As some of you may know, I've been blogging for quite a while. But sometimes life gets in the way.
Just over 2 weeks ago, when I was due to post, my sister-in-law died after a really brutal battle against cancer. She had refused traditional treatment and pain killers and despite agonizing pain and being skeletal, was in denial that she was dying until the very end. It was incredibly sad and put me in a bit of a funk. I decided it was OK to miss a post, because I just couldn't deal with writing one. At the same time, it made me reflect on what's really important in life, and as the 12 step saying goes, for me it's really about living a life of sane and happy usefulness.
Because it's so ridiculously hard for so many people to get published, especially those who write quiet, or culturally diverse, or niche books that may not have a huge audience, Jed Alexander and I created the Self and Indie Publishing course, which despite losing money, was a huge success for the students (and us in terms of joy and happiness for the new crop of quality books that will be coming out of the course). Now Jennifer Swanson and I have put together a super helpful series of free short career building trainings starting with this one here which we hope you watch and get a lot out of.
The last free sweet offering that I wanted to share is from my Mondays with Mandy or Mira co-madre, Mandy Yates, who is putting together a picture book pitch party on June 24th on Twitter with the #pbpitch tag. Here is the link for more information about this. Do mark the date on your calendar so that you can take advantage of what could be a truly wonderful opportunity. Fingers crossed. :)
Definitely feeling a little sane and happy useful today. :)
In honor of poetry month, here is a great collection of resources for teachers and parents to use with students and children. I especially love Janet Wong's Poetry Suitcase.
Scholastic’s Collection of Poetry Resources
Reading Rockets Poetry Resources
10 Ways for Kids to Experience Poetry
Kenn Nesbitt’s Poetry4Kids.com
Janet Wong's Poetry Suitcase
(Graphics provided by Scrappin Doodles http://www.scrappindoodles.com/)
The following protocol is for use in an instructional setting. This isn't necessarily how you would need to share poetry with children. Sometimes just reading and enjoying the poem is completely fine and often preferred.
Read the poem aloud.
Ask students to listen and visualize.
What did you notice?
What does this poem make you think of?
What does it make you wonder?
What words or phrases did you like?
What images stuck with you?
Why do you think the author wrote this poem?
What poetry should I use?
Kids absolutely love Shel Silverstein's poetry. When we think of his poems, we tend to think of the silliness. But many of his poems are so thoughtful and thought provoking. Also, some are very short. The following are a few of his poems that would be incredible to discuss with students.
INVITATION (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
HOW MANY, HOW MUCH (A Light in the Attic)
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ‘em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ‘em.
LISTEN TO THE MUSTN’TS (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then lost close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
MASKS (Every Thing On It)
She had blue skin.
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by--
And never knew.
UNDERFACE (Every Thing On It)
Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.
HUG O’WAR (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
I will not play tug o’ war.
I’d rather play hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
COLORS (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are grayish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.
YEARS FROM NOW (Every Thing On It)
Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing—and I smile.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.