Friday, January 29, 2016

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Reading to the Core.

My selection is "African Acrostics: A Word In Edgeways" by Avis Harley with illustrations by Deborah Noyes.


Harley invites readers to decode the hidden messages that appear in her eighteen animal-themed poems and learn a bit about the natural world while Noyes awes viewers with stunning photography.  Of course you will find lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippopotamuses but this celebration of African wildlife also has some surprises. Kudus, bonobos, cape buffalo, bat-eared foxes, African wildcats, and hornbills find a place among the more familiar crocodiles and ostriches.


One of my favorite poems is titled Moody Guy. This rhino-inspired work begins:

Boulders for shoulders

Elegant horn --

A pointed reminder of the


Thick leg-pillars bruising tawny

Yellow grass.


Do you see the beginning of the message? When the first letter of each word is read vertically, the complete poems says Beauty In The Beast.

Following the poetry, Harley provides information about acrostics and encourages readers to invent some of their own. Additional information about each of the featured animals is offered for further reading.

A note from Noyes completes the book with a look at the life of a wild-life photographer and a discussion of where the photos were taken.

Consider this book as an inspiration for student poetry and for cross-curriculum connections.

Monday, January 25, 2016

SCN Star Blogger

I received word this morning that I will be featured in the upcoming SCN (Story Circle Network) e-letter as a Star Blogger.

The Story Circle Network supports women writers and encourages them to share their stories in both fiction and nonfiction through a variety of genres.

 I'm delighted to announce this very special recognition.

Thank you to all my readers for your support and interest.

And thank you to SCN for this honor.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by A Teaching Life.

My selection is "Brown Honey inBroomwheat Tea" by Joyce Carol Thomas with illustrations by Floyd Cooper.


Multiple award-winning author, poet, and playwright, Joyce Carol Thomas offers readers this lovely gem of a book. Twelve lyrical poems share a glimpse of the African American home and family distilled by Thomas' into thoughtful word pictures that are rich with emotional content.

"Cherish Me" is one of my favorites.

 Cooper's warm palette lends the illustrations a lush sense of time and place.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by  Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.

My selection is "It's Raining Pigs& Noodles" by Jack Prelutsky with illustrations by James Stevenson.

Prelutsky delivers his trademark silliness in this collection of one hundred poems that are filled with nonsense, goofy rhymes, puns, wordplay, and punchlines that will leave readers groaning and grinning.

Stevenson's illustrations add a deliciously zany note to the fun-filled chaos.


The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer