Thursday, December 12, 2019

Poetry Friday -- The Grace of the World

Vermont, 2015

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.

(read the rest here, and take a few moments to listen to him reading the poem)

Impeachment, global warming, violence, mass extinctions, greedy corporations. But also Greta Thunberg...and art that has lasted 44,000 years...and the peace of wild things. These all give me some kind of hope for some kind of future. Plus, for the short term, we've got a Poetry Friday Roundup Schedule for January-June 2020!

For the even shorter term, head over to Liz Steinglass' blog right now for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Imagine That!

Here are two books that will inspire children to use their imaginations.

What's Your Favorite Food?
by Eric Carle and Friends
Henry Holt and Co., 2019
library copy

Each illustrator chose a favorite food, wrote a little about it, and illustrated it in his/her own unique way. Not only is it fun to see which of OUR favorite foods are THEIR favorite foods, we get to see (in the illustrator bios in the back) each of the illustrators as a child! Yes, their bio photos are of themselves as children. Lookie there! Kids that look like YOU who grew up to become famous illustrators! Imagine that!

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
by Kyo Maclear
illustrated by Julie Morstad
HarperCollins, 2019
library copy

Gyo Fujikawa's life as an artist intersected with historical events that shaped who she was and what she believed about her art. In this picture book biography, we see her drawing from a very young age, then, after high school, attending art school in the mid-1920's on scholarship. She worked for Disney in the early 1940's, saw her family sent to internment camps during the war, witnessed the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. In the early 1060s, she submitted her groundbreaking book illustrated with multiracial characters and didn't back down when the publisher said children of different races should not be in the same book. It is thanks to her (and other bookmakers such as Ezra Jack Keats) that all kinds of kids can see characters who look like them in more picture books than ever. Imagine that!

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Poetry Friday -- Advice

Unsplash photo by Joel Muniz

Be kind to yourself. 
Empty your bucket and then... 
be kind to yourself.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019

"Never be afraid 
of showing someone you love 
a draft of yourself."

(from the author's note in EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave)

I'm sure I'm not the only one whose bucket is or has been empty. These #haikuforkindness are a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves. There can be no #haikuforjustice if we don't put the oxygen mask on ourselves first.

Tanita has the Poetry Friday roundup at [fiction, instead of lies].

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Giving Thanks for Poetry Friday!

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude inspired my Thanku/Haiku-a-Day this month. I managed to get November 1-15 onto Twitter, and I'm back on Twitter with November 26-30. Here are the ones that were written, but never made it to Twitter!

Deer in the headlights.
Same spot: hawk swoops low with prey.
Blessings from the wild.

Step, step...mind elsewhere... step...PANIC!
Floor, meet hands and knees.

Antiques Roadshow was a splurge
and I'll pay for it.

Final Prep Thanku
two days of sub plans
hours and hours and hours of work
then just walk away

Travel Day Thanku
For the traffic jam
NOT on our side of the road --
relieved gratitude.

Award Selection Day Thanku
A day of hard work:
laughter, talk, perspectives shared.
Not just the books won.

Presentation Day Thanku
Bad sleep, up early,
back-to-back schedule ready.
Right now--calm. Quiet.

Almost the End of Conference Thanku
complete exhaustion
sleep wraps you in its blanket
cradles you gently

Driving Home Thanku
Ridge top silhouette--
bare November trees, silo.
Evening sky--one star.

Words Spoken Upon Releasing Into the Garden the Spider I Captured on My Office Wall
Dear Tiny Spider,
Life has infinite value.
For yours, I give thanks.

Bridget Magee at Wee Words For Wee Ones has the Poetry Friday Roundup all the way from Switzerland this week! I'm EXTRA glad to be back after my longest absence ever.

The call for roundup hosts for Poetry Fridays January 2020-June 2020 is also ready for dates to be claimed!

Poetry Friday -- Call for Hosts

It's that time again. Six months have passed since last we queued up to host the Poetry Friday roundups.

If you'd like to host a roundup between January and June 2020, leave your choice(s) of date(s) in the comments. I'll update regularly to make it easier to see which dates have been claimed.

What is the Poetry Friday roundup? A gathering of links to posts featuring original or shared poems, or reviews of poetry books. A carnival of poetry posts. Here is an explanation that Rene LaTulippe shared on her blog, No Water River, and here is an article Susan Thomsen wrote for the Poetry Foundation.

Who can do the Poetry Friday roundup? Anyone who is willing to gather the links in some way, shape, or form (Mr. Linky, "old school" in the comments-->annotated in the post, or ???) on the Friday of your choice. If you are new to the Poetry Friday community, jump right in, but perhaps choose a date later on so that we can spend some time getting to know each other.

How do you do a Poetry Friday roundup? If you're not sure, stick around for a couple of weeks and watch...and learn! One thing we're finding out is that folks who schedule their posts, or who live in a different time zone than you, appreciate it when the roundup post goes live sometime on Thursday.

How do I get the code for the PF Roundup Schedule for the sidebar of my blog? You can grab the list from the sidebar here at A Year of Reading, or I'd be happy to send it to you if you leave me your email address. You can always find the schedule on the Kidlitosphere Central webpage.

Why would I do a Poetry Friday Roundup? Community, community, community. It's like hosting a poetry party on your blog!

And now for the where and when:

3    Carol at Carol's Corner
10  Sally at Sally Murphy
17  Catherine at Reading to the Core
24  Kat at Kathryn Apel
31  Jone at Deowriter

7    Laura at Writing the World for Kids
14  Linda B. at TeacherDance
21  Cheriee at Library Matters
28  Karen at Karen Edmisten*

6    Rebecca at Sloth Reads
13  Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
20  Michelle at Michelle Kogan
27  Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

3    Heidi at my juicy little universe
10  Amy at The Poem Farm
17  Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
24  Christie at Wondering and Wandering

1   Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8   Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
15 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
22 Linda at A Word Edgewise
29 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

5   Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
12 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
26 Karen at Karen's Got a Blog!

Disrupting the Myth of Thanksgiving

Our current read aloud, INDIAN NO MORE, has given us lots to think about and discuss. INDIAN NO MORE is historical fiction. It tells about how, in 1954, the US government stripped the tribal status from the Umpqua people, proclaiming them to no longer be Indians. Our conversations are centering around the stereotypes we have about Native people, empathy for what it would be like to have an important part of your identity taken from you, and appropriate responses in a democracy to laws that are unfair. 

Looking at Thanksgiving from the perspective of Native people has disrupted the commonly told story of the Pilgrims and Indians. Along with our read aloud, we have watched several videos in which Native girls address stereotypes about Natives and about Thanksgiving, and one of our teachers brought all the conversations to life (literally) when she came and talked to us about her perspective on Thanksgiving and American History as a registered member of the Sioux tribe. 

One of the things I love most about teaching fifth grade is that 10-11 year-olds are developmentally ready to consider multiple points of view. It is my greatest desire that my students will leave my class questioning "truths" that they are taught from a single point of view, and that they will constantly ask, "Whose voice is not being heard? Which perspective is not being included?"

With that, I will wish you an informed Happy Thanksgiving -- not one that honors the story of the colonization of our country, but rather one that traces further back to the greater human history of giving thanks for food and family.

by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorrell
Tu Books, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck and Orbis Pictus Award Winners!

2020 Huck Award Winner

Click Here to view the Huck Honor and Recommended books. My review of Room on Our Rock is here.

2020 Orbis Pictus Award Winner

Click Here to view the Orbis Pictus Honor and Recommended books.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Unsplash photo by Benjamin Lizardo


It's hot.
It's dry.
A spark:
a fire.

A flame
a burn
a blaze:
a pyre.

It threatens,
gets hotter.

The only thing
it fears

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019

I'm in under the wire for Rebecca Herzog's challenge on Today's Little Ditty to write a poem about what a monster fears.

As the rain pours (and belts and BUCKETS) down here in Ohio, my heart has been heavy watching the news of Southern California going up in flames.

Tabatha has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Poetry Friday -- Typewriter Rodeo

A couple of weeks ago, Liz Garton Scanlon alerted me that the Austin-based on-demand poetry writing group known as Typewriter Rodeo would be in Dublin, sponsored by the Dublin Arts Council.

We found out the hard way that you couldn't just turn into the Dublin Arts Center to attend this event. We had to park all the way down the road and around the corner at Scioto High School and we couldn't even make a left turn out of the DAC to head directly to Scioto. We had to turn right, go through Old Dublin (good excuse to oggle the new library), go around the monster roundabout, and then, once we got to Scioto, take a shuttle bus back to the DAC...which seemed a little ridiculous since there were about 5 other people at the event.

Fewer people gave us more time to get our poem written (I gave Sean the topic of "roundabout" in honor of all it took to get there), chat with the poets, and admire their manual clackity-clack typewriters.

I also bought a copy of their book, which I am anxious to dig into, once the must-reads are all read (with my two new crystal-clear eyeballs and my coolio reading glasses).

Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2018

Karen Edmisten has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at The Blog With the Shockingly Clever Title. I'm sure there will be lots of must-reads there, too.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Poetry Friday -- The Day After Cataract Surgery

Unsplash photo by Janelle Hayes

yes, I see the hawk
there, on the power line
feathers fluttering

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019

Not just the hawk, but the FEATHERS! My new right lens is nothing less than a miracle. Next Wednesday, my left eye joins the party. I am truly seeing the world anew. It's flat-out amazing.

Jama has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Jama's Alphabet Soup.