Thursday, January 21, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Celebrating

Laura Shovan hosts our Poetry Friday today HERE at her blog with a reflection of Amanda Gorman and an invite you won't want to miss! Thanks, Laura! 


        Postcards in the mail continued to offer hugs for me in these recent weeks.  

         First, a celebration from Wednesday. Most thoughts for the future lie with my grandson, Carter and my granddaughters, Ingrid and Imogene. I am hopeful they will remember this time and enter the world as fighters for justice for everyone, for America and for the world. Many of us worked hard to make good change for them and I am proud of all who did especially in this strangest of years of the Pandemic and political conflict. 

         You might see that I gave tribute to Amanda Gorman's final words of her poem. You can read the full text here. It was a precious ending to the ceremony.

        Postcard connections to share: I know that many of you have seen these on other posts, but I wanted to share, too, celebrating this time the beauty of connections offering sweetness and hope -- from Michelle, Diane, Jone, and Kimberly. It's a new year!

    Michelle's lovely art brought beauty flying into the new year.

Diane's words, then wishes will keep me going this "Year of the Ox".

Jone's knowledge of a new language inspires new goals for me.

Kimberly's "universal hope" makes a grand finish and goal.

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Reading - Stories to Love

    Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

      I finished a second book on my "Must Read" list and, yes, it was wonderful.


          I imagine most everyone shared, or written, glowing reviews of Lauren Wolk's book as I will, too, after reading this book full to the brim of a family who has lost everything, so much that they ended up on part of Echo Mountain, living in a tent through months of hard weather while they built a cabin for shelter. As they worked, then moved into the new home, the mother and older daughter show they surely mourned what was lost, but as readers discover, this is the younger daughter Ellie's story, a twelve-year-old who loved learning from her father, things like starting a fire with flint and steel, how to catch fish. She was flourishing in nature. One quote I noted gave me a smile at her happiness: "Took Maisie her breakfast and sang her a song I made up on the spot, full of barn cats and field mice and goldenrod bowed down with yellow." 
         Sadly, Ellie, that sunny girl didn't stay because of a terrible accident when her father felled a tree and ended in a coma. Yet, she finds the strength to keep on, finding new purpose in the woman called "a hag" who lives at the top of the mountain and a boy, Larkin, who has been leaving secret carved gifts in various places she visits. Ellie is determined to be who she wants to be and keeps in hurt from her family as she uncovers more mysteries, stories I certainly didn't see coming. The many-layered characters reminded me that until we really know a person, we don't know the challenges they have or are facing. Ellie and all the others in her life are people worth knowing, people one would love to have in their lives.

            I've had several "night" explorations in the past, like studying the moon and going on a "moonwalk", but sadly have never had a "Moth Ball" as described by Loree Griffin Burns. With photos by Ellen Harasimowicz of kids studying moths, preparing for a Moth Ball, Burns has created an experience like few others in a book! She includes the facts about moths, best ways to encourage many to come to the "ball", tools to use and recipes for luring. Added are an author's note, a photographer's note, a glossary and extra resources. It is an extraordinary resource for studying moths, even if you cannot get outdoors to see them in the wild.

         The following two books published just this month! Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copies!

One never needs words when beautiful comic-style cells written, then illustrated by JonArno Lawson and Qin Leng can create a story as lovely, distressing, and sad in part, too. A little girl and her grandparent certainly need some help with their General Store. They have one apartment for the help and they make themselves put it up for rent, and then, finally, a young couple demonstrates what work, creativity, and friendliness can fix. The whole world turns and smiles! It is a fabulous new wordless picture book.    

            Dimitri is a happy young boy just starting pre-school. He loves ants and a tree with heart-shaped leaves, also the class guinea pig and the paintbrushes in art, and he tells them that. On his first day, he tells everyone at school that he loves them, but they seem not to know how to act and mostly run away. On the second day, he tells his mother he doesn't want to go back because no one told him they loved him. Mom explains about the many ways people show their love, a good lesson for us all! Shearring's illustrations are sweetly child-like, showing the exuberant emotions of children in a colorful palette. This will be a special book to discuss all kinds of ways people show their love, including not shying away from those three words, "I love you." Both the author and illustrator live in England. This is the first U.S. edition. 

And one more picture book you might want to check out:

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Poetry Friday - Another Chilling Week

Margaret Simon hosts our Poetry Friday today at her blog, Reflections On The Teche!  She's sharing beautiful "nestlings" written herself and her students. Thanks, Margaret!


        I received more wonderful postcard messages this week and I will share them next time. Thanks ahead of time to Kimberly Hutmacher, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Michelle Kogan, and Diane Mayr. 

        Yet this week brought angst and (thank goodness) some relief. I am ready for new days with some good news. It's not easy trying to be positive. In other times of great turmoil, I find I cling to one thing, action as best I can help. I follow Tolkien's words he gave to Gandalf, who then gave them to Frodo: "I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decideAll we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

         And thus I make those decisions. Best wishes to all of you, however you are managing these past weeks, months, of our lives, of our country's life.

Here is my response late on Wednesday, January 13th, to those who help and those who threaten our nation. 

 woe the afterthought
instead of calling "enough" –
demanding comity
                     Linda Baie ©