A poetry kind of post

Hi everyone,

I have known for some time about the good news regarding The Dirt Book, and have told you about it here, but the conference made it official. The book has won recognition for KATE COSGROVE’S outstanding art and was recently named to the Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List for 2023-34. Our astute editor was GRACE MACCARONE at Holiday House. I’m proud to see the title listed as one of the 2022 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels Selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.

I’m in the company of many wonderful, gifted friends. In poetry books, JOYCE SIDMAN won for Dear Treefrog, JANET WONG won for Good Luck Gold & More, NIKKI GRIMES won for Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance, GEORGIA HEARD won for My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness, KALLI DAKOS won for They Only See the Outside, and in verse novels CLAUDIA MILLS won for The Lost Language. And there are more. Copy the list and you have a handy reference list of “must read” books when you’re in the mood for poetry.

The selection committee for 2022 needs to be recognized for the hard work they put into the process. I’d hate to guess how many books they each had to read! Thank you, committee!

2022 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children Committee Members:
Ted Kesler, Chair, Queens College, CUNY, Flushing, NY
Ryan Colwell, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Deanna Day, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Rebecca Kai Dotlich, author, New York, NY
Gabrielle Atwood Halko, West Chester University, West Chester, PA
Heidi Mordhorst, Rockview Elementary School, North Kensington, MD
Mary-Kate Sableski, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH

The big news is that Georgia Heard was named recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Hooray for Georgia! She is a worthy recipient and will represent children’s poets and their poetry during the coming year. Thanks to Janet Wong, the past years recipient for all the great work she has done. It’ a great tradition.

A table at the authors’ luncheon

Hi everyone,

I’m grateful to Holiday House for sponsoring a table for me at the Children’s Book Awards Luncheon at NCTE. That’s always a good event for authors fortunate enough to have a table and the chance to meet those who choose to sit with them and become acquainted, each of whom will receive a copy of THE DIRT BOOK. Thank you, Holiday House!

If you have had trouble ordering a copy of THIS LIFE, here’s the link. https://msulib.me/thislife . When you click on it, you’ll find a picture of the book and a box to add it to your cart. Follow each step by completing the information and hitting “continue.” I just tried it and it seems to work. Your copy will be mailed to you next month when the first printing comes out. For those who have already ordered copies, thank you!

Texas Bluebonnet

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to have my most recent book of poems, THE DIRT BOOK, selected for the 2023-2024 Texas Bluebonnet Master List. The announcement was made today. The book is wonderfully illustrated by KATE COSGROVE and published by Holiday House.

Previous recognitions for THE DIRT BOOK include:

  • Named as one of eleven “Can’t Miss” poetry books on “2021 Poetry: Versification for the Masses,” for School Library Journal, 2021
  • Art from the book displayed in New York City at The Society of Illustrators “Original Art” exhibit. This exhibit showcases original art from the year’s best children’s books as determined by a jury of outstanding illustrators, art directors, and editors.⁠
  • 2022 Notable Books: NCTE’s 21 Best Poetry and Verse Novels for Kids
  • Named by New York City Public Libraries as one of the six best books of children’s poetry published in 2021. Three of the poets are from Argentina, Chili, and Haiti.
  • Named by National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to its 2022 list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12.
  • On master list of finalists for the state of Kansas Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award.

The Dirt Book rhymes with poetry books of excellence

Hi everyone,

Yesterday NCTE’s 2022 list of titles chosen as excellence in books of children’s poetry and I was happy to see THE DIRT BOOK on it. Here’s the link if you haven’t already seen this. https://ncte.org/…/2022-Notable-Poetry-Books-and-Verse… Thank you for all the nice comments already posted on Facebook. I’m posting the news here to preserve it for my blog record.

Previous titles of mine selected for the NCTE Notable Poetry Books list have been BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (2008); PIRATES (2008); NOW YOU SEEM THEM, NOW YOU DON’T (2017); and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUG (2019).

My editor likes apples

Hi everyone,

My editor at Holiday House is Grace Maccarone. Together we’ve worked on A PERFECT HOME FOR A FAMILY, AND THE BULLFROGS SING, RUM PUM PUM, THE DIRT BOOK, and I WANT AN APPLE. Here she is at an office Halloween party, proving that she likes apples. Thank you, Grace, for helping me get this all just right. Thanks again to David Catrow for the fanciful art that brings the text of I WANT AN APPLE to such glorious life.

The book is shipping now. I had a delightful book talk on Saturday with Rona Brinlee at The BookMark book store in Neptune, Florida and look forward to giving others over the coming weeks.