Thursday, November 17, 2022

Poetry Friday - Still Smiling

  

        Poetry Friday is with Jama Rattigan HERE at her website, Jama's Alphabet Soup serving up a delicious poem of leftovers. Thanksgiving is on its way!  Thanks for hosting, Jama!


       I am traveling next week to be with my son and family for Thanksgiving and gratitude is on my mind. I've kept this poem from Your Daily Poem in a file titled "gratitude" and read it more than once during the year. It's a lesson to me for the best of living. I see that Mary Lee has commented which I almost never do. Now that I'm sharing one of Jayne Jaudon Ferrer's poems, perhaps I should comment more to tell her how much I enjoy waking up to a poem every morning. Here's the beginning of 

Some Days Most Things Go Well
                                        by Rob Baker

despite feeling puffy lately,
you’ve lost five pounds
                   —or gained five
but shrug it off
as an acceptable price
for good cake, wine,
and camaraderie;

all eighteen commute lights
glow green
                 —or red,
but the pauses
slow your pulse,

 
           the rest is HERE

         I wonder if you who have read this special poem might have one brief moment you 
would add in the comments, that small "something" where you are able 
to see the best of both worlds in it?

         My mail comes late, ugh,
           some days not until seven.
           But I have learned that
           when I walk the block
           to the locked group of boxes,
           my wonderful mailman, Mickey,
           is often there, still smiling
           after his long day,
           glad to chat and say "How are you?"
           excited to hand me
           the letters and magazines.
           Now I'm smiling while
           walking back home.
                               Linda Baie ©

  Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate!

       


Monday, November 14, 2022

It's Monday - Sharing New, Beautiful Books

           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! 

         I am traveling for Thanksgiving this year to be with my son and family. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate. 

         I am grateful to Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten for sharing the real story of the first Thanksgiving and to Garry Meeches Sr. for his evocative illustrations. The book jacket reads that "his style is reminiscent of the Plains style of art and evokes the Eastern Woodlands tradition." Each author and Meeches are members of various Indigenous nations. As you see from the sub-title, this is WeeĆ¢chumun's Thanksgiving Story. WeeĆ¢chumun means corn, and along with its two sisters, Beans and Squash, it shares what happens when a large boat with white sails is spotted coming to shore and the two winters after. The authors let a modern-day Wampamoag family tell some of the tale along with WeeĆ¢chumun. There is an intro, words to know, and added information in the back matter, including a recipe. It is a book for every household to read together and learn the true history of that first feast. 


        Without words but with so much emotion and activity, Thao Lam, using creative shapes to create all kinds of creatures, shows them having fun at play, at adventure, until some begin to notice that line in the sand. What to do about it (or with it) shows different perspectives, a bit of consternation, and with a surprising entry of a bee, a kind of conciliation. This will bring so many ideas when read aloud to a group or to a few. Will it help them see a new way to consider what happens on the playground, in a workgroup, and how to compromise? It's a new way for all of us readers to look at things, like a line in the sand!


          Is it okay to just write that these Friend Hedgehog books are going to become favorites for years to come? At the beginning of this sweet book about family finds Hedgehog and Mutty on their way to Owl's home for a new story. On the way, a shock to Hedgehog occurs when she sees herself looking back. She hurries on, fast, not at all interested in something that feels a bit frightening. Owl finds just the word Hedgehog needs, a "doppelganger", Hedgehog's "lookalike". There is much more to Lauren Castillo's new story, about the meaning of just who is family, how people become family, a warm story of those who can stay who they are and still belong. Along with her words, Castillo's colorful illustrations invite all readers to step into the story and feel welcome.
 

Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy!

            A song by Rhiannon Giddens written in 2020 for the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth has become a picture book with gorgeous full-page illustrations by Monica Mikai. Slaves everywhere performed work for their masters then are often told to leave, to find another place. This is one of their stories, a man and his family worked on a plantation, the man helping to build the big house, then was kicked off the land. They found another piece of land, and built their own home, only to have it burned down. There is a final, happier place, a tribute to the people who never gave up, and kept on caring for their families, and for their lives. 
           In the back, one can access a QR code to hear the song sung by Giddens, accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma, and to see the book as the music plays. You may be able to find it on YouTube? It is a special book!

Still reading! Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine. I was so busy this week, just didn't have time to finish. I'm enjoying the story.



Monday, November 7, 2022

It's Monday - Find These Books!

             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! 


It's the Day before the election! Please vote if you haven't already! 
         I forgot to share this one last week, for Halloween. It can be for any other time, however, not just for Halloween.
Thanks to Candlewick for the copy!
       For readers, but on the younger side, this is a cute story about a witch with all the 'witchy' vocabulary to smile about. This young witch, Crimson, follows a different path. She doesn't wear a black hat, nor pointy shoes, and loves her polka dot dress instead of the usual black like everyone else. Instead of cackling, she giggles; instead of nightmares, she dreams! It's a clever story that supports being oneself regardless of the push to be like all the others. 

       I don't know if I should describe much of this book because I simply think you and everyone else should read it! Intertwined with a teacher who censors by blacking out a few words and phrases, a town who does it, too, through creating rules thought to make things "better" (think, no junk food), as well as family struggles and friendships strengthened through the context of reading Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic makes a compelling story.  Amy Sarig King writes that part is based on a happening in her own growing up. Don't miss this one!



       For a young girl, her beloved cat is her playmate. However, cats being what they are, this tale shows no matter the enthusiasm, the cat sits and looks, lies down and looks, does not "Fetch" or "Roll" or "Heel". It's a book for early readers and lots of repetition and laughs as Charles Ghigna offers the words for play and Michelle Hazelwood Hyde fills the pages with a young girl loving her cat, never mind it doesn't play the way she wishes. Lots of smiles happen when reading this tale, especially if you are a cat lover!
        Thanks to Schiffer Publishing Ltd. for the copy!

         It's an uplifting book by Marc Colagiovanni, one I imagine that could be read aloud with such enthusiasm to a group or to someone dear who needs advice in solving a problem or two. It's a new way to learn for anyone, young and old. It's time to lessen those doubts and worries, fears and frustrations, no matter how much they wish to grow! You can handle them if only you "go left". Peter H. Reynolds shows a young boy pondering all those things as he learns to leave the bags of doubts behind. The small creatures, like a suitcase of 'fears', scream "Don't do it!" and "Stop!" as he is about to attempt a high-dive. He "simply turned and gave them a wink" while climbing the ladder. It's a terrific book!
         Thanks to Scholastic for this Advanced Copy! This has a March pub date!  

Now reading:  Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine and I snagged a paperback of Hamnet which I haven't read, and will start soon!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Poetry Friday - Early Morning

 

        Poetry Friday is with Heidi Mordhorst HERE at her website, My Juicy Little Universe, carrying on with her Inklings and folktales. Thanks for hosting, Heidi!

       


Don't forget!


Early Morning 

 

I went out on this day

without sun.

The wind crackled the leaves

that have settled another layer

 in the garden -   

again.

I peek at the place I know ants live.

A lone ant carries something white,

another creature’s egg?

Can it be feeding its crew?

I watch this brave insect escape into the crack.

 

You know how people write

To be a certain someone 

                                                            who does good?

                                                            Be that one ant!

                                                                                       Linda Baie ©




Monday, October 31, 2022

It's Monday - Good Books Are Everywhere!

 

  

            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! 

             I'm working at the bookstore today, and will return in the afternoon to read your posts! Happy Halloween!



         These first two show the sadness of middle-school challenges, and I wish they were not so true to life! The third shows kids a little older, and definitely more loyal and wiser. It's an intriguing contrast!

       It was a hard decision to call this sci-fi/fantasy because the events that happen to Tommy Tomkins are all too real, now that he and his family have had to leave their real home of Elberon, a secret lizard city below the earth. Tommy, that seventh-grader tries hard to fit in but when he's seen on the playground crunching a beetle, game over. He does find a few friends, one new kid from another country, and one other who has a different haircut that's also blue, but the discovery that they might "like" each other and abandon him causes more turmoil. Tommy fights back, a hurt that's hard to undo. Jonathan Hill has written about mixed-up middle-school kids who bully and teachers who try but can't fix it all in a drama that's so very real. Even if you're not a Lizard Boy, but if you're different, perhaps in looks or language, perhaps you limp or lisp, it's never easy to fit, to just be the good person you really are. It would be wonderful to read and discuss with a group at school!
                     Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy!
 

      For middle grade (and probably younger YA), a heartbreaking story of bullying and not-so-loyal friends, trying to figure out how popularity and friendships need to work, and what they really believe is the good way to act. These middle-school kids fight back at each other instead of for each other. Tae Keller's writing feels true and there is hope there in her writing, yet secrets that are kept from parents, friends and teachers tragically keep away the support and words that could help. When Jennifer Chan, new to the town and small Christian school, goes missing, in chapter one, Mallory Moss, a 12-year-old girl in this small Florida town, is afraid that her past behavior is part of the reason. Alternating chapters of "then" and "now" keep the book's fabric strained with heartbreak, a realistic tale of middle-school struggles.

        Oppel's "Bloom Trilogy" kept me reading as fast as I could get them. This book has a terrific "main" threesome whose characteristics build and build until I cared very much about each one. And then there is Rebecca, the main ghost, not the easiest to figure out what she might do (or think) next, but she is smart and picks up texting quickly, though she's been dead for 200 years! The horror of Oppel's 'rules' in this ghost story, "Ghostlight", kept tension flowing until I read faster and faster in order to see the end of the next nerve-racking scene. I loved the world-building and Oppel's "extras" who appear at the right time for that small group of three who cared so much, about getting things right and for each other. I enjoyed it very much.