Well, these past two weeks have been quite the whirlwind!
Since my newest book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), was officially published back on Oct. 18, I’ve been doing my best trying to keep up with all the well-wishers, reviewers, and influencers who have been sharing the news. Thank you so much, everyone!
In my last few posts I’ve shared links to many of the reviews that bloggers and others have published, but today I wanted to share a couple of new ones that just came out this past week – including an amazing review from The KidLit Mama herself, Elizabeth, who says she loves the real-world examples we include as well as my “Pro-Tips” for being a better human!
(and by the way, many thanks to Elizabeth for also giving my previous picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books, 2022) some love by including it in an Instagram reel she just posted yesterday!)
I’d also like to thank Mrs. BookDragon for her kind words about Beginner’s Guide this past week, as well as the Reading Eagle, who called it an “exceptional book…worthy of repeated readings,” and JustaBXMom who want the book to be normalized as a go-to baby shower gift!
One of the ways I celebrated the book’s birthday was with a special blog post and GIVEAWAY – and I want to congratulate our winner,
Thank you so much for sharing the news about Beginner’s Guide, my friend, and I hope you enjoy the copy that’s headed your way!
Now, then – the poetry! I was thinking about what I should share today, and I realized Halloween is only a few days from now. What happened to summer?? But indeed, it is almost upon us…
When clouds hang heavy in the sky
like serpent tails lit by the moon…
when bats and brooms begin to fly,
Halloween will be here soon.
When shadows cloak a curious trail
and night wind croons a mournful tune…
when specters prowl and spirits wail,
Halloween will be here soon!
– © 2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved
Speaking of the holiday, while I never thought of my book Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) as a “Halloween” book, per se, apparently a lot of other folks do!
Over the last few years numerous bloggers and reviewers have been sharing their Halloween picks and I’m simultaneously surprised and humbled to see my book showing up on lists that include titles by folks like Neil Gaiman, Dr. Seuss, Aaron Reynolds, Charles Ghigna, and Patricia Toht, among others.
So, if you’re looking for some Halloween/outdoors/camping/autumn-themed books for your little ones, here are a few suggestions:
- We Are Teachers: 35 of the Best Halloween Books for Classroom Shelves
- Jennifer Lambert: Favorite Halloween Books
- Dr. Lori Friesen: 10 Best Halloween Books
- Barnes & Noble: 9 Picture Books for Kids with October Birthdays
- Diamond Montessori: Holiday Books, Halloween Edition
- Los Angeles Public Library: Not-so-scary Stories for Halloween
- Raising a Legacy: Glow in the Dark Water / Book recommendation
- Book Scrolling: The Best Children’s Halloween Books
- Santa Clara County Library
- Literacious: Campfire and Flashlight Books
- Bookelicious: Action, Adventure, and Travel
Thank you to everyone who has been reading my books, reading about my books, and sharing the news about my books – I couldn’t do what I do without you! For more poetry, plese head over to my friend Jone Rush MacCulloch’s little home on the web for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup and a celebration of a new book she contributed a poem to, The Poeming Pigeon!
I’m also booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year!
I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career!
I tailor my presentations to fit the needs of the classroom. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaurs, tree ferns, or origami sea turtles!
Student presentations include:
- The Making of a Picture Book
- How a Child Saved a Book
- “Once Upon Another Time”
- The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
- “I Am Today”
Adult presentations include:
- The Making of a Picture Book
- Poetry: An Introduction to the Most Important Genre
- The Most Important Thing about Writing Poetry
- Free Yourself with Free Verse
- Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book
Learn more at my website!
If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN
(Beaming Books, 2022)
Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of this or or ANY of my books
from my local independent bookstore!
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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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