[review + giveaway] For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day

“Everything in nature is a wonderful miracle!/Isn’t the little bird flying through the big sky a miracle?” ~ Amma

Walk barefoot in the sand and curl your toes in the water. Listen to the “winging, singing, whispery sounds” of earth’s creatures. Marvel at a ballet of butterflies, a sky full of stars. Feel the cool air after a fresh rain.

For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day (Eerdmans BFYR, 2021), is a joyous love letter to the world and all we hold dear within it, truly a wonderful way to acknowledge nature’s vast bounty of gifts as well as the friends and family who sustain us.

With about 70 child friendly selections carefully curated by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, this beautifully illustrated inspirational anthology features 51 diverse voices affirming the spiritual rewards of being present and expressing gratitude for wonders large and small.

Young readers are treated to untold delights from morning to night — ordinary moments throughout the day that happily and surprisingly warrant celebration. 

How marvelous to wake up with sloppy puppy kisses, greet the sun that’s bouncing on the bedroom wall like a yellow beach ball, and feel God’s presence everywhere, especially within ourselves. It’s empowering to know that as we experience the world through our own personal lenses, we’re validating our place in it.

MY BEAUTIFUL DAY
by Marion Schoeberlein

I borrowed a poem from the sky,
and music from a bird,
I stole a chime out of the wind,
and from the rose a word,
I borrowed a song from the hills,
a psalm from the silver rain,
I took the footsteps of angels
out of a cobbled lane,
from each little thing I fashioned
something in my own way,
with God's help I put in my heart
a wonderful, beautiful day!

Simple, accessible language and an abundance of sensory details engage readers throughout the book, encouraging them to slow down, look closer, savor, and appreciate. Whether a charming two-line snippet of wisdom or a lyrical five stanza blessing, there’s a welcome positivity and reassurance in the soul nourishing words.

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Celebrating the Marvelous Mary Lee (she really takes the cake)!

Hooray, Hooray, it’s Mary Lee Hahn Day!

We’re happy to join the throng of well wishers honoring educator, author, poet, baker and fearless Poetry Friday leader Mary Lee Hahn, who’s retiring from her 37-year teaching career and beginning a brand new chapter in her life!

In Dublin City, Ohio (35 years), and Dallas, Texas (2 years), this extraordinary human being has taught approximately 875 students (4th and 5th graders) under the leadership of 10 principals, 7 superintendents, and 2 curriculum directors, and — *wait . . . for . . . it* — her first students are now almost 50 years old. 😮😮😮

Though I often wish I could have been one of her students, I’ve been blessed with perhaps the next best thing — her fabulous posts at A Year of Reading, where she blogs with fellow teacher Franki Sibberson. 

Mary Lee’s poems appear in these anthologies.

I’ve been a faithful Mary Lee reader since I first started blogging in 2007, and I still look forward to seeing what she’s going to share every week. Whether she’s posting an original poem or the work of another, there’s always something new to learn and enjoy. 

Little known fact: I actually got to meet Mary Lee in person at KidlitCon 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. It was only the third kidlit/ya blogger conference of its kind and as a newbie, I was a little starstruck by those whose blogs I loved and admired. 

Mr Cornelius with Mary Lee at KidlitCon 2009

It’s a little surreal after “knowing” someone online for awhile to suddenly see her moving and talking right in front of you. My first thought upon seeing Mary Lee: “Love the cool purple eyeglasses!”

(Of course, everything about Mary Lee is cool, but you probably already knew that.)

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friday feast: celebrating dare to dream . . . change the world

Hooray, hooray!

Dare to Dream . . . Change the World (Kane Miller, 2012) is officially out tomorrow, September 1st!

I’d been anxious to see this new poetry anthology conceived and edited by author/poet/agent Jill Corcoran ever since she shared the title poem for our 2012 Poetry Potluck back in April. What a beautiful book!

The lovely Jill Corcoran.

You may remember that Jill’s inspiration for this collection “came during a car ride, listening to NPR cover the uprising of the Egyptian people against their oppressive government.” Jill was overcome by their courage and determination, thinking that their tweets were like poetry, capturing in just a few words the essence of their strength, resilience, hopes, fears, and dreams for the future.

Why not ask 30 of the nation’s best children’s poets “to share the spirit of dreaming + action = change,” by writing pairs of poems (1 biographical + 1 inspirational) illuminating the achievements of 14 notable individuals who changed their own lives and ultimately changed the lives of people all over the world?

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