Sunday, April 9, 2017

It's Monday Plus #NPM17 - Poem 10 of 30

              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!        tweet #IMWAYR

"It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things." ~Steven Maillarmé

     My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS. My choices may surprise you, and I'm excited to write, share, and read how everyone writes to meet their special goals for celebrating poetry month.

       Poetic things of interest:  
See the page on the bar above for the Progressive Poem's schedule of poets, hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.  

See what everyone is doing for Poetry Month  HERE at Jama's post at Jama's Alphabet Soup.


         Bridget Magee and her family have started a project in response to the chaos happening in our government. Go HERE to find out about it, to see how you can help!

      A small poem today, touching a few picture books read in the past year. Some of you may remember the books.


Walk To The Sea

Shaking these sparkles
into the soup. I’m reminded
of the precious pain of Gandhi
and his followers who fought
for what we take for granted.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved






         I shared my #MustReadIn2017 post last Thursday, including the recent Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose. I'm moving along with this list, and comments urged me recently to be sure to read The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern. I read it these past few days. It is a poignant story, some fiction, some memoir, a wonderful little girl who began to grow up, surrounded by a beautiful and real family. 



I'm glad I waited. I couldn't have read it in 2014 when it came out. It would have been too hard for that was just a few months after my husband died. He had Parkinson's Disease, and there were so many parts of this story that touched me deeply, too many that were so much the same. For a child who's had a recent loss, I think it might be too hard, but perhaps for a child to know that someone else is feeling the same feelings might be comforting. It is a question teachers must ask if they know the student well enough? I had a student once whose father was dying through one of the years I had her in my class. She and her family were very private about their life at home, were having a tough time that year. And I know each person is different and it is good to be careful about recommending different stories. I know that I would not have shared this with that student that year, but perhaps the next one.

        My book group is discussing this our next meeting. It's older, too, and I am glad to have finally read it. No matter what kind of fiction Gaiman writes, I still love the time spent reading his work. This time the seemingly realistic fiction story turns to a childhood memory, but the question remained throughout the book, at least to me, was it real, or was it the childhood nightmare brought back because of setting? It's difficult to suspend belief when Gaiman writes such terrifying stories. This is adult or even mature YA. Parts of the scenes reminded me of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

       Books can be many things for many people. Some of the following are sweet and hopeful; some show some challenges that I'm glad end happily. Learning about many things strengthens more than not knowing, but happy endings are good to read, too.

       A beautiful book to enjoy with younger children, sweet rhymes that feature many of the things I wish that all children had. There are beautiful folk-art illustrations.

       Over twenty years old, I discovered this through a recommendation from a friend. Nancy Willard photographs created twenty scenes of angels, all manner of angels, in folk-like scenes, and they accompany her blessing poem for saying good night. It is a lovely poem of things to be thankful for. For example, "Bless open windows,/ doors that sing,/ rooms that invite/ the forest in."


        In the author’s note, Curtis Manley gives a wonderful description of the many approaches to this fairy tale, most loved in Japan. He shares: An important theme in all these versions is the Japanese concept of “on”--an obligation that must be repaid.”  Also, there is a good description of haiku and its variations. The story Manley has told in a unique fashion, an end that may surprise, heart-breaking to the mean father, perhaps, but a happy ending for those in love. It is a gorgeous story he has told made even more beautiful by the incredible paintings by Lin Wang. They show well the love and compassion of the key players, the greedy ways of the father, and the heartbreak that comes close to ending sadly.  Although I know the basic story, each page’s action made me want to hurry to what was next. It’s a new version in 2017, one to look for!


       Young Luis is upset, plays pitch and catch one last time with his brother who's leaving in the morning for the army. He begins to paint the walls outside his home, including those that show feelings and along the way, pictures of scenes his brother Nico sends. There is a tension immediately that will especially touch those who have said that long goodbye, and are waiting, waiting. Mami makes Nico's favorite flan, and the mantra for her and Luis is that some don't come home - even for flan and baseball. Painting continues, the mural extends along the wall, and eventually, neighbors join in to add to the beauty. The illustrations vary from parts placed in a double page or filling the whole page with lots of movement, feeling, and bright color. If you need to talk about hard goodbyes, this is a good one to start the conversation

          A book collaboration between Pat Mora and  Libby Martinez about their own experience learning the pledge along with their great-aunt who became a citizen in her seventies. The story follows a school week until Friday when the citizenship ceremony happens. It’s a brief story and emphasizes why Aunt Lobo (their name for her) came to America, along with her niece learning, then leading The Pledge of Allegiance for her class. The illustrations are bright, colorfull and happy pictures showing a diverse group of people. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout  and a bit of history of the Pledge is included.
       My school hosted a citizenship ceremony one year and it was inspiring. We held a reception, students met and accompanied our guests, discovering at least a little of their stories.

Next: I have Gandhi, My Life Is MyMessage, the graphic novel by Jason Quinn, art by Sachin Nagar, connected to my poem-serendipity! And Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.

So Far-Tiny Things

April 1 - Two Plates - Thanksgiving
April 2 - In Each Mind's Eye - baby elephant
April 3 - Discovered April First - miniature book
April 4 - A Promise - peach seed
April 5 -  haiku - one music note
April 6 - My Tiny List - must-do list
April 7 - Tiny Lights - window lights at dusk
April 8 - Cherita - pencil stub
April 9 - Apple Blooms - blooms/apple tree
April 10 - Walk to The Sea - salt crystals

22 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of these. I've only read one of Neil Gaiman's books. I should probably check out some others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy what you can find, Lisa, and depending on the ages you're looking for.Thanks!

      Delete
  2. I never recommend sad books to students because I don't always know what they are going through, and I don't think that sad books tend to help anyone. I only recommend them if a student asks. I just don't want to set anyone off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that some can help immeasurably, but you need to know the student. I must be hard for a librarian, Karen. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. I can't wait to read The Crane Girl. I just became a citizen five, six years ago and it was a nice patriotic moment so I want to read I Pledge Allegiance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both are wonderful, Earl. They are beautiful stories and illustrations. I hope you like them!

      Delete
    2. The idea of Pledging Allegiance is a bit of a strange one for us non-Americans, it's something we see in movies and in books, bit don't have anything remotely like that here, so that could be quite an interesting story to give a bit of insight into America for us outsiders! :)

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure if every school does the pledge anymore, Jane, but certainly I did when I grew up, and my children did. My granddaughter has not mentioned it, so I will ask her. The book was a celebration of the citizenship too, which meant they did say the pledge after her aunt became a citizen. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  4. You've been a busy reader, Linda!
    It's amazing how books affect all of us differently. It reminds me to not judge opinions, since we all come with different backgrounds and experiences to a book.
    Happy continued reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're so right, Michele. There are a few times that I didn't share a book because of what I knew about the students, but I also shared another for the same reason.

      Delete
  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Meaning of Maggie. I wish it had been around when I was younger. My father used a wheelchair after a logging accident left him paralyzed from about the waste down. I would have loved it if someone had handed it to me. Of course, he wasn't ill in the usual sense of things, but the way the family coped and dealt with the reality is so acutely authentic to my situation.
    I also enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I wish I had had a group to discuss it with.
    Thanks for all these beautiful poems Linda. Each one brought a tiny moment of pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Cheriee, and I'm glad to hear about your father and your thoughts of Maggie, too. I loved how the family stuck together even in the sibling fights really. It was a very honest book. Glad to know you liked The Ocean At The End of the Lane, too. I found it fascinating. Now to that "myth" book by Gaiman! And, thank you for your comment about my poems. They are not all so polished, but I'm enjoying the writing and sometimes the connecting to the specific posts.

      Delete
  6. I won a copy of Crane Girl from GoodReads, but I haven't read it, yet. I'll definitely need to get to it. Over my upcoming Spring Break, we will be traveling, so I'm going to catch up on some of the books loaded on my Kindle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy it when you can, and have a marvelous spring break, Jana. Crane Girl is lovely.

      Delete
  7. Linda - Your poem is wonderful. It made me pause and think about the blessings in my life. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, sometimes it surprises what things are reminders of what we know. This time, salt took me there.

      Delete
  8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is magical! I listened to it and loved it!
    Happy reading this week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kellee, as you can see, I loved it, too!

      Delete
  9. I listened to Ocean at the End of the Lane on audio--and that was a good listening experience! Gaiman read it himself. I haven't read many of his books but have found the ones I've read interesting. I liked The Meaning of Maggie quite a bit. I appreciate your words about how we need to be careful recommending books to students. I am more aware of that as a parent than I ever was as a teacher. Books are marvelous tools to help us process and think and feel our own stories, but readers need to come to that processing and thinking and feeling in their own time. I've got Another Brooklyn right now from the library. Trying to get it started this week--but first need to finish When Friendship Followed Me Home, which I'm really enjoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate that you are careful about recommending books, too, Elisabeth. It's a tough role sometimes. So far, Another Brooklyn is interesting. I haven't gotten very far. I've spent more time with Gandhi! Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Love how those salt crystals led you to reflect on Ghandi's life. Sadly, our library does not have The Goodnight Blessing Book in its collection. We read The Meaning of Maggie several years ago as one of our Newbery possibilities. I appreciate the caution you express about recommending sad books and finding a book at "the right time."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for reminding me about that Ghandi book. I need to share it for #classroombookaday!

    ReplyDelete

Having a conversation is a good thing!