Thursday, June 17, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Extra Trash


         Thanks to Buffy Silverman who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, HERE.   She has a poem that 'buzzes' with spring delights! Thanks, Buffy!

Down the street, someone else's "extra trash".

a haibun

           Many spent the Pandemic year at home and cleaned out their homes. What else was there to do but discover "extra trash"? Our own Denver Trash Company does an "extra" pickup every eight weeks. Tuesday was "my neighborhood's day". As I walked the blocks, the piles filled my imagination. Here was a wonder of a cat tree, or "cat heaven" some feline might term it. Was this a cat goodbye, too? Another put out a full-length mirror. Are they tired of seeing too much of themselves, related to "Quarantine weight gain"? Also, tied-up board scraps sparked reminders of quarantine home projects. There was a file cabinet, a cardboard shelf, and a washer. One on my own pile has been in the family since my son was born, a long while ago. I forgot to take a picture but it, this two feet tall plastic container, was the diaper pail. On the way to Colorado, it held towels. After the move, my children used it for toys, water balloons, all kinds of balls. Now, here in my new home, bags. Yes, all those bags we accumulate when all we really need are a few in the car. Well, the bags are in another pile to giveaway, not trash, but "extra". 

                                                  empty at the curb

                                                  white tub waits for a toss,

                                                  memories stay

                                                              Linda Baie ©


Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Reading - Sharing More Great 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 hope most of you have finished your school year, one that will certainly be remembered, and are starting summer with much-needed rest! 

           It was hard to wait for this dystopian verse novel by Irene Latham but I did, and then I couldn't put it down. In the future United States, young girl Klynt lives in what is called the Worselands with her father. Years before a terrible virus was carried by dogs, then to humans. Many people die, too, thus dogs were gathered and destroyed. Within that time, Klynt's mother took up the cause and left, determined to be where dogs could be saved and live! Klynt is ever reminded of that loss and that her mother is a hero but she is stuck bored, helping her father farm and passing the time with restoring what she calls her Museum of Fond Memories. 
        Irene allows all the feelings of sadness and resentment show as she lets Klynt tell this tale. In poem by poem, I begin to feel sad for her life, wondering, as I believe many middle-grade readers will, how I would survive. She is inventive and resourceful but being so far away with only her father and seeing a few neighbors once a month on ration day is hard. Irene adds to this future way of life with her own inventive words, creating the poetry of this dystopian world: to Kyynt, these Worselands are a "hum-nothing that stretches for miles". A "chug-chug" is a tractor, her father shows a "droopbottom" face, and "leafgiants" are (did you guess?) trees. Irene's inventive style in the use of these words along with the poem connections as the last word of one leads to the next creates a bountiful tale of a future like no other.
        Boring lives can change, especially for Klynt, for one day a visitor like no other shows up, a D-39 robodog. From that moment of discovery, life is a bit less boring, a bit more exciting, and then, a lot more dangerous! You, readers, don't want to miss this beautiful and creative story full of kindnesses no matter the hardships where Klynt gets to show she has learned some vitally important things while being bored. Surprises await!

             Thanks to Candlewick Press, Walker Books US for the ARC of this wonderful new middle-grade mystery. A gloomy mansion, Braithwaite Manor, set far away across the moors finds young Clara Starling, orphaned at birth by her mother, her and unknown to her father. Now she's in the hands of an Uncle, gloomy and stern, required only to see her once a day to inquire as to her schooling and health. Cold-mannered with not one loving feeling, Clara depends only on Cook and the Butler to help her grow plus a string of strange governesses who seem to last only a minute. Judith Eagle sets that tone as readers rush headlong into a mystery when a young boy, Peter, shows up. He's been sent by his Granny who's unwell but just before, Clara's uncle has declared the house is sold and they must leave. Fortunately, Clara is a fighter and sneaks back, figures she will make it on her own. She practically has anyway! Yes, the plot thickens, with the addition of Cook's children, a few kind adults, the mystery races away in its unraveling. I think readers will love the twists and turns that the mystery makes, with Clara and Peter leading the way with resolve.
            I am grateful to Candlewick Press for this new story by Kate DiCamillo from Deckawoo Drive! Chris Van Dusen gives a peek at how he 'sees' the story in the realistic illustrations and this time there's a peek at a kind side of Eugenia Lincoln. Franklin Endicott's tale concerns his notebook kept of worries. He realizes he has a 'worry' problem, thus puts the notebook under his bed. He thought it would help, but the action begins nightmares of some of those worries. Every night, frightening images appear, so much so that he rises, heats up some milk, and peeks out the window. To his surprise, Eugenia is there at her kitchen table. It begins a relationship that helps Franklin look at those worries in a different way, helped by Eugenia who takes him to get a key made. Returning home, a "third key" is also in the envelope, beginning a new adventure for Franklin that also involves some famous short stories and a kind, eccentric shop owner. For a short chapter book, Kate manages to include much to ponder. This new tale will be a lovely read-aloud and conversation for a group!

             I love Brian Floca's books and this is a new favorite, a beautiful reminder of all those we owe our gratitude to in these past Pandemic months. They certainly have "kept the cities going". Brian has not left anyone out; the grocery clerks, the medical workers, the drivers for transportation of all kinds are all there. It's a beautifully poignant book of what happened when most of the rest of us stayed home. The illustrations fill the spaces with details, streets and highways rather empty except for those workers, people leaning out windows ringing bells and shouting their thanks. It all happened. Do you remember?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Poetry Friday - Finding Advice in Poetry

         Thanks to Carol Wilcox who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, Carol's Corner.  Carol is introducing us to a new poet! Don't miss the poems! 

              The poem I'm sharing today and came across recently is one I'd saved a while ago. It fits us now, doesn't it? Russell Hoban gives us good advice. I will take it!

My puzzle from long ago!

Jigsaw Puzzle

by Russell Hoban


My beautiful picture of pirates and treasure

is spoiled, and almost I don't want to start

to put it together; I've lost all the pleasure

I used to find in it: there's one missing part. 

I know there's one missing -- they lost it, the others,

the last time they played with my puzzle -- and maybe

there's more than one missing: along with the brothers

and sisters who borrow my toys there's the baby. 

There's a hole in the ship or the sea that it sails on,

and I said to my father, "Well, what shall I do?

It isn't the same now that some of it's gone."

He said, "Put it together; the world's like that too."

Monday, June 7, 2021

It's Monday! A Long Beautiful List

    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 hope most of you have finished your school year, one that will certainly be remembered, and are starting summer with much-needed rest! 

           Twelve-year-old Amari Peters has lately had more trouble, as if the disappearance of her beloved brother, Quinton, isn't enough. On the last day of the elite school where she has a scholarship, she's had it with the bullying of the wealthy and spoiled, shoves one of them and now her acceptance for the next year is at risk. Her mother works so hard. Amari lives in the "hood" and is very loved, the one thing that keeps her going. She's happy to receive a mysterious message and a briefcase from Quinton, taking her to an interview, a 'test' for the summer camp where Quinton went, a break from all the drama. But she didn't know what that camp really was until she stepped into the Vanderbilt Hotel. The Bureau of Supernatural Affairs seemed different from the "fancy leadership camp" her mother thought Quinton, and now Amari, was attending. No, it was not that at all. Just wait until you see what Amari's summer adventure turns out to be! B.B. Alston has written a wonderfully inventive and adventurous world with memorable characters. Will there be more?

       Micha Archer (Daniel Finds A Poem, Daniel's Good Day, Girl Running) gives us readers another marvelous book, filled really with awesome paintings from, I'm guessing, her own "wonder walk". This time a girl and a boy choose to do a "wonder walk" and find ways to celebrate our earth with glee! Throughout the journey, beauty reigns in metaphorical questions about what they see, where they are? "Is fog the river's blanket?" or "Is dirt the world's skin?" and "Are forests the mountains fur?" are some of their wonders! It is a beautiful book, inspiring all to "GET OUT INTO THE WORLD!"

         Another journey out, this time a memory "Up North". from John Owens, his "first" picture book! The beautiful pictures take us to the boundary waters in Minnesota, a trip my son took with his Scout troop long ago, great memories captured then and now in Owen's beautiful paintings. Wouldn't you like to go?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Poetry Friday - Filling A Basket

           Thanks to Margaret Simon who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog,  Reflections on the Teche. She's sharing two lovely poems in response to two fabulous prompts! Thanks for hosting, Margaret.
          I want to give a shout-out to Irene Latham for her new book, D-39: A Robodog's Journey. I just started reading it and it's going to be hard to pull away to read everyone's posts! Don't miss it!

        All this time, the things that kept me going are easy, walking out, the sky and other nature pictures, and talks with friends and family. Of course, tiny things helped, too, but these are the big ones.

        "I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Doctor Sun more, and be more under the treatment of those great hydropathic doctors, the clouds!" ~Henry Ward Beecher, Royal Truths
           Sky Dreams


I’m filling up my sky basket

with clouds a-drifting by.

I’ll catch the elephants and bears

and wispy veils like sighs,

then fly along the sky trails

meandering up high.


I’ll gather every blue there,

the lavenders and greys,

the azures and the sapphires

on sunny and cloudy days.

I’ll tuck in all the navies

from late-day sunset rays.


Today my basket’s full of blues.

Wishing you some sky dreams, too.


Linda Baie ©