Sunday, April 12, 2015

It's Monday - Reading Poetry Plus More

          Every Monday, many of us link up with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. and Sheila at Book Journeys.  Come join us and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting! 

created by Leigh Anne Eck
at A Day In The Life 
        I'm writing haiku and haiku-related poetry this month. Focus on the out of doors and on word choice is both a challenge and fun.  I'm also grateful that some of us are supporting each other, sharing on twitter with the hashtag #DigiPoetry, created by Margaret Simon, of Reflections on The Teche. Find the many Poetry Month offerings rounded up by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  
12)  
whoosh, wind-driven
clouds became my book -
what are you reading?

       Here's what I read this past week:
How I Discovered Poetry - written by Marilyn Nelson, with some illustrations and

 photos (This is one of my #MustReadIn2015 books. See the list above.)

        Marilyn Nelson writes poetry to tell her story of growing up in a military family, moving more often than a young girl who finally made friends wants to. She gets excited when a close friend she had to say goodbye to shows up at the next base. Marilyn's poems sometimes touch one's heart when she writes, only hint at really, about the racism that occurs.  Here is one part of a poem titled "A Quartet of Geeks: "We have to go to to schools in town: our teachers' First Negroes (thought I doubt they pronounce the word that way)". Her father is one of the first, and at the time, still few, African American Air Force officers. Her fun-loving adventures includes words about Sputnik, playing horses, and the movement of a stuffed animal. The story poems move us as life was moving Marilyn.


The Popcorn Astronauts - written by Deborah Ruddell and illustrated by Joan Rankin

          Wow, this is the cutest, most clever poetry for children, about food! I've seen others who like it, too, and am so happy that my book buddy friend brought it to me! How can one not like poems who are titled "The Last Brownie" and "The Cocoa Cabana". My favorite is "How A Poet Orders a Shake". It begins: "A frosty cup of moonlight, please,/the poet murmurs low." Beautiful, isn't it And so creative!
         If you work or play with younger students and poetry, you must find, read, & share this book of poetry.

Sidewalk Flowers - written by Arno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith


          I hope this is more a comment on what wonderfully thoughtful little children do when they're walking with a parent than on a parent who is always on his cell phone and doesn't pay attention to his daughter at all? A wordless picture book, the author follows a dad and his little girl on a walk home. There are surprises all along the way, including a bit of color that includes the beautiful illustrations, mostly black and white. The end papers alone are also worth taking a close look, birds and flowers! 

Nighttime Ninja - written by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young

          A creative story that begins at night, of course, and follows a ninja creeping through the night. Fortunately he is caught, but you'll have to read the book to discover by whom!




My Pen - written and illustrated by Christopher Myers


           If you or your students draw, you must find and read and then you will savor this book filled with what a young boy's pen can do, filled with inspiration for using your own pen. Even the endpapers invite poring over.

I Don't Want To Be A Frog - written by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt

          This just didn't work so well for me like others have said. I think I was looking for funny like Elephant & Piggie funny, and I didn't laugh so much. I read it to my granddaughter, too, and she (almost six) asked lots of questions like "why is he saying that? She didn't appreciate the humor, so perhaps the book is better suited to 8 or 9 year olds? It's okay, but not a favorite read.

Next: Reading The Boy In The Black Suit by Jason Reynolds, and it's compelling enough that I want to stop other tasks and read! I've finished The Road, but have two more group meetings with students in order to finish it with them. I brought home All The Bright Places, maybe next?

40 comments:

  1. I've avoided The Boy in the Black Suit AND All the Bright Places-- too depressing. Tired of all the depression in middle grade and YA books! Looks like picture books might be the way to go!

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    1. There are many out there, I agree. I do like the writing of Jason Reynolds in this book, though.

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  2. Your haiku is light, airy, and filled with reflection, Linda. Thank you for sharing a variety of interesting titles.

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    1. You're welcome, Carol, love these new books!

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  3. Linda, I love how you crafted your haiku to lead right into the rest of your post. I haven't seen Sidewalk Flowers yet, but I picked up My Pen at the library over the weekend and completely agree with you that it's a book "filled with inspiration." Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, it's a keeper for sure, Catherine. I'm taking it in to share today, want everyone to take a look! Thank you.

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  4. Love that you started your haiku with "whoosh" ! I must get that Christopher Myers book. And I am excited you have ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES ahead of you! That one has stuck with me. xo

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    1. Thanks Irene, My Pen is really awesome to see, & read! I haven't read 'bright places' yet because it's been passed around the classroom. Finally it's my turn!

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  5. Hi, Linda, thanks for your description of Popcorn Astronauts. I've seen it mentioned elsewhere, and now I'm determined to find it!

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    1. It is really wonderful, Jane. Hope you'll enjoy it, too! Thanks!

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  6. I love that whoosh too -- lovely haiku!

    So glad you liked The Popcorn Astronauts. You've highlighted some titles I've been wanting to read for awhile -- the Marilyn Nelson book and My Pen. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Jama. The Popcorn book is a gem!

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  7. Popcorn Astronauts looks DELIGHTFUL. I can't wait to read it! I've had All the Bright Places checked out for a very long time, but haven't found the time to start it yet!

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    1. It is delightful! I'm hoping that I'll start All The Bright Places this week-can't put it off any longer! Thanks!

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  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed How I Discovered Poetry. I loved that book. I've put The Popcorn Astronauts onto my list based on your review. Thanks.

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    1. Terrific, Cheriee, hope you like the book! Thank you!

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  9. I still have the library copy of The Boy in the Black Suit. I wish I could get around to it. Or just return it for now and re-borrow it when I know I have time to actually read it.

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    1. I've held onto it for a while, Earl, but am enjoying it very much. Thanks!

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  10. Love that haiku, Linda. You poetry folk are so inventive! I'll have to check out Nelson's book - it sounds thoughtful and interesting. All the Bright Places is on my TBR list, too - so looking forward to it.

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    1. Thanks, Tara, the poetry has been a joy to do, just for me! I hope to get to All The Bright Places soon!

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  11. I love how the haiku ties in with your reading! I'm hoping to read All the Bright Places on my trip to Arizona next month.

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    1. Thanks, Kay, I think it will be a nice book to read on your trip!

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  12. I really need to get to The Boy in the Black Suit. I loved (with a capital L) Reynolds' first book, When I Was the Greatest and I don't know why I haven't read his second book yet. Shame on me!

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    1. I haven't read that first one either, Beth, but it's still in some of my students' hands, so thought I'd start this one instead. It is good!

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  13. We love Ed Young's illustrations and we can't wait to read Nighttime Ninja. Thank you for telling us about it.

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    1. It is a really sweet and funny story. Glad you like the look of it, and Ed Young does magical things with his illustrations.

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  14. We are chatting about All the Bright Places next Monday night. If you cram it in, please join us! I forget what the hashtag is, Carrie Gelson made it up. Let us know if you are interested!
    Lots of good PB on your list. I loved Frog - I felt like it captured that little child's voice of begging and asking for something, and the patient parent... I loved it, but I have found that not all books work for everyone and that's ok. It would be hard to sell books otherwise :)

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    1. Yes, I saw that many of you gave the Frog book 5 stars, but somehow I didn't like it. I agree, not all books work for everyone. Certainly I know that from the varied tastes of my students. Thanks for the invite for All The Bright Places. I'll try!

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  15. Again, I am loving the haikus! How I Discovered Poetry was a favorite of mine. Sidewalk Flowers was a nice one. I too noticed the juxtaposition of the child and adult. The child is really seeing and the adult is oblivious.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. I think we like a lot of the same kinds of books!

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  16. I enjoyed Marilyn Nelson's memoir in verse. Your haikus are carrying me through each day. Love the clouds becoming books.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. Marilyn Nelson's book was interesting, the mention of some of her experiences reminded me of some of mine.

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  17. I love the look of Nighttime Ninja-- the cover is certainly compelling! I can tell from your description that I NEED a copy of My Pen. I have a group full of doodlers and drawers, and I think they would be fascinated with this book. Thanks for the great advice and information!

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    1. You're welcome, I hope you enjoy My Pen, what many of my students will love, too. Nighttime Ninja was purely cute!

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  18. So glad that you are loving The Boy in the Black Suit so Much. Isn't Sidewalk Flowers a gem and also My Pen. Love them both.

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    1. One of my colleagues is doing a picture book project with her students & I loaned her My Pen for a student who wanted a black & white text. I got it just in time. Thanks, Carrie, you're right. All three are wonderful!

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  19. How I loved My Pen! Just ordered Sidewalk Flowers a couple of days ago--thinking it will come today and can't wait to pour over it. How I Discovered Poetry is a title that's sticking with me. I'd like to go back and reread it. Really admire Nelson's craft and what she is able to do in that form. I need to get back to Boy in the Black Suit. I have WAY too many books started right now!

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    1. I have too many books to read, Elisabeth! I am happy that I got My Pen, wonderful book, & I've already loaned it! I hope you enjoy Sidewalk Flowers. I just loved the look of it, & the sweet story too. Thank you!

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  20. Love the poetry you shared Linda - love the notion of reading clouds, how original! :)
    We still don't have How I Discovered Poetry in our public library, sadly - same thing with Sidewalk Flowers - will have to check Kinokuniya - hopefully we have it there. :) My Pen looks lovely too. I hope you enjoy All The Bright Places as much as I did. :)

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    1. I'm really looking forward to it, Myra. I hope you'll be able to find the others soon. Thank you!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!