Friday, December 19, 2014

Poetry Friday -- Barter




BARTER
by Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.



Buffy has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Buffy's Blog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It Never Gets Old!


The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye



The Turtle of Oman
by Naomi Shihab Nye
illustrated (with small sketches at the beginning of every chapter) by Betsy Peterschmidt
Greenwillow Books, 2014
review copy from the public library (but I'll be purchasing this one for my classroom library)

This book is not a novel in verse, but it is written so poetically that sometimes it feels like a poem.

This book is a love song to HOME. 

Young Aref is leaving Oman to live in Michigan for 3 years while his parents go to graduate school there. The story tells about his last week in Oman, spent procrastinating and delaying the packing of his suitcase, while savoring everything he loves the best in and near the city of Muscat in Oman with his wonderful grandfather Sidi. Together, they go to the nearby sea and spend some time on the beach. They go to a camp out in the desert and spend the night. They ride out with a fisherman into the sea. Aref spends the night at Sidi's house and they sleep out under the stars on the flat roof of Sidi's house. 

When they are at the Camp of a Thousand Stars, they meet a man with a falcon who flies away from his handler, but comes back every time to sit on his arm. When they go to the beach, they visit the place where the sea turtles come back every year to lay their  eggs. Out on the boat, Aref catches a fish, but lets it go back to its home in the sea. And slowly, throughout the course of the week, Aref can begin to imagine leaving Oman, because he knows that he, too, will return.

By showing us Oman through the eyes of a child whose heart is breaking to leave it, Naomi Shihab Nye gives the reader an intimate look at a place that, though very different from anywhere in North America, will invite the reader appreciate both Oman, as well as all the people and particular places that make HOME special to him/her.

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ranger in Time by Kate Messner




Ranger in Time #1: Rescue on the Oregon Trail
by Kate Messner
Scholastic, January 2015
ARC received from the publisher

This is going to be a great series for grades 2-5!

Ranger is a golden retriever who failed search and rescue school because he can't stop chasing squirrels. He also love to dig, and one day, he finds a old first aid kit while he's digging in his back yard. When he slips the strap over his head, he is transported in time to 1850. He uses his search and rescue skills several times along the Oregon Trail to help Sam Abbott and his family.

After the story, Messner has included a very readable 10-page author's note about the time period and her writing process.

Next up in the series, Ranger travels in time to Ancient Rome!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Poetry Friday -- Sneaky Cat



HE THINKS WE DON'T KNOW WHERE HE'S BEEN

sneaky cat comes up
from a basement adventure --
cobwebs on his head

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014



This is one of my Haiku-a-day from the past week. Paul has the Poetry Friday roundup at These Four Corners. Welcome to Poetry Friday, Paul!!

The call for Poetry Friday Roundup hosts for January-June 2015 is here.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Poetry Friday -- Call for Roundup 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 2015, 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.

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, Jog the Web, or ???) on the Friday of your choice. If you are new to the Poetry Friday community, jump right in! If you've never participated, but you'd like to get started, 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? I'll post it in the files on the Kidlitosphere Yahoo group, and I'd be happy to send it to you if you leave me your email address. Speaking of the the Kidlitosphere Yahoo group, I'll set up reminders on the calendar there. Plus, I'll send the schedule to Pam to put 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:

January
2   Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
9   Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
16 Irene at Live Your Poem
23 Tara at A Teaching Life
30 Paul at These 4 Corners

February
6   Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
13 Cathy at Merely Day by Day
20 Linda at TeacherDance
27 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

March
6   Robyn at Robyn Campbell
13 Laura at Author Amok
20 Catherine at Reading to the Core
27 Jone at Check it Out

April
3   Amy LV at The Poem Farm
10 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
17 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
24 Renee at No Water River

May
1   Ellen at Space City Scribes
8   Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
15 Diane at Random Noodling
22 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
29 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

June
5   Buffy at Buffy's Blog
12 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
19 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Carol at Carol's Corner


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Poetry Friday -- Best Day of My Life







this is the best day
--really the only day--
of my precious life.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014





(scrub to 4:52)


Anastasia has the Poetry Friday roundup at Booktalking #kdilit. The roundup is on Pinterest and I am the last person on the planet who doesn't pin. I tried to find all the Poetry Friday posts with a Google search and by commenting on my commenters' blogs, but if I missed you, I'm sorry! I tried!!




Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Lunch with Cece Bell and Tom Angleberger at NCTE's Books for Children Lunch

I always love the Books for Children Luncheon at NCTE. Not only do we get o hear the Orbis Pictus Award winners and hear amazing authors speak, we also get to sit at a table with an author or two. This year I was lucky enough to sit at a table with Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell. I was very starstruck the entire time and thrilled to have a few minutes to talk to these two amazing people.



As part of the lunch, you get books written by the authors at your table. So I was thrilled to see El Deafo by Cece Bell.


I've always loved Cece Bell's picture books. I loved El Deafo from the very first page when I read it this summer.  This graphic novel/memoir by Cece Bell is based on Cece's own story of going to school with a hearing aid. Her humor and honesty make this book one that stays with you for a very long time. You can hear Cece talk about her book here and if you haven't read the book yet, it's one you'll want to run out and get today.  I plan to read this book aloud to my class using a Kindle version on the smart board. I have been wanting to read a graphic novel aloud that would spark lots of great conversation and this one seems perfect.



I was also thrilled to see the upcoming (2nd) book in the Qwikpick Papers series by Tom Angleberger.  I was talking to Tom before lunch about how much some of my 3rd graders are loving his Origami Yoda series and how many folded Origami Yodas I find laying around the room at the end of the day (most especially on indoor recess days)!  Having another series to hand to Angleberger's  fans will be fun.  Even more fun is the fact that Mary Lee and I were able to read the first book in this series almost 8 years ago when it was first released. Early in our life as bloggers, before we totally understood what a blog was, Tom Angleberger (Sam Riddleburger) was one of the first authors who reached out to us and sent us a review copy of his book. We both loved the book then are were thrilled to see it being rereleased with a 2nd coming out in April.

Loved this year's luncheon and having a bit of time with these two amazing authors!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Terrible Two


At NCTE, I was not only lucky enough to get an ARC of The Terrible Two but I also had a chance to meet Mac Barnett and Jory John. (I even won a prize at the Abrams booth while chatting with them:-)  They were very fun and since Mac Barnett will be visiting our school this spring, I decided to put this book on the top of my pile and I finished it this weekend.




I loved this book. It is about a boy named Miles who moves to a new school. He is determined to become known as the school prankster as he was in his old school. When he arrives at his new school, he is given a "buddy" named Niles.  The two do not become fast friends but they do begin a prank war and finally become partners in pranking.

I am not usually a fan of funny books. I always find funny books to be more plot-based than character based and I love to get to know the characters. But it seems that Barnett and John have created a funny book with great characters.  I loved Miles and Niles and I enjoyed Principal Barkin and all of his issues.  The book made me laugh out loud and had me rooting for both characters.  It is not often that I find a "funny" middle grade book that I loved, but I loved this one. I am thinking the sophisticated humor that is evident in most of Barnett's work really works well in longer novels too.  This is a book for all readers. I think of all of the books that are so critical to get some kids reading in the middle grades and this one should be added to that list. I can see kids becoming readers because of this book.

This book is due out in January and it seems perfect for grades 3-5. From some googling, it sounds like The Terrible Two is the first in a series of books by these authors. How exciting is that?!


Monday, December 01, 2014

Celebrate -- The Kidlitosphere!

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Will Clayton

Even though our blog birthday was on January 1, we have celebrated it all year! On our 8th Birthday, we decided to celebrate 2014 by celebrating others who inspire us every day. Each month this year, we have celebrated a fellow blogger whose work has inspired us. We feel so lucky to be part of the blog world that we want to celebrate all that everyone gives us each day.

In January, we launched the year by celebrating Kevin Hodges.
In February, we celebrated Ruth Ayres.
In March, we celebrated The Nerdy Book Club.
In April, we celebrated Pernille Ripp.
In May, we celebrated Jen Robinson.
In June, we celebrated Mother Reader.
In July, we celebrated Mr. Schu.
In August, we celebrated Kate Messner.
In September, we celebrated Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.
In October, we celebrated Sylvia Vardell.
In November, we celebrated Barbara O'Connor.

We're going to end our year of celebrating bloggers who are children's literature fanatics, teachers, teachers-of-teachers, librarians, authors, and poets who inspire us the most by celebrating those who help to build and maintain the Kidlitosphere "community" itself.

Here's to all the bloggers behind the scenes who curate the webpage, Kidlitosphere Central, organize the yearly conference, KidLitCon, coordinate and judge and blog about the CYBILS (Children's and Young Adult Blogger's Literary Awards), and run the Kidlitosphere Yahoo group

This is a huge group of volunteers who make the world of blogging a better place by making it feel more like a cozy neighborhood and less like an indifferent city.

To honor ALL of the bloggers who keep the wheels of the Kidlitosphere machinery running smoothly, we made a donation to the CYBILS.