Friday, December 31, 2021

Poetry Friday - Starting Wild

Thanks to Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner for hosting today. Like Carol, I am far from the terrible fires in the Boulder area, have been watching the news all last evening. More will be revealed today, including how to help. 

I'm beginning prep for Cybil's Poetry Judging - Round Two. Round One judges have given our group a marvelous list of finalists. Stay tuned! All the lists will be shared tomorrow, January 1st!

         Sorry that I missed the Poetry Sister's "Bell" challenge but I'm looking forward to reading how everyone responded! 


          All year, I've been reading a lot of poetry, and every day a new poem from this book, published by Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press, Fiona Waters collected the poems for each season, thus the title. Lovely illustrations by Frann Preston-Gannon walked hand-in-hand with the poems. That last poem, for December 31st, is one I guess most of you know, Beatrice Schenk de Regniers' "Keep A Poem in Your Pocket", thus setting a goal for 2022!

       Fiona Waters has created a new one for the coming year, out for the first time in 2021 in the U.S. This time, she's selected 365 poems about animals. I don't recognize all of the names and perhaps that is because it's from Great Britain, but she has chosen some from America's past like Valerie Worth and  Emily Dickinson and those still writing like Jack Prelutsky, Elaine Magliaro, and Jane Yolen. From the titles, I see familiar poems, all animal antics from varying points of view. There are indexes of the poets, the poems, and first lines at the back. Britta Teckentrup's illustrations add to the lure of each poem. If you don't know much about an animal, you'll want to know more after reading the words and viewing each lovely page. Along with other anthologies and poets' collections, it feels like 2022 will be a special one for poetry!
            Thanks again to Candlewick Press for this copy!

       I've chosen some beginning lines from each month. Can you guess who the poet is?

January - "Have you heard her yipping/when the moon is down?"   

February - "Imagine overturning/The teeming anthill"  

March - "Make your home/in the damp darkness"  

April - "The air is like a butterfly"  

May - "Pigeons are city folk/content/to live with concrete/and cement."

June - "A hedgehog's hug is mainly hid" 

July - "A narrow fellow in the grass" 

August - "Giraffes/I like them./Ask me why."  

September - "The buffalos are gone." 

October - "Ploffskin, Pluffskin, pelican jee." 

November - "Allow me just one short remark" 

December - "I saw the two starlings" 
        Way back in 2015 I wrote this 'first' poem of the year. It seems apt for our beginnings tomorrow. Wishing you all a joy-filled 2022! 

With past power

and future hope

I navigate

the tangle-covered

threshold to the year.

Linda Baie ©

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Poetry Friday - Swap Pleasures


What a special thing that Jone Rush MacCulloch is hosting Poetry Friday HERE today because she had my name for the Winter Poetry Swap. The swap was first started by Tabatha Yeatts but this year coordinated by Laura Shovan. Thanks, Tabatha and Laura! Today Jone shows her expertise with golden shovels and reminds about her poetry postcard exchange. Be sure to check out her post along with all the others this Friday!
       And a huge thanks to Jone for all the spectacular poems and gifts she sent to me. I am about to start a new year, like all of you. Jone set me up perfectly for 2022!

        A lovely note came on the back of this wonderful original collage where Jone shares a found poem. 

 "Lessons from Georgia O'Keefe"

Great artists
observe the world
Watching the light
out the window
The full pale moon
Early morning
Lavender sky, purple hills
the feeling of space
Daily rituals-
rise with the fun
take an early walk
Don't sweat mistakes
something will come
Stay with it
Be yourself
Carve your own path
                      Jone Rush MacCulloch ©


     Then, more bounty: a new journal, a pack of fineliner pens, a framed poem/collage, and a bird ornament, with the beginning words of "I heard the bells on Christmas day. . ."

                              You will be able to enlarge if you click on the photo!


The Mystery

How did Jone know
that I love to see
numerous birds sitting
on my Christmas tree?
To her, I say thank you
for the serendipity.

Linda Baie ©

Happy Holidays, Everyone!  

Monday, December 13, 2021

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! Happy Reading! 
I did finish Malinda Lo's Last Night at the Telegraph Club. then put Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr's new novel, and The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson on hold because I realized I still needed to read (fast) Four Streets and A Square by Marc Aronson about New York City. I did it and the review is below!
        I'm taking a break until the new year! Wishing you all Happy Holidays however you celebrate. Considering the terrible devastation in Kentucky and needs around the world, I hope you are safe and able to help those in need in your own cities or in the world somewhere! 

Thanks to Candlewick Press for
this copy!
        Wow, if you love New York City, or if you've only or never visited, Marc Aronson has given his all in this history. I wonder if it wouldn't inspire students to do some research on their own cities or towns. Certainly, each one has a history that is fascinating!
        Aronson says he has chosen certain aspects of his history, centering on those streets of the title, in an opening after the Table of Contents titled "How This Book is  Organized". They include Wall Street, Union Square first, adding later 125th Street and West Fourth Street. You who know the city well possibly understand the why. He states they are where "clash and combination fostered ideas, art, political organizations, and music that spread across the country and the world." He means to capture "the essence of what might be called the New York idea, the New York experience. 
       There is much to share. Rita Csizmadia created the maps. In the text, along with numerous images, he had added parts he terms "snapshots" which relate timelines, important names in highlighted periods like "The Golden Door–The New Waves of Immigration". Within the text and then in the vast pages of sources, there are additional links, sometimes links to whole books available online! As noted, there is an extensive source list, an author's note, image notes, and a piece about terminology used. I've only traveled to NYC a few times, once a marvelous trip with students, but loved reading and learning more!

         Finally, I finished and am glad I did. The final 150 pages were well worth keeping going. I see the reasons for all the details but it is a slow read, at least for me. I’m sure that every detail, especially reading about Lily’s feelings emerge and be examined by her, are important for readers! It’s not easy growing up and realizing one is a homosexual even today, but especially in the nineteen fifties. I enjoyed the back matter added by Malinda Lo also.

I have four books I loved this week and will be quick with the reviews. 

Thanks to Candlewick Press 
for this copy.
      I've read one of these stories every evening and they are a delight. Rodaan Al Galidi tells the stories that he has gathered from all over the world. Although the inside is not in color, I can see how beautiful they're going to be illustrated by Geertje Aalders by the cover. Laura Watkinson translated. As Galidi writes in his intro, "stories are the best migrants and the finest travelers". You may read (or hear) a story in Iraq, with specific cultural names, but when it travels to The Netherlands, names, perhaps even the kind of animal changes.  Several are lessons in perceptions. One about light and dark, and tells about a man checking on his bull late one night, but a lion has taken its place. He enters, "found the head, touched the hairy neck, the strong legs, and the tail, and felt completely reassured: his bull was fine." Another speaks of other perceptions when a man, his son, and a donkey traveled. The man walked, the son rode, and people thought it was disgraceful that the son was not more caring for his father. I think you can imagine where that is going. People see things differently all.the.time. Wouldn't this be fun to read a story or two a day with a class? It's terrific!
         This was first published by Gottmer Publishing Group (Netherlands) 2017. The first US edition is 2021.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Those Other Memories


Thanks to Cathy Mere for hosting today at her blog, Merely Day by Day HERE!  
         I'm sorry I missed Michelle K.'s hosting last week. I was upset by the Michigan shooting and I wrote, yet couldn't bring myself to post.


          I was on a school overnight trip to California when we heard the news about the Columbine massacre. It was so hard to tell the students, some of which we then discovered had friends who had been killed. We held our own memorial for them all one evening. It was not enough to erase the sadness but it was so needed. I remember when a colleague came to me and whispered about Sandy Hook. I remember when my daughter called me about the Aurora theater shooting. More recently, the news told me about the Stem shooting in Highlands Ranch, Stoneman Douglas, King Soopers in Boulder. Of course, we all know now that one more happened a bit more than a week ago in Michigan. I haven't listed them all, have I? You will have your own remembering from your own home, sad to write.

          It is with continued sadness I write this Friday, yet I also remember good things, too. There is much goodness in my life and I am grateful. However, I also do remember all these tragedies and others and will do all I am able to make changes. 

          Instead of being outraged in the "after", I believe we should be outraged in the "before"!

Those Other Memories


I don’t want to remember;

I mustn’t forget.

The world wonders about our

feeble fascination with guns.

If only there came an answer 

when words spew,

and outrage shouts,

“Do something! Make this go away!”

that did not mean

people running

to buy more!


              Linda Baie ©

Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday Books - Get Excited!

    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! 
        If you're interested, the final Heavy Medal list of nominations post is out today here

            Written by Traci Sorell who has shared this relatively unknown story of the first, and only, engineer in Lockheed's space program and the first known Cherokee woman engineer. She loved math as a young student and it is told that boys in her class wouldn't sit by her. She was the only girl. Shirley's achievements mostly continue classified as she did work in a secret Lockheed group that worked especially hard after Sputnick launched, a 'hurry-up' for the US space program. Sorell wraps this story around four Cherokee values which are explained in the text and again in the Cherokee language in the backmatter. There is also an author's note, a timeline, source notes, and a bibliography. Natasha Donovan's illustrations show Shirley as she worked and aged, surrounded by math charts and design sketches. This will be a support and inspiration for young girls who love math and, still, see that girls are not supposed to be good in it or like it! And it's great for boys who may need a new opinion!
          (In my high school, quite a few years ago, one other girl and I were the only girls in our chemistry and higher math classes. The boys did sit with us, however.) 

           If you loved They All Saw A Cat, now, again poetically, with so, so much that 'Inside Cat' sees through windows, Brendan Wenzel has done it again! It's a book that, like his cat, "Wanders, Wonders" and shows us more than we may never have imagined! And I imagine readers will read and then start all over again! Don't miss the end covers!