No matter how many books I may publish, I’m pretty sure I’ll never not be excited when a new one comes out. My sixth book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), is due in stores everywhere this coming Tue., Oct. 18 – and I can barely stay seated!
(And by the way…YES, I’m hosting the Poetry Friday shenanigans today, so please leave your links in the comments below and I’ll round them up old-school style throughout the day!)
First up: Reviews!
If you have not heard, my sixth book is actually my first creative nonfiction picture book and introduces emotions and concepts like empathy, forgiveness, and love. It was written during the height of the pandemic back in 2020 and I had no idea at the time how important these things would be two years later.
A number of children’s lit bloggers and reviewers will be sharing their thoughts on the book over the next few weeks, but I did want to thank the ones who have already posted reviews:
- Savvy Verse & Wit blog
- Picture Book Depot blog
- Kristi’s Book Nook blog
- YA Book Central’s Mega Book Giveaway
- Sincerely Stacie blog
- Asheville Citizen-Times (What a review – it also got picked up by Yahoo! Thanks, folks!)
I’d also like to thank Dr. Diane Jackson Schnoor for inviting me on her Adventures in Learning podcast to celebrate the upcoming publication of the book as well as creative writing in general.
We discuss the story behind the book, my love of poetry, and how fun creative writing can be both in and out of the classroom. I hope you’ll check it out!
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how Beginner’s Guide came about (it wasn’t even my own idea!), the process of creating it, and why getting the first rough draft down on paper is so important, please be sure to read Hollie Wolverton’s interview with me as part of her #FirstDraftFriday post last week.
What is “Family?”
Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing poems I’ve written relating to some of the concepts included in my book. Last week, it was a nonet poem about forgiveness and a couple of weeks prior to that it was a definito about empathy.
This week, I thought I’d focus on family. Since family can mean many things to many people, I thought I’d do a list poem with no punctuation – to give the sense that there are no boundaries or borders to a family. There are no limits as to who or what can be considered family, other than those who love us and care about us.
mother father sister brother
aunt uncle one another
grammy grampy nonny nan
poppy pépère vovó gran
in-law papaw second cousin
best friend cat dog half a dozen
biologic step or foster
all can show up on the roster
black or brown or beige or white
forward backward left or right
born adopted taken in
anyone can be your kin
half or whole or not at all
accent lisp or southern drawl
doesn’t matter who you are
close to home or way too far
down below or up above
the only thing you need is love
– ©2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved
I do want to give a quick shout-out to Sara Grochowski, a youth librarian from Michigan who just shared a glowing review of Beginner’s Guide on her Instagram account yesterday! She told me that she’s working with twelve K-3 classrooms to overhaul their libraries this year and will be recommending they all add Beginner’s Guide. Wow!
The Poetry Friday Roundup:
As I mentioned earlier, the Poetry Friday roundup is here – so leave your links in the comments below and I’ll be sure to share them all. Thanks for visiting!
- Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference shares two poems, one about a two-headed calf and another about snow – and they are both brilliant.
- Patricia Franz is celebrating the release of WHAT IS A FRIEND?, Pomelo Books’ latest anthology which inclues one of her poems!
- Marci Atkins also contributed a poem to WHAT IS A FRIEND? and you can read hers, as well, along with an original haiku.
- Do you know what an ATC is? How about happy mail? Well, Linda Mitchell will shed some light on these terms with a new triolet at A Word Edgewise!
- At an Alabama state park, a new Japanese garden that has been installed features haiku from several conemporary poets, including our own Robyn Hood Black, who shares hers at Life on the Deckle Edge.
- Sally Murphy has written two “Wordy 30’s”. What is it with all these new vocab words today??
- Not to be outdone, Jone MacCulloch shares three Wordy 30’s at her little home on the web!
- You know what this world needs? A good tomato poem. Fortunately for us, JoAnn Early Macken has one!
- Do you remember doing leaf rubs as a child? I’d forgotten about them until two years ago when we had to homeschool our two kids and that was a combo science/art project I devised for them. At Imagine the Possibilities, Rose recounts the fun and discovery with an original poem.
- Over at Alphabet Soup, Jama Kim Rattigan “opens a book” – a poem by Julia Donaldson – and shares her love of books with some beautiful illustrative artwork and lovely memories.
- Karen Edmisten celebrates October with a poem by Barbara Crooker.
- Autumn also takes the spotlight at Teacher Dance where Linda Baie shares an original poem based on the prompt, “forgotten.”
- Have you heard of “Birdtober?” It’s an artistic/writing challenge to create something each day of the month based on a different bird. Today, Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town responds to the challenge (for the 14th time this month!) with a beautiful original poem about the Phillipine Eagle.
- At More Art 4 All, Michelle Kogan shares two haiku – one inspired by a recent walk and another inspired by her dad.
- What’s better than crisp autumn days, apple cider, and pumpkins? Ice cream, of course! At The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is in with a whimsical yet profound poem that includes all these wonderful things.
- Since October is the 10th month, Bridget Magee at Wee Words for Wee Ones is celebrating the first anniversary of her poetry anthology 10.10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways with a poem by Irene Latham about – you guessed it – the 10th month!
- Margaret Simon’s class has been participating in the National Writing Project and National Parks Service’s Write Out, and shares a couple of her students poems at Reflections on the Teche.
- Heidi Mordhorst is “keeping it all together” (or trying!) by celebrating her 14th blogiversary with an original acrostic at My Juicy Little Universe.
- Irene Latham at Live Your Poem continues her series of haiku paired with Picasso drawings with an ostrich poem she readily identifies with!
- Dusty, musty, spiced up smells permeate Mary Lee Hahn’s new poem about fall, which you can read at A(nother) Year of Reading.
- Head on over to Reading to the Core and Catherine will show you what a mock strawberry looks like, along with a draft of her a poem about it.
- Karen Eastlund is enjoying the spookiness of Halloween by sharing some very non-spooky – and quite beautiful – spiderweb photos along with an original poem.
- Janice Scully at Salt City Verse also has October 31 on her mind and shares a pre-Halloween poem from an unlikely persepctive!
- Sarah Grace Tuttle offers brief reviews about two new books of poetry she’s been reading – and has a giveaway winner to announce, too!
- Molly Hogan has been writing poems in response to various Inktober prompts and today she shares several at her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone.
- Joanne at WordDancer reflects on the fall foliage she enjoyed while on a revent trip to Vermont.
- Last but certainly not least, Carol Varsalona recently gave a keynote address, “Teacher Writers, Awakeners of Learning,” for the Reading Specialists Council of Suffolk professional development program and shares a short poem inspired by teachers who are also writers at her blog, Beyond Literacy Link!
I’m very proud to be a First Round Panelist for the Poetry Category this year!
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!
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 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
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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49 thoughts on “Poetry Friday Roundup: Gearing up for “Beginner’s Guide” with news, reviews, and a poem about FAMILY”
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Love the “without borders” family poem!
My contribution for Poetry Friday this week, celebrating yet another family:
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Congratulations! It’s such a great title. Can’t wait to read it.
I’m in this week with some triolet pumpkin play.
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Yep – You had me at the title, too, and the peeks inside your newest book are wonderful. LOVE your inclusive “Family” poem – it will mean so much to readers young & old. Congratulations, Matt, and thanks for hosting us all today!
I’m delighted to have a haiku on a stone as part of a new “Haiku Path” in a Japanese garden at a state park in Alabama, so I’m sharing that this week:
Congratulations on your new book baby Matt – I agree, the feeling never gets old.
I love the rhythm of your poem I felt myself bopping as I read it aloud.
And thanks for hosting today. I’ve been trying Wordy 30 poems.
Congrats on the uplifting review in the Asheville paper! You’re playing a part in something important! The rhythm in your Family poem keeps us moving with joy as we take everyone in. Thanks for hosting!
Congrats on the new book! Enjoyed your family poem :). Thanks for hosting this week!
Forgot to leave my link: I’m all about the love of books with a poem by Julia Donaldson this week:
Matt, congratulations on the wonderful new book! Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday this week, too. I’m in with a Barbara Crooker poem. It’s here.
Oops, not sure I got my link to work. Here’s the link: https://karenedmisten.blogspot.com/2022/10/poetry-friday-and-now-its-october-by.html
Congratulations, Matt. And your family poem, wonderful. I have three Wordy 30 poems today. https://www.jonerushmacculloch.com/blog/poetry-friday-week-41-wordy-30
Thanks for sharing a poem connected to your new book, Matt. You’re so right; we are all connected. Your book feels like it will be one for everyone. We need some tips! Congratulations and thank you for hosting! I’m in with a “skinny” celebration of fall, can’t help it, too beautiful! https://www.teacherdance.org/2022/10/poetry-friday-more-love-for-fall.html
So exciting! Congratulations!
Thanks for hosting! Here’s today’s Birdtober offering, with links to all the other ones so far. https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2022/10/poetry-friday-birdtober-day-fourteen.html
Congratulations on the new book! I love the concept of families with no borders, boundaries, or limits. Thank you for hosting today!
I’ve got a tomato poem at https://www.joannmacken.com/blog
Hey Matt, Congrats on your new book coming next week, W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!!! Love your “Family” poem here too, makes me think of “All You Need Is Love” by the Beetles. Thanks for rounding us up this week! I’m sharing a couple of haikus this week, one from a walk and a memory poem reflecting on my dad for his B-day: https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2022/10/13/poetry-friday-haiku/
Congratulations on your latest. It looks amazing!
Thanks so much, David!
Congratulations on your new book, Matt! I think we can all learn a little bit about being good humans these days. 🙂
Over at The Poem Farm, I’ve got a little whimsical lesson poem related to fall…and ice cream.
Thank you for hosting today! xo, a.
Matt, thank you for hosting Poetry Friday and providing Monday as the alternate date to review your new book, “Beginner’s Guide to Being Human.” I circle back here to leave the link to my offering tomorrow morning.
Thanks again so much, Carol!
Congratulation on your successes, Matt! You are an inspiration. 🙂
And your family poem is everything.
Today I shine my 10.10 Poetry Palooza spotlight on Irene Latham:
This is the 14th post in this series which has featured many Poetry Friday superstars and will continue through the 31 October.
Thanks for hosting!
I couldn’t leave a comment at your blog but just wanted to say how much I loved Irene’s poem – and I still feel bad I was never able to get a poem submitted to you for this, I was so busy! It’s an excellent book, though, congratulations again!
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So excited for your new book! And I really love your family poem. Thanks for hosting. I’m sharing about WHAT IS A FRIEND a new poetry anthology by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. I’m thrilled to have a poem in it. https://www.marcieatkins.com/2022/10/14/poetry-friday-what-is-a-friend-poetry-anthology/
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Congratulations on your book, Matt! Looking forward to reading it. Here’s my link where I talk about the fine art of leaf rubbing:
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Thanks for linking to the Mailbox Monday post featuring your book; my review posts on Oct. 18!
Thanks again, Sara – it’s truly appreciated!
Congratulations on your latest book! I agree that each one is as exciting as the last because each is like a child to you. I love your punctuation-less poem about families that ends with that just right conclusion…love.
I am sharing two student poems generated from the National Writing Project’s Write Out prompt: https://reflectionsontheteche.com/2022/10/14/poetry-friday-writeout/
Howdy hey hello, Matt, and congrats on all the humaning! I’m celebrating a bloggiversary today by doing Less Than the Maximum and calling that a win. Thanks for hosting!
We are all beginners, yes? Always something new to learn about love and relationships and kindness and respect…congratulations on this latest title and may it find many readers! I’m continuing my Picasso haiku series, this week about an ostrich. 🙂 https://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2022/10/picasso-ostrich-poem.html
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Thanks for hosting us, Matt, and thanks for this important new book of yours! Three cheers! I love your family poem, and the intentional choice to not punctuate it. Powerful.
I’ve got a fall poem (a “drafty draft”) illustrated by this week’s embroidery mandala: https://ayearofreading.org/2022/10/14/poetry-friday-peak-color/
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Thank you for hosting today, and congratulations on your new book, Matt! It sounds fabulous! I love your inclusive family poem. Today I’m sharing the draft of a poem that celebrates some of my nonhuman neighbors.
I love the poem you shared today, Matt. Congrats on the amazing new book. I bet you are agog! My blog is up: https://kceastlund.blogspot.com/2022/10/wonderful-webs.html
I’m a little late, but it’s still Friday. Congratulations on your new book, Matt! Your poem about family and its message of inclusion is important, especially now. My blog is a pre-Halloween poem. Salt City Verse http://janicescully.com
Congrats on your book Matt! Wishing you great success with it. 🙂 Here’s my link for Poetry Friday today–“What I’m Reading and the Giveaway Winner”. https://www.sarahgracetuttle.com/single-post/what-i-m-reading-and-the-giveaway-winner
Matt, I am finally here ready to post my Poetry Friday offering on being part of a professional development program on teacher writers/awakeners of learning.
https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2022/10/teacher-writers-awakeners-of-learning.html. I am so happy to be able to write a book review of your new book the day before its release on the 18th. See you on Monday.
Just wanted to thank everyone for visiting and for your kind words! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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Matt, congratulations on your newest book and all the wonderful reviews. What an important book to spark conversations with children! I’m squeaking in before the deadline today with a few Poemtober poems. Thanks for hosting! https://nixthecomfortzone.com/2022/10/14/pf-poemtober/
All set, thanks!
I’m in the process of publishing a book I’ve written to accompany a toy I’ve had manufactured for children to teach anti-bullying, as well as manners in a fun way. I have limited funds for my book and thought I’d ask for your advice or opinion on which way I should go to publish within a reasonable price. Thanks so much. https://www.bullybuddyzone.com (Beladora Designs featuring Bully Buddy Zone)
Hi Cathy, thanks for asking! I wish I could be more help, but since I don’t self-publish any of my books, I can’t really offer any good advice. But best wishes with your plans – any ways that we can help deter bullying are great!
I found you through Rose Cappelli, and I am so glad I did! Congratulations on your 6th book! I can’t wait to read it!
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Thank you so much, Joanne!
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