Friday, April 22, 2011

National Poetry Month: Jack Prelutsky

Anyone who knows anything about children's poetry knows about Jack Prelutsky. He is the author of several books of poetry, including A Pizza the Size of the Sun and It's Raining Pigs and Noodles. He's also the author one of my favorite poems ever, The Troll. I used to read that poem to my daughter just for the delight in spooking her.

Jack Prelutsky has also written a neat little book called Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme. This book is a great way to get kids interested in reading AND writing poetry. Along with poems to read just for fun, this book has "poem starts," which are exactly what they sound like: the starts of poems. A few lines of a poem are written on the page, with the final line (or lines) to be completed by the reader.

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme is a fun, no pressure way to encourage kids to begin writing their own poems. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

National Poetry Month: Submissions!

In the spirit of National Poetry Month, I have decided to get some of my poetry out on submission. I've sent FIVE poems out in the past week!

Two to Highlights
Two to Pockets
One to Stories for Children

It feels good to be sending out something that's not a picture book.

Monday, April 18, 2011

National Poetry Month: A Poetry Journal Excerpt

In the spirit of the Easter season:


Imagine the sun
in fiery wonder,
imagine the rain,
the voice of the thunder,
imagine the space
that contains our green earth,
imagine a mother
somewhere giving birth,
imagine a snowflake,
its delicate frame,
imagine a God
who knows you by name.
Imagine, just once,
that it all could be true--
that God, who formed worlds,
battled death just for you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brian Selznick's amazing art

Today I went to the art museum and saw an amazing, inspiring exhibit. From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick.

As my daughter would say: Wow.!

You may be familiar with Brian's art from the covers of books by Andrew Clements, such as Frindle. Or the cover and illustrations in the Doll People books. Or his written/illustrated books like The Invention of Hugo Cabret and The Houdini Box.

I've always admired Brian Selzick's art, especially his attention to detail in The Doll People. But to see the ORIGINALS in person was not only way cool, but also inspiring. It made me want to run home and do two things: Blog (brag) about what a treat that was, and get out my sketchbook!

If you have a chance to see this exhibit, do not miss it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Poetry Month: Constance Levy

Simply put, I like her poems. At least, those that I have read, including the poems in her books SPLASH! Poems of Our Watery World and A Crack in the Clouds.

They share the wonders of the world in a simple, yet delightful way. Constance's poems bring an experience to the reader, helping them to share the wonder right along with her. And the poems in this book are fairly short, so even the most poetry-phobic child (or adult) can handle them.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I spent a little too much time hunched over the work table to finish this, but that's how it goes when you can't stop working on something. I am very pleased with the finished product! Now I need to title it...

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

National Poetry Month: Austin Kleon

If you haven't heard of this guy, Austin Kleon, and his Newspaper Blackout poems, you should check this out. He's even made them into a book. Fun stuff!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Art project update

A picture of what I've been working on for much of today (plus more evidence of my disorganizational skills):

It's turning out quite snazzy, don't you think?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Poetry and Planning

April is National Poetry Month, and I had hoped to be all planned and organized for all the cool things I would do to celebrate this month. So far, that hasn't happened. Three days into April and I have yet to produce a blog post worthy of the occasion.

But wait. Me? Planned and organized? This really is a laugh when I think about it. Here is how planning and organizing usually works out for me:

  • I'll plan to write out a thoughtful, detailed grocery list. But half the time I leave my half-written list on the refrigerator when I head out the door.
  • I'll say that I'm going to plan meals week by week, but I usually end up having to thaw something in the microwave after work or make pancakes and bacon on the busy nights.
  • I spend the day organizing my desk or linen closet or pantry and tell myself, "Now it will be easy to keep it neat." Guess how that works out.
  • When I finally get the end of the dining room table clear of papers, it only takes 24 hours or less before the pile grows again.
  • I once told my hubby he'd never have to search for clean socks in the morning. But how many times has he woken me up to say, "Beck, did you wash any socks?" (oops)
This isn't always a bad thing. The novels I have written from start to finish have not been planned. My favorite picture book manuscripts were written without really knowing where they were going when I started out. My best poems have been those that have come to me when I least expected them. The best blog posts, best meals, best moments have mostly been the result of little or no planning ahead or organization.

So, forget about me planning anything for Poetry Month. I'm sure whatever I come up with will be better for having NOT been planned.

Friday, April 01, 2011

April is here already?? is April 1st and I am totally NOT ready!

I haven't thought of a good April Fool's Day joke to play on my kids and hubby yet. Any suggestions?

I also haven't planned anything for National Poetry Month (besides the bulletin board in the library at work).


I'll try to have something wonderful to kick off Poetry Month by the end of today.