One year ago, in the middle of a pandemic, a very unique and fun book arrived on the scene…and today we’re celebrating its 1-year birthday!
With poems and illustrations by more than 60 New England authors and illustrators like Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Peter H. Reynolds, Jodie Apeseche, Josh Funk, Bob Thibeault, Lynda Mullaly-Hunt, and many others (including Yours Truly), the book clocks in at a solid 70 pages!
The book is especially dear to my heart, because I didn’t just contribute 3 poems; editors Kristen Wixted and Heather Kelly asked author Kip Wilson and I to judge all the submissions, to determine which were the best and which needed some revision. It was quite the time-intensive task (a little consonance there, for you poetry fans), but we had a lot of fun doing it – and were glad we were able to help others in polishing their poems for publication (a little aliteration, as well, just to keep you on your toes).
You can read my interview with Wixted & Kelly HERE and learn about how they came up with the idea, how they navigated the process, and how they managed to pull it all off during a nationwide shutdown!
One of the most impressive spreads in the book features a beautiful illustration by Leanne Leutkemeyer with a poem by Amanda Smith:
I love variety (I’m the kind of guy who orders the appetizer sampler at a restaurant because I don’t want to miss out on anything!), so I wanted to make sure each poem I submitted was very different in style and form. I figured pantoum/cherita/haiku was a pretty good mix.
If you are new to Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children, I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy – at 70 pages, it’s hefty, so you’re defintely getting your money’s worth. Of course you can order it from Amazon and B&N, but if you purchase it from my hometown indie bookstore, I’d be happy to sign it!
Since it is Poetry Friday, I’m very proud to be hosting the festivities – so you need go no further for today’s offical round up! Just leave your links in the comments below and I’ll round them up throughout the day, old school-style!
Denise Krebs shares a beautiful wedding gift: a pantoum!
The autumn season inspired Michelle Kogan to write two haiku.
Also in a fall mood, Carol Varsalona reviews Ashley Wolff’s new picture book, How to Help a Pumpkin Grow.
Carmela Martino features a creative NF book about the American Revolution along with one of her 3 contributions to Bridget Magee’s new release, 10.10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways.
Poetry is all about finding new, interesting connections, and Linda Baie connects Daylight Savings Time with poet Ted Kooser.
One of the reasons I love poetry is because it can cram a lot of imagery and emotion into a tight space…and Alan J. Wright is doing just that today with some short, witty light verse!
Molly Hogan is stepping outside of her “comfort zone” by sharing two very personal, emotional poems.
Our Aussie friend Kathryn Apel, along with our other Aussie friend, Sally Murphy, recently helped the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature develop the Australian Verse Novel Resource, a fantastic idea that I hope catches on stateside!
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is contemplating change – trees, leaves, bees – and offers a thoughtful poem, “Circles.”
The great artist Vincent Van Gogh once said that he would “never stand for anything of importance”…but Tabatha Yeatts is in with an original poem to prove otherwise.
Linda Mitchell has news of a poetry contest and an original award-winning poem about sisters and sibling love.
Tim Gels has much to be thankful for, and since this is the perfect month to show thankfulness he shares 3 tankas about thanks.
Have you ever considered making poetry out of trash? Susan Thomsen does just that, with blackout poetry from an old book!
Heidi Mordhorst shares a n/ode to autumn today – and no, that’s not a misprint!
Gratiku: I love that word! Ruth shares a haiku about gratitude, this time about the importance of tea and the comfort it provides.
There’s something about this time of year that gets folks in a haiku/tanka mood, and Christie Wyman joins in with a beautiful autumnal poem.
Irene Latham‘s latest latest ArtSpeak: Four Seasons poem is inspired by fog and friendship.
It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love pizza, in one way, shape, or form – and Jama Rattigan reviews a brand-new children’s book, We Love Pizza, by Elenia Beretta.
Mary Lee Hahn takes a look at what it means to “persevere” and shares an incredibly powerful original poem.
Yesterday was spent raking and leaf-blowing with my kids…and Karen Eastlund was apparently doing the same thing, as she offers a short fall poem she is still working on, but which is coming along nicely.
Margaret Simon is prepping for a poetry reading with some esteeemed company, and shares a few student poems from the Poet-Tree!
Janice Scully is offering a positive, inspirational poem she wrote about the climate crisis.
In honor of Veterans Day, Linda Kulp Trout (an Air Force veteran herself) shares a poem she wrote to thank veterans for their work and sacrifice, which originally appeared in the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Poemlo Books, 2015)..
Carol Labuzzetta has been dealing with seasonal, personal, and literary challenges this past week, and shares an update – along with an original autumn poem.
What do you do when a home you love…is no longer recognizable? Catherine Flynn explores that difficult situation with an original poem.
Laura Purdie Salas has rounded up several short poems for fall, that originally appeared in her e-newsletter for educators.
Mary Cronin spotlights a new biographical verse novel, The Traveling Camera: Lewis Hine and the Fight to End Child Labor, by Alexandra Hinrichs.
Almost-last but definitely not least, we have TWO different post about the incredibly talented Janet Wong, who is receiving the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children at NCTE’s annual (virtual) convention next week! Her friend and Pomelo Books co-hort, Dr. Sylvia Vardell, shares a fun video interview with Janet you have to see…while Jone MacCulloch shares part II of her online interview with Janet.
And finally, a perfect way to put a big red bow on our Poetry Friday celebration: Leigh Anne Eck says “tanka you” with a beautiful original tanka!
I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!
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!
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.
Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!
Click any of the covers below to order!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (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!
- 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!
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:
- “Rollicking rhyme!” – Booklist
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