My friend and fellow writer/blogger Michelle H. Barnes not only loves to read and write children’s poetry…she devotes a significant amount of her time promoting it via her blog, Today’s Little Ditty. Each month, Michelle features different children’s authors and poets who challenge her readers with writing poetry in a variety of ways, and every couple of years she compiles the best poems into a poetry anthology.
And the latest edition is out now!
As Michelle explains in her own blog post, a “ditty committee” of 12 readers, writers, and bloggers (including Yours Truly) reviewed more than 500 poems written during 2017 and 2018. We whittled the list down to 96 poems by 57 different poets – and they’re all in here for you to read and enjoy.
I am pleased to learn I have three poems included in the book; one is my response to a challenge by Jane Yolen and J. Patrick Lewis to write an “epitaph poem” following their visit to Michelle’s blog…
I was also pleased to learn from Michelle that she is including SEVEN poems that resulted from the challenge my Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (POW! Kids Books, 2018) co-author, Deborah Bruss, and I put forth to her readers! (You can learn more about that challenge HERE.)
So congratulations again to Michelle! I hope you’ll stop by her blog post today to check out more details on this brand-new book, and be sure to pick up a copy and show your support for children’s poetry. And since Michelle is hosting Poetry Friday today, you can check out all the links to all the children’s poetry posts out there in the kidlitosphere!
If you’re planning to attend this year’s National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference in my original hometown of Baltimore, I hope you’ll say hi! This will be my first year at NCTE (and the first time I’ve back back in my birth city since 1996!), and I’m very excited to be an official representative for Flashlight Night‘s publisher, Boyds Mills & Kane. Here’s my schedule:
Friday, 7-7:45am, Grand Ballroom I & III:
FIRST-TIMERS’ WELCOME! Having never been to NCTE before, I suppose this is probably an important thing to attend, yes?
Friday, 3:30-4:45 pm, Room #315:
I’ll be co-presenting “Wonder as a Way In: Teaching Reading and Writing Poetry through Inquiry” – a poetry workshop with authors and educators Laura Purdie Salas, Liz Steinglass, Heidi Mordhorst, and Mary Lee Hahn. We’ll share activities designed to approach reading, writing, and appreciating poetry through the process of inquiry.
Saturday, 9:30-10:30 am, Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, Atrium, Level 2, Nonfiction Children’s Book Salon:
An “unofficial” session, thisis an opportunity to grab a coffee and talk nonfiction (picture books, middle grade, and YA) with Lerner and Chronicle editors Carol Hinz, Melissa Manlove, and Shaina Olmanson.
Saturday, 12:30-2:30pm, Children’s Book Awards Luncheon:
I’ll be hosting one of Boyds Mills & Kane’s tables, so I’m very eager to meet and hang out with so many writer and teacher friends! (Plus, I’ll have copies of Flashlight Night on hand!)
Sunday, 7-8:45am, Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA) Breakfast:
Caldecott Honor author/illustrator Yuyi Morales will be discussing her work, including her newest book, Soñadores / Dreamers (Holiday House, 2018).
And of course, I’ll be popping in and out of sessions here and there and trying to spend as much time with my writer and educator friends as possible. If you do see me, please stop and say hello! (Hint: I’ll be sporting my winter beard, so if you come across a fellow who looks like The Most Interesting Man in the World’s balder, less-interesting brother…that’s probably me)
Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!
You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. 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?)
Thank you to everyone for your support!
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Finalist, 2019 New Hampshire Literary Awards
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness!
- “Rollicking rhyme!” – Booklist
- “A wild romp!” – Parenting NH Magazine
- “Cute…intriguing…4 out of 5 stars” – Tulsa Book Review
- “Rhythmic…funny and informative” – Unleashing Readers
Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
16 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “The Best of Today’s Little Ditty,” volume 3 – and gearing up for NCTE!”
Ha! I’ll look for the beard! Seriously, you’re going to have a great time at NCTE–so eager for our poetry panel!
Thanks, Laura! I can’t wait to meet you & so many of my friends in person!
Congratulations on your poems being part of Michelle’s new anthology, Matt. You are a very busy person at the NCTE Convention. I hope to see you at the First Timer’s Breakfast-maybe at the table that I will be facilitating. That would be fun to have you as part of the conversation.
I do hope we get to meet, Carol! I saw something about the first-timers welcome on Fri. morning, but I didn’t see that it was a breakfast…is that a ticketed event?
Congratulations for your wonderful poems that are included, Matt, can’t wait to have the book itself! Have a super time at NCTE, always a marvelous time.
Very eager to attend NCTE, as it’s my first time – thank you, Linda!
Thanks for spotlighting The Best of Today’s Little Ditty today, Matt! I love all three of your fresh and hilarious poems in Volume 3. Here’s hoping this book has much more staying power than that poor little mayfly. 😉
Ha, I’m sure it will, Michelle. Thanks again!
I can’t wait to meet you face to face. You are going to love the conference!
Likewise, I’m looking forward to seeing you and so many others!
Woot! I agree that Michelle makes collaboration a dream. She promotes poetry and walks the walk of seeing others join her in the art. Hooray! for the poems that came from your prompt. Way to go, Matt!
Thanks so much, Linda!
Love your “Epitaph for a Mayfly” your short poem goes well with their short life. Have fun at the Conference!
Thank you, Michelle!
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