The 2020 publications of two books for classroom teachers brings my total to 13 such publications over the last 21 years. Most people who know me at all probably think of me as a trade book writer, but a few teachers and college professors recognize my work in education. I’ve decided to take some blog space to introduce or reintroduce you to my “other” books and will be grateful if you’ll share this with the elementary teachers in your lives. Thank you in advance.
In the 1990s I decided that in order to build my name recognition among emerging teachers, I needed to get their attention while they were still in college. I approached my editor at the time, Bernice Cullinan, with the notion of doing a book together. Bee was also a national figure both as a professor at NYU and as a former president of International Reading Association, which at the time was attracting 15,000 – 20,000 teachers from the United States and abroad to the annual IRA conferences.
Turned out Bee knew what she knew about poetry and I knew what I knew, and we didn’t always agree about what we knew. The partnership became acrimonious and nearly ended our relationship, but eventually it all worked out and the book found a good home in lot of classrooms. I remain proud of what we created. The book, EASY POETRY LESSONS THAT DAZZLE AND DELIGHT, was published by Scholastic Professional Books.
Here’s a favorite reader review.
“Of the many poetry instruction books I have read, this one is the easiest to use. The poetry used is by well-known talented poets and of high quality. My class of children responded well and as predicted by the authors. This is the only book I have found that discusses both formal verse and free verse in an enjoyable, nonbiased format. Its list of recommended reading is detailed without being overwhelming. I wish I had this book years ago!”