National Poetry Month is underway and there’s a lot going on here at the Triple-R Ranch: poetry, interviews, student writing, and a national book launch for my second picture book, among other things. First up, though: an interview with Michelle H. Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty!
At her blog today, Michelle is sharing the news about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids), the picture book I’ve written with author Deborah Bruss. Deb and I had a lot of fun with her interview, and I encourage you to check it out HERE! (We also have a fun Ditty of the Month Challenge for you!)
Michelle’s blog post is also special in another way: she is officially kicking off the “DINOSAUR TOUR” – a blog tour running throughout April and early May to celebrate this brand-new book! The complete list of blogs taking part in the DINOSAUR TOUR:
April 6: Michelle H. Barnes (Interview w/month-long writing prompt)
April 8: Kate Narita (Book trailer & activity sheet spotlight)
April 11: Deborah Kalb (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
April 13: Yours Truly! (Interview w/illustrator Louie Chin)
April 16: KidLit Exchange (Blog post re: process of illustration)
April 17: Momma’s Bacon (DAAD review)
April 17: Yours Truly! (I’ll be sharing a couple of spreads of the book right here – and gearing up for our National Book Launch that night in Cambridge, MA!)
April 18: Bonnie Ferrante (DAAD review)
April 19: Brenda Davis Harsham (DAAD micro review)
April 25: Bonnie Ferrante (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
May 2: Unleashing Readers (DAAD review)
TBD: KidLit Exchange (DAAD review)
May 30: Bookseedstudio (DAAD review/interview)
I hope you’ll stop by these various blogs, as you’ll learn something new at each one, plus you’ll have multiple opportunities to win copies of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!
“Poetry…Cubed! #5” entries are already pouring in!
Because a book launch does not make a person crazy-busy enough, I also thought National Poetry Month would be a good time to host another round of “Poetry…Cubed!” This time…with a little thematic element.
If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, you know that chefs try to outdo each other by creating dishes using specific and sometimes rather strange ingredients. So for this contest, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry – only without the bloody fingers and broken dreams. In case you’re new to this, here’s how it works:
- Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
- The poem can be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. (Heck, I’ll accept a monoku, if you think you can do it!) But please remember: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading! This is about having fun and being creative – unlike the “real” Chopped, which is all about skill, artistry, and a potential career-ending slip of the knife.
- Be sure to include a reference to all three images in the one poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. (And since this is poetry we’re talking about, we play fast and loose with this rule!)
- Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month. Out of all poems submitted, one writer will be chosen at random to receive a personally-signed copy of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!
Keep in mind, I can only format poems to a small degree – so please try to refrain from lots of unusual breaks and text placement. I’ll do my best to format your poem per your wishes, but WordPress will only allow me to do so much.
Here are the three images (click on any to enlarge):
And yes…I’m indulging in a little shameless self-promotion with these – and the more you learn about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), the more you’ll understand!
I’ve already had numerous entries come in since the contest began last Friday! Here are some of them:
An entry to the world of numbers and words
Praises that describe, adorn, paint the brain so faint with vivid imagination.
Songs and praises that take my mind to the edge of ecstacy
Like a drug
It is so easy to play with words like dies,
Cubic shapes with dots or numbers that determine a win or lose
In words of breath I relate
In my right mind I write
My mind is poetry
The power of poetry is to free the mind to think as you like
The power of poetry is “Power- to the third Power”
Poetry is imagination
– © 2018 Sandile Dlamiini, all rights reserved
Best Cake Ever
It’s party day! So much to do.
Shopping, baking, cleaning, too.
Make “Best Cake Ever!”
(Take a nap?)
No! Don’t you have some gifts to wrap?
Yikes! They’re here!
Socks away! Hallways clear!
Presents? Thank you!
Games and laughter.
Best Cake Ever?
A song for you.
Blow them out! Let’s feed this crew.
CRASH! STOMP! ROAR!
“Wait… and don’t come out.”
Grope in darkness. Find a light.
Friends afraid, “but we’re all right.”
Look for clues. The wall… the floor…
the hall… a TAIL beneath a door?!?!
Trembling fingers, breathless pause:
In the act!
With frosting claws!!
No, RUN AWAY!
No more party here today!!
Peace and quiet.
Must be time for cake and tea.
– © 2018 Savannah Rogers, all rights reserved
(NOTE: Savannah tells me her Mom was the culprit, wearing a realistic dino suit!)
Frigid days clutch, claw
Snow clouds persist, block sun’s beams
Happy Midwest Spring!
– © 2018 Kimberly Hutmacher, all rights reserved
Amazing how three simple images can conjure such different reactions, isn’t it?? That’s why I love this little contest I devised. Send me your response to this challenge, and I’ll enter you in the drawing, too!
For today’s complete poetry roundup, please visit my friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm, where she is hosting Poetry Friday with another sample of her Poetry Month Project: 1 Subject, 30 Ways!
I shared some 2nd-grader poetry earlier this week, written by students I visited at a local elementary school, and I also shared an interview an Australian ezine did with me, which they just published this week!
If you missed these posts, please check them out!
The 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem!
A little seed is about to go on an adventure! The 2018 Progressive Poem is underway, and here’s a list of all the writers/bloggers participating – so you can follow along:
April 1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR hits bookshelves April 17!
New dates continue to be added to the Dinosaur Tour! Here’s the most up-to-date schedule:
- Sat., April 14, 11am: Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
- Sat., April 14, 2pm: Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
- Tue., April 17, 7pm: Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur Dual National Launch Party!! (with Holly Thompson, One Wave at a Time reading/signing/discussion)
- Thur., April 26, 10:30am: Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, NH, Dinosaur Storytime with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People!
- Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
- Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
- Sun., April 29, 2pm: MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing and discussion
- Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
- Sat., May 5, 1pm: Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
- Sat., May 12, 11am: Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
- Wed., May 16, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
- Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
- Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!”
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month,” Sept. 2017!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!
I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!
Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)