Friday, February 17, 2012

Poetry Friday: A STICK IS AN EXCELLENT THING: POEMS CELEBRATING OUTDOOR PLAY

Most people who know me know that I do not love the outdoors. I much prefer being inside, even in nice weather. A character flaw, I know.  But I did spend a great deal of my childhood playing outside. We lived in a house on the corner--which meant we had a big yard.  Our yard was a gathering place--for kickball, and swinging, for neighborhood carnivals, and playing "gas station" in the driveway.  We had Kool-Aid stands and we sold painted rocks.  We caught lightning bugs and played jump rope.  It was a good yard and I guess, there was a time when I did prefer to be outside. Who knew?

The new poetry book, A STICK IS AN EXCELLENT THING by Marilyn Singer (illustrated by LeUyen Pham) makes me happy.  It is all about playing outside. And it is about the real play that I remember from childhood.  Blowing bubbles and playing jacks. Hanging upside down on monkey bars and playing Monkey in the Middle.  Every page celebrates some part of play--the timeless games that kids have played forever.

The book begins in the morning and ends at night. It celebrates all of the play that happens on a perfect summer day.  Singer and Pham are two of my favorites and I love that they've paired up for this one!  This is a great book for the (hopefully) upcoming spring weather. A fun book to share with children as summer draws near and one they will enjoy throughout the year!

Myra has the Poetry Friday roundup at Gathering Books today.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for highlighting this book! Just reading your intro took me back to 16th Street and my Kick the Can games under the streetlight! I'm putting it on my list.

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  2. I loved kick the can and lightning bugs. Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to reading.

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  3. Looks like such a fun book. I have saved this blog post, http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/01/the-5-best-toys-of-all-time/all/1, because I like what he says. The first toy is a stick. My favorite childhood play was climbing trees. Now I have trees in my front lawn big enough for my grandson to climb. Happy memories! Thanks, Mary Lee!

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    1. Gotcha! Today's PF and childhood memories were brought to you by Franki!

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    2. Oh, so sorry. I didn't see. Thank you Franki for the review.

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  4. Loved reading your childhood memories. I could just picture your house on the corner with its big yard. Love the idea of playing gas station in the driveway.

    I confess to being like you -- played a lot outdoors growing up, but I'm more of an inside person now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this new book. Marilyn's poems are always a delight. :)

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  5. When I was a kid, I spent many summer evenings playing flashlight tag and catching fireflies. Thanks for introducing me to this book.

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  6. Just added this to my hold list at te public library!!!

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  7. Oh - I must get this book! Like Franki, I grew up playing outside, although I never did outgrow it... give me some sticks and rocks and sunshine and anything wild that wanders by any day. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I can't wait to see this book. It sounds like great fun.

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  9. Thanks for sharing! I am adding this to my wish list.

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  10. Sounds wonderful!

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  11. I've also been a fan of LeUyen Pham for a while and am just getting to know Marilyn Singer's work. I'll look for this one on the bookshelves!

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