Friday, August 31, 2018

Poetry Friday - Summer Poetry Swap: Fireflies and Tarantulas

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 Robyn Hood Black's amazing blog to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 

Hello and happy Poetry Friday! Today is going to be a short post because I am in the process of moving my blog from Blogger over to Wordpress. My laptop is on the fritz, and I have decided to try to work exclusively on my iPad. And Blogger does not play well with iPad. 

I did want to share the final two Summer Poetry Swaps that I received. It has been so much fun sending and receiving these poetry packages. I am so glad that I participated! Thank you Tabatha, for organizing the swap.

Linda Mitchell sent me a beautiful handmade card that went perfectly with her poem, Firefly Tea. I have it hanging on my cork board by my desk because it makes me smile every time I read it. She did a perfect job of capturing summer with my little ones. 

Firefly Tea
by Linda Mitchell

Summer Night
drops of dew

camp fire
circles loved ones
a ghost story
or two.

Sun burned nose
bare feet
swim suits drip
dreams sweet
set aside to steep
Drink slowly

And Carol Varsalona used the Buncee platform to send me some spook-filled Floridian poetry. She even included info on one of my pets, a Lasiodora parahybana--the Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eating Taratula!

She also sent my daughter and I these handmade bracelets from the charity, Bigger Than Beads. Needless to say, they were a big hit!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Poetry Friday - The Ravens

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 Christie blog, Wondering and Wandering, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Summer is winding down--my daughter is back in school, and my husband starts teaching again in a couple of weeks. While I love having both kids and my husband home, I am excited for the routine that comes with school.

Christie over at Wondering and Wandering put up a bird-related poem challenge. I have been wanting to try my hand again at a golden shovel poem, so I decided to pick a line from Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven". We're getting closer and closer to October, so I'll take any chance I can get to bring out the spookiness.

Originally, I planned on having my poem be informational. Did you know a group of them is called an "unkindness" or a "conspiracy"? Or that they're the world's largest songbird? Or that they play pranks?

As I started writing the poem, though, it kind of morphed into something completely different. The original poem doesn't tell us what happens to the narrator, so I decided to explore that a bit. It's a first draft, and the nature of the Golden Shovel made consistent meter quite difficult. But it was a blast to futz around with.

The Ravens
after "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe

A conspiracy of passerines perched in the potter’s field-then
startled by my passing by, this
sooty cloak whipped to the sky. Ebony
wings beat through the air, no common bird
were these. Their croaking cries, beguiling
calls, were meant to just deceive. Twas not my
name they squawked that night which stoked sad
embers in my soul. The desire for her return--pure fancy--
so now I go to my Lenore. Perched atop this precipice I gaze into
The black below. I know she waits. Lenore will greet me, smiling.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sloth at the Zoom - Picture Book Review

written by Helaine Becker
illustrated by Orbie
Owlkids, 2018
* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

At a Glance

Category & Genre(s):

Picture book, humor, friendship

Age Range: 

2-7 years old


A sloth, heading for the laid-back Zzzzoo, is accidentally dropped off at the Zoom where zebras gallop aroud and cheetahs zip right by. How will she handle this fast paced life and will she be able to make friends?


  • clever, cute idea
  • The main character is a sloth
  • Its funny
  • Shows the benefits of slowing down sometimes
  • shows we can have friends that are different than ourselves

Would I recommend this title:


Full Review

Full disclosure: I love sloths. I have a sloth stuffed animal collection. I have sloth socks. Even my roller derby name is Sloth. So naturally, I loved this book. The illustrations are really cute and vibrant. I feel like the illustrator did a good job of capturing each animal.

The premise of the book is funny and clever. A type of jungle fish-out-of-water story. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the animals zooming around--the zebras run so fast that their stripes fly off! 

I think kids and parents will find appeal in the idea that it is important to slow down sometimes. I also liked the underlying message that we can find friends anywhere, even if they like different things. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/13/18


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.


Picture Books

The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra
written by Marc Tyler Nobleman
illustrated by Ana Aranda
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2017

This book was so much fun! I was looking for suggestions for spooky picture books and this one came up. I loved the bright illustrations. And the story was really funny and cute. Kids will be able to relate to the goats' fear of the legendary chupacabra--much like the boogeyman. One thing that I was pleasantly surprised at is that the text is a little longer--but it does not drag. It seems like many publishers are publishing shorter and shorter picture books, so this was refreshing. Despite the little bit longer text, my kiddos never got bored. 

written by Kathy Ellen Davis
illustrated by  Kaylani Juanita
Chronicle Books, 2018

I picked this one up because of the cover. The story is very creative and clever. I think most kids will be able to relate to the back and forth that happens when you are playing with friends. I especially liked the repetition as my toddler would giggle and even repeat parts. Highly recommend. 

The Bath Monster
written by Colin Boyd
illustrated by Tony Ross
Andersen Press, 2016

Another fun read. I love this twist on the monster under the bed. I am all for age appropriate spookiness and this is great. I could also see it being a motivator to get kids to take their baths--it keeps the bath monster well fed! 

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters
written by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Candlewick, 2013

I guess I have been on a monster kick this week! The illustrations in this one are great. The monsters are super cute and Jane's rhyme is fantastic, as always. My two little monsters thoroughly enjoyed this one. Now if I can just get them to go to bed the 1st time I ask!