Thursday, June 13, 2019

Poetry Friday - Special Words

Laura Shovan hosts today sharing some poems from her poet-in-residence experience with third graders writing about food and pockets! You can find her here. Thanks, Laura.

I'm leaving for the beach Saturday morning, will be sketching & writing & soaking it all up, days I look forward to every year. I'll read all your posts in the next few days! My family joins me later in the week.

I promised my granddaughter Ingrid that I would post her end-of-year poem she wrote in her class. Her teacher wanted students to write who they are NOW, at this end of the year. They read them aloud to the audience of parents, bringing tears, I'm sure.

         I like to call Ingrid and her younger sister, Imogene, "mighty girls". Both are athletic, now Ingrid playing softball this summer while Imi continues in gymnastics. They recently completed a rock-climbing series of lessons, hope to continue later in the summer. It's great to see them learning how strong they can be in their chosen sports. Here's Ingrid's baseball pic.

Where I’m From Poem
By: Ingrid Krahling

I am from softballs coming down the field
from Adidas and Patagonia
I am from the neighborhood kids playing on bikes
enjoying, interesting as we walk through the streets we hear dogs barking and birds chirping
I am from trees
the amazing tall nature thing
I’m from Christmas at grandma's and compassion from Krahling and Baie
I’m from the weekends in winter and where we go skiing and summers at the beach
From if you don’t have nothing nice to say don’t say nothing at all and get the thing done that you need to get done and then have fun.
I’m from courage. being brave
I’m from Denver Colorado French, Dutch, Norwegian
pasta, bread
from my dad getting an award and hanging it up.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Widen Our World

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

         I picked this book up at the library because my youngest granddaughter loves dinosaurs. Little did I know how very wonderful it is! 

         Of course, it is a story of discovery, a recent one, and one that is told in the text, with the "real" pictures and explanation of terms and process placed with the story, page by page. The story is of the biggest titanosaur found (later discovered to be a new species of titanosaur as well), hence a huge picture book is needed to include all the information. The comparison given is it was as large as ten 7-ton elephants. 
         Scholastic and the American Museum of Natural History collaborated to create this fabulous new book. It's written by the paleontologists who led the dig and illustrated by Florencia Gigena in beautiful pages, sometimes double-page spreads. The titanosaur's new scientific name, Patagotitan mayorum, includes the name of the country where found, Patagonia, ranch owner on whose land it was found, Mayo. 
        Added back matter includes a glossary and extra information, more photographs from the dig, and an inside jacket poster of the Titanosaur. If studying dinosaurs and paleontology, this will please a wide variety of readers.

a picture of the model created from the bones discovered

comparing the size of only the femur bone with a grown man

Monday, June 10, 2019

It's Monday - All About "Hope"

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 

     Some weeks I find connections among the books I share. This time, each book centers around "hope", something everyone can use more of. 

     FYI - I shared Stonewall last Wednesday here in celebration of #PrideMonth!

        Eleven-year-old December has landed in her umpteenth foster home with bird lover and taxidermist Eleanor, certainly not a person to trust. Eleanor might see that December is really a bird, lure her and eventually stuff her. Meeting December in a tree, ready to jump to see if her wings will emerge from the scar on her back so she could fly away took me into a child's hopes hard to imagine. For such a young person to have experienced the trauma she had is heartbreaking. Sandy Stark-McGinnis shows the powerful truth of December's strong methods of survival. The one thing from her mother is a bird guide inscribed with "In flight is where you'll find me." Stark-McGinnis shows how hard is December's journey to release her dream, to realize that trusting Eleanor might bring a 'home' instead of another 'house'.  Though December's thoughts rarely waver; she WILL fly away someday! Slowly, a few cracks appear as December begins a new kind of journey. The scenes at her new school show also the heartbreak of bullying but a strong trans girl who becomes December's ally shows December that she can be one, too. There are many moments where I held my breath wishing that the truth shown was never so harsh for a child. I am reminded of these words: "Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about." For teachers and those who work with children and for children who might recognize themselves in this story and find new ways to be, this is the book.

      I could read every one of Matthew Cordell's books over and over.  This one is special to me, a grandchild's and a grandparent's message for each other.

      Diana Murray's rollicking rhymes celebrate this special day (for unicorns) with Luke Flowers' spectacular bright and bold colors and faces expressing all the feelings of a celebration, but then one where something is not.quite.right. It's a happy story that comes to a surprising stop. Oh no! The unexpected happens, and children will cheer when the problem is happily solved. This will be a good low-key way to introduce the idea that everyone can be included, no matter that they are different.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Poetry Friday - Puffer Fish

Michelle Kogan hosts today! You can find her here celebrating the work of Tracy K. Smith, our U.S. Poet Laureate. Thanks for the special post, Michelle and for hosting!

           I'm headed for the ocean in a couple of weeks and found a poem I wrote about a shell that I found on a trip to Mexico long ago. Obviously, I don't want to encounter a puffer fish but I am excited to be back on the beach! It also reminds me of that latest challenge at Today's Little Ditty, though the shell is not giving the advice. 

Close Encounters - Advice

And if you know a puffer fish
at times, they make a ball.
They float away from danger,
quite the smartest act of all.

Do not imagine meeting
this amazing moon-like puff, 
with a prickle that more than tickles
cause you'll soon be feeling rough.

Don’t take a bite or lickle it.
It’ll stop your taste of any dish.
And you certainly cannot tickle it,
the pretty prickle puffer fish.
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Non Fiction Picture Books Teach History

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

        It seems fitting to share this brand new book about the Stonewall Uprising. It is its fiftieth anniversary and it's Pride Month!
         This beautiful story is told by the famous Inn itself, from years as a two-building stable to becoming a historic landmark. It's a beautiful history of times changing, times we now celebrate for a month, then all year, too. Rob Sanders also wrote Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag.
         By the time of the automobile, Greenwich Village began to change, and the two buildings, previous stables, were joined and became Bonnie's Stone Wall restaurant. All kinds of people came to eat--celebrities, artisans, tourists, and locals. Years passed and jazz arrived, poets performed, the Beat movement became a 'thing'. Through these years, the Inn felt as if it was the center of the LGBTQ + civil rights movement, although it was not so named until more recently.
         Fifty years ago, June 28th, 1969, the Inn was raided by police, which often had happened. This time it was different. It was the night that empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens. They would NOT back down and demanded change. From that momentous night, people all over the country heard the cry and became inspired to protest. Beautifully historic and emotional illustrations by Jamey Christoph help the Inn tell its story.

early in its history

the emotions rising on that night

          The backmatter holds a brief history, some photographs of that night, an interview with Martin Boyce who was a participant that night, a glossary, and a list for further reading. 

         The Huffington Post shares about the book before its release here, with some actual news footage and information about efforts to ban books with LGBTQ themes for young readers. In that article, Sanders says: "“I want readers — children, teenagers and others — to take away the understanding that each of us has to stand up for ourselves and our rights, and that our efforts are stronger when we combine our energy and passion.” Those inspiring words are needed today in a variety of areas.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Reading

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 

         After a special graduation celebration with my grandson and all the family, I'm ready to share more great books!

       It feels as if all of Lynda Mullaly Hunt's books not only offer wonderful stories to read but in addition, lessons for us adults as well as children to live by. "Shouting at the Rain" is a new book about a girl, Delsie, who lives on Cape Cod only with her Grammy, grew up also with Papa Joseph until he died. Her mother left her with them when she was a baby and left a big hole in Delsie's heart. The struggle this summer begins with long-time friend Brandy arriving for the summer but changed. She's more interested in having a mani-pedi than traveling the beach looking for rocks and shelves to use for building something as the pair did in past summers. Delsie's summer continues with less fun and more struggles as Brandy makes a new, not-so-nice-to-Delsie friend. And then there's that new boy Ronan, some say is "trouble". Mullaly Hunt lays the groundwork for the struggle, mixing in the neighbors Esme and Henry with their child, Ruby, along with grumpy Olive with a mysterious connection to the huge tree in her yard. The community's best places to eat, the garage sales and ocean creatures add to Delsie's world with memorable scenes showing that things do not always appear the same when hidden layers are revealed. The story's layers bit by bit show the realistic advice from the title and other maxims for living, many from Grammy. Delsie learns "It's not what you look at that counts, but what you see" and in a sweet author's note, Lynda Mullaly Hunt expands on that idea, too. It's another 'don't-miss' book. And, there is a fun surprise in the notes at the end.

         You will fall in love with this wolf, his voice and persistence to live no matter the hardship and loss. The language fills one up as Rosanne Parry takes us with him on his poignant journey. Its images made me smile: On a chipmunk meal: "They aren't worth the trouble of hunting. A mouthful of stripes and a squeak, that's all you get." And they showed feelings, yes, of a wolf, but kin to humans, too. "The sun makes its own walk across the sky, and my shadow is all the company I find." It is a beautiful journey to take. 
           The story is based on a real wolf. Parry adds much information about him, wolves, the other animals in the land he calls his home.

            Goodreads says that "On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be, and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families."  
            There are emotional highs and lows in this story of sixteen-year-old Bri whose dream is to be a great rapper, like her father who was gunned down when she was young. She wants to get out of her hood neighborhood, wants to help her brother and mom, all struggling to make enough for food and clothes and rent, the electricity bill, the heat bill. They want to be "on the come up".  As a person NOT knowing much about rap, that part was a learning experience, but as a lover of poetry, I began to love what Bri and the others whose words were given wrote and shared while grieving for her troubles and hoping for her dreams being met. It's long and I raced through it, wanting this new teen to make it! One concern was that the ending seemed to come together rather fast. But sometimes that is how life works, quick down, then quick up!