Friday, June 9, 2023

Poetry Friday - Special Day for Special Family


             It's Poetry Friday! Thanks, Buffy Silverman HERE for hosting. Don't miss her post with amazing photos and poems. They're 'camouflaged'! 

       I had to write and share in honor of my brother, Jim, and sister-in-law, Glenna, on their special day. It's their 50th anniversary, wow! So many memories to gather, so many good times we've had although for years and years, we've lived apart. I am blessed to have them in my life.

        Here's a poem and a collage of one picture for every two years. I don't think you would be able to see any of them clearly if I had included fifty! They have three children and six grandchildren. In fact, they're on their way to celebrate both high school and college graduations of two of them! 

How It Was, Is, and Will Be


A jumble of years

with a tumble of tears,

then clusters of cheers –

your anniversary!


Celebrate every day,

one should never delay,

that filament a strand –                          

a guarantee.


50 years over land

over sea, holding hands,

sharing joy on demand –

a splendid spree!


Linda Baie ©

Monday, June 5, 2023

Monday Reading - Read These Books!


It's Monday - Book Love 


    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!

           Sara Pennypacker (remember the Pax stories?), with the help of a few illustrations by Matthew Cordell, has written a story for readers like no other about Leeva, a girl who seems to have been raised by parents who don't parent. In all actuality, Leeva, from a very young age, has been given an employee handbook of expectations. She does it all, cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, but the most asked of her is to stay out of their way. Oh, and to do a few math problems for her father some mornings. It is shocking to read in the story's beginning until Leeva draws strength enough to ask the question, "What are people for?" You see, she has never been to school, has never been out of the house, until, until, she must. And that is when she sneaks through the high hedge and discovers the library, discovers the librarians, also cookies and hugs and so much more. But it takes a while for those. Along the way, she also makes two other friends and learns that she actually can help them, too. Pennypacker's mixed-up world shows how kindness and accepting the unusual make life better. It's a surprise when it's nearly taken away but an equal surprise how Leeva responds. I loved every part, a new kind of world that became endearing in many ways.

         My neighbor just got their first 'family' dog, what is called a "Bernie-doodle" which is thousands of years from the first ones, per a timeline and story of dogs from Lita Judge. It's a special history for those who love dogs and those who wonder how the wolf which still survives became an important part of our lives. Whether a beloved pet, that "best friend" from the title, a rescue dog, or an explosive-sniffing or disease-sniffing animal, Lita Judge takes us along on this amazing journey of a pet we just might take for granted, but should not. There's a dog at my airport that greets passengers, welcoming and often assuaging human nerves as they head out. One text keeps the story going while an added piece relates more facts. "Dogs have a sense of smell between 10,000 and 100,000 times greater than that of humans." 
         Illustrations just make one smile at so, so many different dogs throughout their illustrious history. Lita adds an Author's Note that includes ways to help dogs, a double-page spread of a few varied dog breeds, another with short bios of famous dogs, a timeline, and sources. It is a terrific book!

    Thanks to Charlesbridge for these next two books!

                   For young readers who may not know one way that scientists learn about birds, this time, night birds, specifically saw-whet owls who are migrating south for the winter.  It's termed "catch and release". Young Sova is excited and is finally old enough to accompany her mother on this scientific journey. They arrive, put on headlamps, and go to check what is called a 'mist-net', a light net that will be able to catch any owl flying through. No owls are found at the first check so they go to the nearby sanctuary cabin where they will wait some time, then return to check again. The excitement lowers a bit and Sova learns that waiting, then waiting more, takes a lot of patience. They are eventually rewarded as the story moves along and as Susan Edwards Richmond shares some of the processes that will happen "if" they catch an owl, like measuring and weighing, and banding. The creative way of storytelling while taking readers on a research trip is a wonderful intro to this process. Maribel Lechuga's illustrations show the night in its mysteries beautifully, even adding a special page of Sova's pretending to fly with the owl. There is more information about owls and banding and lists for further reading at the back.

Friday, June 2, 2023

It's Poetry Friday - The Bouncing Ball


             It's Poetry Friday! Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect here, for hosting. She's sharing a poignant poem about moving, this time from her office of many years, brimful of memories! I imagine many will connect. Thank you, Tricia!

       Most of you will understand that this all came from my heart. You may know my grandson graduated last December from the University of Kentucky. What a special long weekend that was. Then, this week, Wednesday and Thursday, Grand-girls Imogene and Ingrid, graduated from fifth grade and eighth grade, off to middle school and high school! 

The Bouncing Ball Keeps Bouncing


there comes a line one crosses

or perhaps it is a bouncing ball

when one is a parent

from the sitting up without falling clown-like to the side

to the time the baby awakened,

and you went in to pick her up from her nap

and she stood, leaning over rattling the rail,

smiling big-time saying Out, Out!

you know the rest

down the steps and 'round the block

to a friend’s house

down the steps and into the car

off to kindergarten

up the steps and on the bus

bouncing off to middle school then high school

flying off to college

all mushed together like a layer cake

that icing in between so sweet

you keep tasting it

but sometimes, after a while,

the cake itself feels dry in one’s mouth

and you must wash it down with

water and more water

until you aren’t choking anymore

but only cherishing

the icing


Linda Baie (c) 

Also, I want to give a special shout-out to Laura Purdie Salas and Laura Shovan for their poetry books published recently. You can find my reviews on my blog or Goodreads, links under the book covers below. Congratulations, Laura and Laura!

Monday, May 29, 2023

It's Monday - Book Love


    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 placed this in the 'adult' category, too, hoping that many adults will read this heartfelt story of young Will Chambers, along with children or alone. Jarrett Lerner slams us into Will's story starting with a word, one word, yelled by another at Will in fourth grade, a word that colors his life for three years, and he says, a few more months, too. The struggles in his life because of the feelings ignited by that one word will touch everyone, whether it's past memories or current events happening right now, the journey is one that made me worry about Will's, and others', ability to survive. The moments of hope are short-lived until they aren't by the blessing of an interaction with another boy. Will's story has all the emotions, perhaps will be a mirror for many kids who can recognize the "work in progress" they are living. Don't miss reading Will's story!

     Cori Doerrfeld (A Rabbit Listened) shows us in her story that earning to look for the positive is a great way to be. Cooper, on the bicycle, hurries to get ready to welcome new neighbors in the village. As he moves along, He is excited and prepares a "welcome wagon" but as others join him along the way, he realizes that others are not so excited. Bobbi the bunny asks: "What if they don't want to meet us? What if we don't get along?" Cooper smiles and says, "Just come with me and see!" All along the path, other animals voice worries which Cooper continues to answer with positive words. 
      What a terrific way to show varied thoughts about something, or someone, new. And the best way to handle it. Full-page illustrations of all the residents and activities of Cubby Hill, adding more as Cooper moves along, create a delightful story of looking for the positive in something new instead of finding things to worry about.  

         Cooking up a great story with all the smells and trickery is something Bridget Magee does so well when she tells Antonio's story. Actually, Antonio tells his story; Bridget is the expert director. Oh, Antonio loves the sizzle of the skillet! He says "I'm perfect. . . Let the good times roll!" What he doesn't understand is when he hears the word "bite", but escape happens, at least for a while! Imagine reading this and choosing still another item, food, or something else, and telling that story. Bridget uses real photos accompanied by text and speech bubbles with great pizzazz to tell Antonio's story. It holds lots of emotion with thoughts of "Oh, no!" and "What will happen next?" all for a meatball Great fun!            

       Nearly thirty years ago, Ruby Bridges walked into her new school. She was escorted by U.S. Marshals, entered the school, and was the only one in her first-grade class. No other black children had been ordered to go there; the other three ordered to a white school attended a different one. Robert Coles tells the story, including the kindness of the teacher along with the courage of Ruby. It seems like the thing that gave her strength was a prayer, to pray for God to forgive those people who say bad things. "They don't know what they're doing." Beautiful illustrations show resolute and calm Ruby walking through an angry mob all those days!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

It's Poetry Friday - About Memorial Day


             It's Poetry Friday! Thanks, Patricia Franz at Reverie here, for hosting. She and her husband are celebrating a special wedding anniversary and she celebrates with a beautiful cento. 

The #poetrypals are writing ghazals today yet I chose to write about Memorial Day, a day important to me this time. But I did write a ghazal in April for poetry month if you'd like to see it! You can find it here! It certainly wasn't an easy form so I'm really looking forward to these newly crafted ones, imagining they will be terrific.

          Memorial Day is special to me. My father died in World War II, was a pilot shot down in the Pacific theater, never found. Other family members were in combat during that war and those since. Thankfully all survived. Every year, the memories return when I see the iris blooming and the peonies popping up. Those were the flowers we took to the cemetery, for remembrance of those we held in our hearts always.