Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘poetry friday’ Category

Today I’m doubly pleased to welcome poet and author Nancy Tupper Ling, who’s here to tell us all about her new book Double Happiness (Chronicle Books, 2015), a heartwarming story about a family moving from San Francisco to the East Coast.

Beautifully told through a series of lyrical poems in the alternating voices of Gracie and her little brother Jake, Double Happiness deftly captures the mixed emotions of leaving loved ones behind, traveling across country, and seeing one’s new home and surroundings for the first time.

It is especially hard saying goodbye to Nai Nai (Grandmother), Auntie Su and Uncle Woo. To help ease the transition, Nai Nai gives each of the children a special box, suggesting they fill it with four treasures “leading from this home to your new.” She explains that when she was young she had her own “happiness box,” which enabled her to keep special memories close.

(click to enlarge)

Jake is as much excited, adventurous, and playful as Gracie is apprehensive, reflective, and sad. The treasures they add to their boxes (panda, marble, lucky penny, leaf, snake) mark specific moments in their journey with attendant feelings and impressions.

Both Gracie’s and Jake’s voices ring true, and the poems seamlessly keep the engaging storyline moving forward. Alina Chau incorporates cultural elements (Chinese calligraphy, Jake’s mystical dragon, first dinner) in her charming soft watercolor illustrations, illuminating this gentle gem of a story that will surely resonate with young readers.

(click to enlarge)

In Chinese tradition, “double happiness” is usually associated with weddings, but Nancy’s story artfully extends the concept: two homes, two coasts, two cultures, two boxes, the old and the new, two children, a dragon and a phoenix, two halves of a perfect whole coming full circle in the blessed harmony of family.

I know you’ll enjoy learning more about how and why Nancy wrote this book. And yes, she’s sharing a favorite recipe! Enjoy!

*   *   *

(more…)

Read Full Post »

“There is such a thing as magic, and the Beatles were magic.” ~ Paul McCartney

All illustrations © 2015 Adam Gustavson (click to enlarge)

I remember February 9, 1964 like it was yesterday — the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show!

There, in my aunt’s living room, I tried to process the heart-swelling moment, the excitement, the energy, the burst-wide-open-never-be-the-same-again feeling. Just look at them! Those Edwardian suits, black pointy boots, cool haircuts! They were good looking, different, charming, revolutionary. I could barely breathe as Paul sang, “Close your eyes, and I’ll kiss you . . . ”

My uncle bought “Meet the Beatles” for me from a record store downtown. I plastered the walls of my bedroom with Beatles pics I had cut out from teen magazines. I collected Beatles bubble gum cards and read everything I could get my hands on about John, Paul, George and Ringo. I began writing faithfully to a new penpal who lived in Liverpool, dreaming of the day when I could set foot on British soil.

I still count my lucky stars that I was just the right age to experience the onset of Beatlemania. As I grew up, so did their music. None of us could have foreseen the lasting impact they’d ultimately have on music history, composition, production and pop culture. Half a century later, they’re still number one.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Good Morning! Hungry?

Today we’re serving up a delicious five-course breakfast celebrating the most recent title in the totally faboo Poetry Friday Anthology series created by the incredibly brilliant and uncommonly good-looking poetry goddesses Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Pomelo Books, 2015) is the perfect way to greet the new school year. Just think of all the glorious Fridays to come, each brimming with oodles of opportunities to read, write, share, and yes, even eat poems! The collection contains over 150 poems by 115 poets, a toothsome smorgasbord of holiday poems written in both English and Spanish grouped by calendar month.

Poetry Friday Anthology Series creators Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

What better way to celebrate special occasions like Easter, Rosh Hashanah/Tashlich, Earth Day, Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year, Flag Day, Juneteenth, and National Soup Month (!!!!) than with poems that come with fun Take 5! mini-lessons to help teachers, librarians, and parents share the poems in ways that will engage and delight, facilitate discussion, and encourage further reading?

In addition to poems for widely observed holidays like Christmas, Halloween and Mother’s Day, kids will also enjoy learning about many quirky, lesser-known events (National Dump the Pump Day, Halfway Day, Band-Aid Day, World Laughter Day). Diversity also flavors this poetic feast (Gay Pride Day, Ramadan, Obon, Dashain Festival, Diwali, Day of the Dead), and there are birthday/ baby poems for each month!

I love that each poem is paired with a relevant picture book recommendation and also linked to another poem in the anthology with a similar theme or subject. If you’re hungry for even more, check out the referenced poetry books. Sylvia and Janet have thought of everything! This rich, wholly accessible and versatile resource, which features a gold mine of contemporary children’s poets (Jane Yolen, Eileen Spinelli, Douglas Florian, Janet Wong, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Marilyn Singer, Michael J. Rosen), simply belongs in every home, preK-6 classroom, school and public library. :)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

wildair

via The Wheatfield

Ah, summer! Time to step away from the stove and laptop, relax, and stay cool.

Mr. Cornelius, 50-something Paddingtons, and I are looking forward to ice cream sundaes, fresh peach pie, reading trashy novels mind-enriching classics, growing basil, hanging out with relatives, tickling the ivories, and shopping for cool things.

Before we sign off for a bit, wanted to share this interesting video of former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins interviewing Sir Paul McCartney at Rollins College last October. They discuss early academic influences (Chaucer, Shakespeare, Keats), songwriting, poetry, celebrity, and much more. Paul shares a few naughty bits from Chaucer’s “Miller’s Tale” and sings “Blackbird” at the end.

photo by Scott Cook

I especially enjoyed hearing how the Beatles honed their craft, how John’s snarkiness complemented Paul’s optimism when it came to writing songs. Paul hasn’t lost any of his boyish charm or good looks, remains humble and grounded, and it was nice to know that had he not become a musician, he might have tried his hand at teaching English. :)

Can you imagine walking into class on the first day of school and seeing Paul as your teacher??!!! SCREAM.

The video is about an hour long, so you might want to bookmark this post and come back later when you have enough time to get nice and comfy, sip a tall glass of iced tea, and enjoy the meeting of two brilliant minds. The students in the video remain amazingly calm throughout. If I ever found myself in the same room with both Billy and Paul, I’d probably faint dead away. Just sayin’.

*   *   *

*

(more…)

Read Full Post »

2015 Poetry Friday Archive

1. “After the Holidays,” and “Dianthus” by Barbara Crooker

2. “Produce Aisle” by Rebecca McClanahan

3. “The Cookie Poem” by Jeff Gundy

4. “Paddington Bear — poem about myself as a child” by Tracey Cooper

5. PRESIDENTIAL MISADVENTURES by Bob Raczka and Dan E. Burr

6. A Little Downton Abbey Valentine

7. NEVER TAKE A PIG TO LUNCH by Nadine Bernard Westcott

8. SALSA: A COOKING POEM by Jorge Argueta and Duncan Tonatiuh

9. “Home Sweet Home” by Kate Bingham

10. COUNTING CROWS by Kathi Appelt and Rob Dunlavey

11. “Poem from a Colour Chart of Housepaints” by Wendy Cope

12. “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand

13. “Remember” by Christina Rossetti

14. Three Poems from The Popcorn Astronauts by Deborah Ruddell

15. A POEM IN YOUR POCKET by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

16. ENORMOUS SMALLNESS: A Story of E. E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess and Kris Di Giacomo

17. DEAR TOMATO: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems, edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte

18. 10 Food Poetry Anthologies for Hungry Readers

19. COOL MELONS – TURN TO FROGS! by Matthew Gollub and Kazuko G. Stone

20. Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration with Josh White’s “One Meat Ball”

21. “Ode to Tortillas” by Fernando Esteban Flores

22. “Brownies” by Judyth Hill

23. “Here There are Blueberries” by Mary Syzbist (+ Poetry Friday Roundup)

24. “The International Fruit of Welcome” by Kim Roberts, and “Great-Grandfather” by Charlotte Mandel

25. Interview at Rollins College with Billy Collins and Paul McCartney

26. Five poems from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS

27. FAB FOUR FRIENDS by Susanna Reich and Adam Gustavson

28. DOUBLE HAPPINESS by Nancy Tupper Ling and Alina Chau

*   *   *

*A permanent link to this archive can be found in the sidebar of this blog.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 726 other followers

%d bloggers like this: