Friday, June 22, 2018

Poetry Friday - Sloth Poetry Swap


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 Michelle Kogan's blog to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Hello and happy Friday! I joined the Poetry Friday community last July and I had just missed the Summer Poetry Swap. So I have been looking forward to participating for nearly a year and I just sent off my 1st poem.

A word to the person who receives mine: I decided to do a concrete poem, and I hand wrote it. I apologize for my tiny chicken scratch! I do have a digital copy for you as well, so just let me know when you get it (I don't want to email early and ruin the fun) and I'll send it your way. I did write my email on the postcard, but I don't even trust my trying-to-be-neat handwriting. :)

I received my first poem of the swap this week and it was from none other than the amazing Tabatha Yeatts. She wrote me a sloth-themed poem and she even put cute sloth tape on the envelope. 



SLOTHS
by Tabatha Yeatts
for Rebecca
 
A sloth has fur so thick it lends
itself to sheltering small friends

Their shaggy selves might turn pea green
when algae is the friend who's seen

 then they match the leaves they eat
and their homey tree retreat.

 Since they create a habitat
for beetles, moths, and things like that,

 though people say they're solitary,
you might want to say "Not very!"


I loved her poem not only because it has to do with sloths, but she also included a little note about the community connection to our Poetry Friday community. She did say, though, that "that makes poetry the sloth and we're the bugs." That image makes me smile. Thank you, Tabatha.





Monday, June 11, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 6/11/18


The weekly post where I recap some of the KidLit books I've been reading. Ocasionally, I'll also talk about 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 piles.

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Picture Book 

written by Amy Dixon
illustrated by Karl James Mountford
Sterling Children's Books, 2017

I absolutely love this picture book. It is funny and heartfelt and just great. Both of my kids sat through multiple readings. Mountford's illustrations are fantastic. Highly recommend. 


Middle Grade

written by Jan Eldredge
illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
Balzer + Bray, 2018

Another fantastic read. I love excellent kidlit horror, and this one grabbed me from the get go. Highly recommend. Read my full review here.


Young Adult

by Scott Westerfeld
Simon Pulse, 2014

Scott Westerfeld is always so consistent in his ability to tell a great story. This one was particularly fun because of the NaNoWriMo component. As an aspiring writer, I found myself easily cheering for the writer protagonist. The format of Afterworlds is pretty unique because it is essentially two books/stories wrapped together. Recommend. 


Adult Fiction

by Jonathan Maberry
St. Martin's Press, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. It is creepy and unsettling and wonderful. The story is essentially about what happens when nightmares and reality collide and spill into each other. Jonathan Maberry, with all his amazing skill, has written a book about dreams that actually makes you feel like you are in a waking dream. And it's just fantastic.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU by Jan Eldredge - Middle Grade Book Review

illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
Balzar + Bray, 2018

At a Glance


Genre(s):

supernatural, folklore, horror


Age Range: 

8-12 years old (middle grade)

Plot:

"Twelve-year-old haunt huntress apprentice Evangeline Clement spends her days and nights studying the ways of folk magic, honing her monster-hunting skills while pursuing local bayou banshees and Johnny revenants."

"But when Evangeline and her grandmother are called to New Orleans to resolve an unusual case, she uncovers a secret that will shake her to the soles of her silver-tipped alligator-skin boots." (source)

Strengths:

  • excellent overall storytelling
  • the mix of folklore was fantastic
  • I liked Evangeline's character and I think kids will relate
  • Just the right amount of creep factor for the age range
  • Werewolves!
  • illustrations were so much fun
  • a twist actually surprised me 

Weaknesses

  • I had a slightly difficult time picturing the setting for the final battle 

Would I recommend this title:

Most definitely yes!

Full Review

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I am always on the lookout for good kid appropriate horror. Evangeline of the Bayou totally fits the bill. I love all the folklore that Jan is able to pull into the novel. Her descriptions actually have me wanting more, in a good way. I want to go on every single hunt with Evangeline and her Grandma to see how each baddie--big and small--is handled. I hope that there will be a sequel.

Joseph Kuefler's black and white illustrations throughout the book are fun and add a bit to the creep factor without going overboard. 

I feel like Evangeline's character is relatable, especially to the target age group. That is what makes the book so great. Growing up, living up to expectations--both internal and external, death, and loss are all artfully intertwined into a story about a young girl fighting monsters. What is not to like?

It was hard for me to come up with anything negative about this book because I enjoyed it so much. The one place that I struggled slightly was during the setting for the final fight. It was probably my own fault, but I just had a hard time picturing the set up. Fortunately, as the scene got going, I was able jump back in and get a sense of everything. That was really the only place that I remember being pulled out of the story, and it was just a brief moment. Story-wise, I understand why Jan placed the battle where she did though. 

One thing that I give total props to Jan for is getting me with a few twists. I usually have things all figured out by the end, but she got me.  I tip my hat to you, Madam. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys folklore, spooky stories, or just great storytelling.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Poetry Friday - A Is for Alvarezsaurus



It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. Be sure to check out Keisha Shepard's blog, Whispers from the Ridgeto see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Hello and Happy Friday! I am back from my fun (and exhausting!) trip to Tennessee. 13.5 hours driving (not including stops) in one day is a lot to do with two little ones in tow. But we made do. It is always great to see family and watch the cousins play together.

Animal Alphabets (an A-Z twitter drawing prompt, but I use it as a poetry prompt) just started fresh with a new theme of extinct animals. A was for Alvarezsaurus (which posted this past Monday) and I had some fun writing an acrostic for it. I meant to do a little sketch to go along with the poem (as it primarily is an illustration prompt) but I ran out of time. I am kind of glad that I did, because now I don't feel so much pressure to accompany each letter with a poem and a drawing. 

(c) Rebecca Herzog 2018

I was really excited when they announced the theme was extinct animals. I was thinking they would pick animals like the passenger pigeon, and the black rhinoceros. Well, next Monday, B is for Boreaspis! Boreaspis was a jawless fish from the Devonian period that had a long pointy snout. You can learn a bit more here. Ha! Piece of cake, right?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Poetry Friday - Giveaway Winner + Tennessee


It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. Be sure to check out Reflections on the Teche to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Hello and Happy Friday! Last week I reviewed and held a giveaway for Chris Harris' I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups.

written by Chris Harris
illustrated by Lane Smith

And now for the winner (as picked by the random.org number generator)! Drum-roll please!!!



Dani Burtsfield
Congratulations! Please email me at slothreads1985 (at) gmail (dot) com to claim this awesome book. 

Today My family and I are driving up to Tennessee to visit more family. So I thought it would be appropriate to share The Volunteer State's official state poem. I have included a snippit from the background of the poem, also found at the link below. 


"Naval Admiral William Lawrence composed "Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee" while enduring a 60 day period of solitary confinement in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. Lawrence spent a total of six years as a POW during the Vietnam War. This poem describes the love and longing he felt for his beautiful home state:"


Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee
by William Lawrence

Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee
What Love and Pride I Feel for Thee.
You Proud Ole State, the Volunteer,
Your Proud Traditions I Hold Dear.
 
I Revere Your Heroes
Who Bravely Fought our Country's Foes.
Renowned Statesmen, so Wise and Strong,
Who Served our Country Well and Long.
 
I Thrill at Thought of Mountains Grand;
Rolling Green Hills and Fertile Farm Land;
Earth Rich with Stone, Mineral and Ore;
Forests Dense and Wild Flowers Galore;

Monday, May 21, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Book Giveaway!

The weekly post where I recap some of the KidLit books I've been reading. Ocasionally, I'll also talk about 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 piles.

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Happy Monday everyone! I am giving away a copy of Chris Harris' I'm Just No Good at Rhyming. Click here to enter!


Today is a post of recent books that I have absolutely loved. Have you read any of them?


Poetry


written by Chris Harris
illustrated by Lane Smith
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017)


My family absolutely LOVED this collection of poems. I cannot recommend it enough. You can read my full review here and enter to win a copy as well!


Middle Grade

by Cassie Beasley
(Penguin Young Readers, 2017)


This book is absolutely beautifully written. I love middle grade because I find the stories engaging. Not only is Tumble and Blue  a fun story, it is expertly written. Read my full review here.


Picture Book

by Ben Hatke
(First Second, 2016)


Another fantastic read. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys the game Dungeons and Dragons or just epic fantasies like The Hobbit. It takes the genre and turns it on its head. And Ben Hatke's illustrations are always wonderful.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Poetry Friday - Poetry Book Giveaway!


It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. I am hosting the round up today, so be sure to check out the links at the end to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Hello and Happy Friday! I am super excited to be hosting the Poetry Round Up today. I cannot wait to see everyone's contributions this week.

To celebrate, I have decided to do a book giveaway. Be sure to read to the end to find out how to win a copy!

written by Chris Harris
illustrated by Lane Smith


I checked this one out from the library not too long ago, and my family absolutely LOVED it. I have an 8-year-old and an 18-month-old. My husband and I would each take turns reading a few poems each night before bedtime. My daughter, without fail, would beg for "just one more" poem to be read.

The poems are really funny. Like belly-laugh-my-cheeks-hurt funny. (I guess that makes me an immature grown-up? YES, I'll take it!) Not only were Harris' poems hilarious, but many of them also had a lot of heart. He does not pander to kids, but yet is able to really convey some great messages (think Shel Silverstein's "Listen to the Mustn'ts").

Another aspect of this book that was fantastic is that it begs to be read aloud. The poems were just the right length and the humor really popped when reading to the family. I especially enjoyed the poems that went back and forth between two characters because I would read one side, and my daughter would read the other.

The illustrations are great too, and add a lot to the humor. Not only do the they support the poems, but they are actually vital to some of them. I liked the banter back and forth between poet and illustrator too.

This is they type of collection that inspires me to sit down and write. The poems read so effortlessly that I think, Man, I want to write a collection of poems.  And then I sit down and try, and realize how hard it is to write something so good. But it still makes me want to keep trying! Chris Harris really is a great children't poet.

And now for the giveaway! 


All you have to do to enter to win a copy of I'm Just No Good at Rhyming is comment on this post below by Thursday, May 24th at 5:00pm EST. You can get a bonus entry if you share this post on social media too (just let me know where you shared it--facebook, twitter, etc--in your comment). The winner will be announced next Friday. Good luck! And be sure to check out all the other Poetry Friday posts too!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Poetry Friday - Student Postcard Project


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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Hello everyone! I am finally back from a longish break of blog posting. Do you ever just need to step back for a bit? Now I'm feeling refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things! 

This week I am sharing a fantastic poetry postcard that I got from Emily B., who is in 5th grade. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your poetry talent, and thank you to Jone MacCulloch, the amazing media specialist at Silver Star Elementary, for organizing the postcard project. It was a real treat to open the mailbox and see the poem.


Zebra drinks
Crocodile chomps
Zebra gone
(c) Emily B.
5th grade

I love the imagery of the poem. I can totally see the crocodile sneaking up on the crocodile. And I love her artwork on the postcard. I especially like how she added the lion's shadow on the savanna. So great.

This week, the poetry round up is over at Jama's Alphabet Soup, so be sure to check it out. And make sure to stop back next week, because I'll be hosting the round up!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Poetry Friday - A Snowflake


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 Heidi Mordhorst's blog, My Juicy Little Universe, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Hello Poetry Friday Friends! We're in the tail end of spring break here. It has been a fun week of relaxing and sleeping in (a little--the toddler doesn't understand that concept yet).

I've been meaning to share a little poem my 8 year old daughter brought home, but I kept forgetting to ask her permission. She brought it home back in the middle of December so it has a sort of winter feel. I told her I'd let her know what everyone thinks, so be sure to leave her a little note in the comments if you have a second. 



A Snowflake
by Samantha Herzog

A Snowflake is a
Warm cuddle from my mom
In the cool morning



Friday, March 23, 2018

Poetry Friday - Golden Shovel


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 Laura Purdie Salas' blog, Writing the World for Kids, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Happy Friday, everyone! The wonderful Laura Purdie Salas, who is hosting this week's round up, is one of the "elite 8" authletes still in the Madness! So be sure to check out her firefighter poem!

By way of announcement, I have revealed my theme for the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This will be my first year and I've decided to collaborate with my eight-year-old daughter and write 26 flash fiction stories for kids. You can read more about my theme here.

For my poem today, I decided to give Michelle Barne's Ditty of the Month a go. This month, the challenge was to pull one line from one of the poems Michelle shared and create a golden shovel poem. You can read her post and selected poems here.

Your Time Is Up
-a Golden Shovel from the 13th line of Tyrone Bitting’s poem, Truth

Pack your bags. Go on, Leave!
What do you want? A gold star? An “A”? 
I’m tired of your games. They’re messed-up
Brain games toying with my mind
I’m done with your abuse. Vamoose. Am I clear?

 After trying my own hand at one, I can't imagine writing a whole book of golden shovels! That's exactly what Nikki Grimes did in her award winning poetry collection, One Last Word:Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. In it, her golden shovel poems are paired with and inspired by poets of the Harlem Renaissance. I can't wait to check it out.


Until another week, poetry friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

TUMBLE AND BLUE by Cassie Beasley - Middle Grade Book Review

(Dial Books, August 2017)

At a Glance


Genre(s):

Magical Realism, Adventure


Age Range: 

Middle Grade

Plot:

"When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him.

But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night’s fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both . . . and their descendants. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones.

Now, Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery are determined to fix their ancestors’ mistakes and banish the bad luck that’s followed them around for all of their lives. They’re going to face Munch the gator themselves, and they’re going to reclaim their destinies." (source: Goodreads)

Strengths:

  • Absolutely beautifully written
  • The pacing is excellent - no slow parts
  • The magical part of the magical realism was woven so expertly that everything felt natural
  • The two main characters felt real and distinct
  • Munch, the gator
  • The opening!
  • The ending!

Weaknesses

  • It was over too fast (because I couldn't put it down--not an actual story flaw)

Would I recommend this title:

100% yes! 

Full Review

Every few years, I come across a book that leaps into my list of favorite books. I will proclaim my love for these books to anyone who will listen. Tumble and Blue is that type of book. 

First, let me talk a bit about much I enjoyed the actual writing in this book. I found myself repeatedly grinning from ear to ear at the beautiful prose. Now, I'm not saying it was flowery or gushy or showy. It was just a joy to read because of how well it was crafted. I knew after the first chapter that I wanted to slow down a bit and really enjoy the book.

Cassie Beasley's pacing was great throughout. I never felt like the story got bogged down (pun intended.) She did an excellent job at giving the reader just enough information to move the story forward, but left parts a mystery to be discovered later. 

And I loved Tumble and Blue. Both of these characters were vivid and fleshed out. Their problems were real, heartbreaking problems that most kids could empathize with.  I  also enjoyed all entire Montgomery clan and their crazy mishaps. 

One of the best parts about Tumble and Blue is that the emphasis of the magical realism is really on the realism part. Beasley doesn't rely on the fantastical parts of the story to dazzle and wow the reader. Instead, she is able to make everyday life in rural Georgia jump of the page. 

Tumble and Blue  was truly a delight to read. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/19/2018

#IMWAYR


The weekly post where I recap some of the KidLit books I've been reading. Ocasionally, I'll also talk about 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 piles.

____________________

Picture Books

They All Saw a Cat
by Brendan Wenzel

This is an extremely clever and accessible way to teach children about different perspectives. And it is just all around fun. Definitely worth checking out!


Every Day Birds
written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
illustrated by Dylan Metrano

A wonderful read, this book introduces children to 20 common birds found in many places in the USA. The cutout paper illustrations are gorgeous and the back matter is excellent.


My Beautiful Birds
by Suzanne Del Rizzo

Suzanne Del Rizzo captures both the heartbreak and hope so many refugees carry. The mixed media illustrations are unique and help set this book apart. 


Rot: The Cutest in the World!
by Ben Clanton

I love it when a book is able to pull off a great unexpected ending. You know a twist is coming, but then it is executed in such a great and unexpected way. We all chuckled at this one and my 8yo daughter has reread it to her little brother multiple times.



2018 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal


The April A to Z Challenge is only a few weeks away and I will be participating for the 1st time!

If you aren't familiar with the challenge, bloggers from all over the world will post 26 topics from A to Z throughout the month of April.

And today is the big Theme Reveal Day! Drumroll please!

.
...
.....
.......
.....
...
.

#Kidlit Short Stories with A to Z Words Chosen by My 8-year-old Daughter


I am so excited to participate in this fun challenge. Most of the stories will probably be closer to flash fiction, but there may be a few that go longer. I can't wait to start sharing them with you, so please be sure to come back on April 1st!



Friday, March 16, 2018

Poetry Friday - Happy St. Patrick's Day


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, TeacherDance, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays--St. Patrick's Day. Maybe it's because St. Patrick's Day is close to my birthday, or maybe it's because I make mounds of fried cabbage (no one else likes it but me!). But really I think it's because I like to make little green foot prints around the toilet bowl and dye the water green. I always get a kick out of my daughter being indignant that a leprechaun used our bathroom.

To celebrate, I am sharing another Shel Silverstein poem, The Search. I just finished reading Where the Sidewalk Ends to the kids and I love how fun reading his poetry aloud can be.

(c) Shel Silverstein
Orginally published in Where the Sidewalk Ends

I also have a bit of good news! Two of my poems that I wrote back in October for my Poetry Inktober challenge are being published by Spaceports and Spidersilk magazine later this year. I am especially excited because this will by my first time being published. So hooray for that!

Also, Donna over at Mainely Write piqued my interest in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge that starts in a few week. I am really excited to do my theme reveal this coming Monday, so be sure to come back and see what I have planned.

Monday, March 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 3/12/18

#IMWAYR


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.
                                         

Madness! Poetry is going on right now. If you're looking for a way to get more poetry into the classroom, check this awesome competition out.


Picture Books

Best in Snow
by April Pulley Sayre

I loved this book. The photos are breathtaking and the text is beautiful. It is done so well that I feel like I can hear the tinkling sound the falling snow makes. Simply stunning.


What to Do With a Box
written by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Chris Sheban

Jane Yolen is a master at rhyme and rhythm. I love the playfulness of this story. My 16-month-old will climb into any box he can fit (and even some that he can't). The illustrations are wonderful and look like they were actually painted on cardboard. The textures in the illustrations are great. 




Poetry

An Eyeball in My garden and Other Spine-Tingling Poems
selected and edited by Jennifer Cole Judd and Laura Wynkoop
illustrated by Johan Olander

I love anything spooky, so I obviously loved this collection of creepy poems. So often with anthologies, I find a few poems that I enjoy and then the rest are kind of just ho-hum. Not so with this collection. Was either genuinely creepy or funny-spooky. Perfect read aloud for the 7-10 age range (and beyond). The black and white illustrations also help to bring the poems to life. 


Friday, March 9, 2018

March Writing Updates and Goals

I feel like it has been a while since I did a writing update. The beginning of this year has been hectic. I cannot believe that it is already March. Where the heck does the time go?

While I could always be doing more, I feel like I have drastically increased how much I write compared to a year ago. I feel like consistency is a major key. I may only be able to write 500 words a day, but if I do that 5x a week for a month, that's over 10,000 words. I'm still not quite hitting that mark, but that's what I'm aiming at right now--500 words a day.

Here are a few of the things I'm proud of so far in 2018:

  • 2 picture book drafts completed
  • 1 picture book revision
  • 2 middle grade short story drafts
  • 31 poems written
  • 9 rejections (this is a good thing!)
  • Chosen to be authlete in Madness! Poetry
  • Active in 2 critique groups
  • completed round 2 judging for Cybils picture book/board book categories
  • Read 40 books (all but 8 were picture books)

And here are a few of my writing goals for this month:
  • write 1 new picture book manuscript
  • write 10 poems
  • revise 1 picture book
  • revise and submit middle grade short story
  • attend my critique groups
  • outline my chapter book so I can start writing it next month
  • continue to read good books

Poetry Friday - Spooky Recommendation


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 the amazing Michelle Barnes' blog,  Today's Little Ditty to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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Hello and Happy Friday! Last week I was posting about the Madness Poetry beginning. This week I am posting about my Madness Poetry ending. I was up against a tough authlete, Myrna Foster, in the 1st round, and she out-poeted me.

 Our word was MAHOGANY and she did a suburb job with her poem. You can read our 1st round poems HERE. I don't know why, but I struggled with the rhythm of the word. Ah well. Good luck to Myrna in the next round.




It was fantastic. If you've even semi-regularly read my blog, you'd know that I love creepy, especially creepy-for-kids done well. And this collection does just that. Highly recommend!

Monday, March 5, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 3/5/2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


The weekly post where I recap some of 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.
                                         


Mouse
written and illustrated by Zebo Ludvicek

This is a delightful book. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and the story is so much fun. Very inventive way to look at the letters of the alphabet. Highly recommend.



Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
written by Derrick Barnes
illustrated by Gordon C. James

Another beautiful book. The detail in the illustrations is astounding. The rhythm of  the text is so perfect and it really pulls you right into the barber's chair. Highly recommend. 



Night Light
written and illustrated by Nicholas Blechman

I picked this book off the shelf on a whim and ended up loving it. The die-cut lights throughout the book are seriously fantastic. Great for little fingers and kids who are into vehicles. Recommend to anyone looking for an inventive counting book.




Friday, March 2, 2018

Poetry Friday - Snoop Dogg


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 No Water River: The Chidlren's Poetry Place to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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It's that time of year again! Madness! Poetry is back. A year ago, I stumbled into the competition, applied and became an "authlete." Before that, I hadn't really written much poetry. And while I didn't start posting regularly with Poetry Friday here on the blog until July, the Madness! Poetry competition was the start of my love of writing poetry. So YAY for that!

I am so delighted to be participating again this year. Apparently, I even think about in my sleep. Last night, I dreamt that it was the big day of the 1st round of poems. But instead of being online, it was in person and set up more like a rap off, but for poetry. And my opponent was none other than Snoop Dogg. I was so worried because he was so good and everyone was there to hear him. I woke up laughing.

I think I've had rapping on the mind because my son is really into The Storybots right now. It's an educational show that sings rap-like songs to teach kids different topics. I am amazed at how well written the show and songs are. I really get a lot out of the rhythm and how much info they're able to pack into a single song. I've kind of been using it as "mentor texts" since my son wants to watch the over and over and over. Below is one of my favorites, but they are all great.




We Are the Planets
by the Storybots

We are the planets of the solar system
Different sizes for everyone
The music never ends
We are such good friends
And we all orbit the sun

Here comes the sun rapping first on this track from the beginning
I'm the center of the solar system
Planets be spinning around me
So hot
Im roasting you see
Now I pass the mic
To planet closest to me

Mercury the smallest planet
Small as earth's moon (yo!)
I get super hot and cold and I spin very slow

I'm Venus
I got mountains and volcanoes that spray
I'm the same size as Earth but spin the opposite way

I'm Earth
I'm the home to every boy an girl
Such beautiful, beautiful world

I'm Mars
The red planet I got deserts and ice
I got two moons, nice
That's like one moon twice

I'm Jupiter
The biggest planet
I'm humongous, gargantuan
I spin the fastest
Rap the fastest
Plus I'm handsome
Blam, son!

Oh please
I'm Saturn
Check out my beautiful rings
Made out of billions of rocks, dust and other things

I'm Uranus
I say that with pride
Okay, I lied
I'm embarrassed because I'm the only planet lying on it's side

I'm Neptune
I'm cold, dark, windy and mysterious
I'm vey stormy, so bring an umbrella
I'm serious!

We are the planets of the solar system
Different sizes for everyone
The music never ends
We are such good friends
And we all orbit the sun

Friday, February 23, 2018

Poetry Friday - Snow Gators


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 Elizabeth Steinglass's blog to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 
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After a stint of having a tough time sitting down and writing, I feel like I am finally getting back into the swing of things. I am playing catch up a bit in the February Poetry Challenge, but I am determined to have 28+ poems by the 28th. 

This week I had the chance to share a piece of artwork from my own home. I chose a recent piece that my husband illustrated (you can see more of his work here, if you're interested). It was was so much fun to see everyone's ekphrastic poetry responses. You can see mine below.

illustration (c) John Herzog

Snow Gators

Snowbirds flock
To Florida
Each winter
And relax
On sunny beaches

But some folks
Scamper North
To frolic
In the snow. 
Are they snow gators? 
(c) Rebecca Herzog