Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monday Reading + #NPM17 - Poem 24 of 30

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         "Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." – T.S. Eliot

     My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS.  

     Forgive me for the long post today. My poem is long and I read many picture books last week, hoping that you will find a few you will want to find! 

      Yesterday was World Book Day and I got so excited thinking of readers all over the world learning to read, or reading great books no matter the age.

A Tiny Bit of Time Means A Life’s Journey

A book is a rectangle (most of the time) of pages,
carries a measure of messages, created by author heroes
for any age you choose. As babies,
let them grab and chew Boynton, or gaze at “Five Little Monkeys”
while hugging a stuffy. Toddlers love holding
“Goodnight Moon” as they nod, and quiet, and sleep.
A preschooler grabs a stack and yells, ‘read this, and this,”
sometimes leaves “Tikki Tikki Tembo”, “Madeline,” and “Curious George”
along the path, while crossing the room with E & P's "We Are In A Book."
Young readers yearn to read aloud, practicing this new talent 
for anyone who will listen., enjoying hearing their voices 
slipping off the tongue about “Little Bear,”
laughing with the silly stories of “Mr. Putter and Tabby.”
When your house holds middle graders whose challenge is to sit still,
give them “I Capture The Castle” or “The Fourteenth Goldfish,”
or “Red.” Books satisfy, amuse, devastate, and gratify,
but teens need empowerment. Find these almost adults. Take them to
“All The Bright Places.” Introduce them to “My Antonia” or
“Aristotle and Dante”. Be sure they know “The Fifth Wave,”
“All American Boys” and “The Hate U give.”
Growing up with books, can’t stop reading, lists grow
and change with wants and needs. Your favorites sit waiting.
Read on!
Linda Baie © All Rights
          PS: I suspect any of you reading can substitute your own titles! 

Still reading: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein. Next up, an arc from Candlewick that looks great: A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay.

For young readers ready for chapter books with a bit more complex content, this is a fun story. It follows Cody through a couple of weeks in her life, thinking and experiencing rules that are questioned, rules that she learns might be good ones to follow. She has an older brother and a couple of best friends who help navigate the challenges and with Cody also celebrate the rewards. It feels very appropriate for 8 years to maybe 10, holds some happiness and some thoughtful worries. I enjoyed what seemed real in the interactions among the friends and the families, all unique to the personalities. And learning about Cody as she revealed herself was great. Early in the book, we learned she was the first one up. “She loved the early morning when the whole day was waiting. Waiting for someone to push the START button.” Thanks to Candlewick Press for the advanced copy.  This third book in the series came out this month.

A Song About Myself, a poem by John Keats  
          There are many books by Chris Raschka that I love. I recently found a copy of his “Endearments Around The World” that is a gathering of sweet words people use for their children, like “cupcake” and “honey bun”; and a continuing favorite is the “Hello, Goodbye Window.” Now a new book that is a tribute to a poem and story about John Keats who wrote so many wonderful poems, including this sweet adventure in a letter to his sister. Raschka’s illustrations wander just as the words do, illuminating this boy’s adventure with Keats’ words.

The Squirrel, The Hare And The Little Grey Rabbit
           This book was first published in 1929. I found this  1949, eleventh edition at my used bookstore. It is similar in look to Beatrix Potter’s stories, a sweet story that includes a life lesson. The Little Grey Rabbit is a worker, rises early and already has completed many tasks before The Hare and The Squirrel rise. When they do, it is nothing but grumping, about breakfast, why the milk is late, etc. It’s quite an adventurous day that the three have. It will be a story that young children will love.


          Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen have teamed up again, using two characters, Triangle and Square, and a small conflict. How they manage in spare text, spare illustrations is clever. In spite, or because of the minimal story, the reader has the pleasure of making his or her own story, many words or few. And the ending is a surprise, but one that can change.  

Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea!   

        With some non-fiction facts included, this first graphic novel about Narwhal and Jelly is sure to be a hit with young readers. The humorous tone reminds me of the Elephant & Piggie books. It’s about inclusion and making friends with everyone, and about sharing. I enjoyed it throughout, smiling all the way.

The Almost Impossible Thing

       The illustrations in this book are marvelous, clear and clean, more detailed as the story progresses; beautifully done. It’s about a bunny with what appears to be an impossible dream, but with persistence, imagination and then collaboration, something wonderful happens. It will bring great discussions about persisting for achieving a dream that seems, well, impossible.

the blue songbird
         Traveling the world to find a song only it can sing is this sweet bluebird’s quest. When reading, each page advances the search, and each time the answer is elusive. Vern Kousky both writes and illustrates this beautiful book. The bluebird is so cute I wanted to reach out to hug it. But there is much more in the travels, beautiful watercolor scenes that include other birds.  This bluebird discovers something important in its travels that can become a good discussion if reading this aloud to a group. You may remember Kousky’s first book, Otto The Owl That Loved Poetry.

A walk in the Forest 
           A poetic text takes us into a beautiful forest where one can see new things and animals, then play and imagine. Even in the dark, it's worth a little bit of time, until it becomes a little scary. Then it's time to go home and remember the beauty in the forest. The soft watercolor illustrations are lovely.

Mapping My Day
        Flora loves drawing and making maps. In this story, she takes us through her day in
different activities, telling about how maps help her plans. Using graph paper backgrounds for some, she explains steps per square and the cardinal directions. The illustrations are kid-friendly, will make a terrific book for supporting map-making skills in the classroom.

Laundry Day - Jessixa Baxley
        I’ve found a new favorite funny storybook, and it tells the story of Tic and Tac, two young skunks who seem to have done everything they can think of, but are bored and want something else! Their mother asks them to hang up the laundry while she goes to the market, and they do, but a little bit more. In fact, they do a whole lot more, and when she returns, lines have been added and most everything from the house is “hung”.  It’s one of those “impossible” stories that is made into adventure even more by the fabulous illustrations by Jessixa Bagley. Filling each page with a lovely out-of-doors setting plus laundry on a line and more things on that line makes one want to look for more details at every page turn. I enjoyed it very much, and so did my youngest granddaughter (5).


  1. The Almost Impossible Thing is a title I don't know and it sounds marvelous. The cover illustration intrigues me and the message sounds important. I still have to read Triangle and I enjoyed the Narwhal book.

    1. I hope you enjoy The Almost Impossible Thing, Lisa. It is wonderful and a lovely surprise the way the story goes. Thanks!

  2. I love how you titled your "not so tiny" poem. And it was fun to see the titles you inserted along the way. And now, I'm off to request a very long list of new-to-me titles. Otto, the Owl that Loved Poetry sounds perfect for poetry month. And your words are perfect for booklovers of any age:
    ". . . Your favorites sit waiting.
    Read on!"

    1. It's a rather silly poem, but I was so inspired by all the World Book Day events. So glad to introduce you to Otto, the Owl. It's a fun book, Ramona, among all the others! Have a great day!

  3. I've been trying to find The Almost Impossible Thing for awhile. Local libraries still don't have it.
    I can't wait until the second Narwhal and Jelly book comes out, it's so fun!
    Really love the the Cody series. I have the third one to read. Students are waiting for it :)

    1. Happy to hear your words about Cody. I thought it was well done, too. Good luck in finding The Almost Impossible Thing!

  4. Linda there are so many beautiful picture books here, I don't know where to start. I want all of them!

    1. Hope you can find some, and enjoy them, Cheriee. I can't choose a favorite really, I liked each one.

  5. Awwww, I love Narwhal too, so sweet and fun! A perfect continuation for growing Elephant and Piggie fans. :)

    1. Will be sure to look for more about Narwhal! I love that it's a fun story that includes the "real" about the ocean characters, except they really don't speak, ha!

  6. Your poem is just terrific! It really expresses the joy of reading good books at all ages. Thank you for sharing it. You've always got great picture books that I'll look forward to checking out. Have a great week!

    1. Thanks for all, Jana. I hope you enjoy some of these picture books!

  7. Your poem is absolutely beautiful - We can see students reading your poem and being inspired to write their own poems about their reading lives. Thank you for sharing it. We have got to get a copy of Narwal and Jelly - Looks too good to miss!

    1. Thank you for the idea about the poem. I didn't think of that, only that others would like to put in their own favorite titles, but it would work well, wouldn't it? Narwhal is very cute!

  8. I haven't seen that Jessixa Bagley book. It looks super fun. I really enjoyed your poem. :)

    1. Thanks, Crystal, Jessixa's book is so, so cute and clever. Enjoy!

  9. I have marked so many picturebooks here in my Goodreads to-read list, Linda! So much book love - and so many new-to-me picturebooks! This is the reason why I should not miss going through the Monday reading community posts, there is so much treasure right here.

    1. Thank you, Myra. I am happy to have shared them, but also give credit to other bloggers where I discovered most of the titles! My list grows each week when I read the posts, including yours! This today, however, is a particularly lovely group!


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