Thursday, August 31, 2023

Poetry Friday - Gifting!


I sat in a nearby park to watch!

 It's Poetry Friday! Thanks, Ramona Berhenki 
HERE at her blog, Pleasures from The Page, for hosting. Her sharing of an anthology from Lee Bennett Hopkins titled "School Supplies" feels just right for this beginning of the school year. 

        With all the turmoil and disasters happening in the world, finding gifts in my mailbox lifts my spirits. Among other lovely things, like Wednesday night's super blue moon, the summer poetry swap created by Tabatha Yeatts brings beautiful surprises that, like the cliché, keep on giving.

          I shared those from Tabatha, Denise Krebs, and Patricia Franz earlier in the summer. This past week, I received more creative bounty from Janice Scully and Jone MacCulloch. 

         One thing I also want to acknowledge is Janice's thoughtfulness. After I sent her a package, she replied with thanks and asked about her own gift sent. I never received it! Sadly, USPS is not always reliable. But Janice put together a second gift and that one arrived! Thanks so much, Janice for a poem of address to the marvelous redwoods and for Billy Collins, a favorite!

         Earlier in the summer, Jone wrote to ask if I had a One Little Word for the year. I did not, but did share that a favorite word is "serendipity". You'll see how Jone created a journal cover from learning about that word! Thanks for your creativity, Jone. You've given me a poem but also a journal's cover with secrets. I'll enjoy its message while capturing other favorite words!

             Jone also sent me a created calendar with poems from her for every month!

        This is a card made from the journal you can see in the picture above. The quote is penned there, and my word, 'serendipity' adds to others among the blooms! Also, Jone sent two poem postcards (below), one to keep and one to send with parts of my own words to Patricia! I think she knows how much I love the ocean!

Monday, August 28, 2023

It's Monday - Recent Books I loved!


        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! I missed again last week but I have a few to share this time. I have been busier at the bookstore which lessens the reading time. There are many books on my TBR shelf waiting, and I hope my life settles down a bit more as we move into fall. I hope all of you are doing well. Our heat last week was near 100 all week but Friday brought the edge of Hurricane Hilary, seventies, and rain! It's back somewhat warmer but I know many continue to have the terrible heat. Best wishes for better! 
        Some of the following are older books I thought you might like. Some are brand new!

       Twelve-year-old Jonas and his friends get into lots of goofy things, even in the halls of their school. There are girls and jealousy, though it seems that at their age, no one would admit it. It's hard for us adults to read Phoebe Sinclair's debut book and realize that life as a tween is really complicated, but it is! Jonas tells the tale in fast action, even when he has to take care of his little sister Rex (Roxanne) and it turns out she saves him from some embarrassment at times. Then there's his separated parents and having two homes, the entry of something totally new, zines, that a friend wants Jonas to create, too. The candy-snatching comes in when the friend wants Jonas to answer the question, "What's the worst thing you ever did?" and what turns into the real self-searching even twelve-year-olds must do. Zines by illustrator Theodore Taylor III complete the whirlwind of Jonas' life.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy, out just a week ago!

       Many are taught NOT to judge a book by its cover and sadly people continue to judge by what they see, never digging deeper into actions. Christina Gonzalez shows this so wonderfully in this new graphic novel about five students, all in various ways Spanish speakers, who are ordered to do community service - together! Slowly through the book, with speech bubbles in both Spanish and English, readers begin to see each character for who they really are. There are revelations readers might also understand about oneself as the truths of each one are also revealed. It's interesting to see how stuck in a stereotype a person can be and how very difficult it is to break out into who they really are, especially without support. I enjoyed the incredible actions and emotional expressions Gabriela Epstein conveyed in her fantastic illustrations. It won many awards last year and I'm thrilled I finally got to read it!

       From long ago (1967), a wordless tale that's full of laughs and surprises. You have to see it!

       I'm sorry that I missed this book last year because I would have taken it to the beach with me, to read to my family, young and old. Like the young girl who visits her grandparents in their little house by the sea, we, too, would have looked for "little houses", what Kevin Henkes tells of this grandmother who shares that about shells. There are wonderings, like who lived in them, as grandmother also shares, "things we cannot see"; and when grandfather speaks about the wide world with so much to know, the young girl begins her own questioning. In beautiful, color-filled, illustrations by Laura Dronzek, I know how wondrous is the beach, and Kevin Henkes has lovingly taken me there. I am grateful!



Thursday, August 24, 2023

Poetry Friday - The End is A Beginning


      Welcome to Poetry Friday! I hope you are all doing well. Leave your links below! 

         Yes, time for BACK TO SCHOOL and Yes, I have seen a few leaves yellowing, dropping on the green grass! Wishing those of you who are so, so busy with your first days (weeks?) starting and hope it has been terrific and not too hot, or that the rain has disappeared from Tropical Storm Hilary. It's been near 100 all week here in Denver, and some schools do not have AC. I remember the challenges from years ago in my classrooms. 

          New and next! My grandson is off to find work, next steps for heading to PA school. The older granddaughter is starting high school; the younger one is starting middle school. I'm thinking of transitions for each, and for students I received in my own classes, termed "Advanced School", the middle-schoolers. Even as old as I am, finding time for self in any kind of play feels like a gift.



This early adolescent spring, 

this theater of boys,

shows one grown tall, grabs one more fling 

with his old friends, his toys.


He plays and plays, barooms around, 

hoping no one hears the sound.

The only other life around

are buzzing bees, like thoughts he found

that reach into the boy’s ears.

He sits and listens to his fears

that all the future coming days

won’t be like all the grown-ups praise.


He only wants his monster truck, 

a track of dirt, a time to play,

the growing up, another day.

                             Linda Baie © 

       Wishing you all a great weekend, writing, reading, fun with family and friends or simply "be-ing"!

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Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Poetry Friday - Pinkish


          It's Poetry Friday! Thanks, Molly Hogan HERE at her blog, Nix The Comfort Zone for hosting. She's sharing her favorite images of nature in special haiku. 
           While we all know some of the history of 'pink' in our lives, particularly here in America, the phenomenon has rather amazed me this summer, primarily because of Barbie, the movie, a long history capped this summer with an approach that is a bit different than the pink found only on the "toys for girls" aisles. Here's a NY Times article that I'm gifting. Hope it works for all of you. In part, Vanessa Friedman writes: "“Pink is the most controversial color in fashion history,” said Valerie Steele, the director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and author of “Pink: the History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color.” “It has so many contradictory meanings. It has fully entered our bloodstream like a virus, and now different variants keep emerging.”

       “Barbie” seemed to herald the third leg of historical troika."

         I found numerous others when researching "Barbiecore", even one from Popular Science, where Jocelyn Solis-Moreira shares, "We can attribute the popularization of pink to one of King Louis XV’s most famous mistresses. Madame de Pompadour was the closest thing 18th-century French society had to a fashion influencer. Her fondness for pink in the arts shaped the culture and taste of people across Europe. “It became all the rage, and at the time it was gender neutral, so everybody was wearing pink,” says Naomi Greyser, an associate professor of gender, women’s, and sexuality studies at the University of Iowa." this and more!"

       No matter, because I turned to an old favorite book of poems for children, Hailstones and Halibut Bones, poems about colors by Mary O'Neil, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. I remembered that Mary had included a poem about pink, too. Wonder if today she would mention "Barbiecore"?

What is Pink? By Mary O’Neil

Pink is the color of a rose.
They come in other colors
but everyone knows
pink is the mother-color of a rose.
Pink is a new baby,
the inside of a shell..
Pink is a cooked shrimp
and a Canterbury bell.
Pink is peachbloom,
gauzy… frail
the wind’s exquisite wedding veil.
Pink is a bonbon,
pink is a blush,
some Easter bunnies
are pink plush.
If you stand in an orchard
In the middle of Spring
and you don’t make a sound
you can hear pink sing,
a darling, whispery song of a thing.
Pink is the beautiful little sister
of red my teacher said,
and a ribbon girls tie
round their head.
Pink is the sash
with the lovely fold
you’ll remember
when you’re old.
Pink is the flower on a lady’s hat
that nods and bows this way and that.

         Had enough PINK? Or, do you have a favorite "pink" memory? Happy Poetry Friday!

Monday, August 14, 2023

Monday Reading - Books to Note!


    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!
     I am sorry to have missed last week but my laptop was in for a needed repair and tune-up. I just couldn't find the time to do a post from my phone! Here are the recent books I want to share!

Thanks to Candlewick Press
for this copy!

         It's always fun to read books by Dave Eggers. Most are for adults, but if you want a book that not only tells a fun story, and is true, read Moving Millers' Minnie Moore Mine Mansion. At the same time, readers can see how inviting the use of alliteration can be, title included. It begins with early history, and builds page by page with awesome details in brown tones with a feel of history by illustrator Ju´lia Sarda`. The tale of a silver discovery, lots of money to build a mansion, then a descendant with a wish to raise pigs includes an amazing structural move, and Eggers' expected humor from the start to a laugh-out-loud finish.

       It was terrific to revisit Garvey again, trying hard to ignore his father's wishes for a football player. Nikki Grimes' words for middle-school-aged kids shine brightly again, this time teamed with artist Theodore Taylor III. I loved the brightly-colored chapter titles, like this one, "Three Bears" when Garvey says to himself, "It doesn't matter/how wide I am when I sing./Like Goldilocks, I/have finally found what fits./My high tenor is just right." Finding connections with his dad through music was a loving surprise to me again. It's a young teen story, a family story, a rich story for kids growing up!

       Christina Soontornvat writes of her own challenges of middle school in this graphic novel, expertly illustrated by comic artist, Joanna Cacao. Christina is part Thai and has become friends with Megan, the daughter of an Iranian immigrant. They appear to be some of the few kids of color in a small Texas town's middle school. The subtle but expected racist remarks do not help Christina's feelings of who she is and who she might wish to be, then the announcement comes for cheerleader tryouts. Megan is an acrobat who Christina believes will definitely be chosen. They are best friends but Christina is hurt when Megan chooses someone else to be her partner in the tryouts. Tension certainly increases and the student body chooses the finals! Facial expressions and background add so much to the story that holds so many layers to growing up. Even the bully is given a bit of sympathy!

           The lead-up to the tryout feels like my own challenges many years ago when I too, wanted to be a cheerleader. I even tried a gymnastics class at age 12, but starting that late is simply too late to learn backflips, etc. At least it was for me! The challenges in middle school often feel so rigid when kids are simply trying hard to discover who they really are, the kind of person they wish to be. I imagine adults and those in middle school (or high school) will make personal connections to this new book!

          I labeled this both nf & historical fiction because it is a story by Glenda Armand, based on her family's story. That "school train" holds many layers, first of Glenda's mother's time in the morning line to school, but it also meant education as a train to freedom, and the outward layer is a story of The Great Migration. In the early part of the 20th century, thousands of African Americans left their ancestral homes, some dating back to slavery, to move to differing places in America, for better opportunities for adult work and to escape most of the Jim Crow laws. Young Thelma tells the story from her own 'riding' the train, waving to the real train that once carried an aunt and uncle to California for a better life. Taking that step was both exciting and sorrowful, leaving friends and family, a home one has always known. The term Jim Crow is used throughout, first confusing Thelma because she thought it was a person and did not understand the real meaning until her father told her. Keisha Morris' collaged artwork fills the pages with heartfelt emotions as the train, this time of history, moves along. It's an excellent book for middle-grade readers and younger that can either begin or add to their knowledge of this part of African American history. There is a great piece by Armand at the back, with family photographs, too, plus a source list!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Poetry Friday - Choosing Beauty


          It's Poetry Friday! Thanks, Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske HERE at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference for hosting and for a 'new' look at poetry that will bring a smile.

           My laptop is back, repaired! And here I am writing one of the shortest posts I believe I have ever done. But, I am weary after these recent weeks of all the political turmoil and now the terrible fires in Hawaii, and on. In varying ways, I am attempting to help those in need. Today I choose to focus on the beauty and the miracles of our world. What wonders there are to adore, to appreciate! I see some of you raising milkweed for the promise of butterflies, and, I think, the promise of a miracle.



Caterpillars ride

on grassy stems,

tasting the feel

of the future.


Linda Baie ©


Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Thursday, August 3, 2023

#Poetry Friday - Another Thank you!


          It's Poetry Friday! Thanks, Mary Lee Hahn HERE at her blog, A(another) Year of Reading for hosting.   

I wrote a week or so ago in gratitude for other gifts from Tabatha's Poetry Swap. Today, I want to thank Denise Krebs for the very personal and creative gifts she sent. She has figured out how much I love the moon and sent this box with a moon poem hidden, tucked into the underside. Isn't that terrific? Inside the box is a gorgeous new shopping bag! Denise wrote that it is from a restaurant in Carlsbad, CA, made by a relative of one of the workers there! It's lovely to receive something with a backstory! Denise also noted that she liked reading about my moon-watching on the prairie as she watched from the Mojave Desert. My son and grandson are in Seoul, Korea right now at the World Boy Scout Jamboree. I like to think that they watch the moon as I do from there! 
       FYI - My laptop is having a tune-up, not easy doing this on my phone! I will give it my best while commenting! (I'm slow!)

         I am very grateful for your thoughtfulness, Denise! Thank you!

moonlight invites
our monthly connection -
Look up! 
                L. Baie