[review + giveaway] Keep a Pocket in Your Poem by J. Patrick Lewis and Johanna Wright

Keep a poem in your pocket
and a picture in your head
and you’ll never feel lonely
at night when you’re in bed.

~ Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (“Keep a Poem in Your Pocket”)

So begins J. Patrick Lewis’s brand new poetry picture book, in which he pairs 13 classic poems on a variety of subjects with his own inventive parodies. Beatrice Schenk de Regnier’s opening poem sets the tone by touting the delights of the imagination, while Lewis’s poetic response (“Keep a Pocket in Your Poem”) advises us to think up wondrous, concrete objects (“red hawk feather,/silver penny, pinkie ring”) to spark the creative process.

In his introduction, Lewis explains that writing a parody is the best way to pay tribute to someone else’s work. He’s clearly a poet who likes to tweak, twist and tinker — not only with words, but with ideas, thoughts, and emotions.

As old poem faces off against new, it’s interesting to see the different directions Lewis has taken as he echoes, mimics, and counters. With this side by side format, young readers are given great examples of how one might imitate a well-known poem, whether they choose to express a similar sentiment (Lewis’s “Winter Warmth” in response to Langston Hughes’s “Winter Sweetness”), or contrast the original (Lewis’s “Rats” vs. Rose Flyeman’s “Mice,” or Lewis’s “Hail” vs Carl Sandburg’s “Fog”).

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[review+ recipe + giveaway] Fresh-Picked Poetry by Michelle Schaub and Amy Huntington

In just about a month, the farmers’ markets in our area will open for the season. Hooray! 🙂

Can’t wait to wrap my lips around a juicy ripe strawberry, fix myself a crisp garden salad with baby lettuces, cucumber, radishes, green peppers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes, and dribble some local golden honey on a warm biscuit. I can just about smell the sweet, rejuvenating scent of ripe peaches and the aroma of freshly baked breads, cookies and muffins, and I can picture the colorful bouquets of Spring blooms.

Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market by Michelle Schaub and Amy Huntington, is just what we need to get us in the mood for the delicious bounty that awaits us. Michelle and Amy capture all the tantalizing sights, smells, sounds, and flavors of a bustling farmers’ market with 18 sprightly, sensory-rich poems and delightful, animated pictures packed with charming details.

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[author chat + recipe + giveaway] Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and Catia Chien

One of my very favorite things to do is to feature children’s books by first time authors, especially when they’re written by dear online friends.

I’ve been a fan of Elaine Magliaro’s poetry and blog Wild Rose Reader for about ten years now. I first began reading her wonderful posts at Blue Rose Girls before she launched Wild Rose Reader in April 2007.  A retired elementary school teacher and librarian, Elaine is extremely knowledgeable and unfailingly passionate about children’s poetry, which she shared in the classroom for over three decades, and which she herself has written for many, many years.

Though I’ve loved the insightful book reviews, fascinating interviews, and general wealth of amazing educational resources available at Wild Rose Reader, I was always most excited when Elaine posted her own poetry. Over the years, her poems appeared in several anthologies, but now (hooray, hooray!), she finally has her own book!

Things to Do (Chronicle Books, 2017) is an absolutely stunning debut and I’m thoroughly delighted to sing its praises. The fourteen list poems, paired with Catia Chien’s evocative acrylic paintings, chronicle the small, sweet moments of a child’s day. Most illuminate wonders of the natural world: sun, moon, sky, rain, a bird, an acorn, a honeybee, crickets, a snail — from a uniquely childlike perspective that is refreshing, innocent, and thoroughly charming.

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[review + editor chat + giveaway] Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson

Birdsong, flowers blooming, “a sea of summer air.” What a singular delight to linger over this new collection of Emily Dickinson poems!

Emily Dickinson, edited by Susan Snively and illustrated by Christine Davenier, is the first book in a new Poetry for Kids series published by MoonDance Press. The 35 poems are arranged by season, beginning with Summer. And what a joyous welcome it is:

It’s all I have to bring today,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.

Who could resist such a generous invitation to tag along with Emily as she spies a skittish bird, describes what it’s like to chance upon a snake (“grass divides as with a comb”), and cheerfully provides a “recipe” for making a prairie (“it takes a clover and one bee”)?

After the carefree explorations of summer, there’s a gradual winding down as Autumn arrives, with poems about a garden preparing for the cold weather, sunsets, and the passage from life to death. Winter ruminations strike a fitting contemplative tone: snowfall magically transforming the landscape, an industrious spider spinning a web, imagining what heaven might be like.

With Spring, the welcome signs of new life, a delightful letter from a fly to a bee, and fanciful cloud gazing:

A curious cloud surprised the sky,
‘Twas like a sheet with horns;
The sheet was blue, the antlers gray,
It almost touched the lawns”

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2016 Poetry Friday Archive

1. “Be Kind” by Michael Blumenthal

2. “Soup” by John McCutcheon

3. TOO MANY TOMATOES by Eric Ode and Kent Culotta

4. “To Blueberries” by Adele Kenny

5. “Cherry Cordial” by Gary Hanna, “Ghazal of Chocolate” by Ed Zahniser, “Chocolate” by Rita Dove

6. FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers’ Market by Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi

7. MY VILLAGE: Rhymes from Around the World by Danielle Wright and Mique Moriuchi

8. ALPHA BETA CHOWDER by Jeanne Steig and William Steig

9. MORE THAN ENOUGH by April Halprin Wayland and Katie Kath

10. Beatrix Potter nursery rhymes: Appley Dapply and Cecily Parsley

11. Four Poems from WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad

12. “On How to Pick and Eat Poems” by Phyllis Cole-Dai

13. WILL’S WORDS by Jane Sutcliffe and John Shelley

14. THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY by Laura Shovan

15. A MOOSE BOOSH: A Few Choice Words About Food by Eric-Shabazz Larkin

16. “My Mother’s Kitchen” by Hope Anita Smith

17. OCTOPUS’S GARDEN by Ringo Starr and Ben Cort

18. Breakfast Poetry Buffet: “A Litany of Toast” by Cathy Lentes, “Breakfast” by Merrill Leffler, “The Life of Man” by Russell Edson, “Rendering” by Seth Bockley, “Imaginary Conversation” by Linda Pastan.

19. WHAT ARE YOU GLAD ABOUT? WHAT ARE YOU MAD ABOUT? by Judith Viorst and Lee White

20. “For the Chocolate Tasters” by Diane Lockward

21. Paul McCartney’s 74th Birthday Celebration

22. THE HORRIBLY HUNGRY GINGERBREAD BOY: A San Francisco Story by Elisa Kleven

23. “The Self-Playing Instrument of Water” by Alice Oswald

24. SOMOS COMO LAS NUBES/WE ARE LIKE THE CLOUDS by Jorge Argueta and Alfonso Ruano

25. “Ode to Chocolate” by Lesléa Newman

26. MISS MUFFET, OR WHAT CAME AFTER by Marilyn Singer and David Litchfield

27. On Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature

28. NO FAIR! NO FAIR! by Calvin Trillin and Roz Chast

29. ARE YOU AN ECHO? THE LOST POEMS OF MISUZU KANEKO by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, Michiko Tsuboi, and Toshikado Hajiri

30. “Poetry is the Art of Not Succeeding” by Joe Salerno + Roundup

31. “I’m Still Standing” by Janis Ian + James’ 102nd Birthday

32. “Eggs Satori” by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

33. “Ode to Spoons” by Joan Logghe

34. “Eating a Herd of Reindeer” by Kevin Pilkington, “Reindeer Report” by U.A. Fanthorpe

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