Thursday, February 22, 2018

Caldecott!!!! (plus poetry connections)

Our 2018 Caldecott Committee and our winning books

Calling the winning illustrators via speakerphone!
I've been celebrating my Caldecott experience for over a week now! What a treat to spend a year poring over picture books published in 2017 and then a whole weekend behind closed doors talking in-depth with 14 other people who love picture books as much as I do!  Just WOW! 
In case you haven't seen the results, we chose Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell as the medal winner! It's such a beautiful, wordless book perfect for sharing with a child on your lap or a whole group during story time. And because, it's wordless, I can envision pairing it with poems, too! For example, selections from some of these winter-themed poetry collections would help set the stage:

Poetry to Pair with Wolf in the Snow
Florian, Douglas. 1999. Winter Eyes. New York: Greenwillow.
Frost, Robert. 1978/2001. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Ill. by Susan Jeffers. New York: Dutton.
Gerber, Carole. 2008. Winter Trees. Ill. by Leslie Evans. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. 
Quattlebaum, Marie. 2005. Winter Friends. Ill. by Hiroe Nakata. New York: Bantam.
Yolen, Jane. 1998. Snow, Snow:  Winter Poems for Children. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.

We chose four Caldecott honor books:
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Crown by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

More poetry connections?
For Grand Canyon by Jason Chin:
There's a new poetry anthology coming out this year that might work perfectly alongside this book (The Poetry of Us), as well as several others:

Poetry to Pair with Grand Canyon
Bates, Katharine Lee. 2003. America the Beautiful. Ill. by Wendell Minor. New York: Putnam.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2000. My America: A Poetry Atlas of the U.S. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett, Ed. 2002. Home to Me: Poems Across America. New York: Orchard.
Lewis, J. Patrick. (Ed.) 2018. The Poetry of Us: More Than 200 Poems about the People, Places and Passions of the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. 
Panzer, Nora, Ed. 1994. Celebrate America in Poetry and Art. New York: Hyperion. 
Siebert, Diane. 2006. Tour America: A Journey through Poems and Art. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle.

We're so excited that Crown by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James has also been recognized with other awards, including a NEWBERY honor for author Derrick Barnes, as well as a Coretta Scott King author honor for him and illustrator honor for Gordon C. James. Impressive, right? Plus, it's subtitled "An Ode to the Fresh Cut." It begins:

"When it's your turn in the chair,
you stand at attention and forget about
who you were when you
walked through that door.

You came in as a lump of clay,
a blank canvas, a slab of marble.
But when my man is done with you,
they'll want to post your up in a museum!

That's my word."

Connect Crown with poems from some of these wonderful books, especially Crowning Glory by Joyce Carol Thomas:

Poetry to Pair with Crown
Brooks, Gwendolyn. 1956/1984. Bronzeville Boys and Girls. New York: HarperCollins.
Giovanni, Nikki. Coll. 2008. Hip Hop Speaks Children. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Greenfield, Eloise. 2008. Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins.
Grimes, Nikki. 1994. Meet Danitra Brown. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. My Man Blue: Poems. New York: Dial.
Hughes, Langston. 2009. My People. Ill. by Charles R Smith Jr. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Myers, Walter Dean. 1995. Glorious Angels:  A Celebration of Children. New York: HarperCollins.  
Myers, Walter Dean. 2011. We are America; A Tribute from the Heart. Ill. by Christopher Myers. HarperCollins.
Steptoe, Javaka. Ed. 1997. In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers. New York: Lee & Low.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2002. Crowning Glory. New York: HarperCollins. 
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2008. The Blacker the Berry. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Amistad.

Next up? 
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
This masterful picture book is about cats, yes, but it's so much more! And I found the lyrical, perfectly paced language so poetic, too. It begins:

"There was a cat
who lived alone.
Until the day
a new cat came. 
The cat showed the new
cat what to do.
When to eat,
when to drink,
where to go,
how to be,
when to rest."

See what I mean? And each phrase is spread across each page along with elegant, simple, bold drawings in thick black lines of two special cats. Do not miss this book. Trust me!

And of course there are TONS of poems about cats to pair with this book. Here is just a sampling:

Poetry to Pair with Big Cat, Little Cat
Crawley, Dave. 2005. Cat Poems. Honesdale: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Florian, Douglas. 2003. Bow Wow Meow Meow: It’s Rhyming Cats and Dogs. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
Franco, Betsy. 2009. A Curious Collection of Cats. Ill. by Michael Wertz. San Francisco: Tricycle Press.
Kirk, Daniel. 2007. Cat Power. New York: Hyperion.
Lach, William. Ed. 1999. Curious Cats in Art and Poetry for Children. 1999. New York: Atheneum Books.
Rosen, Michael J. 2015. The Maine Coon’s Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
Schertle, Alice. 1999. I am the Cat. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Wardlaw, Lee. 2011. Won Ton; A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. Ill. by Eugene Yelchin. Henry Holt.
Wardlaw, Lee. 2015. Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku. Ill. by Eugene Yelchin. New York: Holt.
Yolen, Jane. 1993. Raining Cats and Dogs. San Diego: Harcourt. 

And finally:
A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui
This beautiful picture book is part memoir, part graphic novel, and part father-son adventure and totally poignant and memorable. And the author, Bao Phi, is a... POET! A father and his young son make a fishing trip in the wee hours of the morning to catch their dinner. The story begins:

"Dad wakes me quietly
so Mom can keep sleeping.
It will be hours before
the sun comes up."

and ends...

"And I will smile and nod,
and later, when we sleep,
we will dream of fish
in faraway ponds."

Poetry to Pair with A Different Pond
Frank, John. 2007. How to Catch a Fish. New York: Roaring Brook.
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Issa, Kobayashi. 2007. Today and Today. New York: Scholastic.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1989. Poems for Fathers. New York: Holiday House.
Mak, Kam. 2001. My Chinatown: One Year in Poems. New York: HarperCollins.
Park, Linda Sue. 2007. Tap Dancing on the Roof; Sijo Poems. New York : Clarion.
Wissinger, Tamera Will. 2013. Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Wong, Janet S. 1994. Good Luck Gold and Other Poems. New York: McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 1996/2008. A Suitcase of Seaweed, and Other Poems. New York: Booksurge.

So, there you go!
Of course poetic connections are not part of the Caldecott selection criteria. Just in case you didn’t know, the Caldecott Medal is an award given annually by the Association for Library Service to children to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The Caldecott committee focuses on the "excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed, in the pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept, the appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept, etc." But many picture books are so poetic, don't you think? The brevity and economy of language is part of the nature of this picture book medium. And of course many picture book collections are currently published in picture book form, too. 

Now that I have completed the process, I am once again at liberty to talk and write about all the picture books I love! Hallelujah! One of the biggest challenges last year was NOT talking and writing about picture books-- all the lovely poetry that was published in picture book form was "off limits" for me in 2017. ALSC is very mindful of any potential conflict of interest and I understand that completely. So, now I look forward to the ALA conference in New Orleans in June when these Caldecott artists will be honored. And I look forward to sharing more ideas for celebrating poetry as we move forward through 2018! 

Don't miss the Poetry Friday gathering hosted by Liz Steinglass this week. See you there!

Friday, February 02, 2018

New Voices, Maham Khwaja and VERSIFY

Did y'all see this news? 

I'm really looking forward to more from this new writer and poet-- and I hope it will be SOON! For more information, go here.

Plus, Kwame Alexander is launching a new imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that will also be seeking out new voices-- and for poetry, in particular!

Here's a link for more info, FYI.

Exciting times for poetry and diversity!

Now, be sure and check out the rest of the Poetry Friday goodness over at Mainely Write with thanks to Diane for hosting us!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

BOOK LINKS: Going Global with Poetry

If you're a BOOK LINKS reader, check out the January, 2018 issue with a focus on diversity. My article, "Going Global with Poetry" (p. 25-28) features a look at international poetry for young people. Here are a few excerpts.

In this evolving digital world, it is getting easier to have access to literature for young people from around the globe. What a great opportunity to share stories and poems created for children in countries outside the United States. In this way, we can help grow the next generation of readers, thinkers, and leaders with a worldview that might have a more inclusive and compassionate perspective. Poetry in particular is a concise and powerful package that can cross borders and boundaries in various ways, in print, web, audio, video, and even game and gift formats. By and large, we're looking for poetry in English, whether from English-speaking countries around the world or translated into English. That’s a good place to start. However, there are also resources for finding children’s literature in many languages, but that will have to be a future article. Where can we find quality poetry for young people from around the world in print and online? Let’s take a look. 

Global Literature in Libraries (GLLI)
Rachel Hildebrandt initiated a new blog with an exclusive focus on international literature and books in translation called the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative ( Its focus is “to raise the visibility of world literature for adults and children at the local, national and international levels.”  Its outreach is to translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, in order to encourage crossover connections and collaboration. The blog includes helpful book lists, lists of publishers, a list of international literature journals, and links to 15 other blogs that focus on international literature. 

Global Reading
Another excellent blog with an even more specific focus on international literature for children is Global Reading (  maintained by Robin Gibson. She offers programming ideas and lists of international books for storytimes, such as the poetic picture books New Clothes For New Year's Day (Kane-Miller Books) by Korean author-illustrator Hyun-Joo Bae and In the Meadow (Enchanted Lion Books), set in Japan, written by Yukiko Kato, illustrated by Komako Sakai, and translated by Yuki Kaneko.

World Kit Lit
Translator Avery Fischer Udagawa puts together a tremendous annotated list of 100 Translated Children’s Books from Around the Year in celebration of World Kid Lit Month in September on the blog, World Literature for Kids (

World of Words (WoW)
At the World of Words center in Arizona and on the web (, you can find a searchable database of book reviews of many poetry selections, such as Salsa: Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem (Groundwood) by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and Elisa Amado, among many others. This site also provides “Language and Culture Kits” with annotated lists of books from countries and cultures whose primary languages are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)
I’ve written before about the amazing International Children’s Digital Library
( which aspires to “build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world.” These are the full-texts of more than 4600 books published in 59 languages. A quick search for books of poems reveals more than 600 books of poetry and nursery rhymes in English, Russian, Mongolian, Serbian, Hebrew, Spanish, Persian/Farsi, Yiddish, Finnish, Swedish, Arabic, Hungarian, Croatian, Dutch, Danish, German, French, and Polish.

Young Poets Network
For a British perspective (but open to all), check out the Young Poets Network ( for opportunities for young people to submit their own original poetry including through multiple competitions, as well as “advice and guidance from the rising and established stars of the poetry scene.” 

Children’s Poetry Archive
The Children’s Poetry Archive ( web resource is a repository of recordings of poems read by the poets themselves, primarily by British poets (many of whom have books published and distributed in the U.S. such as Allan Ahlberg, Michael Rosen, Tony Mitton, and more). 

Australian Children’s Poetry
If you want to explore the world of Australian Children’s Poetry (, you can do no better than this site which features links to more than 50 Australian poets who write for young people, many of whom also publish in the U.S. like Sally Murphy, Kathryn Apel, and Steven Herrick. In addition, this comprehensive website includes articles and reviews, competitions, interviews, and lots of links. The “Poem of the Day” feature is fresh and new every day and instantly share-able, similar to the Poetry Minute in the U.S. (

International Book Awards
When it comes to seeking international children’s poetry books in print, it can be a bit more challenging. So few poetry books from other countries are translated and/or published in the U.S., compared with the output of U.S. authors and poets. Plus, the challenge of translating poetry from another language into English while maintaining both the music and the meaning of the original text is quite challenging. Still, it can be interesting to share poetry by writers outside the U.S. with the children we serve. We can look for books by recipients of the Hans Christian Andersen award ( given to an author from any country in the world for her or his body of work. Several writers of poetry have received this prestigious award including Maria Teresa Andruetto (Argentina), Michio Mado  (Japan), Annie M. G. Schmidt  (Netherlands), Cecil Bødker  (Denmark), James Krüss (Germany), and Eleanor Farjeon  (UK). 

Lists of Outstanding International Books
There are also several helpful and searchable lists of recommended books that depict countries and cultures around the world. The Outstanding International Books (OIB) list ( established by the United States Board on Books for Young People is published every year and focuses on books published or distributed in the United States that originated or were first published in a country other than the U.S. This list typically includes several books of poetry. In the most recent 2017 list, for example, these poetry books were highlighted: The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Ban” (Groundwood) by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith, Somos Como Las Nubes/We Are Like the Clouds (Groundwood) by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, translated by Elisa Amado, and Night Guard (Eerdmans) by Synne Lea, illustrated by Stian Hole, translated by John Irons. 
The International Literacy Association also creates an annual list of outstanding international books published in the U.S. for “enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world.” That list, the Notable Books for a Global Society (, also regularly includes books of poetry and novels in verse.

Like so many things, once you start looking for international literature and poetry in particular, you can find it in many places. For example, the popular Pinterest site is a gathering place for many visual teaching tools, including poetry resources. SoundCloud hosts audiofiles of all kinds of poetry by all kinds of poets all around the world.... If you’re looking to introduce students to literature from around the world, poetry is a great place to start. As the award-winning Slovene poet Boris Novak observed, “Childhood is the poetry of life. Poetry is the childhood of the world.” 

Now head on over to A Journey Through the Pages where Kay is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Sneak Peek list for 2018

It's time again to gather a list of all the poetry for young people that is set to be published in 2018. So much to look forward to! As always, the list is a living list and I'll be making additions and revisions all year long. In fact, I usually begin with about 30 titles that I know are coming, but by the end of the year have about 100 titles on the list! Thus, you'll find a link to this sneak peek list for easy reference in the sidebar of this blog to check at any time. Also, I welcome all input on poetry books you know about that might be missing from this list. (Use the comments link below.)  I've included all the poetry picture books and novels in verse that I have heard about thus far. I have not read all these (yet) or even seen them all, so there may be one or two that are NOT entirely poetry and I'll remove them if I find that to be true. I don't usually include poetic picture books, as much as I enjoy them. But there are plenty of new novels in verse-- many by new poets-- and lovely picture book collections and anthologies to enjoy. So, let's get rolling!

Sneak Peek List of Poetry for Young People 2018
  1. Acevedo, Elizabeth. 2018. The Poet X. New York: HarperCollins. 
  2. Alexander, Kwame. 2018. Rebound. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  3. Brown, Calef. 2018. The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.
  4. Browne, Mahogany. 2018. Black Girl Magic: A Poem. Ill. by Jess X. Snow. New York: Roaring Brook Press. 
  5. Bulion, Leslie. 2018. Leaf Litter Critters. Ill. by Robert Meganck. Atlanta: Peachtree.  
  6. Carter, James. 2018. Once Upon a Star. Ill. by Mar Hernandez. New York: Random House/Doubleday.
  7. Clark-Robinson, Monica. 2018. Let the Children March. Ill. by Frank Morrison. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  8. Coombs, Kate. 2018. Monster School. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle.
  9. de la Peña, Matt. 2018. Love. Ill. by Loren Long. Putnam. 
  10. de la Mare, Walter. 2018. Snow. Ill. by Carolina Rabei. London: Faber & Faber.
  11. del Rosario, Juleah. 2018. 500 Words or Less. New York: Simon Pulse. 
  12. Donegan, Patricia. 2018. Write Your Own Haiku for Kids: Write Poetry in the Japanese Tradition. Tuttle Publishing.     
  13. Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 2018. You and Me. Ill. by Susan Reagan. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company. 
  14. Duncan, Alice Faye. 2018. A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks. Ill. by Xia Gordon. New York: Sterling. 
  15. Elliott, David. In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years. Ill. by Matthew Trueman. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  16. Engle, Margarita. 2018. The Flying Girl. Ill. by Sara Palacios. New York: Atheneum.
  17. Engle, Margarita. 2018. Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots. Ill. by Rudy Gutierrez. New York: Atheneum. 
  18. Engle, Margarita and Karanjit, Amish and Karanjit, Nicole. 2018. A Dog Named Haku: A Holiday Story from Nepal. Ill. by Ruth Jeyaveeran. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner.  
  19. Florian, Douglas. 2018. Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All. New York: Beach Lane Books.
  20. Giardino, Alex. 2018. Ode to an Onion. Ill. by Felicita Sala. Cameron Kids. 
  21. Green Shari. 2018. Missing Mike.  Pajama Press. 
  22. Grimes, Nikki. 2018. Between the Lines. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books.
  23. Harrison, David L. 2018. Crawly School for Bugs. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.  
  24. Harrison, David L. 2018. A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build. Ill. by Giles Laroche. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  25. Heidbreder, Robert. 2018. Rooster Summer. Ill. by Madeline Kloepper. Toronto: Groundwood.
  26. Herrera, Juan Felipe. 2018. Jabberwalking. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  27. Hesterman, Katie. 2018. March: A Round of Robins. Ill. by Sergio Russier. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books.   
  28. Holt, K.A. 2018. Knockout. San Francisco: Chronicle. 
  29. Hood, Susan. 2018. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World. New York: HarperCollins.
  30. Hopkins, Lee Bennett (Ed.). 2018. School People. Ill. by Ellen Shi. Honesdale, PA: Noyds Mills Press. 
  31. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (Ed.) 2018. A Bunch of Punctuation. Ill. by Serge Bloch. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong.
  32. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (Ed.) 2018. I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage. New York: Lee & Low.
  33. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (Ed.) 2018. World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Abrams. 
  34. Hudson, Wade and Hudson, Cheryl Willis. Eds. 2018. We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices. New York: Crown. 
  35. Jensen, Cordelia. 2018. Every Shiny Thing. New York: Abrams. 
  36. Jensen, Cordelia. 2018. The Way Light Bends. New York: Philomel. 
  37. Judge, Lita. 2018.  Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
  38. Kaufman, Caroline. 2018. Light Filters In: Poems. Ill. by Yelena Bryksenkova. New York: HarperCollins. 
  39. Konola, Hanna. 2018. A Year with the Wind. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith.
  40. Kirk, Daniel. 2018. Prayer for the Animals. New York: Abrams.
  41. Latham, Irene and Waters, Charles. 2018. Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship. Ill. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Carolrhoda/Lerner.
  42. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2018. Phrases of the Moon. Ill. by Jori van der Linde. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company. 
  43. Lewis, J. Patrick. (Ed.) 2018. The Poetry of Us: More Than 200 Poems about the People, Places and Passions of the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.  
  44. McCullough, Joy. 2018. Blood Water Paint. New York: Dutton. 
  45. Medina, Tony. 2018. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy. Penny Candy Books.
  46. Mora, Pat. 2018. Bookjoy, Wordjoy. Ill. by Raúl Colón. New York: Lee & Low.
  47. Neri, G. 2018. When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel. Ill. by David Litchfield. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  48. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2018. Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners. New York: Greenwillow.
  49. Orgill, Roxane. 2018. Siege: How General Washington Kicked the British Out of Boston and Launched a Revolution. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  50. Paschkis, Julie. 2018. Vivid: Poems and Notes About Color. New York: Holt. 
  51. Pate, Alexs. 2018. You. Ill. by Soud. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone. 
  52. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. 2018. Martin Rising: Requiem for a King. Ill by Brian Pinkney. New York: Scholastic.
  53. Preston-Gannon, Frann. 2018. Sing a Song of Seasons. Somerville, MA: Candlewick/Nosy Crow.
  54. Reynolds, Jason. 2018. For Everyone. New York: Atheneum. 
  55. Rosen, Michael J. 2018. The Greatest Table. Ill. by Becca Stadtlander. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company. 
  56. Rosen, Michael J. 2018. The Horse's Haiku. Ill. by Stan Fellows. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  57. Rosenberg, Sydell. 2018. H is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z. Ill. by Sawsan Chalabi. Oklahoma City, OK: Penny Candy. 
  58. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2018. Meet My Family! Animal Babies and Their Families. Ill. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Brookfield, CT: Lerner/Millbrook.
  59. Singer, Marilyn. 2018. Every Month Is a New Year. New York: Lee & Low.
  60. Singer, Marilyn. 2018. Have You Heard About Lady Bird: Poems about Our First Ladies. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
  61. Slade, Suzanne. 2018. Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon. Ill. by Thomas Gonzalez. Atlanta: Peachtree.  
  62. Smith, Heather. 2018. Ebb and Flow. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press.
  63. Sones, Sonya. 2018. The Opposite of Innocent. New York: HarperTeen.
  64. Toalson, R.L. 2018. The Colors of the Rain. Bonnier Publishing USA. 
  65. Tuttle, Sarah Grace. 2018. Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife. Ill. by Amy Schimler-Safford. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  66. VanDerwater, Amy. 2018. With My Hands: Poems About Making Things. Ill. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. New York: Clarion. 
  67. van de Vendel, Edward. 2018. I'll Root for You. Ill. by Wolf Erlbruch. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  68. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet (Eds.). 2018. Great Morning!: Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
  69. Walker, Sally M. 2018. Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up. Ill. by William Grill. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  70. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2018. Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You. Ill. by James E. Ransome. New York: Bloomsbury.
  71. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2018. How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace. Ill. by Frank Morrison. New York: Atheneum. 
  72. Weston, Robert Paul. 2018. Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms. Ill. by Misa Saburi. Tundra.
  73. Winters, Kay. 2018. Did You Hear What I Heard? Poems About School. Ill. by Patrice Barton. New York: Dial.
  74. Wright, Richard. 2018. Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright. Ill. by Nina Crews. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
  75. Yolen, Jane and Stemple, Heidi. 2018. Fly With Me. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. 
And don't forget to join the Poetry Friday crew hosted this week by Catherine at Read to the Core. See you there! 

Friday, December 29, 2017

One last thought for 2017

What a year! I've been rather remiss in keeping the weekly posts going this year and I apologize for that. A variety of variables have contributed to this, but I hope to be more faithful in 2018. I'm not allowed to post my usual list of favorite poetry books of the year, so I'll have to skip that this time. [I'm on the Caldecott committee which has been an amazing and wonderful experience, but also imposes strict limits on discussing picture books in any public venue.] But look for my "sneak peek" list in January-- I'll be posting my usual list of poetry for young people set to be published in 2018. 

Meanwhile, I ran across this interview with Jason Reynolds on PBS and found it so compelling. I thought you might enjoy it too. It's entitled, "How Poetry Can Help Kids Turn a Fear of Literature into Love" and the here's the link. (Available as an audio file or as a transcript.) He compares the fear of literature to the anxiety of facing pit bulls and says poetry can be the "little furball"  puppies that get young people comfortable with poetry! My favorite quote? Reynolds says:
Poetry has the ability to create entire moments with just a few choice words. The spacing and line breaks create rhythm, a helpful musicality, a natural flow. The separate stanzas aid in perpetuating a kind of incremental reading, one small chunk at a time. And the white space... adds breathability to a seemingly suffocating task.
His latest book, Long Way Down, is a powerful novel in verse and was on my Christmas wish list (and I got it!). Can't wait to read it! Meanwhile, check out the "best lists" of poetry at Nerdy Book Club and the Cybils Award site (announced on January 1). I look forward to seeing which poetry books pop up on other award and "best" lists soon. Happy new year in poetry!