Friday, March 30, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by My Juicy Little Universe.

My selection is the classic "Hailstones and Halibut Bones" by Mary O'Neill with illustrations by John Wallner.

Originally published in 1961, O'Neill's book has become a classic treasured for her rich descriptions of colors described in terms of feelings, meanings, and impressions related to our many senses beyond the visual.

Here are the last few lines from her poem on purple:

                                                                    The purple feeling
                                                                    Is rather put-out
                                                                    The purple look
                                                                    Is a definite pout.
                                                                    But the purple sound
                                                                    Is the loveliest thing
                                                                    It's a violet opening
                                                                    In the spring.

Wallner's paintings provide a lovely interpretation of the text.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Booktalking.

My selection is "Dancing Wheels" written by Patricia McMahon and illustrated with photographs by John Godt.

McMahon tells  the story of Dancing Wheels, Mary Verdi-Fletcher's troupe, which combines standing and sitting (wheelchair) performers.  The text shares the history of the troupe, highlights dancers, and lead readers through practice to performance. 

"To date, the Dancing Wheels Company’s inspirational mission has touched over 4.5 million people through performances, school assemblies, residencies and workshops." -- from the Dancing Wheels website.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by A Year of Reading.

To celebrate March Madness, my selection is "Hoop  Kings" poems  by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Smith celebrates basketball in a variety of poetic forms paired with vibrant action shots of twelve players ranging from Allen Iverson to Shaquille O'Neal.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by EMU's Debuts.

My selection is "Eliza's Cherry Trees: Japan's gift to America" written by Andrea Zimmerman and illustrated by Ju Hong Chen.

Eliza Scidmore was a writer, photographer, geographer, and the first woman board member of the National Geographic Society.  During her many trips to Japan she came to the love Japan's cherry trees and became a tireless advocate for bringing them to Washington D.C.

Zimmerman tells the story of Eliza's determination and how, after soliciting the help of President Taft's wife, Eliza's dream came true with the planting of three thousand cherry trees in 1912.

Eliza's story should be part of any study of our nation's capital.

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival:  March 20th - April 27th.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Gotta Book.

My selection is "William Butler Yeats" edited by Jonathan Allison and illustrated by Glenn Harrington.

Allison, who specializes in Twentieth Century British and Irish Literature, has collected some of the most lovely and thought-provoking poetry of William Butler Yeats, the first Irishman to receive the Noble Prize in Literature, in this volume which is part of the Poetry for Young People Series.

The work is scholarly, but appropriate for the target audience of readers in grades five through eight.  There is a biography about Yeats, introductions to his verses, and notes to explain unfamiliar vocabulary.  The poetry evokes the mystery and beauty of Ireland and its people. 

Harrinton's paintings include both landscapes and portraits, but each is a beautiful expression of the verse -whether figurative or literal.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Rasco from RIF.

With March 17th less than a week away, my selection is "St. Patrick's Day" by Gail Gibbons.

Gibbons brings her characteristic thoroughness to this book which provides a discussion of who St. Patrick was together with the celebrations and Irish symbols -- shamrocks, Celtic harps, leprechauns, and shillelaghs, etc. -- associated with St. Patrick and Ireland.  The book concludes with the telling of several legends about St. Patrick.  The clear, straight forward text is highlighted with lively illustrations liberally accented in green.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Gathering Books.

My selection is "Joyful Noise: poems for two voices" written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Eric Beddows.

Paul Fleischman received the  well-deserved Newbery Medal for this delightful collection of insect-themed verses.  The poetry celebrates the unique world of insects -- fun, strange, and sometimes sad.  The poems are designed to be read in tandem or alternating voices as illustrated with these first lines from his poem entitled GRASSHOPPERS.

Voice One                    Voice Two      

Sap's rising                                          
                                           Ground's warming

     Grasshoppers are          Grasshoppers are
hatching out                   hatching out   
Autumn-laid eggs                                   

Beddows' illustrations combine anatomical features reminiscent of a scientist's field journal with verse-inspired whimsy that is a visual treat.   

Friday, March 2, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by Dori Reads.

My selection is "Heart to Heart: new poems inspired by twentieth-century American art" edited by Jan Greenberg.

Greenberg has compiled a wonderful collection of poets from Sandy Asher to Jane Yolen and artists Pacita Abad to Grant Wood that includes names that are well-known and others perhaps less familiar, but well worth attention.  Greenberg explains in the introduction that the poetry is divided into four sections: Stories "conjure a memory or tell an anecdote" -- Voices "in which the poet steps inside the artwork and assumes the voice of the object or person depicted there" -- Impressions "examine the elements of the artwork and offer vibrant word pictures" -- and Expressions "explores aspects of visual form that concern the nature of art and the artist."

Greenberg offers readers a fresh and inspiring opportunity to look at art with a poet's eye.   The introduction provides an informative overview of coming delights -- as in her discussion of Janine Pommy Vega's use of metaphor that spins the swirling red petals of Georgia O'Keeffe's "Poppy" into a flamenco dancer's skirt. The book concludes with brief biographies about the poets and artists.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer