friday feast: emily dickinson’s poetry of flowers

“Earth is crammed with heaven.” ~ Emily Dickinson

Please help yourself to Emily’s rice cakes and a cup of green tea.

Hello Spring, is that really you? ūüôā

Today we’re greeting the somewhat reluctant, much-awaited season of renewal, rebirth, and regrowth with a little help from esteemed poet Emily Dickinson.

I’m sure you know she was fond of sending friends and acquaintances fragrant bouquets with notes or verses tucked in them, sometimes with a gift of food.

What could be sweeter than homemade gingerbread or coconut cake, nasturtiums and peonies from her garden, and a heartfelt verse she’d penned just for you?

from the New York Botanical Gardens Emily Dickinson Exhibit (2010)

Though she may have eschewed personal contact with people outside the family, Emily was able to sustain longstanding friendships and express romantic inclinations on her own terms. She cultivated and excelled in all three of these pursuits — gardening, baking, writing — as a normal course of each day, all of them requiring practiced skill, time and devotion.

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friday feast: are your tomatoes laughing?

Seriously, who could resist a poetry book called Laughing Tomatoes?

Well, I certainly couldn’t, but I shamefully admit I didn’t actually know about this fabuloso feast of pure delight until just a few months ago.

This Pura Belpr√© Honor Award-winning bilingual 20-poem collection by Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarc√≥n and Maya Christina Gonzalez was first published by Children’s Book Press back in 1997. Where was I?!

Likely staring at grumpy, aloof tomatoes and not appreciating strawberries for the “sweet tender hearts” they are, living a bland life full of ho-hum edibles, certainly not hearing the warm morning sun calling to me through my window, and — *shakes head* — totally oblivious to dew, “the fresh taste of the night.”

But now, having read this glorious, jubilant celebration of Spring and its earthly delights, family, culture and community, my life is complete!

I’m happy to say Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates Risue√Īos y otros poemas de primavera¬†is one of my favorite children’s poetry books ever. ūüôā

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time for everything spring by jill esbaum!

Spring is finally here! Can you feel it?

Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum (National Geographic Kids, 2010), is the perfect little gem to bid the new season a cheery hello! Welcome, warmer days, we’re so happy you’re finally here!

This is Jill’s third title in the Picture the Seasons Series, which consists of 16-page paperback originals full of gorgeous color photographs just right for kids¬†ages 4 to 8.

Everything Spring captures the excitement and wonder of the natural world awakening after a long winter’s nap. “Spring tiptoes in, stirring up earthy smells, coaxing color from the winter-brown woods.” We see green stalks poking up¬†through snow-covered ground and leaves unfurling on the trees.¬†Dandelions are scattered over a hillside, and a tadpole feels “froggier” in a clear, sparkling stream.

Best of all are the adorable baby animals — velvety bunnies with their noses “twitch-twitch-twitching,”¬†fuzzy ducklings’ webby feet “piddle-paddling,” lambs with wobbly legs, and piglets rooting for breakfast. “Squeet!”

I¬†love Jill’s simple, evocative language, which allows¬†us to feel the warmth and cuddliness, drink in the color of flowers and field, and hear every chirp and peep of brand new life. Wonderful for classroom sharing, Everything Spring will make a nice addition to home or school libraries. With its very affordable price point, it makes sense to get the other titles in the series as well. Check out¬†Apples for Everyone and Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie. And¬†there’s another book coming out in October: Winter Wonderland!¬†Yes, you’ll want them all ‚ėļ.

For more of a peek inside the book, click here. Have a wonderful Spring! Get outside and celebrate!

Today’s Nonfiction Monday Roundup is at Books Together.

Did you think I’d forget the cupcakes? Enjoy!

Orange Blossom Cupcakes by Sugarbloom Bev;o).

Copyright ¬© 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.