I’m in a new book

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: It’s time for a summer blog party over at Matt’s house. Look for more information tomorrow and start getting ready to join the fun. Here’s his link if you don’t already have it handy. https://mattforrest.wordpress.com Thanks to Matt for hosting his second party. Who will be the next host/hostess? It isn’t too early to volunteer!

Hi everyone,

I neglected to mention that Monday was the official publication date CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM, 5th Edition. I’ve told you about it before but now it’s official and I’m very happy to have my chapter on poetry included, pages 182-200. Here’s the blurb.

“This indispensable teacher resource and course text, now revised and updated, addresses the “whats,” “whys,” and “how-tos” of incorporating outstanding children’s literature into the K–8 reading program. A strong emphasis on diverse literature is woven throughout the fifth edition, with chapters emphasizing the need for books that reflect their readers and presenting dozens of carefully reviewed books that teachers will be eager to use in the classroom. Leading authorities provide advice on selecting texts, building core literacy and literary skills, supporting struggling readers, and maximizing engagement. The volume offers proven strategies for teaching specific genres and formats, such as fiction, nonfiction, picturebooks, graphic novels, biographies, and poetry. This title is a copublication with the International Literacy Association.”

This is the third straight edition for which I’ve been invited to write the chapter about poetry. In this one I’m grateful to Charles Ghigna, Jane Yolen, Kenn Nesbitt, Cheryl Harness, Steven Withrow, J. Patrick Lewis, and Joyce Sidman for contributing poems. Their collective genius does wonders for the chapter! Not only that, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have a special insert that adds even more spark and great information so I’m thankful to them too!

This one was a long time coming. I feel like celebrating!

Word of the Month update

Hi everyone,

For some reason the word for May — MOUSE — isn’t resonating with many of you. Through this morning we’ve had only five poems, counting mine, posted all month.

Interestingly, of the four other poets, Cory Corrado, Jeanne Poland, Bryn Strudwick, and Jane Yolen, three countries are represented, four if you count the time Jane spends in Scotland. Also, Susan Hutchens posted a mouse poem that I overlooked earlier.

Have I missed anyone? Sing out if you posted on a regular post rather than on Adult “W.O.M.” Poems because I might have missed you. Otherwise, let’s see more mouse-inspired poems, people! Squeak up!

Worth repeating

Hi everyone,

On Friday I posted a picture of my turtles studying my calendar and Jane wrote a witty poem about it. I followed up with this picture and a poem and Susan chipped in a poem as well, but I’m not sure many saw the fun developing. Today I’m reposting all that for anyone who missed the original and maybe we’ll see some further contributions before the day is done.

Jane Yolen

February 10, 2018 @ 7:04 am

The Turtles Escape

The Reading of Turtles
is not too well known.
They sit upon books
that their people all own.

They act as if reading–
–Or sleeping–who knows.
Their eyes are just painted
and they never close.

I worry they’re reading
and planning a trip.
I caution myself
that I must get a grip.

Next morning, the turtles
are missing, away.
I worry about it
for all of the day.

But turtles are careful,
deliberate, I know.
Wherever they’re headed,
It’s going to be sloooooooow.

Hahahaha!

JaneY

The Turtle’s Response

All those nights
he read to us.
All those words
he fed to us.

Now those words
will take us far
cleverly hidden
in his car.

We’ve made our plans,
we’ve marked the date,
we’ve packed our bags,
and now we wait.

He says that turtles
aren’t allowed,
but we can READ!
He’ll be so proud!

(c) by David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

Susan Hutchens

February 11, 2018 @ 12:17 am

Don’t Judge a Turtle!

Likely ’cause
we walk so slow,
people think
we just don’t know.

Folks judge us by
our outer looks –
We might be green
but we love books!

Like other creatures
here on earth,
we didn’t choose
this reptile birth.

Ever hopeful
we surge ahead,
and know we’re smart
because we read!

Telling the past

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Jane Yolen and I finished a new collection of poems and sent it on its way. During the day we got to talking about the Scottish brogue and that brought back memories of when I was a child in Ajo, Arizona. My dad worked in the payroll department for Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation and one of his associates was a Scott named Harry Poole. The two couples got together from time to time and that was fine with me. I was six or so and I loved to listen to that man talk. He had grown up in the old country and could tell story after story about what it was like when he was a young man. When Mr. Poole retired, he and his wife moved to California. I only saw him one time after that, when we took a trip that way and stopped in for a visit. Their retirement bungalow was cozy with a small living room and kitchen. I don’t remember the bedroom. There was a white crocheted doily draped across the back of the brown sofa. Mr. Poole sat in his favorite chair beside the sofa. This is what I remember.

After the greetings and everyone was settled, Mr. Poole tamped fresh tobacco into his pipe, lighted it, took a few trial puffs, then looked off into the past while my dad and I waited. We were about to be treated to another of Mr. Poole’s stories. I could hear the women in the kitchen, catching up over tea. Mr. Poole said, “When I was a boy, twelve, thirteen, my father sent me to work at a saw mill. The family needed the extra money. A puff or two. The mill was a dangerous place. Lots of noise. No safety features. Accidents were commonplace.” I don’t remember if my dad was smoking a cigar but he was awake so he probably was. Mr. Poole went on, “One day a lad got careless and ran a log too close to the blade. Took his finger off.” The old man’s eyes began to smile. “The lad wrapped a rag around the stump,” he said, “then he slipped up behind the fellow at the next saw and dropped his finger down the back of his coveralls. You should have seen that lad carrying on when he eventually fished the finger out and saw what it was!” I don’t remember if I laughed or gasped. Mr. Poole obviously thought it was a funny story. He closed his eyes as if fact checking. Satisfied, he nodded, opened his eyes, and went to his pipe again, leaving a comfortable silence to drift around the room.

How accurate is this memory? I like to think it’s close to the way it happened. Whether it is or not, who is to say? It’s my memory and has lived in my mind as clearly as a video for nearly seventy-five years. Telling the past is an important part of what writers do.