Poetry Friday: The Roundup is here, with a “Night Wishes” Giveaway!

(All images © 2020 Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, all rights reserved, reprinted with permission)

This past Tuesday, we celebrated the book birthday of Night Wishes (Eerdmans), one of the late Lee Bennett Hopkins’ final children’s poetry anthologies. (There are still two more on the way, one in 2021 and one in 2022)

In this beautiful book illustrated by Jen Corace, 13 poets imagine how the inanimate objects in a child’s room room might say good night, in their own particular way. The bed, pillow, rocking horse, night light, and more all wish a little girl well as she drifts off to sleep. In addition to Yours Truly, contributors include:

Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Jude Mandell
Prince Redcloud
Alice Schertle
Joyce Sidman
Eileen Spinelli
Irene Latham
Lee Bennett Hopkins
Nikki Grimes
Deborah Ruddell
Darren Sardelli
Renee LaTulippe

I’m  honored that Eerdmans chose to spotlight my poem, “Pillow,” on the book’s JACKET FLAP (how cool is that??) and also included the poem, along with my friend Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s opening poem, “Bed,” on their Eerdlings blog post.

I’d also like to thank Eerdmans for interviewing me their official blog, Eerdlings! I chat about what inspires me, how I approach research, how my past radio experience has helped me write picture books, and more…it was a fun interview, and I’m grateful to the publisher.

Since I shared Rebecca’s and my poems in this this past Tuesday’s post, today I thought I’d share the poem Lee himself wrote:

(click to enlarge)

Somehow, it just seems fitting that the Teddy Bear – a symbol of love,  reassurance, and calm – would be the subject my friend and mentor chose to write about. The Dear One, as Lee was known to his friends, would indeed be proud of this book.


Would you like to win a free copy of “Night Wishes,” courtesy of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers? Just leave a comment below or share this post or Tuesday’s post on Facebook or Twitter (and be sure to tag me each time, so I can give you your correct number of entries!) – and I’ll pick one name at random at the end of the month, Sept. 30. The winner will be announced right here on Friday, Oct. 2.

Kirkus calls the book “A gentle, comforting ticket to beddy-bye — and good dreams.” And if you’d like to learn more about the book, the process behind the craft of poetry, and the relationship many of us had with Lee, I hope you’ll visit the recent blog post from Maria Marshall, who interviewed me and six other contributors about our work in general and this book, specifically.

Thanks for visiting! And since it is Poetry Friday, please leave your links below and I’ll round them up, old school-style, throughout the day. And if you’d like to see more of the book, be sure to check out my blog post from this past Tuesday.

Here’s what’s happening around the kidlitosphere for Poetry Friday:


I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

You can create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!


Did you know that Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme is one of the TOP 20 children’s poetry blogs, according to FEEDSPOT? That’s right – I’m scratching my head, too! FEEDSPOT is an app that allows you to combine all your favorite news feeds, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. into ONE newsletter. Be sure to check it out!


I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


What is Talkabook? Details coming soon!


Coming Spring 2021! Pre-orders are available:

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, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!


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!

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72 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Roundup is here, with a “Night Wishes” Giveaway!

  1. Although I haven’t seen the book yet, I’m inclined to think “Teddy Bear” is my favorite poem in it, not only because I’m *ahem* ‘slightly’ partial to teddy bears, but also because Lee wrote it. It’s so poignant when another of his books comes out — it’s heartening to see how his legacy lives on, but it also makes us miss him even more. Congratulations on having your poem in Night Wishes; thanks for the celebration and for hosting this week.

    At Alphabet Soup, I’m sharing, “Call Me Bourgeois” by Alice N. Persons, with some thoughts about starving artists/suffering for your art:


    Have a nice weekend.


  2. lindabaie

    Thanks for this extra & sweet share of Lee’s poem, Matt. I still have my teddy bear from my childhood (a long time ago) & love his poem, another gift along with the book of so many that Lee gave everyone. Congratulations on your poem, too, and all the others. I’d love to win, but my copy is on the way from my local Indie. New books take a bit of time from them. Thanks for hosting! I’m sharing a poem I imagine your children will connect to considering all the woodsy adventures you share with them. It’s a poem about ‘sticks’! https://www.teacherdance.org/2020/09/poetry-friday-free-for-play.html


  3. Matt, everything about your post is wonderful news. I especially love Lee’s poem because it is such a beautiful reminder of his love of poetry. He was such an endearing person that this book comes at the right time to remember his legacy to the world of children’s literature. I think your poem and Rebecca’s have just the right measure of rhythm, thought, and visuals for my little granddaughter who has become quite the young evaluator of read alouds. I am sharing the 3rd segment of my Embraceable Summer Gallery. Your wonderful poem about your little artist daughter is included. Thank you for always being a supporter of the galleries.


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  7. Wow! I really feel like I’m late to the party this week! I love the book you shared, Matt! Thank you! I will have to return and check out more of your books! It looks like I could glean some inspiration from you! This week I wrote about some observations in my yard as the seasons change! I hope you’ll check them out! Thanks for hosting!


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  11. Michele Krueger

    I am looking forward to this book beauty with bated breath! Glorious illustrations and magical words to ease children into slumber – what a beautiful way to remember Lee Bennett Hopkin’s profound legacy to us all! Thanks for hosting, Matt, and congrats on your inclusion in this lullaby of a book!


  12. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Hi Matt, it’s been a while! Thought I’d stop by for a belated visit as I gear up for returning to Poetry Friday. So lovely to see this poem by Lee. Such a beautiful, comforting, teddy bear of a book to be part of. Off to read more in Maria’s post and your post from last Tuesday.


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