Poetry Friday: “Read! Read! Read!”

Can you believe it? Today we’re celebrating a book that’s NOT Flashlight Night!

(But hang on…there are a couple of Flashlight Night news bits I need to share later! You weren’t going to make it out that easily.)

You see, I’m doing something I rarely do on Poetry Friday: featuring poetry by someone other than Yours Truly. You see, I started off my blog with the intention of sharing my writing with the world every Friday, so I think I’ve only shared others’ poetry on Friday two or three times since I started the blog 5 years ago.

Today, I’m shining the flashlight (sorry, shameless plug) on my friend, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and her new poetry collection, Read! Read! Read! (Boyds Mills Press), which just came out this past Tuesday, Sept. 19:

If the name of the publishing company, Boyds Mills Press, sounds familiar, that’s because they are the same folks who published Flashlight Night – and if the publishing date sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same date as Flashlight Night!

Amy and I even shared the same wonderful editor, Rebecca Davis…so I just had to give Amy’s new book some love. It’s so good!

Read! Read! Read! celebrates the joy of reading in every way possible: from learning how to write letters and then put them together; to reading books, street signs and everything in-between; and even the joy to be found in sneaking a little under-the-covers reading by flashlight. (A-ha! This whole thing is starting to make sense to you, isn’t it, dear reader??)

(Click to enlarge) All text/images © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Ryan O’Rourke, and Boyds Mills Press. Used with permission; all rights reserved

Honestly, I had no idea Amy was going to include a poem in her book that so perfectly complements the ending of my little book…but it’s a sweet one, isn’t it? She also includes this little gem, which is quite possibly the most fun poem to speak aloud ever written:One of the things I like most about this book is that it’s not just about the act of reading – it’s about the joy and satisfaction that is gained from stories and the feelings associated with the words and images on the pages:

I have to add, Ryan O’Rourke’s illustrations strike a balance of playfulness and peace – and his color palette creates a classic, storybook feel to each page. I highly recommend this one, folks!

And by the way, for all of today’s poetry links and hi-jinks – and more news about Read! Read! Read! – head on over to Amy’s blog, The Poem Farm, where she’s hosting Poetry Friday today! (I’m sure that can’t possibly be a coincidence…)


Now, if for some reason you’ve been living under a rock or have been busy crashing into Saturn’s atmosphere, you probably heard about this little book called Flashlight Night. It’s already received multiple positive reviews, but we just learned yesterday that it’s now listed listed as one of Amazon’s editors’ “Best Books of the Month!”

So if you’d like to learn more about the book, the blog tour that’s currently underway (today we’re at Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook), and see where I’ll be in the coming few weeks, please check out this past Tuesday’s post, with all the details!


Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to tell others about it!

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

“An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Thank you, as always, for your support…if you decide to pick up a copy, I hope you and your kids enjoy it as much as Fred and I – along with editor Rebecca Davis, of course – have enjoyed creating it!


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26 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Read! Read! Read!”

  1. amyludwigvanderwater

    You are such fun, Matt! Thank you for sharing your light with me this week. I think that the girl in my book wants to come over to your book to have an adventure! How lucky we are to both work with Rebecca Davis and the great people at Boyds Mills Press. Enjoy this continued celebratory week! Cheers to new books and to friendship! My gratitude…Amy xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amy. I was happy to share the news about your book, not only because it’s such a good collection to encourage and inspire kids, but also because of the connections both our books have – reading, writing, inspiration – and the fact they came out simultaneously is icing on the cake!


  2. dmayr

    Congratulations to you both! Order cards at the library have been submitted and I’m awaiting the books’ appearance on the shelf. I wish you many, many, many sales! (I know you’re not in it for the money, but wouldn’t it be a nice perk?)


  3. So happy for the continued recognition your FLASHLIGHT is receiving… and good of you to shine the light on our own Amy, and the good folks at Boyds Mills, who may be small, but yes MIGHTY, and bringing such important and beautiful and imaginative books to the world. Very happy-making!


  4. Great review, Matt — and what a happy coincidence, the flashlight/reading in bed poem. I’m so anxious to read Amy’s new book. And hooray for Flashlight Night as an Amazon Best Book of the Month!


  5. Haha. So – now we all know how to sneak into the limelight on Matt’s blog. 😉 But what fun for the two of you to be sharing the excitement – and editors. Nice! (And loving these glimpses inside. The illustrations are a perfect match!)


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