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!

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!

The “I Am Today” blog tour is officially underway! Now if only we had the book…

I have to tell you something: no matter how many books one publishes, it’s ALWAYS exciting!

That said, the official blog tour for my upcoming picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), is underway – even though the book isn’t even out yet. In case you missed my explanation a couple of Fridays ago, the publication date has been delayed until Dec. 21 due to that nasty shipping/supply chain crisis you keep hearing about. So instead of the orginal date of Oct. 5, it got pushed out til Nov. 30…and then that publication date got pushed out!

Yet, even though the new publication date is Dec. 21 it is, unfortunately, still tenuous – because the publisher is at the mercy of the distribution network. We’re HOPING it’s out Dec. 21, and just crossing our fingers until it happens. This is why we’re trying to push pre-orders; not only to try to sell the book, naturally, but to build awareness of the book among booksellers, as well as to increase their awareness of me, as an author.

So we’re celebrating the release of a book that’s not here yet! The blog tour is fully underway because we didn’t want all the wonderful participants to have to change their schedules. Moreover, pre-orders can be very helpful for an author, and not just because it helps increase sales. (for a little more explanation on why publishers like pre-orders, check out my previous post)

Just who is part of this cavalcade of kidlit excitement?

When I first looked at this list, I felt that this was probably the longest-running blog tour ever for a picture book! At nearly a month-and-a-half, it’s like the tour that never ends…but we were fortunate that some bloggers were able to move their post dates to later in December. This way we can share the news early on for those pre-orders I was talking about, and also celebrate the actual release of the book when it happens (hopefully) later in the month.

Kelle Moye kicked things off a couple of weeks ago when she featured a guest post from Yours Truly at her blog, Unleashing Readers. I shared with her readers the unusual method I employed for coming up with the book’s title – and the entire theme of the book, by extension – and suggested ways teachers can do the same thing as writing prompts. I hope you’ll check it out!

Yesterday, the incredible team of Brenna Jeanneret and Josh Monken at the You May Contribute a Verse podcast posted an interview we had a couple of weeks ago. We cover everything from my process of writing picture books to submitting without an agent to why I chose to leave a perfectly good fulltime job to try and make a go of this whole writing thing.

And today, Brian Gehrlein places I Am Today in his Picture Book Spotlight with an in-depth interview with me about the inspiration behind the book (kids muddling through a pandemic), my unusual process of creating it (sticking non-grammatical words together to see what happens), and why I love writing picture books that don’t follow standard, traditional narratives (I call them story skeletons).

The complete list:

And even though she’s not an official part of the blog tour, I need to give a special shout-out to Little BookWorm Club for the fantastic support and kind words posted yesterday on her Instagram account!

Click here to be whisked away to a complete list of all my books!

Remember, 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 your book (or any of my books) and have them in the mail usually within 24 hours. Books always make special gifts – but a personally-signed book is something extra-special, wouldn’t you say?

I hope you check out all the blogs and websites involved in our blog post! And if you can’t afford to buy a book (whether it’s one of mine or anyone else’s), leaving a review at Amazon or Goodreads is a GREAT way to support an author or illustrator. Reviews really do matter, so even just a positive sentence or two is all it takes to help out someone whose creative work you enjoy.

Happy holidays, and fingers crossed we don’t get delayed again!

Arriving in stores Dec. 21 – we hope!

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

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

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: Not the post I’d planned…

The plan, you see, was for me to tease the official blog tour for my next picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), which was scheduled for publication on Nov. 30.

However…if we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s to never count on anything as being a sure thing. Sigh.

Yesterday I learned from my I Am Today editor that its publication date is unfortunately being pushed out – again. It was originally supposed to be out Oct. 5 but got pushed out til Nov. 30 due to the whole global shipping / supply chain issue…but now we’ve learned the books are still not going to be available by the end of the month.

So the new & improved publication date is now Dec. 21. We’re hoping to get some last-minute holiday sales, although it’s going to be tight. And yes, it’s disappointing, but disruptions like this are part of the business and something you just have to roll with.

Pre-orders – and why authors love them

For now, we’re trying to push pre-orders, because they are so important for sales numbers…but they are also important for another reason. Folks who aren’t involved in publishing think publishers push pre-orders simply to sell books – which is true – however, pre-orders also help booksellers gauge how popular a book might be, how many copies they might need to order, and how many other books of that particular author they might want to consider stocking, as well.

Click here to be whisked away to a complete list of all my books!

If you like an author and have any plans to get their book(s), then pre-ordering, rather than waiting until it’s available on the shelf, is a great way to help. And although I Am Today is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold, please remember that if you order from my local indie bookstore here in town, I can personally-sign your book (or any of my books) and have them in the mail usually within 24 hours.

(Seriously – it’s a 20-minute walk from my house to the bookstore! They call me up, I run down and sign it, they put it in the mail…often in less than 12 hours!)

World Children’s Day

Today’s going to be busy for me, as I’ll be visiting with several schools across the country to celebrate World Children’s Day, which is officially tomorrow, Sat. Nov. 20. I’ll be sharing I Am Today with students so they can have a first-peek at this book about a little girl who decides she doesn’t need to wait to be “the Future” to make a difference in her world.

Each school will also receive a FREE COPY of the book – once it’s finally here, of course!

Oh, and since it’s Poetry Friday…

I thought I’d share a poem I wrote way back in 2012, when I was still learning the ropes about the children’s lit world and honing my writing skills. I like this poem, although if I were to write it today it would probably be a bit more polished. But since I wrote it specifically for one of my daughters, it’s staying exactly how it was when I first completed it.

“More Than We Are (for Katherine)”

An astronaut’s an astronaut,
but might be someone’s dad
who takes his daughter fishing
when she feels a little sad.
A banker is a banker
but could be a mom, as well,
who shows her son the alphabet
and helps him learn to spell.

A teacher is a teacher
but might be a singer, too.
The janitor at school…

(You can read the rest of it HERE)

For the complete Poetry Friday roundup, check out Carol’s beautiful “Bedecked in Autumn” gallery of poems and pictures at Beyond Literacy Link!

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

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

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: Back on the soccer field after 20 months!

I haven’t gotten as much writing done this week as I’d hoped – but I’ve certainly been kicking a soccer ball around more than I have in the past year and a half!

This week, my two indoor soccer leagues (a Men’s Over-30 team and an Adult Co-Ed team) both began their new 12-week sessions, and I’ve found myself organizing both of them – contacting folks who might want to play, figuring out costs, managing schedules – but considering we haven’t played since March 2020 when Covid shut everything down, I didn’t mind one bit!

So to celebrate, I thought I’d share a few soccer poems for today! First up, my contribution to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Poems are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres (Heinemann, 2018), a book designed to help educators both teach poetry and how poetic tools, forms, and devices can be used to improve and strengthen writing in all genres. (click the cover, below, for more info or click HERE to read my interview with Amy about the book)

Image © 2018Heinemann, all rights reserved

I actually wrote that poem on the way to – and then on the way home – from an indoor soccer game! On the Men’s team, I play on the field but I’m the goalkeeper for the Co-Ed team, so I love being able to watch the field from different perspectives – and it helped me create this poem.

Next up is something from my friend Liz Steinglass’ poetry collection, Soccerverse: Poems about Soccer (Wordsong, 2019), a wonderful and expertly-written book of poems and the perfect gift for that young soccer fan in your life:

Energetic wordplay, fun imagery, and lively illustrations – I love this spread! (Click to enlarge)

The third book I want to feature today is by my friend and Once Upon Another Time collaborator, Charles Ghigna! Back in 2008 he wrote Score!: 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2008) and inside you’ll find this:

Soccer

The long kick comes
and out of the pack
the midfielder rises,

his eyes on the ball,
his forehead set like a fist
ready to punch it home.

© 2008 Charles Ghigna, all rights reserved

For today’s complete Poetry Friday round up, be sure to visit Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading, where she responded to a poetic challenge by writing about my former hometown, St. Albans, VT, where she reently vacationed!

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

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

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: “The Child Who”

Today’s poem came about while I was putting together my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), which officially arrives Nov. 30.

While it doesn’t show up anywhere in the book, the poem’s words helped me focus on what the book was about – namely, showing kids they have the ability to affect change now, rather than waiting to be “The Future,” as we grown-ups often tell them.

As it turns out, the poem is very fitting, as POW! Kids Books and I have put together a special opportunity for schools, libraries, and home school groups to get to learn more about the book on the day before World Children’s Day (Nov. 20):

Feel free to copy & share this graphic!

.

The Child Who

…seeks the truth.
The child who lends a hand.
The child who shares concern.
The child who takes a stand.

The child who knows their strength.
The child who knows their worth.
These are the ones to forge
their paths upon the Earth.


© 2021 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved

I hope you like the poem, and if you or someone you know wants to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact me as soon as possible! For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, head over to wee words for wee ones, where Bridget Magee is getting a lot of atTENtion with her very first poetry anthology, 10•10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways!

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

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

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: “Untitled.” (and yes, that’s actually the title)

As I always say, one never knows from where or when a poem will materialize.

In the case of today’s poem, it didn’t even wait for me to have my morning coffee.

And no, the poem is not untitled. The title is “Untitled.”

I had barely woken up – I hadn’t even taken the dogs outside yet – when I noticed the dense fog lifting off the pond across the street. So I dropped what I was doing and ran over to catch some shots.

As I took a few pictures (you can see the short video from my original Instagram post HERE), words started swirling around in my head, so I went back to the house and jotted them down on my phone. Twenty minutes later, I had a short poem I was rather proud of.
.

Untitled.

I rise
like early-morning fog;
slow and thin, lifted
by the cool breath
of a boundless new day.

– © 2021 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved

.

Now, folks who don’t write poetry won’t realize how much work actually went into writing these five short lines. But for those of you who do write, or are learning how to write, poetry…there was quite a bit of thought required, at a time of day when coherent thinking doesn’t always come easily.

First, I needed to figure out what to say and how to say it – in way that wasn’t tired or cliched. I also deliberately made use internal rhyme, playing with the “L” sound throughout, as it felt fluid on the tongue. I included two “F” sounds and a “TH”, which is similar, because those very felt airy and wispy. And I even spent time considering how to alliterate “breath” and came up with “boundless.”

As for the title? I spent a good additional 5 minutes thinking about that, when it occurred to me that the poem was about limitless possibilities! So since the day was new and ‘untitled”…wouldn’t “Untitled.” be the perfect title?

Hopefully you can see why I was so proud of those 20 “pre-coffee” minutes I spent writing. For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, be sure to visit Catherine at Reading to the Core where she is sharing a poem – about poetry!

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

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!

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

Talkabook is setting out to inspire children by connecting them with authors and illustrators! Click here to view my profile and learn more!

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

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 following covers to order!

Arriving 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: Book trailer debut for “I Am Today!”

You may be wondering why I’m featuring a trailer for a picture book for Poetry Friday…but if you know anything at all about my style of writing, you can probably take a good guess!

My upcoming new picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), started off as both a book AND a poem. How’s that? Well, back in 2020 I wanted to write something to empower kids during the pandemic; so many, including my own, felt they had no control over anything that was happening. School was at home, playdates were via computer, and vacations were halted. I wanted to be able to help them without writing something didactic and preachy.

I’ll share more details about the genesis for this story a later time (my first unusual step was creating a non-grammatical title), but suffice it to say that even though I was writing a book manuscript, I wanted it to be a poem, too.

There is no “One day Sally did this, then Billy said this, and together they…” sort of thing here. Much like my other books, it’s a loose narrative that sets up a framework for illustrator Patricia Pessoa, who creates a wonderful sub-narrative that shows the story of our young main character.

Here is how my poem – the book – begins:
.

I AM TODAY

Grown-ups say I am the Future.

But I’d rather be the Now.

Why wait to make a change for good?
I’m strong.
And I know how!

I’ve learned from those before me
what’s truthful,
……….decent,
………………..fair.

They’ve taught me how to be polite.

They’ve shown me how to share…

© 2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Hope you like it! And if you’re asking yourself, “Hmmm…I could’ve sworn that was supposed to come out earlier,” you are correct. The original publication date was Oct. 5, but due to pandemic-related delays, the publisher decided to push it out just a bit later. (But still in time for the holidays!) You can always pre-order a copy now, and it will arrive as soon as it’s officially published.

And by the way, POW! Kids Books is the same publisher who published my collaboration with Deborah Bruss, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur, in 2018 – so I have to thank them for all their support!

Oh, and if you missed my recap this past Tuesday of the local state fair, I hope you’ll check it out – I witness a lot working a 5-day weekend as the official PA announcer, and it’s always fun to see what I’ll discover each year! This year, we had a Recycled Percussion band member buried alive, ice cream cones made of donuts and filled with Nutella, a lobster-themed monster truck, and ‘transforming’ cars that turn into robots.

SHAMELESS PLUG: If you are interested in learning more about how to write picture books with loose narratives – i.e., books that don’t follow a standard structure/format – I hope you’ll consider attending Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival, Oct. 7-9. There will be workshops and presentations covering a wide array of genres, including my own presentation, “Loose Narratives, Tight Language: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book.”
.

Using “Flashlight Night,” “Once Upon Another Time,” “I Am Today,” and the manuscript for a new, upcoming book due out next year – along with examples by other authors – I will offer advice for creating narratives without the typical, “First Sally did this, then Billy did this, then this other thing happened…”

We will look at how using seasonal narratives, chronologies, ‘story skeletons,’ and other devices along with poetic language can create a manuscript an illustrator will crave, and – more importantly – an editor will want to buy!

For more poetry, head to Denise Krebs’ little home on the web, Dare to Care – where you will find today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup along with Denise’s “In One Word” poem based on the word TESTUDINATE!

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

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!

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

Talkabook is setting out to inspire children by connecting them with authors and illustrators! Click here to view my profile and learn more!

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

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, (Boyds Mills Press, 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 following covers 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!

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: “Work”-ing with a 2-year-old artist

Last week I shared a poem I wrote for my wife as part of our wedding vows 13 years ago – a post I traditionally re-share annually. So this week, I thought I’d let my daughter have the spotlight.

As a born artist, she has always been a creative soul, drawing, painting, sculpting and creating art in every possible manner everywhere she goes. Lunch crumbs, recyclables, anything she finds all have potential to become art in her hands.

Several years ago when she was barely 2 years old, she drew this picture:

I asked my daughter what it was and she replied, “A hand picking up stones.”

Given her age and cognitive abilities at the time (she was barely 2, remember), I assumed that was simply a random answer. But when her mom saw it and asked her what it was, she said the same thing: I asked my daughter what it was and she replied, “It’s a hand picking up stones.”

I thought it interesting that she said the same thing, so I decided to wait a week or so and ask again. This time, she actually sighed and said, “I told you, it’s a hand picking up stones!”

I guess she knew exactly what she was drawing.

So I thought it might be fun to write a poem to go along with her picture. (This is a form of “ekphrastic poetry”; that is, poetry written to accompany a picture. You can learn more about how much fun ekphrastic poetry is to write – and learn a little more about this poem – HERE.)

.

Work

One by one
I set the stones
neatly in a pile.
Though labor’s long
and aches my bones,
its beauty makes me smile.

© (2015) Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

.

This poem and picture were first featured together on Penny Parker Klostermann’s blog, as part of a series of posts she shared featuring collaborations between writers and child family members. For more poetry, head over to The Apples in My Orchard, where Carol is hosting today’s Poetry Friday 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!

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

Talkabook is setting out to inspire children by connecting them with authors and illustrators! Click here to view my profile and learn more!

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

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, (Boyds Mills Press, 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 following covers 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!

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: “I Am Smoke” interview & review with author Henry L. Herz

It’s not out until Sept. 7, but I had to share news about the latest picture book from my fellow 2021 Book Blast partner Henry L. Herz, I Am Smoke (Tilbury House, 2021). The book has already received some wonderful accolades, including a Kirkus star (“Spreads of smoke rising fluidly into a pinprick-starry sky, a ‘dark dance from every campfire,’ are veritable gems.” –Kirkus Reviews) and even showed up on the School Library Journal’s list of The Most Astonishingly Unconventional Books of 2021, which includes titles by such folks as Deborah Freedman, Jon Klassen, and Brian Selznick.

This is not Henry’s first picture book by any means, but it is unusual in its lyricism and gentleness – as well as its point of view, which is first-person, from the voice of the smoke itself. I don’t normally feature picture books here, but the text is so poetic and beautifully-worded I knew I had to share it. Who says a book like this isn’t poetry??

Henry L. Herz

Henry is the author of 11 traditionally-published children’s books, eight children’s short stories, and over 20 adult short stories. He is co-editor of two children’s anthologies: THE HITHERTO SECRET EXPERIMENTS OF MARIE CURIE (Blackstone Publishing, YA) and COMING OF AGE: 13 B’NAI MITZVAH STORIES (Albert Whitman & Co., MG).

Thanks for taking the time to join me here, Henry! Congratulations on the book – I’m very happy for yo