Poetry Friday: “I Am Today” is officially everywhere – and so are sea turtles!

Well, it finally happened.

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) was officially published this past Tuesday!

Children are always being told they are the “Future”…but what if a child doesn’t want to wait, to make a difference? I Am Today is about a young girl who recognizes a need to take action, but also recognizes that she needn’t wait to take that action.

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
  • “An inspirational and motivational story about a young girl who is acting TODAY rather than waiting for the future to make change”
    Little Book Locker
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)


All images © 2022 POW! Kids Books, all rights reserved

Learn more about the book and read reviews at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of I AM TODAY from my local independent bookstore today!

Sea turtles play a big role in the story. In fact, readers can even learn how to make their own origami sea turtles – just like the main character makes – using instructions included at the end of the book! So as I was preparing this week’s post, I thought about how I could incorporate sea turtles into a Poetry Friday post about my new book.

And then the poem just came to me…

sea turtle tanka

under sea salt moon
you pull yourself from fierce waves
with lumbering grace,
climb above the high tide line;
a family left in sand                   

© 2022 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved


In case you do not know, this poem form is a tanka – a Japanese form similar to a haiku, although it actually predates haiku. The syllabic structure, in English-language terms, is 5-7-5-7-7, although one needn’t follow this religiously as our syllables are not exactly the same thing as Japanese syllables. But for simplicity’s sake, I stuck with the structure.

Hope you like it! And I hope you’ll check out I Am Today, as well! For all of today’s Poetry Friay links and fun, head over to Kat Apel’s blog Kat’s Whiskers, where she is celebrating the release of her newest verse novel, What Snail Knows (University of Queensland Press)!

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!



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!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!


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!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

Available now!

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!




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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day) . Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “I Am Today” is officially everywhere – and so are sea turtles!

  1. Such lovely rhythm and rhyme in your embracing of Today, Matt. And I do love the premise for the book. The future is important – but we must first live today. And let kids be kids.
    Incidentally, we are not far from Mon Repos turtle rookery – have delighted in seeing mama turtles, and then their hatchlings, too. In fact, turtles (and hatchlings) make an appearance in ‘What Snail Knows’. Congratulations on your new book! Lovely to share release week with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hooray! At last how wonderful for your book to be out in the world.

    Your book reminds me of pictures a friend sent me of newly hatched sea turtles in Malta. A volunteer group helps the turtles that are buried too deeply in the sand make it to the sea. If we all do something, wherever we are, what a difference we can make around the world. Thanks for sharing this inspiring book with us.

    I love the turtle tanka, and I love the message of this book. I hope it will inspire children around the world to feel empowered to take action to support the causes they care about.


  3. Matt, Congratulations on your new book release! I love sea turtles and we saw so many green sea turtles during our recent trip to Maui, it made me feel that conservation efforts regarding turtles have been successful to some extent! Enriching and empowering youth – what could be a better topic for a book?! Congrats, again!


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