes: Poetry Resources (E-Resources for Poetry Teaching, Professional Resource Books, Mini Glossary of Poetry Terms)
Editions: Common Core for K-5, Texas TEKS for K-5; Common Core for K-5 also available as separate eBooks for each grade level.
* * *
♥ ENCORE ♥
♥ Poetry Friday Anthology blog: Want to win a free copy? Check out the Mini Grants available (deadline October 1, 2012)!
♥ Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children
♥ Terry Webb Harshman at U.S. Kids
* * *
As promised in last week’s Friday Feast:
♥ THINK BIG WINNER! ♥
Today I’m pleased to announce that the winner of a brand new signed copy of THINK BIG by Liz Garton Scanlon and Vanessa Brantley Newton is:
→ → → → → AMY DIXON!! ← ← ← ← ←
Congratulations, Amy! Please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com to receive your book!
Thanks, everyone, for all the great comments. Loved hearing about all your creative escapades when you were little.
* * *
Marvelous Marjorie is hosting the Roundup today at Paper Tigers. Zip on over and check out the full menu of wonderful poems and reviews being shared around the blogosphere this week. Nom nom.
HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY!
TIME TO EAT!
*whoops with reckless abandon*
P.S. Doesn’t Janet look good for 29?
P.P.S. Special ((hugs)) to you, Sylvia. ♥
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.