Friday, November 24, 2017

Poetry Friday - Thank You and Good Night


It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out  Carol's Corner to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Happy Day After Thanksgiving! AKA Turkey Hangover Day. I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. I am in Tennessee visiting my parents and we are enjoying the colder weather. We drive home to Florida tomorrow. These trips always pass too fast.




Today I decided I wanted to share a snippet from Patrick McDonnell's picture book, Thank You and Good Night. I read this for the first time a few months ago and fell in love. I do not buy many books, but this was a immediate purchase. If you haven't had a chance to read it, seek it out. It has a wonderful, surprise ending.


The sun, the moon,
a red balloon.
Hiding, seeking,
fun with friends,
a shooting-star wish
that it never ends.
Cozy pajamas,
a happy surprise,
night birds singing
sweet lullabies.
Bedtime stories,
old and new,
read with love,
to me,
by you.
A long, long list
of that and this, 
ending with a good-night kiss.
© Patrick McDonnell 2015

Friday, November 17, 2017

Poetry Friday - Monster Museum


It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out Jane at Raincity Librarian to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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We are over halfway through November so that means that I must have hit the halfway mark of 25k on my NaNoWriMo book! Cue laughter and knee slapping. Yeah, I have fallen so far behind, that it's not even funny. BUT I will continue to write and get those words on the page. Now on to Poetry Friday!


Monster Museum
poems by Marilyn Singer
illustrations by Gris Grimly


I am a huge fan of of Gris Grimly's illustrations, and that is what drew me to this book. It is a complete coincidence that the poems were written by Marilyn Singer (I reviewed another one of her poetry books last week.) I guess I must really enjoy her poems!

I like all things monsters, so I knew I was going to enjoy this book, but I was surprised by what I learned. I liked the overarching story that ties all of the poems together; it follow a group of kids through a museum and the tour guide is the narrator in the poems. 

I often approach poetry where I just sit down and try to come up with an idea on the spot, and rarely is there any theme/continuity from poem to poem. Last month, I wrote a poem a day, using a set of prompt words that I came up with. My Inktober poems, along with Singer's Monster Museum, made me realize that I could approach my own poetry this way. I think it could help me have more focus, and less anxiety when writing. That's not to say that I always have to stick with a theme if the mood strikes, but I think it could help.

While all the poems in the book were fun, I think my favorite was about a dancing zombie because I wrote a poem about a cha-cha-ing zombie for Madness Poetry.


The Zombie

Have you seen a zombie samba?
Have you seen it bunny-hop?
Have you seen it do a polka
Or that old dance called "the slop"?

Have you seen a zombie hustle?
Would it tap-dance while you gawk?
Uh-uh, all a zombie ever does
is do the zombie walk!
© Marilyn Singer, 2001


Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/13/17




The weekly post where I recap all the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Occasionally, I’ll also review some adult fiction books as well.


Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR pile.
                                         

Board Books



Baby Loves Quantum Physics!
written by Ruth Spire
illustrated b Irene Chan

I really enjoy these "Baby Loves" books. If you would have told me that there was a board book explaining Schrodinger's Cat for babies, I would have laughed. But lo and behold they have done it, and quite well! I like the illustrations and I also like that the books are accurate without being dense or complicated. 


Where Is My Coat? Farm Animals
by Anita Bijsterbosh 

A cute book that uses both color and silhouettes. You can read my full review here.


Picture Books

This Is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen


I love when picture books use dramatic irony in their illustrations. It is fun to read what the little fish thinks is going on, and then see and infer what is actually happening. My daughter got a kick out of this book.


Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise
written by Sean Taylor  
illustrated by Jean Jullien

We laughed out loud while reading this book. I like the bold illustrations and the little owl is very comical. Definitely worth a read. 

Poetry



 Fireflies at Midnight
poems by Marilyn Singer
pictures by Ken Robbins


I enjoyed these summer-y poems and the photos that accompany each one. I talk a bit more about this book here.



Non-KidLit


 The Emerald Circus
by Jane Yolen
introduction by Holly Black

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. If you like fairy tales, Jane Yolen does a fantastic job of re-imagining 10 great stories in this book. You can read my full review here.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Poetry Friday - Fireflies at Midnight


It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out Jama's Alphabet Soup, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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I hope that everyone is having a fantastic November day. It's still bright and sunny here in Florida. We had a cold snap last week--it got down into the low 70s during the day and the low 50s at night! Hopefully it'll cool back down again once we approach Thanksgiving.

NaNoWriMo has been keeping me busy (I'm actually a few thousand words behind). With all my time devoted to trying to hit my word goal, I am not sure how many poems I will get a chance to write this month. So instead, I have checked out some wonderful poetry books from the library and I figured I could review them here. 

Fireflies at Midnigth
poems by Marilyn Singer
Pictures by Ken Robbins

I love fireflies and have fond memories of catching them when I was a kid. This collection of poems focuses on all sorts of animals--from otters to butterflies to foxes. It definitely has a sort of summer-y feel to it. 

My favorite poem in the book is all about a spider. Being a stay-at-home mom, my life revolves around the inner workings of the house--dinners, bills, late nights, long days, bed times, tickle fights. I love that my home is the hub for all that I hold dear. I wonder, though, if the Spider relishes in the few moments of alone time she gets when she goes grocery shopping by herself. No? Just me? 

Spider
Web is the work
is the home
is the trap
is the hub
is the map
is the night
is the day
is the hour
is the power
is the pattern
is the way
© Marilyn Singer 2003

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen - Short Story Collection Review

The Emerald Circus
by Jane Yolen
with introduction by Holly Black
I received and ARC of this book to review


At a Glance


Genre(s)/Categories:


Adult fantasy, short story collection, fairy tales


Plot:

In this short story collection, readers are swept away with familiar characters to re-imagined lands and tales. Wendy leads a labor strike in Neverland. Dorothy learns to tightrope walk. And Emily Dickinson travels the stars.  This collection of 10 stories is mesmerizing at every page turn.

Pros:

  • I love fairy tales re-imagined and this collection is fantastic.
  • Every story is accompanied by an author's note and a poem
  • Jane Yolen has taken well-known characters and made the fresh and new
  • Each story stands alone while simultaneously weaving together similar themes

Cons:

  • I could have read 10 more stories!
  • I wish the author's story notes would have accompanied each story instead of being in the back of the book (it was difficult to flip back and forth on my Kindle) 


Would I recommend this title:

Yes, yes, yes!


Full Review:


I am a big fan of Jane Yolen's children's books. So I was excited to be able to read some of her adult work as well. This book did not disappoint. My experience with short story collections is that they are usually a mixed bag--there are a few great stories mixed in with some not so great stories. That was not the case with The Emerald Circus. Almost every one of Jane's stories knocked it out of the park for me. 

Just as each act in a circus can be enjoyed on its own but also serves to make the whole circus better, each story in The Emerald Circus is satisfying by itself while also enriching the whole. Jane is a master storyteller and I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys storytelling at it's finest. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/6/17




The weekly post where I recap all the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Occasionally, I’ll also review some adult fiction books as well.

Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR pile.
                                         

Board Books

Rapunzel (Once Upon a World)
written by Chloe Perkins 
illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

I loved the illustrations in the book. I also like the idea of these fairy tales taking place in different countries around the world--India in this one. The story is true to the original Rapunzel story. I do feel like it is a bit text heavy for a board book, however. 


In My Tree
written by Sara Gillingham
illustrated by Lorena Siminovich

My son absolutely loved this book. The owl is a finger puppet and he loved that interaction. He would giggle and giggle as we made the little owl play in the rain and shake off the raindrops afterwards. There are few words so it was easy to read this one over and over in one sitting. 


Picture Books


Town is by the Sea
written by Joanne Schwartz
illustrated by Sydney Smith

This is a hauntingly beautiful story. The illustrations are wonderful and do a great job to convey the story. This book opened up a dialogue for my daughter about hope, tradition, and individual circumstance. She had a hard time grasping why someone would choose to work a dangerous job just because that's what their parents did. This would be a great text for older children as well.



Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal 
written by Josh Funk
illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo

A cute story about how our perceptions and reality can be different from one another. I liked how the boy and the dragon would interpret what the other was writing based on their own experiences. The illustrations were fun too.


Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing
written by Leda Schubert 
pictures by Raúl Colón

I am always surprised at how engaged my 7 year old can get with nonfiction. She loves to learn and especially loves to read about real people. This book does a fantastic job of bring Pete Seeger to life. After reading, we looked him up on YouTube so she could see him talk and sing in real life. She has a basic understanding of some of the things happening in the country right now, and she was able to make connections of how we can make things better by working together, which is the message of this book.



Non-KidLit

Deadlands: Boneyard
by Seanan McGuire

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The premise was amazing and definitely worth the read. You can see my full review here.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Poetry Friday - Inktober Finale



It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out Linda's blog, Teacher Dance, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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I am giving away a copy of Ben Hatke's Mighty Jack and the Goblin King!

 Be sure to enter!


I did it! 31 poems in 31 days. It may seem like a small feat to some, but I'm pretty proud of myself. Most of them won't see the light of day after this month, a few turned out pretty good, and ALL of them were absolutely fun to write. Which were your favorites?

I am hoping to keep the momentum going as I start NaNoWriMo. Because I did Inktober, I know to expect the mid-month slump and that I can power through it. This is always a fun time of year. 








Poetry Friday - Thank You and Good Night

It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right  here . And be sure t...