It’s a Lollity Popity Day!

Hi everyone,

Need some cheering up today? Try this. I wrote it for a book with TIM RASINSKI and GAY FAWCETT, published in 2009 by Scholastic, called PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY.

It’s a Lollity Popity Day
2 voices

(1st voice)                                            (2nd voice)					
It’s a lollity popity day                                                       
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seekity day.
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seektiy
read a good bookity day.
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seekity
                                                             read a good bookity
                                                             roll in the grassity day.
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity day.
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seektiy
                                                             read a good bookity
                                                             roll in the grassity
                                                             talk with a friendity
                                                             sit on a lapity day.
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity 
sit on a lapity
play with your petity day.
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seektiy
                                                             read a good bookity
                                                             roll in the grassity
                                                             talk with a friendity
                                                             sit on a lapity
                                                             play with your petity
                                                             happy-go-luckity day.

Hooray!					             Hooray!

(c) 2009 David L. Harrison

If you would like to grab a friend and perform this poem, here’s what you’ll need.

It also helps to have two giggly girls.

Time to sell a few books

Hi everyone,

With thanks to the folks at Scholastic, LISA NADEL in particular, I’m posting one of several promotional pieces created to make more teachers and tutors aware of the pair of books that have been published this year. I know you’ve seen the covers already, but I hope you won’t mind the repetition and will consider sharing this post with anyone you know who might be interested in introducing the books where they work. Our dear friend SU HUTCHENS sent a video yesterday of her Colorado students reading some of the partner poems and also called from her classroom to say how much the kids were enjoying the book. You know I loved that!

As I’ve said many times, I am blessed to be working with two outstanding authorities in the field of early literacy. Decorated professors, widely recognized lecturers, authors of numerous articles and books in their fields of specific studies — TIM RASINSKI and MARY JO FRESCH take the poems I wrote for these books and turn them into word ladders and activities that will enhance and stimulate learning in any classroom in America.

SONY DSC

What to do today?

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I submitted a proposal for a book that DAN BURR and I want to do. He and I haven’t worked together since I wrote and he illustrated PIRATES (2008) and COWBOYS (2012) for Boyds Mills Press.

PIRATES, especially, received recognition, including Kansas State Reading Circle, NCTE Notable Poetry Book, Nominated for Cybils Award, selected for VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, and selected to represent the state of Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. I would love to get a new book in the works with Dan.

I also sent a proposal for a book with TIM RASINSKI. We’ve already done the work and leased rights to use it in schools in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now we’re thinking we might see about getting it published instead of marketing it ourselves.

Also submitted a new story I wrote with JANE YOLEN to a publisher neither of us has worked with before. I need to start thinking about something else I might do for that house.

Jane and I haven’t done anything together since RUM PUM PUM (Holiday House, 2019), which I loved doing.

Also checked signals with KATE COSGROVE about a book we’re interested in doing together. THE DIRT BOOK continues to do well and we love working together.

I think today I’ll work a bit more on the idea to do with Kate. I need to move that one along enough that I can submit it somewhere.

Elsewhere, Tim Rasinski, LYNNE KULICH, and I continue to wait for the readers to report in about the proposal we submitted several weeks ago for a new education book.

LAURA ROBB, Tim Rasinski, and I expect to get a pub date anytime now for a book we’re just completing for Teacher Created Materials. I hope to see that one come out late this year.

Partner Poems and Word Ladders for Building Foundational Literacy Skills

Hi everyone,

I’d like to talk a little about the two books with Scholastic that have recently reached the market. I’ve mentioned before that I wrote the poems, TIM RASINSKI wrote the word ladders, and MARY JO FRESCH created activities to further reinforce each lesson. One volume is for students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. The other is meant for slightly more advanced kids in grades 1-3. Together, both books provide 50 poems, word ladders, and lessons. All the poems are for two or more voices.

We’ve each made videos about the intention and process for making these books. As I’ve said many times before, it was both a pleasure and a privilege to work with Tim and Mary Jo on the project. I went first because my colleagues needed the poems before they could add their own work. In the beginning, they provided me with a list of phonograms, basic word sounds such as ab, ed, ip, ot, ug, and unk. My job was to take each of these sounds and write a partner poem for young children. I began each time by making a list of words that included my target sound, such as ak.

Once I had a list of words with the same sounds, I had to find a poem somewhere in the list for at least two children to take turns reading together. In this case my list ran 29 words: back, hack, Jack, crack, snack, whack, and so on. The poem that emerged, which is shown on the cover of the book, goes like this.

1st Voice						2nd Voice

See my yak?
							That’s no yak.
I named him Jack.
							Jack’s no yak.
I love my Yak.
							Jack’s no yak.
							He has feathers
							on his back.
							Jack’s no yak. 
Good old Jack.
I love my yak.
							Jack has feathers
							on his back.
							He waddles with
							a quack, quack.
							Jack’s no yak.
Pretty feathers,
pretty back,
pretty waddle,
pretty yak!
							A yak is gray
							or brown or black.
							He has no feathers
							down his back.
							He doesn’t waddle,
							doesn’t quack.
							Jack’s no yak!
Jack’s no yak?
							No such luck.
Well then.
I love my Jack,
the duck.

(c) 2022 David L. Harrison, Scholastic Books, Partner Poems, Grades K-2

I should point out that although these books were written with the classroom teacher in mind, they can easily work for home schooling parents and kids will like the poems just for the fun of them. It’s like getting a book of twenty-five poems to play with and read with a parent or friend.

Partner Poems & Word Ladders for Building Foundational Literacy Skills

Hi everyone,

Yesterday my samples arrived for both volumes of the new Scholastic titles. I loved meeting them at last. My partners in the project, TIM RASINSKI and MARY JO FRESCH have just received their samples, too, so we’re all celebrating together.

My thanks to our editor, MARIA CHANG, and to TARA WELTY, Senior Vice President of Teaching Solutions, for turning our ideas and proposals into reality. Now we turn to the task of getting out the word that our books are out there and ready to be put to use in classrooms and homes wherever children are learning to read. As it says in the description: “Motivate young learners to develop fluency with funny short poems they can read with a partner. Follow this up with skill-building word ladders that focus on phonics and vocabulary, plus an engaging language arts mini-lesson on reading, writing, or word study, and you’ve got a comprehensive, strategic approach to teaching early literacy skills. This book provides practice in reading and writing phonograms essential for learners who are ready to expand their vocabulary and experiences with print.”