Archive for the 'Poetry Friday' Category

Poetry Friday: Two Sides to Every Story

h1 Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Two things on this Poetry Friday:

First, you know those picture books that try entirely too hard to be clever concept books, as in the concept is uncomfortably forced? Well, it’s Opposite Day (in more ways than one): Here’s one concept book, a collection of poems, that really works. Below is the smart poem that goes with the spread you see above. It comes from Marilyn Singer’s newest collection of poetry, Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, illustrated by Josée Masse, and released this week by Dutton Juvenile:

“We read most poems down a page,” writes Singer in the book’s note on the poetry. “But what if we read them up? That’s the question I asked myself when I created the reverso. When you read a reverso down, it is one poem. When you read it up, with changes allowed only in punctuation and capitalization it is a different poem…” Singer uses her reverso technique to tell both sides of each tale, Publishers Weekly calling the concept a smart one and praising Masse’s fun-with-symmetry, as you can see in these featured spreads.

Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Friday

h1 Friday, February 26th, 2010

I promise I haven’t forsaken Poetry Fridays. I do so love Poetry Fridays. But, hey, I’ll be back with an entry soon. And you know what else? All kinds of other folks are sharing poetry today. Jone’s hosting the Poetry Friday round-up, if you feel like exploring…

Poetry Friday: A School Library Is…

h1 Friday, February 5th, 2010

It’s always a good Poetry Friday when J. Patrick Lewis stops by.

Many elementary schools this time of year are celebrating the 100th day of school. Yup, we’ve been counting out one hundred Cheerios and one hundred M&Ms with our kindergartener here in the Danielson home. Pat shares this new poem with us this morning, which celebrates school libraries on the 100th day of the school year. “I was thinking,” he told me, “that this might be a good time to recognize the most important room in every elementary school.”

Thanks, Pat. This one’s fun.

“A School Library Is”
(as told in book titles with a twist)

A Child’s Garden of Voices
The Dewey Day
Picka Picka Bloom Room
The Habbit
Boyful Joise
Make Hay for Booklings
Feast o’ the Fun and Best Until June
The House at Ooh Corner
Amazing Space
Mall of the Wild
Where the Read Fun Grows
Vowl Boon
The Higher Tower of Lucky
The Blizzard of Ahhs

[Actual book titles above, in reverse: sesreV fo nedraG s’dlihC A; yaD ywonS A; mooB mooB akcihC akcihC; tibboH ehT; esioN lufyoJ; sgnilkcuD rof yaW ekaM; !kerhS; nooM eht ‘o tseW dna nuS eht ‘o tsaE; renroC hooP ta esuoH ehT; ecarG gnizamA; dliW eht fo llaC; idieH; sworG nreF deR eht erehW; nooM lwO; ykcuL fo rewoP rehgiH ehT; zO fo draziW ehT]

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Great Kid Books today. Enjoy!

A Stretch for a Poetry Friday Post

h1 Friday, January 15th, 2010

Yup, a stretch. Sorry: No poetry today. But my post can sort of wedge its way into Poetry Friday, given that I’m simply linking to a list of resources posted over at The Poetry Foundation’s web site.

At their blog, Harriet, Don Share’s got some information on the best ways to help out those who are suffering in Haiti, given this week’s tragic earthquake. The information is here.

If you want some actual poetry, the round-up is being hosted today by Mary Ann at Great Kid Books.

Poetry Thursday-Slash-Friday:
If These Walls Could Speak . . .

h1 Thursday, January 7th, 2010

{Note: You can click on that spread to enlarge and see it in more detail; you’ll just have to wait a bit for the download.}

On this Poetry Friday I highlight a book published by Creative Editions (hubba whoa, they make some beautiful books) in August of ’09, written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Italian illustrator Roberto Innocenti. It’s an over-sized, lovingly-designed book (as many of Creative Edition’s books are), called The House, which chronicles—via quatrains—the life of a stone-and-mortar house, the “House of twenty thousand tales,” constructed in 1656.

Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Friday: Mary

h1 Friday, December 18th, 2009

Mary, depicted as Our Lady of GuadalupeA friend who made me a holiday mix CD put a version of Patty Griffin’s “Mary” on it, sung live with Shawn Colvin, and I was very pleased to hear it. It’s one of my favorite songs in all the universe, and it’d been a while since I’d heard it. I’ve been listening all week and wanted to share it today in this brief Poetry Friday entry.

This is a song about Griffin’s grandmother (or so I’ve read, or maybe heard, since—as Eisha can tell you—I like to rub it in how many times I’ve seen Patty Griffin live, mwahaha). It’s also about the Mary, and it’s a song that ran (happily and constantly) through my head during my honeymoon stay in Rome and Florence almost ten years ago, having seen a lot of early Medieval art depicting the Virgin Mary. I’m a Big Sap: This song makes me well up every time I hear it. I mean, EVERY time. To me, it’s many things — but primarily a nod to the complicated art of motherhood. I don’t know what defines a mother better than Patty’s line “and always you stay.” (That brings to mind this from Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, which I’ve shared before: “Walking to the honey house, I concentrated on my feet touching down on the hard-caked dirt in the driveway, the exposed tree roots, fresh-watered grass, how the earth felt beneath me, solid, alive, ancient, right there every time my foot came down. There and there and there, always there. The things a mother should be.”)

Here she is performing it live with Natalie Maines. (I know little to nothing about Maines, but this is the best live video version out there, and she does a fine job of singing back-up harmony here.)

Some of the lyrics: Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Late-Thursday-Night: On High

h1 Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Spread from Julia Durango’s Angels Watching Over Me, illustrated by
Elisa Kleven; Simon & Schuster, 2007

I’m going to keep it simple this Poetry Friday with a brief excerpt from, of all the things, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” a poem and Christmas carol written mid-nineteenth-century by Edmund Sears, pastor of a Unitarian Church in Weston, Massachusetts.

I’ve been listening to some holiday tunes lately, as perhaps many of you are. As one of 7-Imp’s esteemed readers—who regularly runs after his hat “with the manliest ardour and the most sacred joy”—told me in an off-blog conversation, “Christmas music seems pretty much unambiguously glorious to me. It’s like good songwriters and hymnalists lose all the artifice and bombast and sentimentality they’re prone to the rest of the year.” To that, I say—rather uneloquently—word. He nailed it.

Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Thursday and Friday:
Rhyming with Mac Barnett and Adam Rex

h1 Thursday, November 12th, 2009

“Who’s furry, scurries, and has fleas?
Who climbs our counters and eats our cheese?
We’ve set up traps all through the house
But still can’t catch that pesky…
{page turn, of course}

(Click to enlarge spread.)

I was going to post a poem for grown-ups today, but then Mac Barnett and Adam Rex had to up and make one of the funniest books I’ve seen all year and foiled my plans. (This is a book-in-verse, so voila: Poetry Friday post for this week.)

I contacted Adam in my ongoing attempt to check in with the Men of Children’s Lit Who Have Previously Visited 7-Imp and showcase what they’re up to now. (See Sean Qualls here and Lane Smith and David Ezra Stein here.) Adam is one of my top-five, y’all — as in, the We Can Thank Our Lucky Stars They’re Making Books for Children list. Like, der. Regular readers know this, as I often bug him to come stop by 7-Imp and share some art. But, ah well, I’m pointing this out for any new readers who may be out there. And Mac? Thank goodness he’s come along, too.

Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Friday: One Impossibly Quick—But Fun—Q & A Before Breakfast with Bobbi Katz

h1 Friday, November 6th, 2009

Bobbi Katz; photo credit: Jennifer MayWhy is my Q & A with Bobbi Katz—accomplished poet, writer, activist, and workshop-conductor extraordinnaire (that is, writing workshops for children, teachers, and librarians)—so impossibly quick this morning? Well, I talked a bit about—and featured some illustrations from—her newest title, the ever-so creepy yet also strangely beautiful The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme, released by Sterling in September, in my recent breakfast interview with Adam McCauley, the book’s illustrator. I had been presented the opportunity to ask Bobbi some questions as well, which I was all about, and I figured I’d work her interview responses into Adam’s interview, making it a sort of joint interview over coffee. Well, then I decided to separate their interviews. Adam had sent so much beautiful art that I didn’t want Bobbi’s answers to get drowned out by all the images. So, yeah. Her interview now comes across as rather brief, and consarnit it all, we don’t get to find out such things as her favorite sound or noise with that wacky Pivot Questionnaire. But maybe she can stop by again another day. I’m happy she’s here, if only briefly, this morning. And I thank her for stopping by. (Don’t miss Tricia’s late-October interview with Bobbi at The Miss Rumphius Effect.)

You still haven’t seen this book yet? Okay, here’s my last attempt to get you to see one of the most beautifully-designed children’s titles of 2009. (I’ll be sure to re-post in this interview some of the spreads from the book that also appeared in Adam’s interview.) It’s also one of the Most Fun of ’09.

Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Thursday-Slash-Friday: Drawing the Moon

h1 Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Welcome to my hybrid Poetry Friday (A Bit Early) and Picture Book post. I’ve got a poem to share, and because I find it tragic to post without art, I’m going to include a couple of spreads from a picture book, to be released soon, with art that makes me happy — and with art I think is fitting for this post.

This is from debut author/illustrator Susan Gal’s picture book, Night Lights:

(Click to enlarge the spread and see its wonderful details.)

More on the book below. But, first, my Poetry Friday contribution this week:

Read the rest of this entry �