Sunday, November 14, 2010

Daddy Fell Into the Pond - A Poetry Break

To add a special touch to your discussions or celebrations of families read this poem by the famous poet Alfred Noyes. For younger groups of children you can include a picture or a flannel board props to help illustrate the poem's story. I read this poem for my "My Family" preschool storytime and had made a simple "daddy" with a surprised face and hands up and a pond to help illustrate. The children and their parents LOVED it! Make sure you read the poem with a dramatic voice!

Daddy Fell Into the Pond
by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And there seemed to be nothing beyond
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed." - Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft
And is sounded as if the old drake laughed.

O, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
Daddy fell into the pond!

For the younger groups ask them if they have ever fallen into a pond or a giant puddle? Ask them if they ever knew someone who did. For the older children invite them to share a story (real or made up) about a similar family incident.

Andrew, Julie and Emma Walton Hamilton. 2009. Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Illus. by James McMullan. NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group. p. 32. ISBN: 978316040495.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Mad Scientist - A Poetry Break

Happy Halloween! Time to bring out the cute, the scary, the funny costumes and the candy bucket. This is a great poem from a great book of Halloween poetry to share with a class or share with the group of kids at a party. If you can manage it, do some special effects with a flannel board or just in the way you present the poem. Pair this poem with any more from Sklansky's book Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans.


The Mad Scientist
by Amy E. Sklansky

He used-

and screws
and nuts
and bolts,

and wires
with lots of volts,

ceiling fans
and pots
and pans,

old tin cans.

Then lightning somehow struck the tower
right before the midnight hour.

A spark! A sizzle!
A shock! A stir!

All parts at once began to whirr.

And at long last, his grand design
sprang to life. Meet


After sharing this poem have the kids describe their own monster. They can also draw pictures of Frankenstein monster described in the poem or a monster of their own creation. For those who want to, they can also write their own poem in describing it.

Sklansky, Amy E. 2004. Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans. Illus. by Karen Dismukes. NY: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN: 080507046X.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Look for Me By Moonlight

WP-CC Note: This is one of my most favorite books of all time. In fact, as a teenager, this is was the first book that I started reading one night and stayed up into the wee hours to finish. I couldn't put it down!

Hahn, Mary Downing. 1995. Look for Me By Moonlight. NY: Clarion Books/A Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN: 978035698433.

When her mother and stepfather were moving to Italy, sixteen-year-old Cynda rebelled and she went to stay with her father and his new family at their bed-and-breakfast inn on the frigid winter coast of Maine. While adjusting to the family dynamics of her father, who she rarely saw before then, his second wife, Susan, who is now pregnant and stepbrother Todd, Cynda struggles to find her place in the family as she realizes that her father has truly moved on since the divorce years ago. On top of that, there is possibility of the inn being haunted by a young girl who was murdered, drained of blood, and thrown into the ocean right near the inn during the 1930s. Though, after starting her home studies, making friends with Will, an artistic teen who is a friend of the family, and having fun moments with Todd, things take a twist when a very mysterious stranger named Vincent who has all the good looks and sophisticated characteristics arrives on their doorstep. Cynda takes an immediate attraction to him as does he. Little does she know that Vincent has a long history that is as old as the inn and its legends and just as frightening. Soon Cynda finds her need for love and attention has become dangerous and had spread to family, and has to fight to save her and her family and friends' lives from Vincents dark powers. Masterly weaving in Alfred Noyes' poem "The Highwayman," Hahn has created a suspenseful story involving murders, ghosts, and a vampire with wonderfully developed characters and storyline. A perfect read for middle schoolers who are into mystery, horror and the ever popular vampires.

*Read more vampire books like: Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde and The Silver Kiss by Annette Klause.
*For older readers try The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chasing Vermeer - Audiobook

Balliett, Blue. 2004. Chasing Vermeer. Read by Ellen Reilly. NY: Random House Audio Publishing Group. Compact Disc - Unabridged, 5 CDs. ISBN: 9780307206732.

When a mysterious person claims that some of the paintings claimed to be created by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer are, in fact, not from his brush, then ultimately steals the painting A Lady Writing to make his point, two sixth-graders, Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee are on the case. Mystery and intrigue is around every corner as Calder and Petra become friends and begin to find a connection between their free-spirited schoolteacher, a used bookstore owner, an old woman, and even Calder’s friend Tommy. Putting together the history and art of a famed 17th century painter, a book about unusual phenomena, use of pentominoes, and codes, Balliett’s first novel successfully captures the excitement of a crime solving with a smart and detectives that remind readers of K.L. Konigsburg’s classic From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Reader Ellen Reilly does a good job at presenting each character with a different voice. Though at times Calder's voice, at times, comes across as a nasal and ignorant, the latter of which this main character is not, and, she pronounces Petra's name differently through out. However, as you get wrapped up in Balliet story of mystery, puzzles, and intrigue, you will begin to gloss over these minor faults. A great fun, mysterious and exciting choice to for those who want to read-a-long with the book or to listen on its own.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recommended Storytime Books

I've started doing storytimes again! So, as I am delving into the world of awesome pictures perfect for the programs I thought I share some of my favorites!

Note: In parentheses I have the initials for which storytime I've used the book for as well as for storytimes that I think they would be good for.
B - Baby Storytime
T - Toddler Storytime
P - Preschool Storytime
  • All Aboard the Dinotrain written by Deb Lund and illus. by Howard Fine (P)
  • Bark, George written and illus. by Jules Pfieffer (B, T, P)
  • Bear Wants More written by Karma Wilson and illus. by Jane Chapman (T, P)
  • Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson and illus. by Jane Chapman
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See written by Bill Martin Jr. and illus. by Eric Carle (B, T, P)
  • Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illus. by Lois Ehlert (B, T, P)
  • Clip-Clop written by Nicola Smee (B, T, P)
  • Cows in the Kitchen written by June Crebbin and illus. by Katharine McEwen (B, T, P)
  • Duck on a Bike written and illus. by David Shannon (P)
  • Falling for Rapunzel written by Leah Wilcox and illus. by Lydia Monks (P)
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed written and illus. by Eileen Christelow (T)
  • Fran's Flower written by Lisa Bruce and illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw (P)
  • Good Night Gorilla written and illus. by Peggy Rathmann (T, P)
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? written by Jane Yolen and illus. by Mark Teague (P)
  • It Looked Like Spilt Milk written and illus. by Charles G. Shaw (T, P)
  • Jump, Frog, Jump! written by Robert Kalan and illus. by Byron Barton (T, P)
  • Mouse Paint written and illus by Ellen Stoll Walsh (B, T)
  • Mouse was Mad written by Linda Urban and illus. by Henry Cole (T, P)
  • Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! written by Candace Fleming and illus. by G. Brian Karas (P)
  • One Duck Stuck written by Phyllis Root and illus. by Jane Chapman (P)
  • Pete's A Pizza written and illus. by William Steig (P)
  • Planting a Rainbow written and illus. by Lois Ehlert (T)
  • Rain written and illus. by Manya Stojic (T, P)
  • The Seals on the Bus written by Lenny Hort and illus. by G. Brian Karas (T, P)
  • Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illus. by Laura Cornell (P)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar written and illus. by Eric Carle (T, P)
  • The Very Busy Spider written and illus. by Eric Carle (T, P)

These are just of the few titles! I'll be planning another page that will have a more organized bibliography. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Book Week

It's Banned Book Week, people! From September 25 to October 1 it's time that we need to celebrate our 1st Amendment Rights freely read what we want to read (though we should do it every single day of our lives)! Every year books for children and adults face the risk of being challenged if they one small element that is not agreeable to one person or to a whole group. This when I truly love working in a public library where I can be surrounded by books that match the interest and beliefs of every one who have all types of walks of life. This does not mean that the library does not receive book challenges, but the right to Intellectual Freedom is on our side!

Check out the Office of Intellectual Freedom's video about the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged books of 2009. This is an excellent and simple video to illustrate what is being challenged:

Want to learn more about Banned Book Week? Check out the American Library Association (ALA) web pages that share all sorts of information about Intellectual Freedom and explore their lists of books that are challenged (and not necessarily banned). ALA tabulates the most challenged books every year. If you don't have the time to view the video above here what has made Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged books of 2009:
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Laurent Myracle
Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoints, suicide, unsuited to age group

4.To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious veiwpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

6. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

7. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit unsuited to age group

1o. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

To learn how ALA tabulates these titles please visit their web page Frequently Challenged Books. Also, to learn about some of the reason and history of these books being challenged, ALA also has a page detailing the Reasons for Challenges to Classic Books like Catcher in the Rye.

Though technically many of the books listed in the past during Banned Book Week have only been challenged; however, you would be surprised or even intrigued that learn that many of the books appear on the lists do to it being banned in other countries or were burned either in the USA or during the Nazi book burnings.

The majority of the books challenged on this list as well as the ones that I have faced in my profession have been for teens of all ages and younger children. Just because one person does not agree what the story is about or how a situation handles, or how one family/neighborhood is portrayed in a book does not mean that it is completely fictional and needs to be challenged. There are so many walks a lives that all these books will be of interest and could create a connection to anyone and everyone.

Celebrate our freedom to read and READ A BANNED BOOK!

"Think for yourselves and let other enjoys the privilege to do so too" ~ Voltaire, Essay on Tolerance

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barry the Fish with Fingers

Hendra, Sue. 2010. Barry the Fish with Fingers. Illus. by Sue Hendra. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN: 9780375989261.

What could a fish do if it had fingers? Many things! - according to a round and blue fish named Barry that is. Readers are initially introduced to Sea Slug and all the different type of fishes under the sea, but that story changes focus when Barry appears with bright orange fingers at the end of the fins. With his new phalanges, Barry can play with finger puppets, knit a scarf, play the piano, finger paint and tickle. But perhaps the most important thing that he could do was point and shout a saving warning of "Look out!" when a large box landed on the sea floor. After being saved from being squished, one little green fish ask the question on everyone's mind - "...where can we get some of these fingers?" As it turns out, Barry's amazing digits were not spontaneous fin growth, but fish sticks, and the box that floated down to their world was a crate of "Pirate Jack's Tasty Fish Sticks." Now everyone can have some fun. The overall plot is nothing too deep, and fact that Sea Slug has seen all kinda of fishes under the sea is incidental as the book more for pure entertainment and use of our silly imagination. The colorfully bright and clear gouache illustrations fill the pages. The contrast of a blue Barry and his bright orange and crispy looking fingers is wonderfully humorous, and the children will like all the different type of fishes. Be prepared or the one child in the group to say, "But fish sticks are made from fishes!". A fun read nonetheless for storytime or just during some silly time. Remember to read it with some gusto!

*Have the children share what other things a fish could do with fingers.
*Invite the children to create their own fish with fingers picture
*While reading to a group like in storytime, remember to ask the children questions like "Do fish have fingers?" and etc.
*If you are allowed food in your room, share a small meal of fish sticks (along with some fruit!) *after reading the book.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September - A Poetry Break

The month of September marks a number of things in the life of everyone. After Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of schools and there will be now holidays until Thanksgiving. September is also when we will find the first day of Autumn, which is very much a welcomed season after a hot summer. Everyone, especially for all the Texas folk right now after our hot, hot, HOT summer and the soggy week so far, love and savor the words and images in this poem from a classic poet.

by John Updike

The breezes taste
...Of apple peel.
The air is full
...If smell to feel-

Ripe fruit, old footballs,
...Drying grass,
New books and blackboard
...Chalk in class.

The bee, his hive
...Well-honeyed, hums
While Mother cuts

Like plates washed clean
...With suds, the days
Are polished with
...A morning haze.


After sharing this poem have the children volunteer to share what they think of the month of September and what it means to them. They can present their thoughts in poetic form or it could be just a list. It could even be both - a list poem!

Andrew, Julie and Emma Walton Hamilton. 2009. Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Illus. by James McMullan. NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group. p. 32. ISBN: 978316040495.

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30th: National Toasted Marshellow Day - A Poetry Break

Time to put some white fluffy goodness on a stick and toast 'em! August 30 is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. To share this poem and celebrate this confectionery delight, bring a supply of large marshmallows and other necessities to toast them and enjoy their gooey-ness!


Toasting Marshmallows
by Kristine O'Connell George

I am a careful marshmallow toaster,
a patients marshmallow roaster,
turning my stick oh-so-slowly,
taking my time, checking often.
This is art-
a time of serious reflection
as my pillowed confection
slowly reaches golden perfection.

My brother
............grabs 'em with grubby hands
.........................shoves 'em on the stick
...................................burns 'em to a crisp
................................................cools 'em off
..........................................................flicks soot
.....................................................................eats quick.

I'm still turning my stick.
He's already eaten six.

This poem is from:
George, Kristin O'Connell. 2001. Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems. Illus. by Kate Kiesler. NY: Calrion Books. ISBN: 061804597X.

After sharing the poem invite the children to toast their own marshmallows (with adult supervision!) over a candle flame or simply pop them into a microwave to make s'mores or straight off the stick. Ask them to share what they think of the treat and what else they could toast or roast over the campfire. Encourage them to write their response in poem form. For a fun game, see who can stack the tallest marshmallow or s'mores tower.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19th: National Aviation Day - A Poetry Break

August 19 is National Aviation Day and the 139th birthday of Orville Wright of the Wright Brothers. Proclaimed as a national observance by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, National Aviation Day is a day to make tribute to the Wright Brothers and all other pioneers, heroes and heroines aviation (National Parks Service 2006). The following two poems celebrate Orville and Wilbur Wright and Amelia Earhart. Prepare for reading these poems by collecting a series of books and facts (complete with photographs) about some of the famous pilots, lesser known but also important pilots, and pioneers of aviation, like The Wright Brothers: First Flight by Tara Dixon-Engle and Up in the Air: The Story of Bessie Coleman by Philip S. Hart. The first poem, "The First Airplane," is perfect for reading in two voices. Invite volunteers to help read the poem, one individual/group as Orville and another individual/group as Wilbur.

The First Airplane
by Bobbi Katz

I'm Orville.
.................................................I'm Wilbur.
I'm younger
.................................................I'm older Two brothers...........................Two brothers.
One team.................................One team.
We both love mechanics.........We both love mechanics.
Even as boys............................Even as boys.
we made pocket money inventing toys.
And always one question:.......And always one question:
What makes it tick?.................What makes it tick?
Then we worked together........Then we worked together.
Two brothers............................Two brothers.
One team..................................One team.
Bicycle builders
..................................................Self-taught engineers Our minds seemed to fit...........Our minds seemed to fit
like a set of oiled a set of oiled gears.
When I caught typhus
...................................................I feared you might die. We grew even closer,
Perhaps that is why
We both were possessed............we both were possessed.
Two brothers
One vision...................................One vision
.....................................................Two brothers
One quest:...................................One quest:
A machine to defy
.....................................................the whims of the sky.
A machine with control
.....................................................and the power
to fly! fly!
A machine that was light
......................................................but weighed more than air.
A mechanical puzzle....................A mechanical puzzle.
with the question we share:.........with a question we share:
What makes it tick?......................What makes it tick?
I'm Orville
.......................................................I'm Wilbur
Two bodies....................................Two bodies.
One mind......................................One mind.
Thoughts merging
.......................................................thoughts meshing
new answers
to find.
Building gliders
.......................................................becoming sky riders.
not resting
just testing.....................................just testing
and testing and testing..................and testing and testing...
and testing and testing..................and testing and testing...
then building the Flyer...................then building the Flyer
exactly to plan.................................exactly to plan
and known for certain.....................and knowing for certain
it would would carry...
a man!..............................................a man!
And we were.....................................And we were
both right.........................................Both Wright.
Yes, we were.....................................Yes, we were
I'm Orville.
..........................................................I'm Wilbur.
Two brothers....................................Two brothers.
One team..........................................One team.
I'm Orville.
..........................................................I'm Wilbur.
Two brothers....................................Two brothers.
One dream........................................One dream.

Amelia Cramped
By Monica Kulling

......................Amelia Cramped

These poems are from:
Katz, Bobbie. 1998. We the People. Illus. by Nina Crews. NY: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins Publishers). ISBN: 9780688165321.

Janeczko, Paul. B. 2005. A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Form. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Cambridge, Mass. Candlewick Press. ISBN: 0763606626.

Invite the children to explore the many well-known and not-so-well-known pilots of American History. Have them write a poem, concrete poem, or a bio-poem about their favorite pilot and what they love about airplanes and flying. As a fun craft have them make paper airplanes of different shapes and sizes like the ones found in the book Making Paper Airplanes that Really Fly by Nick Robinson.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16th: National Tell A Joke Day - A Poetry Break

National Tell a Joke Day is August 16! Time to share the old favorites and learn some new jokes to tell everyone. In preparation of the poem reading bring a collection of joke books as well as humorous poetry books like Jack Prelutsky's For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your Funny Bone and The Hopeful Trout and Other Limericks by John Ciardi, and bring your own favorite jokes to share. Remember to read this poem with some vocal attitude!

The Joke
by Anonymous

The joke you just told isn't funny one bit.
It's pointless and dull, wholly lacking in
It's so old and stale, it's beginning to
Besides it's the one I was going to tell.

This poem is from:
Prelutsky, Jack. 1983. The Random House Book of Poetry of Children: A Treasure of 572 Poems for Today's Child. Illus. Arnold Lobel. NY: Random House. ISBN: 0394850106.

Invite the children to share their favorite jokes and humorous poems. Encourage them to create their own joke books that include jokes that they were told by their friends and that they found in books as well as funny poems, including limericks, that they discover while exploring the poetry books.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1st: International Friendship Day - A Poetry Break

International Friendship Day is the first Sunday of August, which for the year 2010 is August 1st! The value of friendship is important to everyone and needs to be celebrated not just one day but also every day of the year. Share these two poems with others from books like Very Best (Almost) Friends: Poems of Friendship by Paul Janeczko and Myra Cohn Livingston's A time to Talk: Poems of Friendship.


Oath of Friendship
by Anonymous, Translated by Arthur Waley

I want to be your friend
Forever and ever without break or decay.
When the hills are all flat
And the rivers are all dry.
When it lightens and thunders in winter,
When it rains and snows in summer,
When Heaven and Earth mingle-
Not till then will I part from you.

Best Friend
by Judith Nicholls

When there's just one square
of chocolate left...
she shares,
she gives me half.

When thunder growls like an angry bear
and I shiver and shake
beneath my chair...
she won't laugh.

when I'm grumpy or cross
or spotty or sad,
when I whine or boss...
she stays.

When things aren't fair
and I just want to hide...
she's there,

These poems are from:
Nicholls, Judith. 2000. Someone I Like Poems About People. Illus. by Giovanni Manna. NY: Barefoot Books. ISBN: 1841480045.

Invite the children to share what friendship means to them. Have them write a poem about friendship or about their best friend(s). Also, spread the joy of friendship by creating friendship letters or poems that can be given to everyone in the class, school, or home.

August 1st: Francis Scott Key's Birthday - A Poetry Break

Born in 1780, August 1, 2010 is the 230th birthday of Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote the poem that ultimately became the national anthem of the United States of America. When sharing the poem, invite the children to help read the last line of each stanza, "O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave." In addition, bring other poetry books like We the People by Bobbi Katz and some facts about the Star-Spangle Banner to celebrate Key's birthday and history of the American Flag.


The Star-spangled Banner
By Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawns early light
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the must of the deep,
Where the foes haughtly host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, have discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream.
'Tis the star-spangle banner, oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grace.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever when freeman shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace ma the heav'n-rescued land
Praised the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
The conquer we must, when our caused it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 1994. Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry. Illus. by Peter M. Flore. NY: Simon & Schuster/Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 067173315X.

After reading the poem, invite the children to sing the entire poem to the music of the national anthem. For a fun craft, have them make a historically accurate American Flag (15 stars and 15 stripes) flags form, and have them write the entire poem or their favorite stanza or two on the back or have them write the national anthem (the first stanza) with colored pens/markers/pencils so that it looks like the 1814 American flag.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 24th: National Day of the Cowboy - A Poetry Break

July 24, 2010 marks the sixth annual National Day of the Cowboy. Cowboy Day was created by the Nation Day of the Cowboy organization as a way to celebrate and keep alive the cowboy heritage and their contribution to America's western history and culture. Celebrate the rich cultural spirit of cowboys and cowgirls with a collection of books like Back Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story by Julius Lester and other poems from Home on the Range.

Hats off to the Cowboy
by Red Steagall

The city folks think that it's over.
The cowboy has outlived his time-
An old worn-out relic, a thing of the past,
But the truth is, he's still in his prim.

The cowboy's the image of freedom,
The hard-ridin' boss of the range.
His trade is a fair one, he fights for what's right,
and his ethics aren't subject to change.

He still tops his hats to the ladies,
Let's you water first at the pond.
He believes a day's pay is worth a day's work,
And his handshakes and words are his bond.

Janeczko, Paul B. 1997. Home on the Range: Cowboy Poems. Illus. by Bernie Fuchs. NY: Dial Books. ISBN: 0803719116.

Have fun celebrating the cowboy heritage by creating personally designed bandanas created by cutting used, clean bed sheets that are cut into triangles and providing color markers. Invite the children to share what they think about cowboys and what their life is like, and invite them to share it in poem form.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16th: Arnold Adoff's Birthday - A Poetry Break

Children's poet and NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children honoree Arnold Adoff's birthday is July 16! Bring a collection of Adoff's poetry books and your list of favorite poems to share along with the following poem. For the poem "There is A Wading Pool in Our Park," described where and how you cool off during the heat of summer.

There is A Wading Pool in Our Park
by Arnold Adoff

There is a wading pool in our park,
a swimming pool for the bigger kids,
and a bathtub full of cool water
later on when...I get back home

But right now the hydrant
is open and this stream
of water out in an arc
so cold we shiver in the steaming

There are rainbows
though the highest
splashes of water,
through of water,
through the highest
reaches of water,
through the highest

Cold wet colors this hot day.

Adoff, Arnold. 1995. Street Music: City Poems. Illus. by Karen Barbour. NY: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 0060215224.

Invite the children to share how they like to keep cool during the hot summer. Have them write a poem that describes their swimming pool or yard sprinkler and hot it feels to be wet and cool.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nonfiction: Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

This is a reposting of the review for the book Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow, which was originally published October 26, 2007 for a course during my MLS degree. This is a great book and I hope that you find it informational!


Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. (2005). HITLER YOUTH: GROWING UP IN HITLER’S SHADOW. NY: Scholastic Nonfiction/Scholastic, Inc. ISBN: 0439353793.

Through the lives of twelve teenagers involved in the Hitler Youth, author Susan Bartoletti tells the powerful and detailed story of how Germany’s children were used to strengthen the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power during the twelve years of the Third Reich.

In her Author’s Note at the end of the book author Susan Bartoletti tells the story of how an article stating that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party “‘rode to power on the shoulders of the politically active youth’” had fueled her strong and deep interest in the story of the children living in Germany during the Third Reich. For two years, she visited museums and libraries to pour over books, articles, diaries, and letters to learn more. She even visited Germany to see Berlin and other sites where the Hitler Youth did many of their activities. To finalize her research, Bartoletti interviewed many former members of the organization to hear their personal accounts. To gather further insight of this riveting history, she found stories of Jewish children and youth who lived during the Third Reich. Her goal, she states, is “an attempted to” gain an understanding and to “make sense of the fact that adults taught young people to hate, to kill, and to feel superior over others. After all, the Hitler Youth weren’t born Nazis; they became Nazis” (Bartoletti, p.161-62).

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow is an extremely well organized. After providing a table of contents, which list the chapter headings, Bartoletti introduced the twelve young people who are in the book by providing their photographs and a brief biographical tidbit that gave their birth year, where they were born and how they were involved in the Hitler Youth. The life of the organization from its beginning to its end is wonderfully illustrated and organized through the ten chapters, which hit on the major events during the twelve years of its existence, for examples the murder of Herbert Norkus, who became a Hitler Youth martyr, the change of the school system, the beginning of the Holocaust, which also includes the discrimination against Germany’s own mentally and physically “unfit” citizens (Bartoletti, p. 93), when Hitler made all remaining eligible children join the Hitler Youth under threat of hard labor at a concentration camp, and when the Allies invaded Germany in 1945.

The chapters also illustrate the progression of the twelve young people’s, as well as hundreds of other children, feeling towards the organization. For example, Helmuth Hubener, Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, and Rudolph (Rudi) Wobbe eagerly joined the Hitler Youth, as did all the children; however, they soon grew tired of the regime and began to listen to the illegal foreign radio stations and began to distribute anti-Nazi leaflets. Another resistance group called the White Rose was lead by another Hans Scholl when he became a medical student at the beginning of the war (Bartoletti, p. 118-19).

The text reads like a story; however it is full of information. To add personal anecdotes to the already gripping information, actual pieces of dialogue from the interviews and correspondence of former members of the organization are included to give the readers a clear insight into the thoughts and feelings of the children as well as their parents. A good example of this is when the Scholl children, Inge, Hans and Sophie, joined the Hitler Youth despite the disapproval of the father, Inge states that they “‘entered into the Hitler Youth with body and soul, […] and we could not understand why [their] father did not approve, why he was not happy and proud…. Sometimes he would compare Hitler with the Pied Piper of Hameline, with his flute, led the children to destruction’” (Bartoletti, p. 30). Despite all of the factual details, having been written in a story-like format with actual pieces of dialogue the book has a constant ease of crystal clear understanding and smooth flow from chapter to another.

Through out the entire book, with at least one on every page, Bartoletti provides black and white photographs depicting what life was like during Nazi Germany. There are pictures of children in uniforms performing all sorts of duties and activities, there are pictures showing the destruction that the Third Reich had caused, as well as members at the time of being captured by American soldiers and pictures of the children performing their punishment labor. The use of these photographs provides the visuals to the at time chilling text, and allows the readers to see the faces and environment that the members live in, letting them know that the Hitler Youth was only made of up children.

The final element to the story of the twelve young people who are in the book is the Epilogue. This rare glimpse into the lives of these people allows the readers to learn what happened to the young people who survived the war and provides their thoughts and feelings of their actions while being members of the Hitler Youth.

There are several of ways to access the information found in this amazing book. The chapter headings and the table of contents is one way for readers to find a specific time or event that is discussed. In the back of the book there is an Index, which provides the page of numbers of various topics within the book. Bartoletti also provides an index of where her quotes came from, a time of the Hitler Youth, and finally a note about the photographs used, explaining that the photographs in the book is only a “sampling of the millions taken during the Third Reich,” and recommends the readers who would like to view more photographs to visit the online collections at the Library Congress and at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (p. 163).

With all these amazing educational details and personal anecdotes of the lives of the children during the power of the Third Reich Bartoletti’s Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow is a powerful and captivating book that allows readers of to truly learn about the Hitler Youth through the eyes of its members that were the exact same age. This book will provoke critical thinking and powerful discussions.

Bartoletti (Kids on Strike!) offers a unique and riveting perspective on WWII by focusing on the young people who followed Hitler from 1933-1945. The narrative primarily focuses on members of the Hitler Youth, but also profiles some of the group's dissidents and its Jewish targets. Hitler began his quest for dominance with young people, recognizing them as "a powerful political force" and claiming, "With them I can make a new world." Bartoletti describes how the propaganda of the Hitler Youth attracted children: "The overnight camping trips, campfires, and parades sounded like a great deal of fun," said one 12-year-old. But the organization also emphasized loyalty to the Third Reich above all (including family-one eight-year-old, Elisabeth Vetter, turned in her parents to the Nazis). The author personalizes the war by placing identifiable individuals at the center of the events, such as Sophie Scholl, who moved away from Nazi ideas as a teen and in college joined the "White Rose" group that published pamphlets detailing Nazi evils and urging resistance-a crime for which she and others were executed. Powerful black-and-white photographs testify to the lure and also the cruelty of the Nazis. Bartoletti's portrait of individuals within the Hitler Youth who failed to realize that they served "a mass murderer" is convincing, and while it does not excuse the atrocities, it certainly will allow readers to comprehend the circumstances that led to the formation of Hitler's youngest zealots. Ages 7-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. (May 23, 2005)

Gr 5-8-Hitler's plans for the future of Germany relied significantly on its young people, and this excellent history shows how he attempted to carry out his mission with the establishment of the Hitler Youth, or Hitlerjugend, in 1926. With a focus on the years between 1933 and the end of the war in 1945, Bartoletti explains the roles that millions of boys and girls unwittingly played in the horrors of the Third Reich. The book is structured around 12 young individuals and their experiences, which clearly demonstrate how they were victims of leaders who took advantage of their innocence and enthusiasm for evil means. Their stories evolve from patriotic devotion to Hitler and zeal to join, to doubt, confusion, and disillusion. (An epilogue adds a powerful what-became-of-them relevance.) The large period photographs are a primary component and they include Nazi propaganda showing happy and healthy teens as well as the reality of concentration camps and young people with large guns. The final chapter superbly summarizes the weighty significance of this part of the 20th century and challenges young readers to prevent history from repeating itself. Bartoletti lets many of the subjects' words, emotions, and deeds speak for themselves, bringing them together clearly to tell this story unlike anyone else has.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. (June 1, 2005)

*Read more books like The Way People Live: Life in the Hitler Youth by Jennifer Keeley to learn more about the Hitler Youth
* Learn about the lives of children during the Second World War with books like Remember World War II: Kids Who Survived Tell Their Stories by Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson.
*For those who are interest, learn about the Holocaust with books like A history of the Holocaust by Yehuda Bauer and Nili Keren, and Ten Thousand Children: True Stories Told by Children Who Escaped the Holocaust on the Kindertransport by Anne Fox and Eva Abraham-Podietz
*Open up an opportunity for the young people to have a discussion where they can share their thoughts and opinions on the subject.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 11th: Babe Ruth's Major League Baseball Debut - A Poetry Break

On July 11, 1911, ninety-nine years ago, George Herman "Babe" Ruth was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Boston Red Socks, marking his debut to the Major Leagues and the beginning of his career as one of the most famous baseball players in American history. Prepare for sharing this poem by also sharing other poems from the book At the Crack of the Bat, collecting poetry books about America's favorite pastime like Lee Bennett Hopkin's Extra Innings: Babseball Poems and That Sweet Diamond by Paul Janeczko, as well as books about Babe Ruth and other great ball players.

Along Came Ruth
by Ford Frick

You Step up to the platter
And you gaze with flaming hate
At the poor benighted pitcher
As you dig in at the plate.
You watch him cut his fast ball loose,
Then swing your trusty bat
And you park one in the bleachers-
Nothing's simpler that that!

Morrison, Lillian. 1992. At the Crack of the Bat. Illus. by Steve Cieslawski. NY: Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN: 1562821768.

After sharing the poem and exploring some facts about Babe Ruth and baseball, invite the children to write their own poem, such as bio-poem, about the "Great Bambino" and the sport itself. Invite them to share what they love about baseball and if they have their own favorite player or team. For a fun snack, have cracker jacks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beat the Heat with Some Cool Summer Reads!

We're all about to be right smack in the middle of Summer. Especially for those in Texas! Beat the heat with some awesome books. These are some of my favorite books and some new ones that I have passed my desk and peaked my interest. Check them out at your local library! And don't miss out on the Summer Reading Program!

Easy Picture Books
  • Dinosaur Starts School by Pamela Duncan Edwards
  • Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
  • Possum Magic by Mem Fox
  • My Garden by Kevin Henkes
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
  • The Dot by Peter Reynolds
  • Ish by Peter Reynolds
  • A Chair for Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
WP-CC's All-Time Most Favorite Author: Mary Downing Hahn
From the moment I read The Doll in the Garden I was hooked to her novels. Her books are perfect for any season, but her ghost stories are the best during summer. They are scary, but not too scary - a perfect mixture. The Doll in the Garden still gives me chills and I really love time For Andrew. Explore her awesome books that I've listed below by genre:

Ghost Stories
  • All the Lovely Bad Ones: A Ghost Story
  • Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story
  • The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story
  • The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story
  • Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story
  • Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
Historical Fiction
  • Anna All Year Round
  • Anna on the Farm
  • As Ever, Gordy (sequel to Following My Own Footsteps)
  • Following My Own Footsteps (sequel to Stepping on Cracks)
  • The Gentleman Outlaw and Me - Eli
  • Hear the Wind Blow
  • Promise to the Dead
  • Stepping on Cracks
  • Closed for the Season: A Mystery Story
  • The Dead Man in Indian Creek
  • Following the Mystery Man
Contemporary Realistic Fiction
  • Daphne's Book
  • December Stillness
  • Janey and the Famous Author
  • The Jellyfish Season
  • The Sara Summer
  • The Spanish-Kidnapping Disaster
  • Tallahassee Higgins
  • The Wind Blows Backwards
  • Look for Me by Moonlight
  • The Time of the Witch
  • Witch Catcher
JF and YA Books for All!!!

Great Mysteries to Solve
  • Who Stole the Wizard of Oz by Avi
  • A great trilogy by Blue Balliett
  • Chasing Vermeer
  • The Wright Three
  • The Calder Game
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Kongsburg
  • The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
Need a Little Action with Your Greek Mythology?
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • The Lightning Thief
  • The Sea of Monsters
  • The Titan's Curse
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • The Last Olympian
  • The Demigod File
Ooh, Vampires! (beyond Twilight!)
  • Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
  • Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
  • The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast:
  • Marked
  • Betrayed
  • Chosen
  • Untamed
  • Hunted
  • Tempted
  • Burned
  • Get ready for the next book Awakened coming January 2011!!!
  • Also get ready for the House of Night Fledgling Handbook 101 that's being released October 26, 2010!!!!!
"Swish and Flick!" - What is summer would it be without some Harry Potter?
by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Great Guy Read
  • The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
  • The Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Study in Scarlet
  • The Sign of Four
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Hounds of Baskervilles
  • The Valley of Fear
  • His Last Bow
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • the Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan
  • The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan (sequel to The Last Thing I Remember)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
Girls Have Adventures and Misadventures Too!
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • Hunger Games by Susanne Collins
  • Catching Fire by Susanne Collins (sequel to Hunger Games) (get ready for the next book Mockingjay coming August 2010!!!)
  • The Gentleman Outlaw and Me - Eli by Mary Downing Hahn
Can't Mess with the Classics!!!
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (and the remaining original Oz books)
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • The Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Beowulf translation by Seamus Heaney (Heaney's translation is the best out there, plus you can see the Old English text along with the English translation!)
  • The Nancy Drew mysteries by Caroline Keene
  • The Hardy Boys mysteries by Franklin B. Dixon
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
  • The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe,
  • Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (get ready for the new movie coming December 2010!!!)
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • The Magician's Nephew
  • The Last Battle
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
What would Summer be
Without a little

  • Shout! Little Poems that Roar by Brod Bagert
  • Give Yourself to the Rain: Poems for the Very Young by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Don't Step on the Sky: A Handful of Haiku by Miriam Chaikin
  • Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O'Connell George
  • Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O'Connell George
  • Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems by Eloise Greenfield
  • Behind the Museum Door: Poems to Celebrate the Wonders of Museums by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Pocket Poems by Bobbie Katz
  • I Once Ate a Pie by Patricia and Emily MacLachlan

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cats Don't Care What You Wear - A Poetry Break

For anyone who has a cat at home will understand when you say that you feel like you're being watched. Cats are funny creatures. They love you, dislike it when you're gone a long time, playful, and they have the poker face with eyes that says it all. This is a funny poem about a cat who watches the poet. Share it was enthusiasm!

Cats Don't Care What You Wear
By Karla Kuskin

Cats don't care
what you were.
they never are rude
if you're nude.
they may give you a look
with a quizzical purr
as if to say, "Really,
poor creature, no fur.
How awfully embarrassing
looking like her."
And then add a poker-faced
lingering stare.
"Not that I care," it says.
"Not that I care."

Have the kids write a poem about their pet and what they do that they think is funny. What would they say when they just sit there and watch you? Let their imaginations run!

Kuskin, Karla. 2005. Toots the Cat. Illus. by Lisze Bechtold. NY: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN: 9780805068412.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Best Paths - A Poetry Break

Who says walking or taking a hike can be boring or too much exercise? By walking a familiar path or a new one there is much that you might have not noticed before. This poem is a beautiful and peaceful. Share this before a walk with the kids or during a little break. Make sure that you pick a nice path to take them down!

The Best Paths

By Kristin O'Connell George

The best paths
are whispers
in the grass,
a bent twig,
a token, a hint,
easily missed.

The best paths
hide themselves
until the right
comes along.

The best paths
lead you
to where
you didn't know
you wanted to go.

When you take the kids one a walk down a path make it a quiet experience. Let them observe the world around them. Let them create their owns paths and invite to share about them at the end of the trip.

George, Kristin O'Connell. 2001. Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems. Illus. by Kate Kiesler. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN: 9780618045976.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weeping Willow - A Poetry Break

Did you know that trees have personalities and feelings? Well, of course, they do. From the tall sequoias to the Texas Live Oaks and the Weeping Willows. Have photos of different type of trees, especially of the Weeping Willow, for the kids to explore after you share the poem. Or share this poem when visiting an arboretum.

Weeping Willow
by Douglas Florian

Willow tree, why do you weep?
Why do you cry and moan?

..... All days these caterpillars creep.
..... They won't let me alone!

Willow tree, why do you bed
Your branches to the ground?

I bend my branches low to send

..... Those caterpillars down!

Let the kids explore the different types of trees. Have them create a poem that asks the trees questions and and create the tree's answer, just like in the poem. Let them create their own tree personalities. It'll be a forest of fun!

Florian, Douglas. 2010. Poetress. Illus. by Douglas Florian. NY: Beach Lane Books/ Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. ISBN: 9781416986720.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Map and a Dream - A Poetry Break

What would the world be like maps? Maps can be an exciting read in themselves. They can take you to worlds you haven't been. Along with this poem also share different types of maps for the kids to explore. Share this poem with other geographical poems like J. Patrick Lewis' A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme.

A Map and a Dream
by Karen O'Donnell Taylor

Maps are more
than tiny lines
lace designs...
More than names
and colored dots,
rivers, mountains,
tourist spots.
Map are keys
to secret places
vast new world
and unknown faces.
I can trace each
graceful line...
Close my eyes
and in my mind
I can travel
A map, a dream
can take me there!

Invite the kids to write a poem about a map that they particularly like. Why do they like? What is the map of? What can maps do? See what the world on paper means to them!

Hopkins, Lee Bennet (sel). 2006. Got Geography! Illus. by Philip Stanton. NY: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 9870060556020.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rain Song - A Poetry Break

April Showers! time to share some poems about rain and rainstorms! This is a great poem that describes how the poet loves rain. It is also perfect to read to a young audience because it includes some of the five senses!

Rain Song
By Douglas Florian

I love the gentle sound of rain
Pinging on my windowpane.
I love the sight of rain that pours
Into puddles out-of-doors.
I love the feel of rain that drops
Down my nose and my lips.

Encourage the kids to share what they love and don't love about rain. They can write in list poem form or a nice little poem like you shared. Let them think about how they can use their five senses to describe the experience of a rain shower!


Florian, Douglas. 2006. Handsprings: Poems & Paintings. Illus. by Douglas Florian. NY: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 9780060092801.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Way to Play Croquet - A Poetry Break

Spring is upon us and now the weather is perfect for outside games and activities. Share this poem with the kids before you play the game!

The Way to Play Croquet
by George Shannon

Through the thicket
to the stick it
needs to click. It
isn't very hard.
Till I block it,
swing, and knock it
far outside the yard!

This is a great poem to share when doing the games. Invite the kids to create their own poems about how their favorite outdoor game works.

Shannon, George. 2006. Busy in the Garden. Illus. by Sam Williams. NY: Greenwillow Books/ HarperCollins Publisher. ISBN: 9780060004651.

How to Eat A Poem - A Poetry Break

How should you read a poem? With a bland, boring voice or with an excited voice? Great to introduce National Poetry Month or anytime at all, share this poem with the kids. When reading it be passionate about it. Make poetry and exciting experience!

How to Eat A Poem
by Eve Merriam

Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that
.....may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away.


Invite the kids to share how to "eat" or read a poem. Ask them to share what a poem means to them. Are they fun? Boring? Silly? Cool? See what they say!

Cullinan, Bernice E. 1996. A Jar of Tiny Stars: Poems by NCTE Award-Winning Poets. Honesday, PA: Boyds Mills Press. ISBN: 1563970872.

(Poem originally published in the book It Doesn't Always Have to Rhyme, 1966).

Apirl is... National Poetry Month!

Spring as sprung and the celebrating poetry as begun! April is National Poetry Month! Thanks to a wonderful professor in my MLS studies, I am now an advocate in promoting poetry for children and teens. April has already started, but it isn't too late to join the fun of poetry!

I will be posting new poetry breaks as well as some poetry book reviews during the whole month.

As a Children's Librarian I've already started my celebration by incorporating a poem or two into each of the preschool storytime. It is my hope that I'll find some good poems to use for my toddlers. I know they're out there, but I must admit the the first theme of "frogs" was a little hard. But, preschoolers, I used Douglas Florian's Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs: Poems and Paintings for two poems. I've also created a display to promote all the great poetry books the library has but is rarely visited (so sad!).

If you want to get great poems every single day of April, please visit the professional blog Poetry For Children created and maintained by Dr. Sylvia Vardell. She is doing Poetry Tag, which is a game where she will post a poem from a different poet each day. Dr. Vardell further explains on her first post, Poetry Tag: J. Patrick Lewis is IT:

One poet offers a poem and "tags" a fellow poet. Each poet then shares a poem that is connected to the previous poem in some way--by theme, word, idea, or tone--and provides a sentence or two explaining that connection. These may be new original unpublished poems or poems drawn from previous works.

By the end of the month, we’ll have a “chain” of poems and see firsthand how poetry can be selected, connected, shared and celebrated (Vardell 2010).

This idea is absolutely awesome! Please visit her blog....

But keep come on visiting The Wielded Pen - Children's Corner for more poetry celebration!!!!