Even if I didn’t know I had a new book coming out next month, I’d still know – because only when a new book is due does life get this busy!
I’ve been coordinating interviews with bloggers, corresponding with bookstores, getting marketing posts out and scheduled, and already signing copies of A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022)!
My first creative nonfiction book (from the publishers of Once Upon Another Time) introduces the very human concepts and emotions of love, creativity, and empathy, and I hope you’ll check it out. (You’ll certainly have plenty of opportunity to do so, as the number blog posts, reviews, interviews, and podcasts will start increasing as we get closer to publication date of Oct. 18!)
I’ve already seen the book on the shelf of one local bookstore, Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH (guess they couldn’t wait, ha!), and yesterday I spent part of my afternoon signing all the fresh copies that had just been delivered to another local bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, NH. I absolutely LOVE this!
As if I wasn’t busy enough, I’ve just learned that I will be a First Round Panelist for this year’s CYBILs Awards! I’m always eager to see what books get nominated for the various categories (I get to judge poetry!), and I’m especially excited because there are finally, finally TWO separate categories for poetry collections and verse novels.
Many of us have been requesting this for years, because it’s impossible to compare a collection of poems written for a 2nd-grade reading level with a YA verse novel. They might both be poetry, but they are as different as a board book and an early reader – they are two completely different genres, and it’s nice to see the CYBILs recognizing this.
So to celebrate the CYBILs, I thought I’d reach back in time and share a poem from the book that won First Place in the Poetry Category the very first year I participated as a panelist or judge: 2013! (Wow, has it really been 9 years?)
The winning book was Forest Has a Song (Clarion Books, 2013) by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, who at the time I’d only recently connected with on social media. Over the ensuing years, however, Amy and I would get to know each other better through our poetry, our books, and a mutual friendship with the late, great Lee Bennett Hopkins.
We’ve even had the privelege of contributing to each other’s books – me, by writing a soccer poem for her book Poems are Teachers (Heineman, 2017) and her, for contributing a poem to an upcoming poetry anthology of mine.
One of my favorite poems from her book has delightful wordplay and is beautiful in its simplicity and brevity – neither of which is an easy task, when it comes to poetry:
If you click the image, you’ll be whisked away to Jama Rattigan’s original blog post celebrating the publication of Forest Has a Song, so I hope you’ll check it out if you missed it 9 years ago!
Here in present day, however, Tabatha is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, and sharing a cute pussy willow poem, “The Willow Cats,” by award-winning poet Margaret Widdemer.
Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new
creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN
(Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!
Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!
I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!
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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 here to view all my books and 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
- “A wild romp!” – Parenting NH Magazine
- “Cute…intriguing…4 out of 5 stars” – Tulsa Book Review
- “Rhythmic…funny and informative” – Unleashing Readers
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19 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: CYBILS Awards, a favorite past winner, and ‘Beginner’s Guide’ is popping up in the world!”
Oh how I love Forest Has a Song and the wonderful Amy! Thanks for sharing it, Matt, and good luck with all your book launch activities and the awards panel. You are one busy poet!
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Thank you so much, Rose!
Hi Matt, and congrats on this newest offering (love the title so much!). Amy’s FOREST is one I return to as well. So beautiful! I’m serving on CYBILS nonfiction this year. 🙂
Congratulations, Irene, and thank you for all your support all these years!
Very fun to be on that panel, Matt! How you fit it in, I don’t know!
Not sure how I’m going to fit it in, either, ha! But it’s too much fun to not do it. 😉
Hope your CYBILS year is awesome. With a book coming out and reading YET MORE, you are indeed a star for jumping in!
Thanks so much! It’s definitely a labor of love!
Matt, congratulations on your latest book. I can’t wait to read it. I’m so looking forward to serving on the CYBILS with you this year. I too am glad that verse novels finally will have their own spot to shine.
I appreciate the look back at Amy’s book. I teach environmental education workshops throughout the year and this is one that always comes with me.
Thanks, Tricia. We used that book, as well, for our one year of homeschooling my daughter back when Covid shut everything down!
Lots of lovely books to share, Matt, including your own new one! It looks like it will be great to read this fall & share! Thanks for taking time for the Cybils! I love those fiddleheads. Flowers & their unique ways of growing & opening are so wonderful!
Yes, living next to a forest as I do, I have to say Amy’s book touches me in many ways. Thanks!
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“April Waking” is such a charming poem! Thanks for sharing it. As always, congrats on your many, many successes!
Thank you so much, Tabatha!
FOREST HAS A SONG is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing this lovely poem from it. And I can’t wait to read your forthcoming book! Woohoo!
Thanks, Laura – I surprise myself with each new one that comes out! Not sure how I keep doing this, ha!
Congrats on the newest book, Matt, and enjoy your time (again!) on the Cybils!
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