surprise book giveaway!

 

Just because it’s Poetry Month, Mr Cornelius and Blue Bear have decided to do a surprise, drive-by giveaway!

If you’d like to win a copy of THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH by B.J. Lee and David Opie, just leave a comment here by next Wednesday, April 17, 2019!! If you prefer, send an email with GATOR in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please.

In case you missed it and want to learn more about the book, check out B.J. Lee’s recent Author Chat.

Good Luck!!


Copyright © 2019 Cornelius and Blue Bear Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

monica wellington on pastries and pirouettes

So pleased to welcome author, illustrator and teacher Monica Wellington to the blog today. I’m sure you’ve shared many of her 40+ children’s books in your classroom, library, or with your own kids or grandkids at home. She has a knack for creating kid friendly books that make learning fun and interesting, books that beg rereading and soon become beloved favorites.

I confess I first learned about Monica from her foodie books (no surprise). Who would not love Apple Farmer Annie, Pizza at Sally’s, Mr. Cookie Baker, or Crêpes by Suzette? Naturally all of these picture books include delicious recipes. The simple lines and bright cheery colors in her art are pure, mouthwatering joy. And have you seen her Color and Cook series (Cookies, Cupcakes, Snacks, Tea Party!)? 🙂

Our focus today is on Crêpes by Suzette (newly back in print), and Dear Ballerina, Monica’s latest picture book, just released by Holiday House on March 19, 2019. These two books represent enduring threads in Monica’s life. She’s a devoted Francophile, has loved the ballet since childhood, and her daughter Lydia figures in both stories (Lydia currently dances with the New York City Ballet, and her childhood pictures pop up in Crêpes by Suzette ).

You may know that besides the new paperback edition, Crêpes by Suzette is also available as an interactive App – a veritable feast of French culture (art, language, music, food, travel) presented as a multimedia experience (formidable!).

Dear Ballerina, with its soft pastel palette, is not only a nice introduction to ballet basics, but also a touching story of mentorship that will inspire young dancers everywhere.

Monica lives and works in New York, where she teaches children’s book illustration at the School of Visual Arts. If, like me, you’re a longtime fan of her books, you’ll enjoy our conversation, which is flavored with a delectable taste of Paris and some lovely personal photos.

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Barbara Crooker on The Book of Kells (+ a giveaway!)

 

Recently, I shared two food poems from Barbara Crooker’s new poetry collection, The Book of Kells (Cascade Books, 2018). As promised, she’s here to tell us more about working on the book while on retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland.

The first 21 poems in the book (Section One) are a meditation on the The Book of Kells itself, with ruminations on the lettering, ornamentation, inks, vellum and various subjects depicted in the world’s most famous Medieval illuminated manuscript. The remaining three sections include poems about Ireland (flora, fauna, countryside) as well as Barbara’s observations about her spring and fall residencies.

You will note that Barbara considered food an important part of her residency experience (my kind of writer!). We thank her for detailing a few of her meals, and for sharing so many lovely personal photos of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre building and grounds.

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Tyrone Guthrie House

 

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charmed by katie almond’s ceramics!

I really don’t know how these cute things keep finding me.

Minding my own business, I hear a little voice saying: “This has got your name written all over it.”

Investigating further, I see the piece that caught my eye was made by a UK artist. Again.

So much talent across the pond!

It’s time we had a good ceramics fix, and no one better to do just that than Katie Almond. You know me, I like charming and quirky.

Katie’s based in Rutland in the East Midlands. Rutland is the smallest historic county in England (18 miles N to S, 17 miles E to W). Tiny! It’s motto: “Much in Little.”

This sort of describes Katie’s work: she includes a lot of beautiful detail on each of her ceramic canvases, a blend of hand-painting + found vintage ephemera.

An honors graduate in Design Crafts from DeMontfort University in Leicester, she set up her studio in 2009 and has exhibited throughout the UK.

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2019 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup

 

Happy April and Happy National Poetry Month!

It’s time once again to read, write, share, and simply indulge your love for poetry in every way.

Need some ideas? Visit poets.org for the full scoop on how you can participate, including 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 18, 2019), Poem-a-Day, and especially for students and teachers, the Dear Poet Project. Check the state-by-state listings to find poetry-related events near you.

Now, here’s a list of what some kidlit bloggers are doing. If you’re also celebrating Poetry Month with a special project or blog event, or know of anyone else who is, please leave a comment here or email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can add the information to this Roundup. Thanks, and have a beautiful, inspiring, uplifting, productive, and memorable April!

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Hooray, it’s Progressive Poem time again! Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her eighth annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. This is a wonderful community writing project where a poem travels daily from blog to blog, with each host adding a new line. Matt Forrest Esenwine will kick things off with the first line of this year’s children’s poem at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme on April 1. Here’s the full schedule of participating bloggers:

April

1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

2 Kat @Kathryn Apel

3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites

4 Jone @DeoWriter

5 Linda @TeacherDance

6 Tara @Going to Walden

7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown

8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading

9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog

10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem

11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters

12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine @Dori Reads

14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering

15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink

17 Amy @The Poem Farm

18 Linda @A Word Edgewise

19 Heidi @my juicy little universe

20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog

21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan

22 Catherine @Reading to the Core

23 Penny @a penny and her jots

24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference

25 Jan @Bookseestudio

26 Linda @Write Time

27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

29 Irene @Live Your Poem

30 Donna @Mainely Write

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Irene Latham will also be continuing her personal NPM project, Artspeak!, (now in its 5th year), where she writes a poem a day in response to a piece of art. This year’s theme is “Happy” after her 2019 One Little Word. Look for short, happy poems for kids at Live Your Poem all month long.

To whet your appetite, here’s Irene’s introductory poem inspired by “The Sky Was Yellow” by Enrico Baj:

And, as an added bonus, Irene will be featuring poem videos too. Love!

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Over at A Year of Reading, Mary Lee Hahn will be PLAYING WITH POETRY using Haikubes, Magnetic Poetry, Metaphor Dice, and Paint Chip Poetry. She’s inviting everyone to join her and write along (use the Twitter hashtag #playwithpoetryNPM to cheer each other on). Let the fun begin!

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The “Classroom Connections” series at Today’s Little Ditty will be showcasing recent poetry books — eclectic collections, lyrical picture books, and engaging verse novels — and how they can be used as mentor texts in the classroom. Complete with author/editor interviews, exercises for teachers to use for elementary, middle, and high school students, and LOTS of giveaways! Michelle H. Barnes is your gracious host. 🙂

Here’s the schedule:

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Along with the Literacy Council at her middle school, Linda Mitchell is organizing a brackets-style competition called Poetry Pandemonium. There are 16 poems and brackets. She says, “We will see which poem (that has recognizable language arts standards in it) wins the hearts and minds of my school. I will share bits from it in April.” Read this post to learn more details about the project at Linda’s blog A Word Edgewise.

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