Thursday, October 14, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Cold Whispers


         Thanks to Bridget Magee who hosts this Poetry Friday, at her blog, Wee Words for Wee Ones HERE, a post you must atTENd!

I am thrilled to have poems in the anthology that Bridget has created. So many poetry friends' lovely poems are in this book. Bridget, you've chosen TEN-der poems that will continue to brigh-TEN my every day! Congratulations to you and thank you, too! 

This Friday is the last day to nominate books for the Cybils Awards. Go HERE if you are interested!

        My heat has returned and it's a good thing. The first freeze has occurred!

I imagine I will tire of the winter days after the new year but usually, I continue to go out walking, mostly in the neighborhood if it's too snowy to drive. There are good things about the seasons changing, no boredom here!

Cold Whispers in October


It’s a salt and pepper season.

Simmering soup sits in the pot.

Candles brighten the room

as dusk peers in the window.

Birds wing into nests, 

murmuring good night,

but I imagine bees muttering

as dark is arriving earlier.


Music sprinkles notes 

into the air; life becomes

a taste of memories.

I hold a spoonful of bitter,

but have learned 

to add honey to sweeten 

and salt to open my eyes.

I appreciate the days.

Linda Baie ©

Monday, October 11, 2021

Monday Reading - Celebrating More 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! Happy Reading! 
       I have a Blog Tour also posted today for You Are Revolutionary which comes out tomorrow! Find it HERE!

          It's another human-kind story from Christian McKay Heidicker, yet also, a fox story of gigantic proportions. Could it be that they belong with other myths told to children? This time, Heidicker writes eight connected stories, each introduced by a storyteller who seems to know it all. Well, it was that way until some others had to help end the stories, other young heroes. O-370, a fox kit who yearns for more excitement than a cage that keeps him warm and a farmer that keeps him well fed takes a chance, showing his courage, and when he discovers the true nature of this farm when foxes unite in the White Barn, he does his best to release the others. In another group in the wild, young Cozy travels in certain places with a leader named Dusty, but danger is there, too, as the face of someone who is killing foxes. She and her group flee to the city. They know its dangers there, but it's the only solution now. When they find O-370, they chuckle at the name and think he's really Oleo. Unexperienced, he turns out to be one important part of this group, in the city, then back, back to The Farm. 
         Each part brings tense moments and wonder at the actions of these foxes, facing danger from a human with a stick, one with rubber hands, and hounds that carry a yellow scent. It's a surprise, often terrifying, other times poignant, on every page. And, as questioned first, one can find a parallel with human lives, too, if you allow it. What a terrific sequel, enhanced by Junyi Wu's spectacular illustrations.

Thanks to Candlewick Press 
for this copy!
         Whenever I read a book by Eugene Yelchin, he takes me on a new journey to a place I've never been. This time, he has written his memoir, a new look at another kind of life for middle grades and up. Growing up in Communist Russia is not easy, especially for a Jewish family. They share a communal apartment with other families and have only one room to themselves; also in this group is a spy who listens to their every word. Taking up much of the space is his father's huge book collection that he must never touch. His father, a devoted Communist, knows poetry by heart, recites it with fervor often. His mother works for the ballet, in love with Mikhail Baryshnikov, wishes a talent for Yevgeny, like his brother who figure skates for Russia. Those with talent are rewarded with better apartments and trips to other countries. Yearning for answers to his questions but rarely finding them, Yevgeny, whose bed is under his grandmother's dining table, sketches out what he makes of life as well as he can. Yelchin beautifully creates those sketches within this text from his memories. There is more to experience for readers despite the starkness of the day-to-day living, lives that include both humor and sadness. You can read a Nerdy Book Club interview with Yelchin here:  I enjoyed this book very much!

       The nicest gift I can give to readers is to tell you to find and read this book. Jonathan Stutzman gives the definition of what a bear really is: "a new friend, a snack, a tissue, a pirate, a ghost, a brave protector" and then, as the years pass, "a piece of home" and perhaps, "a memory". Dan Santat illustrates life's emotions that may bring you tears and certainly bring you smiles and huge agreement. It's a special new book!
         A long time ago my father gave me this bear at about age two. I know because my father was killed just after I was two during World War II. My bear has journeyed with me all my life. I played with it and my children played with it. Now it sits in a room at home in a grandmother's chair, made by her grandfather over a hundred years ago. This "Bear is a Bear", too!

Listen up! It's a Blog Tour -- It's a How-To-Be Revolutionary!

       Thanks to Beaming Books, I have the pleasure of sharing this book that shows how even young children notice and learn about the needs in our world and often want to do something to help! With poetic words by Cindy Wang Brandt and action-packed illustrations by Lynnor Bontigao, Kids will see they, too, can make a difference.  
         Cindy starts the child as a "revolutionary" at birth, a young one, writing "you giggled, you cried,/you declared, "I WILL BE HEARD!" She shows how children know that everyone has a right to food, shelter, water" while Lynnor Bontigao fills the pages with all kinds of children noticing the needs of others along with noticing those who are carrying signs to heighten awareness for the homeless. Through this journey of a child's wishes to make a change, support is given for those who are shy, who feel too young. She shows other children using their skills to make a difference. For example, she writes "If you excel at writing words/as mighty as a sword,/you can share a message/in ways that can't be ignored." And if you're good at music or art, you can write a song or create a sidewalk sign. 
        This will be an inspiration with these words and the colorful art full of children doing something. What fun it would be to read together in a group or with family and to make plans!

Here's part of an interview of Cindy Wang Brandt where she answers the question, "What inspired your story?"
       As I’ve previously mentioned, I have “faith shifted,” meaning I’ve left the faith of my childhood. This has caused significant anxiety and trauma in adulthood. As I’ve sought to understand the source of my angst, much of it was having power wielded over me when I was a child. A big part of my own healing is to become an advocate for children today, that they be afforded full autonomy because they are human beings, not any lesser than adults. If kids are to be treated and respected as adults are, then what excludes them from becoming revolutionaries, people who make a change in the world? It is a human right to have a say in the way we live our lives, and yet we exclude kids from this work. I think our world still has a long way to go to extend children the rights they deserve, and I hope my book helps move progress

Here is a coloring page for you that can accompany this special book!

Finally, here are links that may interest you:

Link to the book: 


For Twitter:  

Author: @cindywangbrandt  

Illustrator: @lynnorbontigao 

Publisher: @@BeamingBooksMN 

Literary Publicity Team: @prbythebook 


For Instagram:  

Author: @cindybrandt 

Illustrator: @lbontigao   

Publisher: @beamingbooksmn 

Literary Publicity Team: @prbythebook 


For Facebook:  

Author: Cindy Wang Brandt 




I am grateful to Beaming Books for the opportunity to share this book of support for young "change-makers"!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Poetry Friday - That "Other Side"


         Thanks to Irene Latham who hosts this Poetry Friday, at her blog, Live Your Poem HERE. She is sharing news of something exciting coming to writers along with a poem by Pablo Neruda and another by Irene herself, both feel like celebrations of this fall season so many love. 

          It has been quite the challenges in the months behind me - every week a new surprise. Yet, during these Pandemic days, I am grateful for family and friends who've kept me smiling through every week with a new treat of kindness. In mid-summer, my AC needed to be replaced. Then, a week or so ago, my laptop needed repair, and this past week (I have radiators and a boiler), pipes split in the venting, now all need replacing. I know it all could be worse, but having it nearly altogether makes a pile! 
          However, last week in donations at the used bookstore where I volunteer (as all who work there do), this book came in, an old anthology full of fun for children, "best poems" as it says on the cover. Its authors are many you and I know: Frost, Fyleman, Dickinson, Field, Farjeon, Fisher, Carroll, more and more. 

1930 - Whitman Publishing Company
       My birthday is next week. My mother used to say that when looking in the mirror, she was surprised at the old woman who looked back at her. Now, it's my turn. The poem says it beautifully.

Growing - Up
 Marchette Gaylord Chute

When I grow up I'll carry a stick
       And be very dignified,
I'll have a watch that will really tick,
My house will be tall and built of brick,
And no one will guess that it's just a trick,
       And I'm really myself inside.

       There are many books of poetry on our shelves. They do not move often but sometimes one customer will be delighted to find a favorite and that there are lots to choose from. FYI - mostly for older teens and adults. There are fewer for children.
        For my birthday, if you wish, send me an email at lindabaie at mac dot com with your name and address that you would love a surprise poetry book in the mail and I will send you one! It may take a week or so to get it all completed, but it will be my pleasure to send a gift to you!

among assorted pleasures
chocolate tastes and times of leisure
words in poems linger longer
Linda Baie ©                          

Monday, October 4, 2021

It's Monday - One Book Celebrated!

   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! 

           First, my laptop has been in for repair. It started acting funny after last Monday, so I took it in, hoping it only needed some work that I didn't know how to do. Finally, they finished the tune-up and I picked it up yesterday. It's working much better! While I love my phone and "sometimes" use the IPad, it's harder to write many words on them. So, I'm only sharing You Can't Say That today, one I should have shared last week during Banned Books Week. 
              Thanks to Candlewick for the copy! HERE is one article fromThe Horn Book with the top ten most challenged books of 2020.

          Second, remember that nominations are open from October 1st - 15th for Cybil's awards. You can access the site HERE! The book must have been published from October 16, 2020, through October 15, 2021.

          Leonard S. Marcus is one of the world's leading writers about children's books and the people who create them. You can read much more about him on his website HERE. In this book, he shares interviews of thirteen authors who discuss their lives as young readers, and as authors who have faced criticism and censorship challenges for their books. At first, I thought it might be rather dry reading about those books and what has happened to them through the years, also most recently. I was wrong! 
          In Marcus's inciteful questioning, each author not only speaks of their journey with challenges, but their early reading experiences, who tried to squash their very beings, but those who inspired them to keep going. For example, Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants author) struggled in school, kept going through drawing comics in spite of one teacher who also kept tearing up his work, telling him he "couldn't spend the rest of his life making silly books". Pilkey, like most of the other authors interviewed, found that those who made challenges to the books had not read them, only small parts, assuming things that were not true. In the final interview with Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give was challenged because it was said to be 'anti-police', yet when one reads the book, the character of Uncle Carlos is shown to be a good cop in that particular neighborhood.
          Fascinating talk about the early and still challenged books are included like Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman and And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richarson and Peter Parnell. And, I didn't know that Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña continues to be challenged because some complain that it doesn't use proper English. The book titled It's Perfectly Normal, a sex education book for children by Robie H. Harris, continues to be challenged for its "pornography and child abuse". In her interview and a few others, she shares fascinating work by the Bank Street College of Education. If you have wondered, yes, R.L. Stine is one of the interviewees, of interest because he is that full-of-scares author. 
           Also intriguing is to read the books that each author loved while growing up. Dav Pilkey thrived on Mad magazine, Meg Medina loved her grandmother's story-telling, the Bible was important to Katherine Patterson, and Angie Thomas spent a lot of time at her library where she discovered Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Later, hip-hop was her inspiration. 
           Inspiration and, for me, awe is found in the stories of librarians and teachers, alongside authors, and sometimes their students, who stand up to defend the right of people, kids included, to choose what they wish to read. Once a book is published and purchased by a library, it is protected by our Constitution! 

There is more and more to delight!

           Here are the other authors who are interviews and one book among others: 

      Susan Kuklin: Beyond Majenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
      David Levithan: Boy Meets Boy
      Meg Medina: Burn Baby Burn
      Katherine Patterson: Bridge to Terabithia
      Sonya Sones: What My Mother Doesn't Know
       A comprehensive list for each author and their books in the back matter, along with acknowledgments and source notes. This is a book that will entice you to read more about censorship, more of these books if you haven't already, and a book that offers a lesson in how to do extraordinary interviews!

What's Next: Still reading the new Scary Stories for Young Foxes: The City by Christian McKay Keidicker and I have an arc of Eugene Yelchin's The Genius under the Table

Happy Reading to you all!       

Monday, September 27, 2021

It's Monday - Don't Miss 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! Happy Reading! 

               Somehow this book, out the end of September, feels a challenge to review because I don't want to take away any of your excitement of discovery as you read this newest incredible tale by Kate Dicamillo with just-right illustrations by Sophie Blackall. Would you mind if I told you it is a medieval tale, with the mystery of powerful, greedy kings (and an even greedier counselor)? Would you like that one of the intriguing characters is a straight-arrow goat? She always does the right thing and has the head to help her do that. Another is a monk who continues to do good despite memories of his father deeming him a coward. Also, you'll meet a young boy, all alone, grieving his murdered parents but as willing to be helpful, especially for Beatryce, as a hero can be. There is still another king, one who long ago threw his crown in the water and walked out. And, of course, there is Beatryce and her story of a mermaid. You may find that she is not the only star in this book, yet love for her shines throughout, from me, too. It's a lovely and loving tale.
         Thanks to Candlewick Press for this advanced copy!

        When my daughter was young, she was convinced all her special stuffed animals got together at night and played. She would have loved this new 'first' book in a series about toys that can be borrowed at a library. Ivy, the main character, used to be the librarian Anne's special doll growing up. When Anne found Ivy who had been stored in a box, she took her to be with those others at the library. Ivy definitely would rather have gone home to be Anne's best friend again, but as she gets to know the other toys, each with their own personalities, and then she gets "borrowed", adventure awaits. It's quite a fun 'pretend' story, lovingly told by Cynthia Lord and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin.     
            Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy!

from my #MustReadin2021 list
          Eleven-year-old Mary Lambert tells this story, written by Ann Clare LaZotte, herself deaf. LaZotte came by this path as she followed the history of a community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 1800s where both the deaf and hearing community signed. It simply was the way to communicate. It was easy to forget who was deaf and who could hear. The many layers LaZotte includes in Mary's story feel like many lives today, too. There is grief for her brother who died while saving her as they walked together one day. There are tensions among the people who are English, Black, Irish, and Wampanoag. Mary struggles to understand that others do not see them all as equal citizens. And she learns how others in the outside world feel about those who are deaf when a young scientist arrives with his own ideas of why there are so many deaf people who live on this island. LaZotte includes some of those early, and incorrect, theories and the kidnapping of a subject, Mary herself, raises the tension very high. It's quite amazing to think that a child can be taken by ship and sailed days away, this time to Boston, to be locked away for research. Every day thereafter felt a need to hold my breath.  It seems important to share that this story gave me new knowledge about the lives of deaf people. There is also an afterword full of information that connects to the novel, like the various kinds of sign language. It's a wonderful book!
                 FYI - This is the winner of the 2021 Schneider Family Book Award

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Poetry Friday - With #PoetryPals, gratitude

         Thanks to Laura Purdie Salas who hosts this Poetry Friday, at her blog HERE.  She shares some fabulous tankas about autumn for the #PoetryPals challenge. Laura also has a new book coming out: If You Want To Knit Some Mittens! You can see the trailer HERE! My granddaughter Imogene is an active ten-year-old, always taking extra time to climb, jump, and run. But she also knits. This book is on its way to her!
        A little celebration! I'm excited to return to the Cybils Award work this year as a Round Two Poetry Judge! What a pleasure it will be to work with a grand group reading and discussing poetry! The members of both Rounds can be found HERE. And then click on "Cybils" at the top to look around to view the posts of judges for all the other categories! There is also a call toward the top for the "Idea Boards", a place for suggestions. Nominations begin October 1st. 

It's the last Friday in September. I'm wishing happy times for autumn days to all of you! And, I've taken the #PoetryPals challenge, which Tanita Davis explains like this: 
          You’re invited to try our challenge in the month of September! We’re writing tanka in response to a poem we love from the Poetry Friday universe. Choose to respond to an original poem of any sort, from anyone who participates in Poetry Fridays – give us a link to the original poem, then go tanka-trading away, and make something tanka-true and new. Are you thinking of a poem you love? Good! There’s still time to play with your 5-7-5 creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on September 24th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

         First, I want to say that every Friday, everyone's posts bring joy. It's a big task to choose a favorite. Yet, I was watching last week especially and adored Michelle Kogan's post, and painting, because it celebrated fall, a season favorite. Thus, this is my poem for Michelle, in response to her post HERE with a rondelet! Thank you, Michelle!

it’s freely given

that palette from her garden,

transplanted to mine 

painted perfection escorts

an autumn-driven word song


                   Linda Baie ©


Monday, September 20, 2021

It's Monday! Books to Discover!

     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! 

               When you meet this Robber Girl, you wonder how she ended up with that other 'robber', Gentleman Jack, but her angry thoughts sharing her amazing tale soon tell us much, so much that we readers know we're in for quite an extraordinary place and time created by Franny Billingsley. When Gentleman Jack is arrested, the judge takes the girl to his home, much to the dismay of his wife who continues to grieve for their dead children, lost to smallpox. The girl has an "affliction" that keeps her from talking unless asked a question although, in her mind, she talks, or is yelled at, by her dagger. The judge sends her to school, a terrible experience, which the dagger says is a "taming thing" and this girl is wild, in speech, in general knowledge, but not in her ways of taking care of herself. A dollhouse built by the judge plays a fantastic role in making change, along with the judge's caring treatment. The town itself seems old, is built around a celestial goddess, Blue Roses, and plays a part in the girl's change from wild to one who discovers her truth. I am imagining that the continual thoughts of the girl that tell the story are reminiscent of childhood thoughts themselves. Although fantastical in this story, children do keep secrets in their thoughts, often not quite real as well. 

         In India, this time the city of Chennai, young boy Kabir is released into the world because the powers say he's been in prison with his mom too long. If they cannot find a family member, he'll go to an orphanage. Before this happens, no matter the terrible prison circumstances, readers meet Kabir's dear mother who is in prison accused of theft and given no chance to defend herself and the rest of the cellmates, Kabir's family who cares for him, including the most wonderful jail teacher. Then, thrust out into the world, taken by a fraud who claims he's an uncle, Kabir takes his first chance to escape. Whew, a huge chance, but it turns out he is rescued by Rani, another kid on the street, a Roma girl a little older and with her friend, Jay, the parrot. Kabir stumbles a lot but Rani teaches him well. they become a sweet twosome, seems like a brother and sister always helping each other. The rest of their adventure together is for you readers to discover. It's not always easy, but Kabir tells the truth of the way things are and their lives do change in amazing ways. I read this all in one day, could not stop hanging on to Kabir's life with the hope he had never given up. Padma Venkatraman shares a poignant story every middle-grade child needs to know in order to understand they can be strong, too!


             I had never read the name Daphne Caruanna Galizia until I read this great story about her by her friend, Gattaldo who both wrote and illustrated it. She was born and grew up in Malta, inspired by a great-great-great-great grandfather who fought and kept Napoleon from occupying the country. She loved to read, and ask questions to find the truth. As an adult she began to write and share her findings, even early on was arrested for protesting. She eventually began to write for a national newspaper, uncovering wrongdoing. She married and had a family, but did not stop her passion for the truth. The joy and the sorrow shown in the illustrations empower the story. Galizia was "hassled in the streets, they called her a witch" and more. She did not stop until a bomb exploded under her car. She has left a legacy that inspired people all over the world to speak out, to "make our world a better place". A brief bio and an author's note adds to her story at the back. Here is one more story of a newsmaker who is an inspiration to know.
        Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy, published in 2021! It was first published by Otter-Barry Bks - UK - 2020

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Poetry Friday - Bye Bye Summer

         Thanks to Denise Krebs who hosts this Poetry Friday, at her blog, Dare to Care here. From her post, you'll learn a new word and a spectacular way of looking at Galapagos tortoises. Be sure to check it out!
          I joined a blog tour last Monday to share Nancy Tupper Ling and June Cotter's new anthology, For Every Little Thing, poems and prayers to celebrate the day, illustrated by Helen Cann. You can find my post here! It's quite a wonderful book for reading aloud with special someones.

     This Poetry Friday I'm sharing a poem I wrote a year or so ago for Buffy Silverman for a poem swap. Although we all know this summer was fraught with sadness, with conflict, I continue to adore the "other" good things.

Blowing Out The Summer Candles  


I’ve cartwheeled my way through the summer

eaten melons and berries off vines,

          splashed in neighborhood lakes, 

          and cooled off sipping shakes.

This summer is working out fine.


The watermelon’s ready for picking,

My peach tree leans low with its pearls.

          In the mornings I played,

          napped with afternoon shade.

This summer’s an agreeable whirl.


I know that it can’t last forever-

to laze in the blaze of the sun.

         Lemonade has been iced; 

         one more week will suffice.

Sigh, summer is leaving. ‘Twas fun.


                 Linda Baie ©

And now – Welcome Autumn!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Monday Reading - Books to Adore

    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! 
       Wishing you all a lovely day today!

Last Poetry Friday, I reviewed Poem in My Pocket, a new picture book by Chris Tougas and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon. 
         And today, I have a second post, am on a blog tour for a new anthology, poetry gathered by Nancy Tupper Ling: For Every Little Thing. Be sure to visit to discover all about this special, special book.


           In spite of so much science that I really didn't understand (but some I worked out and actually did a bit of research in order to understand!), I enjoyed this new space adventure by Andy Weir. I liked the back and forth parts from earth to space voyage, ever curious just how a junior high science teacher ended up in a crew of three highly-regarded science and space experts. However, he became an accomplished problem-solver, for which all us readers are grateful. I loved the characterizations of those who gathered to solve this new and imaginable problem, but most of all I began to Love Ryland Grace and his "buddy", Rocky, an alien from the planet Erid. 

       One quote: "It's good for the species," I say. "A self-sacrifice instinct makes the species as a whole more likely to continue."
          "Not all Eridians willing to die for others."
           I chuckle. "Not all humans either."
           "You and me are good people," Rocky says.
           "Yeah," I smile. "I suppose we are."

Like all good books, I was sorry to see it end.

              We hear, fast, all the usual noises, but do we miss the other sounds when we don't focus and LISTEN? Brief and thoughtful text by Gabi Snyder and marvelous city scenes outside and in (like at a library story-telling) by Stephanie Graegin show us the tinier things we may be missing, like the "slap-slap-slap of shoes against pavement" and "the wind through trees". Included is a scene of hearing "words of joy" and also of bullying and the sound of "words that sting", then "A sob, a sigh, or even silence." One part I love in every "city" picture book is the peek inside all the windows of the buildings. Graegin's illustrations show many and they're special. Snyder adds a page explaining different ways of listening at the back, something else to note when conversing about this book and "listening". 

         Vibrant, happy illustrations as you see from the cover help young Lucia take us readers on a tour of her home. With a mixture of Spanish and English, she shows all the things she loves, all the things that happen in her home. If you don't speak Spanish, Laurenne Sala uses the context and Zara Hoang's illustrations to help with the meaning. Company like friends and family come to what she calls the "magic puerta" where every time she opens it, "someone always comes in". It will be lots of fun to read to a class, helping some to learn some Spanish, OR, perhaps some will be excited to read some of their native language. 
Bienvenidos to Lucía’s home!
           Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy.

            There is a celebration that's only for you, as Mary Lynn Ray so beautifully tells it in this new book with swirling, color-rich illustrations by Cindy Derby. A favorite part is a double-page spread filled with what "might" happen "Because wherever you go, your birthday goes with you." Yes, there's cake and a special page about wishes and a part about waking up, "wondering what will happen." Mary Lynn writes that's the first present: "you get to wonder". It's a lovely book, a gift you may want to get for that next person with a birthday? Or, to read with a class? 
                      Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy.

Next? Still reading The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley, dense and mysterious. I hope to be finished soon!