Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April - Poetry Month - Number One

It's April. It's Poetry Month!

         Remember to check out the list of what everyone is doing at Jama Rattigan's blog: Jama's Alphabet Soup.

          And check on the Water Poem Project where every day, a poet is sharing a prompt connected to water, hosted and created by Laura Shovan!

          Plus! Check each day for the added line to the Progressive Poem, created by Irene Latham, now hosted by Margaret Simon! Link is above!


           I'm taking a leap that I can manage this challenge I've given myself. A while ago I bought a
small box of tiny round wood circles. I've been playing around with how I can use them for something, and am planning to use the theme of CIRCLES for poetry month, poems & small sketches. I'm a little scared and as I wrote last Friday, a little scattered even though I am home and have so much time. 
       I am looking forward to reading everyone's posts. I'm sure I will love each one, knowing they're done during a time we've not lived before. Best wishes for continuing good health to you all!

Here's number one, a haiku:

out walking,
dandelions play greeter –
no Walmart now

Non-Fiction Picture Books - Stories That Inspire To Learn More

   Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy -- hashtag #nfpb2020! Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books! 

        Wishing everyone safety and good health in your lives, family and friends, too. It's a time filled with questions, learning how to adapt to new ways of living. 

         It's wonderful always to read stories of strong women during Women's History Month. Though it's April 1st, I want to share one more book that is not new, but somehow I missed it. What a wonderful, though poignant, too, story of Barbara Jordan.

            I'm old enough to remember Barbara Jordan giving that thunderous speech during the Nixon investigation. I didn't really know her. Knowing politicians, until that time for me, who weren't necessarily in the news so we didn't know them well unless they were from our state. 

           Chris Baron's book about Barbara Jordan makes me want to go back in time to watch what she does in "real" time, not just read her history. I am glad to have read Baron's book, a lovely celebration of this congresswoman's life. She grew up in the Fifth Ward in Houston, even as a young girl she gained attention by reciting poetry in church and memorizing speeches for school. She won a contest and traveled to Chicago, leaving Texas for the first time. Then the wondering began. What would (could) she do with her voice? She worked hard and became a lawyer, but was bored with so much desk work. She looked around, again wanting to use her voice! Thank goodness for the inspiration because she became a politician, “bitten by the political bug”.  Ekua Holmes’s intricate illustrations blend painted background designs with cut-paper collage work, each page having one dominant figure but adding subtle content. For instance, she is pictured in shadow with a mix of campaign buttons and headlines and, as a congresswoman, on television, a realistic view. Sadly, in her fifties, Jordan’s multiple sclerosis leads her to retire from public life and move into education. Her voice has been carried on by those who worked with her and studied under her.
             Baron adds an author's note, a detailed timeline of Jordan's life, a "recommended viewing and reading list." 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Reading - Loving Old & New

              Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with others who post their favorites.  Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading!
          Share with the hashtag #IMWAYR

Thinking of all of you during this challenging time, hope you are doing well and finding joy in your lives every day. This continuing challenge is so hard for everyone. I'm trying to help where I can by supporting those who are virtually closed, still offering carry-out, etc. 

I was distracted last week and did not notice that I published my 2000th post! I've been blogging since 2011 and what a joy it has been to meet so many wonderful people online, like you during this Monday morning sharing, and in-person sometimes! Thanks to all of you for being online friends, rarely more important than now!

I finished Internment by Samira Ahmed. Despite wishing I had read it earlier, I'm also glad I have read it this week, sadly realizing that the issues brought up in terrifying ways feel even more prevalent, but in danger of being overlooked because of the coronavirus pandemic issues. 

on my #MustReadin2020" list
       All at once, Layla and her parents hear loud knocking at the door. Army guys, now called Exclusion Guards, are there along with the police, one whom they know. They order them to pack one bag each, are being taken to a newly opened facility. It's according to the new Presidential Order by the Exclusion authority. It's time for their relocation! Thus begins this horrifying journey as told by Layla to a place near Manzanar, that place of the Japanese Internment during World War II. They are Muslims and with the election of the new president, every part of the lives of this particular religious group are being taken away. This is the first camp, the one that must be successful in setting the precedent that all is okay. "These people" are happy and being taken care of. Layla will not accept it, and with new friends and her boyfriend she had to leave behind, an 'insider' guard, and others revealed as the story moves along, she resists. One line that made me understand how powerful Samir Ahmed has shown Layla's strength, her thinking in the midst of a scary moment: "And that's the opening. The only one I may have. At their core, bullies are cowards. He is what he always was. He can still hurt me. Kill me, even. But he will never win." And from a special author's note: "When fascism comes to America, it will come draped in an American flag." Ahmed shares the background history in her note and a Resource List. It's a book that will stay to be read in years to come. 

            I am grateful to Candlewick Press that keeps me reading wonderful new picture books. These three were published just last week!

          I can't go hiking in our Rocky Mountains now because the slopes are still snow-covered. But, Pete Oswald takes us all along with this father and son on this special hike, up early and driving, big excitement to get there, and finally, they begin. Pete delights with so many details in the colorful illustrations of his wordless tale. There is a backpack that one must click straps tight in the front, binoculars that let one see deer on a faraway slope, an animal track ID book, and one should never forget a camera! Rabbits, Rabbits, birds, flowers, and bees are all around on this long hike in and out of the forest. A bit of fright, then courage happens as they stride over a log bridge with a gorgeous waterfall in the background. They do have a purpose when they, at last, the two reach the top (you'll have to read to discover it), and a surprise in the author's note at the back. I imagine taking this virtual hike with a child, wondering if one could do it, too, or using it to remind of one's own hike to a special mountaintop. One fun addition is the family's marmalade cat at home at the beginning and at the end. It's a wonderful book!