Thursday, March 28, 2024

Poetry Friday - With the Poetry Pals

 It's Poetry Friday, and Tricia Stohr-Hunt is hosting HERE on her blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect. This time she and her other poetry sisters are writing pantoums. Here is her explanation:  "The pantoum is a Malaysian verse form comprised of a series of quatrains, with the second and fourth lines of each quatrain repeated as the first and third lines of the next. (I chose to rhyme though it is not required.) You can learn more about this form at The Philadelphia Writer's Workshop and Masterclass. And today, Tricia has written her pantoum to her sweet dog, a loving goodbye. Thanks for hosting, Tricia! 

Thanks for hosting, Tricia! 

            The Time is Here


Clocks have chimed; it’s really time

to wander into April’s spring,

to welcome every sprout from seed,

be glad for birds traveling in by wing.


To wander into April’s spring,

feeling sunny beams anew,

be glad for birds traveling in by wing

is always one thing I will do.


Feeling sunny beams anew,

walking down a path unknown

is always one thing I will do,

delighting in the things I’m shown.


Walking down a path unknown

when April asks what more can be,

delighting in the things I’m shown

                                    perchance becomes – a potpourri.

                                                                                                      Linda Baie ©

Happy Poetry Month! It's Almost here!

If you'd like to get the Poetry month poster, go here!

Monday, March 25, 2024

Monday Reading - Favorite 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! It's been a warm, wonderful spring-like week with a few green leaves popping. Tonight, as I write, it's snowing! That's March! 
Newbery winner!

           I think I took so long to read, then finish this because it is a beautiful, creative, and unique story where I savored each page. How can readers not love Johannes? How can readers not love his community of friends, his love of running, and the love of his home? I would love to read this aloud with young readers who might be unable to read it independently! Don't you agree that they, too, would adore the adventure? I also loved the paintings where Shawn Harris places Johannes in his wild places and that they are, according to a note from the author, "classical paintings by others long departed." It's a treasure of a book!

         Max, an only child living in Berlin with his parents, Jewish, is sent, unwillingly, on the Kindertransport to England. He hates it; he's sad and lonely. However, two voices appear to be talking to him, and when he looks, they are tiny creatures sitting on each shoulder: a kobold named Berg and a dybbuk named Stein. They say their true calling is to make mischief, but in this story, anything can happen, and it does. It's a whirlwind of an adventure with a young boy named Max that readers do not want to miss. Set in the first years of World War II, extraordinary Max, though he really wants to be at home with his parents, lands right "in the House of Spies". It's a treasure of a story!

         This is certainly a great time to share this book for young basketball fans. March Madness is happening! Young Maxwell loves to play and dreams about basketball every night. One morning, he wakes up and finds himself in a glorious place–Basketball Town. It's everything basketball, even basketball waterfalls! It's where he plays and learns and practices until he nearly succeeds, yet the Mayor tells him he needs to work on his three-pointer! What happens next in the championship game feels very good indeed, especially when there's one more part to remember, TEAMWORK! Darnell Johnson's illustrations are full of colorful action, nearly feeling like one can hear the bouncing balls, the cheers of the crowd. In addition to the fun story, Scott Rothman adds a page explaining some of the game's terms for those who aren't 'in the know'. It's great to have right now!  
                Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy!

          One might giggle at the thoughts this title brings. How can it happen that a furry spider wants to be a kitten? Michelle Knudsen shows us in this heartwarming story of a spider who crept into a house to find a dark and cozy space to make a home. However, things went a little differently than planned. A kind, older woman found  him, named him Luigi, and simply said he was an unusual kitten, but she fed and played with him, as if he WAS a kitten. Luigi rather liked it! The relationship grew, although Luigi thought that any time he would be discovered, as a spider! Kevin Hawkes' illustrations with a soft color palette use his skills to transform Luigi, page by page, into a kitten-like, yes, spider! And the woman offers more kitten treats and kitten toys. Luigi's debut as who he really is creates a loving surprise and a big conversation about loving who we are! It's clever and a delight to read! 

Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy! 

Next! I'm reading Ferris by Kate DiCamillo and am about halfway through.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Poetry Friday - The Life That Is

 It's Poetry Friday, and Rose Cappelli is hosting HERE on her blog, Imagine The Possibilities, sharing poems that celebrate the many birds that come to her feeder. There's Captain, Fred and Ginger, Redboy and Queenie midst a host of others. Well, you'll see when you visit! Thanks for hosting, Rose! : )

        I found some time this week to play around with words that I cut from various magazines and save in a little box. Considering the world's challenges for so many people, both near and far, the words I found brought comfort in the doing as I considered those trying to survive for so long in horrible conditions from both war and terrible famine. And I thought of today, then tomorrow, hoping for better. 



peace and quiet

  that needs to be nourished

feel everything nice

It’ll be gone before you can see

life is not waterproof


an ocean of 


tomorrow  will be tomorrow

Linda Baie © 

Happy World Poetry Day - March 21, 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024

It's Monday! For the holidays and more!


        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! 
         Well, we've had the biggest snowstorm in years, and filled with moisture. Now, it's melting fast and spring in here tomorrow! I'm sharing some varied books this time, some important for varied issues and some for the littles for Easter. I have been so busy that I'm still reading Eggers' The Eyes & The Impossible, and started The Keeper of Hidden Books by Madeline Martin, about a young girl in occupied Poland in World War II.

I shared this sweet book last week for Poetry Friday. Go here if you'd like to read about it. It's a lovely book illustrating a Langston Hughes poem about spring. 

Thanks to Candlewick Press 
for this copy!
        It's the sequel to Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen, as Victorine, whom everyone believes is missing, is going incognito as Bella Mae Goodwin, living with her friend, Darleen Darling, already a big star. If young readers love mysteries, this is another fun one, full of older Hollywood names, believable daring heroines, and adventure that's just a bit scary. 

       Gorgeous full-color illustrations by the Pumphrey brothers help Antwan Eady tell this story of a grandfather and his grandson and their farm stand, the last one when all the others shown beside theirs say "out of business. The young boy tells the story of helping harvest, then gathering the pumpkins and peppers, plums and eggs, and placing them in the sweetgrass baskets woven by his Granny. Week after week they go, until one day, Papa (his grandpa) is too tired, and the boy must take over. It's poetic and poignant, with a long author's note by Eady telling of the discrimination years ago by the FDA toward black and native farmers, the confiscation of their lands they had made fertile, and more. He writes: "I've taken heartbreak and turned it into a story about a boy and his grandfather who now have the last stand at a farmer's market in a community that can't afford to lose it." There's more from him to know, and a book to read and love.

       It's wonderful to read another biography picture book that children will love and learn from, too. This is Aida Salazar's debut picture book. Jovita's wish is pictured below, wanting the 'freedom' her brothers had when wearing pants. She got her wish and went on to lead the fight for religious freedom long ago. The illustrations by Molly Mendoza (also her debut picture book) fill with celebration for Jovita's inspiring life, one of many women years ago who inspired others through their actions.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Spring Calls, Winter Answers

        It's Poetry Friday, and Tanita David is hosting HERE on her blog, {fiction, instead of lies}, bringing us to thoughts about freedom, being "discharged and disentangled". I'm planning to post it on the wall by my desk! Thanks for the special words and for hosting, Tanita!

created by Linda M.
       I thought I had a special plan for this Poetry Friday, the one just a few days until Spring. And then, this happened! It will continue to snow until Friday morning. Then, it will be near 60 degrees by Tuesday, the spring equinox! That's Colorado!

Underneath all that white is what I planned to show; the hardy daylilies are up. I have some crocus, too, but they were about to open. I waited too long!

        I've recently discovered this book, a poem, wishing for Spring by Langston Hughes, first published in 1925. 

        Tequitia Andrews's enticing illustrations focus on the young boy on the cover, wishing and waiting for his "earth song", which Hughes writes, "It's a spring song." What more means spring than blowing dandelion seeds while making a wish?

Monday, March 4, 2024

Monday Reading - Books to Know!


        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! 

          There's trouble in Clarice Bean's life. She's bored, her sister is mad at her. And, her sister has roller skates, something Clarice would certainly love. But she only seems to have a dog, one that's a stray who won't go away, hence that "Scram!" in the title. Young readers just beginning to read longer chapter books will love Clarice, if they haven't alread read some of her other adventures by Lauren Child. Kids have problems to navigate, too, and this story shows that very well, a great connection to young lives. There are some hilarious moments when Clarice attempts to hide the dog and the story includes great illustrations in just-right places. 
         I am late sharing. This came out last year. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy!

        And, thanks also to Candlewick Press for my copy of John Schu's Louder Than Hunger

       Everyone needs to read this, every.single.person. Perhaps you are a parent who loves a child but doesn't understand his or her struggles. Perhaps you are a teacher who will gain insight into what students often face, the ones who hear words like "You're a nobody." and "What a loser." or find hate-filled notes in the locker, but also those who do those acts, say those words. Why do they need to hurt? Perhaps you are either of the kids. Finding a story that meets one's own experiences can be a connection that is so needed. John Schu offers that in this story of Jake, a kid who is satisfying a voice he's allowed in his head, a voice that rules Jake's eating. As he tells in the book, he's invited it in and it says things to him like when a person helping him talk about different challenges, it yells "DON'T TRUST HER." or "SHE'S TRYING TO TRICK YOU." Finding a way to silence that voice and find a new way to live life is what Jake's story shows. Finding a way to reach so many who will find the story important personally is a challenge for all of us readers. It's time to find and read Louder Than Hunger, then share!

          This book was published in 1989 and donated, along with many other adult ballet books, to the used bookstore where I volunteer (an all-volunteer non-profit). The illustrations seem as lovely as Nijinsky's dancing. It tells of his childhood with his siblings, traveling with his parents who danced, and the heartbreak of his father abandoning the family. His mother carried on and taught all three to dance, but the first celebration came when Nijinsky was awarded entry into the Imperial Ballet School. Each page tells a part of his story while the adjoining page holds the illustration; the look is like a short scrapbook. I enjoyed reading these 'snapshots' of Nijinsky's life, with family stories surrounding him. 

            Nine of the best YA novelists working today have written fiction based on a prompt from Printz-winner A.S. King (who also contributes a story), and the result is an intriguing collection. I am now older but wish I could return to my own teens to dig deeper into friends' lives, to imagine, and then see the truth of what they may have been collecting. Today's teens might see an opening into their own lives (That's me! That's me!) or imagine an opening to a secret group not imagined yet! It could spark something real in their lives to raise them out of the darkness where they often feel abandoned. Or, it could become a book they relish, just for the outrageous or the courageous teens they meet in every story. It's a gift from A.S. King and those other special authors she invited along with her.