Poetry Friday: A 6th grader who doesn’t like poetry writes really good poetry

Wow.

I started off last week’s post, “January Shoreline,” with that exact word, and today I find myself doing the same thing.

The difference is, last week I was talking about 19 poems I had written for a new poetry collection I’m submitting. This week, I’m talking about 4 new poems my son has written.

The kid who claims he doesn’t like poetry.

The kid I refer to as “Mr. Nonfiction” due to his small library of dinosaur, predator, reptile, amphibian, and marine books. Yes, he loves all things Marvel and Jurassic World – and only recently, Harry Potter – but getting him to appreciate poetry has been a challenge.

I have more than half a month’s worth of PB ideas – and two of them are completed manuscripts!

And I wish I could say I had something to do with his burgeoning interest in the genre, but I’m not sure I did. As a brand-new middle school student, he has been reading more poetry than he used to, and recently completed a school ELA project on Padma Venkatraman’s The Bridge Home (Nancy Paulsen Books).

(Given his penchant for books that involve giant reptiles and super powers, I was pleasantly surprised to listen to him tell his mom and me how good the book was!)

Now, granted, Venkatraman’s book is prose, but even her prose can be very poetic – and her subject matter is about as far away from my son’s world of interest as can be. The fact that he enjoyed her book as much as he did was pretty incredible.

Personally, I don’t care what type of genres he prefers, as long as he continues to enjoy reading. He usually has 2 or 3 books going at any given point in time, so finding books for him to read isn’t half as difficult as finding the money to buy the books!

So today I wanted to spotlight one of his poems. He had to write four poems for his ELA class, and while I don’t know what instruction he had been given, I can say he did a darned good job for a 12-year-old who never liked poetry before he started middle school:

I know, right?? “Tangerine sunsets,” “the Pine men breach the Falls,” “the children…are the beast.” Some incredible imagery there. Pretty proud of this kid, I have to tell you.

So that’s the good news! The bad news is…

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign it and have them in the mail within 12-24 hours!

I Am Today is ONCE AGAIN delayed due to the supply chain crisis. Sigh…

The new publication date is now Feb. 8 – however, there actually IS good news, because we know that a tractor trailer picked up the books from the port and is heading to the Simon & Schuster warehouse as we speak! Once they get all the paperwork processed and the books sent out to the bookstores, we can officailly say it’s published – which should take less than two weeks.

This is why the pubisher is very confident that Feb. 8 will be the REAL, correct, publication date. So in case you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps on one of Jupiter’s outermost moons and have not yet had a chance to check out the official I Am Today Blog Tour, you can learn more about the book, my process, and the craft of writing here:

The Blog Tour:

Very excited to be part of my new 2022 picture book marketing team!

I just revised the trailer’s new publication date two weeks ago, and now I’ll need to do it again – but if you’d like to get a sneak peek inside the book and learn what it’s about, please check out the trailer! (and I wouldn’t mind if you shared it, either!)

Pre-order your copy now!

.

(REMINDER: On Feb. 1 my friends at KidLitTV host the official COVER REVEAL of my NEXT picture book, The Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books), which comes out this fall.)

Tabatha Yeatts is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, with a celebration of puzzles and jigsaws – so be sure to head over for all of today’s links and fun!

=====================================================

=====================================================

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!

Arriving Jan. 25, 2022! Pre-order 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: Dusting off a “January Shoreline”… and gearing up for publication day of I AM TODAY!

Wow.

That’s all I can say, when I realize I’ve written 19 poems in less than a week.

But that’s exactly what happened! I mentioned in last week’s Poetry Friday post that I’d written seven new poems for a new poetry collection I’m putting together…but that number didn’t include the poems I wrote that Friday, or the poems I wrote on Saturday. So the grand total turned out to be 2 revised poems and 17 brand-new ones, written betwen Wed.- Sat.

I’ve been tweaking them a bit and getting submissions ready (I probably won’t send the manuscript out until next week), so for today I thought I’d share a favorite poem of mine that I wrote 6 years ago. Given the time of year and weather outside, I felt it was more than apropos:

(click to enlarge)

We could be looking at wind chills of -20 to -40 in the northern part of the state tomorrow (Sat.) and around -10 where I am…so the shoreline is definitely a place I plan to avoid for the time being. (Remind me why I live here?)

I already have half a month’s worth of PB ideas!

In other news, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is still on track to be pubished one Jan 25, just 11 days from now! It’s been delayed 4 times since last year due to supply chain problems, but everything appears good to go at this point.

(Now that we have what appears to be a definite date, I’ve updated what wil hopefully be the final version of the book trailer, in case you’d like a sneak peek, below!)

If you’d like to learn more about the book, my process for writing it, and my approach to the craft of writing in general, I hope you’ll check out some of the wonderful posts that folks have shared as part of the official I Am Today blog tour!

The Blog Tour:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign ANY of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

Care for a sneak peek?

(REMINDER: On Feb. 1 my friends at KidLitTV host the official COVER REVEAL of my NEXT picture book, The Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books), which comes out this fall.)

Mary Lee Hahn is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup with a poem dedicated to one of her favorite fruits (and min): the beautiful pomegranate. I hope you’ll check it out!

=====================================================

=====================================================

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’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

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!

Arriving Jan. 25, 2022! Pre-order 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: “The Sun in My Hand”

It didn’t take me long to jump into the new year.

In case you missed it, last week I took a look at the incredibly successful year I had in 2021, delighting in contracts signed and books published as well as taking note of how far I’ve come in my brief, 10-year career in the children’s lit world.

So far this year (er…I mean, this week), I’ve managed to write seven new poems and revise two others for a new children’s poetry collection, I sent two more manuscripts out to two different editors, connected with some new authors as part of an online picture book marketing group I’ve joined, and now have a week’s worth of new potential picture book ideas, courtesy of Tara Lazar’s Storystorm.

If you’re not familiar with it, Storystorm is a fun and inspirational way to create ideas for picture books…plus, you could win some cool stuff!

Oh, and in addition to everything else going on, I’m still trying to keep up with the marketing plans for the picture books I have coming out THIS year! Whew…

(Click to enlarge)

Speaking of books coming out this year, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is still planned for publication on January 25, so fingers crossed it doesn’t get delayed again.

I do need to take a moment and thank Debbie at Future Bookworms and The Momma Spot blog for her wonderful review, saying the book “should be in every home, classroom and library.”

Wow!

The Blog Tour:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign ANY of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

For today’s poem, I have something that is completely out-of-season. I’ve been in a bit of a summery mood this past week – probably because I love summer so much more than winter, and now that the first day of winter has come and gone, I’m looking forward to spring!

(Click to enlarge)

(REMINDER: On Feb. 1 my friends at KidLitTV host the official COVER REVEAL of my new picture book, The Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books), which comes out this fall.)

My friend Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link is NOT celebrating summer today, however; in fact, she is celebrating winter, as she hosts the very first Poetry Friday of 2022! I hope you’ll check out her post and all the links!

=====================================================

=====================================================

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’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

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!

Arriving Jan. 25, 2022! Pre-order 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: Putting a great big (& really tight) bow on 2021

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and although I’m sure most of us are eager to see this year get behind us (much like New Year’s Eve exactly one year ago), I have to say it’s been a pretty good year for me – one which I’m a bit sad to see disappear.

My publishing career, by the books (12/31/21)

Yes, we had the pandemic and masks and supply chain issues and all that – but I saw two new books come out (including my very first board book), I signed three new book contracts, I received interest in two other books, and I’m getting ready for the launch of what was to be my third book of 2021.

So career-wise, it’s been a great year!

(PLUS: Feb. 1 is the date that my friends at KidLitTV host the official COVER REVEAL of my new picture book, The Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books), which comes out next fall!)

Just looking at what I’ve been able to accomplish so far is humbling; I began getting serious about publishing in children’s lit around 2009, joined my first SCBWI critique group in 2010, and attended my first SCBWI conference in 2011.

I now have 30+ poems published and 13 books either out or under contract – with at least 3 on the way in 2022!

The only negative thing I experienced this year regarding my career – other than those pesky rejections – was that my next picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), had its publishing date pushed out FOUR times. It was originially supposed to be out Oct. 5, exactly one year after I had signed the contract.

(Click to enlarge)

Then, due to that supply chain crisis we’ve been reading about, it got revised to Nov. 30.

Then Dec. 21.

And now, the books are sitting in a freight container, waiting to be picked up by a tractor trailer and brought to the warehouse. Assuming all goes according to plan, the book should be out, for real, January 25, 2022.

Fingers crossed!

The complete list:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign ANY of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

I do have to say, this was an unusual year insofar as I did not have any poems published – anywhere! No anthologies, no “Highlights”…nothing. Which disappoints me, not because I didn’t get published but because I’ve not had the time to devote to writing poetry as much as I used to.

I’ve been so busy writing manuscripts, marketing my books, and getting submissions sent out (remember, I do not have an agent) that a lot of what I enjoy about this career had to be set aside. Moreover, I had my voiceover work keeping me busy along with homeschooling the first half of the year – whew. The good thing, though, is that most of the book manuscripts I write are actually very poetic, which makes me happy.

I’m also happy to be once again taking part in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm! Whether you are an experienced author or just starting to get your feet wet, Storystorm is a fantastic (and fantastically fun) way to dream up ideas for picture books…plus, you could win some cool stuff, and who doesn’t like free stuff?

For today’s poem, I thought I’d share my very first-ever contracted poem, “First Tooth,” which was published in Lee Bennett Hopkins’ anthology, Lullaby & Kisses Sweet (Abrams, 2015):

(Click to enlarge)

I was of course honored to be asked to contribute to his book, but I was doubly honored to see that I shared a spread with my friend Heidi E.Y. Stemple, daughter of the illustrious and wonderful Jane Yolen and an incredibly talented author, herself.

And then I saw the names of all my other friends inside the book – Charles Ghigna, David L. Harrison, Laura Purdie Salas, J. Patrick Lewis, and so many others – and I couldn’t believe I was actually a part of this.

I still can’t believe I’m a part of this, to be honest.

This past April marked my 10th anniversary of being part of the children’s lit community, when I attended my first SCBWI conference and set these wheels in true motion. It’s amazing to me that I have come this far, this quickly, and I owe it all to you and the countless others who have supported me, encouraged me, guided me, mentored me, bought my books, followed my posts, left reviews, and shared my books with libraries and schools.

So here’s to you! And here’s to a super-awesome 2022! For all of today’s Poetry Friday links and fun, be sure to visit Carol’s Corner for the complete roundup.

=====================================================

=====================================================

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’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

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!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: A National Flashlight Day WINNER – and a Merry Christmas!

We celebrated National Flashlight Day just a few days ago on Dec. 21 – the winter solstice, naturally – and I offered a free, personally-signed copy of my picture book Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) as a giveaway.

So congratulations to the winner: JILANNE HOFFMAN!!

Many thanks to everyone who entered – and a big thank you as well to Maria Marshall, who is featuring my upcoming picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books, 2022) as part of her “Perfect Picture Book Friday” feature at her blog today.

I’m thrilled to read maria’s post because this follows on the heels of her post fro earlier this week, when she shared an interview with both illustrator Patricia Pessoa and me at her blog, the Picture Book Buzz.

The complete list:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign ANY of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

My friend Buffy Silverman is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup – so head on over for all of today’s links and fun. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate…and for my fellow Christians and others who celebrate it, I wish you a happy, Merry Christmas!

Click to enlarge

=====================================================

=====================================================

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’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

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!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

A National Flashlight Day GIVEAWAY- and the I AM TODAY Blog Tour rolls on!

Believe it or not, National Flashlight Day is a real thing, celebrated annually on the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year, and therefore a good reason to celebrate flashlights).

And I’m sure you can understand why I love flashlights.

I’d also like to thank Kathy at Celebrate Picture Books for featuring my book Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) on her blog! She celebrates National Flashlight Day with a review of the book, and I’m extremely grateful for her support.

Tell you what…leave a comment below and/or share this blog post on Twitter (and be sure to tag me @MattForrestVW) and at 7pm on the night before Christmas Eve I’ll pick a winner of a FREE, PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of Flashlight Night!

In other news…the I Am Today blog tour continues rolling along! Yesterday my good friend Maria Marshall posted an interview she did with both me and illustrator Patricia Pessoa at her blog, the Picture Book Buzz.

untitled image
Illustrator Patricia Pessoa

It was fun being able to be part of an interview with both of us, and learning a little about each other (we both want kids to feel like thyey have a voice, we both love raspberry jam, and we’re both cat people!)

Be sure to check out Maria’s blog post HERE – and many thanks to all the bloggers who are sharing interviews, reviews, and giveaways! Later today, Debbie at Future Bookworms on IG and the Momma Spot blog will be sharing her review, so I hope you’ll follow her and learn her thoughts on the book.

The complete list:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign ANY of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

More details in the video:

=====================================================

=====================================================

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’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

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!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: Celebrating National Maple Syrup Day with the late Donald Hall

Yes, National Maple Syrup Day is a real thing…and if it wasn’t, it should be!

Maple syrup, you see, is something we northern New Englanders take very seriously. Vermonters think their’s is the best, Mainers think theirs is the best, and here in New Hampshire we know they’re both wrong. 😉

My next picture book, due Jan. 25, is available for pre-orders everywhere…but PERSONALLY-SIGNED COPIES are ONLY available through my local indie bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, NH

Just the concept of taking what is basically sugar water, pouring it out of a tree, boiling it down until most of the water evaporates, and then packaging it up is pretty amazing, if you think about it.

Maple syrup production is so ubiquitous around here, we even tapped trees while I was in college.

And by “we,” I mean my roommates.

We found the largest maple tree on the Castleton(VT) State College campus (right in front of the admissions office, Reed House), pounded a couple of metal taps into its side, and hung an industrial-size soup can we grabbed from the dining hall. Since our hot plate would not generate nearly the amount of heat necessary to boil down enough sap for even one pancake – it takes 30-40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup – we simply kept the sap in our fridge and drank it whenever we were thirsty.

But the really funny thing? Administration never took our tap down! Our can stayed there the entire sugaring season, from around late Feb. through late March…and it wasn’t like we tapped it in a hard-to-find, obscure spot. It was right in front of the admissions office, in plain view for all to see! Any prospective students visiting the college with their parents were sure to see our setup…and since no news is good news, we assumed the college was agreeable to our plan.

So to celebrate today’s national spotlight on all things maple, I thought I’d share one of my favorite poems from former N.H. state poet laureate – and former U.S. Poet Laureate – the late Donald Hall, who used to live just half an hour north of me. Interestingly, the poem begins in the month of August, when maple syrup is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind:

Maple Syrup

August, goldenrod blowing. We walk
into the graveyard, to find
my grandfather’s grave. Ten years ago
I came here last, bringing
marigolds from the round garden
outside the kitchen.
I didn’t know you then.
                                  We walk
among carved names that go with photographs
on top of the piano at the farm:
Keneston, Wells, Fowler, Batchelder, Buck.
We pause at the new grave
of Grace Fenton…

(Read the rest of the poem HERE)

Hall says so much in these lines…”I didn’t know you then,” so we know this person is close to him but not soemone with whom he has a long history…”carved names that go with the photographs,” so we know these graves are all people the speaker has a connection to…we know someone has recently died. The richness of backstory of the characters and the emotions with which he imbues these scenes are just staggering.

I hope you read the rest of the poem and enjoy it. For more poetry, be sure to visit Jone MacCulloch’s little home on the web, where she’s hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup!

And in case you’ve been living under a rock and have not seen the news mentioned here before…the I Am Today blog tour continues rolling on next week! Many thanks to all the bloggers who are sharing interviews, reviews, and givaways:

The complete list:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign any of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

Oh, and did I mention that today is National Ugly Sweater Day? (True!)

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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!

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I’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

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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.

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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!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order 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?)

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Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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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!

Poetry Friday: A “perfect sort of Christmas tree” – and a blog tour rolls on without its book!

You know how they say “third time’s the charm?”

Well, for me, I’m hoping it’s the fourth time that’s the charm – because that’s how many times we’ve had to reschedule the publication of my next picture book!

The official blog tour for I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) continues to roll on, despite the fact that the only ones who have actually held a copy of the book in their hands are the bloggers – even I haven’t seen a copy, and I’m the guy who wrote the thing!

The book is available for pre-orders everywhere…but if you order from my local indie bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, NH, you can request a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy!

In case you hadn’t heard, due to that supply chain crisis here in the U.S you’ve probably been hearing about, the original publication date was delayed from Oct. 5 to Nov. 30…then that publication date was moved to Dec. 21.

Well, guess what? We’ve had to push it back another month! The good news is the books have arrived from the printer and are waiting in port; the bad news is, the publisher has no idea when they’ll be picked up and delivered to the warehouse. They anticipate it will be at some point around year’s-end, but since they can’t be sure, they felt that Jan. 24 is a pretty safe bet.

And so we continue hoping for pre-orders, which can benefit an author in more than one way. Yes, they contribute to sales numbers, but they can also help booksellers to gauge the popularity of a book, how many copies they might need to order, and how many copies of an author’s OTHER books they might want to stock, as well.

Many thanks to all the bloggers who are participating by interviewing me, reviewing the book, and giving away free copies:

The complete list:

I Am Today is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign any of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours! Try doing that on Amazon!

The poem I’m sharing today is one I wrote several years ago but never posted here. I figured it would be appropriate toay not only because Christmas is coming soon, but because of a little event happening now in our little town called the Festival of Trees.

Many communities around the country sponsor Festivals of Trees, which usually takes place at a town hall or other large venue where local organizations and businesses display Christmas trees for the enjoyment of the local townspeople. Here in Warner, NH, the annual Festival of Trees at the town hall includes a tree representing our local independent bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds, which features features the book covers of all the town’s authors and illustrators of children’s literature:

  • Maxine Kumin
  • David Elliott
  • True Kelley & Steven Lindblom
  • Lucinda McQueen & Jeremy Guitar
  • Sandy Steen Bartholomew
  • Yours Truly

So without any further ado, here’s today’s poem!

Red Pine

The red pine tree,
it seems to me,
is a perfect sort
of Christmas tree.
Its dark green needles
cradle snow;
red suit-trunk,
when gale winds blow,
never sways to and fro
but stands there strong –
its bag of cones
filled with treats
for squirrels below.

All it needs
is a ho-ho-ho.

© 2014 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Cathy at Merely Day by Day is hosting the complete Poetry Friday roundup, so head on over to see all of today’s links and fun!

And if you’d like to learn more about our bookstore’s Christmas tree – and how 8 people have somehow managed to create nearly 70 children’s books – I hope you’ll check out this video!

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