Poetry Friday: Interview w/Lydia Lukidis, author of “Deep, Deep Down” – plus a #Giveaway!

I’m very excited that author Lydia Lukidis is joining us here today! Lydia’s newest picture book is a creative nonfiction title, DEEP, DEEP DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2022), and I wanted to share news about it before the end of the year rolled. (We’ll also be giving away a manuscript critique at the end!) It’s not a poetry collection, but it is a very lyrical exploration of the deepest part of the Earth and I think readers will enjoy it.

All graphics © 2022 Juan Calle and Capstone Editions, all rights reserved, used with permission

Welcome, Lydia, and congratulations on the new book! It’s beautiful all the way through, from your lyrical text to Juan Calle’s gorgeous illustrations. As a child (heck, even as an adult), I was fascinated by the possibility of life in outer space – and I feel like we can get a glimpse of what might be out there simply by investigating the bizarre life forms in the deepest parts of our oceans. (As Ian Malcolm said, “Life finds a way!”)

I know you mention at the back of the book how you became so fascinated by the Mariana Trench, but what made you decide to write a book about it?

Hi Matt! In 2019, I read an article about how scientists found a plastic bag floating in the Mariana Trench. They also discovered plastic in the belly of various marine animals. My heart sank and I wondered how we human beings managed to start damaging one of the most remote places on the planet.

At that point, I had heard of the Mariana Trench but knew very little about it. The article made me curious and I began my research. I discovered that the conditions in the trench are extremely hostile; there’s no sunlight, food is scarce, and the pressure is crushing. I wondered; what creatures could survive such an environment?

My goal in writing this book was twofold: firstly, to educate children on the deepest ocean of our world and debunk the myth that “scary” creatures live within its depths, and secondly, to talk about ocean conservation and the importance of this fascinating ecosystem.

To follow up, the question I always ask everyone – the question I ask myself before beginning a manuscript – is, why did this particular book need to be written?

Lydia Lukidis

That’s a critical question to ask yourself!

As I sank deep, deep down into my research, one of the first things I did was look up other kidlit books about the Mariana Trench. And it turned out there were hardly any! There were many books about the deep sea, of course, but none specifically about the Mariana Trench. This was a green flag for me since there was a small hole in the market.

But that alone could not be enough to warrant writing a book and investing years in a project. The second question I ask myself is; how much passion do I feel for this topic? I have an excitable personality and find almost everything interesting. (Literally!) I have a document filled with ideas, but most don’t make it to the development stage. I do feel a special affinity for anything space or ocean related, so that sustained me through the very long process of rewriting the book over 55 times.

DEEP, DEEP DOWN is very different from your other books, like the MYTHOLOGY MATCHUPS you’ve also written for Capstone or your American Industries series of nonfiction books. What made you decide to use this very poetic, lyrical style of writing?

As I emerge as a writer and my body of work grows, I’m starting to realize that my style is varied. The goal is to create a specific signature and author style of course, but I never want to stop myself from pursuing a project I feel deep passion for. Cut to today, I write not only nonfiction but also fiction, not only STEM but also funny or poetic narratives. And why not put STEM and poetry together? That’s just who I am.

In fact, writing in a lyrical style for DEEP, DEEP DOWN was like reclaiming my roots in many ways. I studied English Literature and poetry in university and I’ve been writing poetry since the age of six. Poetry has always been my first love and it’s been a fun experience to reclaim that part of myself.

(Click to enlarge)

As I mentioned earlier, I love deep-sea marine biology, so the sidebars are especially cool because they provide context as well as fascinating information about your primary text. How did you decide which creatures to include and which to leave out?

Great question. I interviewed my experts and researched every single creature that lived in the trench (that has been discovered so far). I picked the most interesting, amazing, or weirdest ones that most children likely haven’t heard of and that would pique their interest.

Were there any you wish you could have included?

When I first started writing the book, I really wanted to include the anglerfish. What a fascinating creature! I also found an article claiming vampire squid lived in the trench. But when I interviewed my roster of experts, I discovered that neither of these (and many others I had found on the internet) lived in the trench. That experience led me to my hook, which is asking children to imagine what lives down there and surprising them with the truth.

I’m sure you were thrilled when you found out a former marine biologist, Juan Calle, would be illustrating your book – if anyone knows marine life, it’d be a guy like Juan! I know authors and illustrators don’t usually work together, but did you two have any sort of conversations during the revision process?

I was ecstatic that someone like Juan took on this project as I knew this would be a great match. Usually, picture book authors provide very little direction for illustrations, but it’s different for nonfiction. I was hyper aware of the importance of depicting the trench and its creatures in a realistic light and there aren’t many resource photos on the internet. Thanks to the many experts I consulted with, I compiled photos, video reels, and information and put together a resource guide for Juan. It took months to make but it was well worth it.

But I never spoke to or emailed Juan directly, everything went through my editor and I respected their process. I showed the first drafts to my experts and we did have many small revisions. I’m grateful Juan hang on as we went back and forth multiple times. I think it took about 8 tries to get the exact color of the sea cucumber. I imagine he was probably losing his mind at that point! But he kept going until it was just right and I’m grateful. My editor, Alison Deering, was equally fantastic as we went over each line and each fact in detail. 

What did you find most surprising about writing this book?

Everything!! As I mentioned, the first drafts I wrote were based on research I did on the internet which turned out to be largely false. Learning what the trench is truly like and what creatures actually roam its depths felt like an adventure. I learned so many things in the process.

Well, it’s really a wonderful book, and I wish you all the best with it! Any plans to write more books with this lyrical sort of style?

Yes! Now that DEEP, DEEP DOWN is out there, my love affair with poetry is reignited. I’ve already written a few books which are a mix of verse and prose and I have a new nonfiction narrative book coming out shortly that also has a lyrical feel to it. It will be announced “soon,” hopefully!

Thanks again, Lydia, for dropping by, and have a great holiday season! With each of us celebrating book birthdays on Jan. 1, it’s going to be an awesome, exciting day!

Thanks for having me and happy book birthday to you, as well!

BIO:

Lydia Lukidis is the author of 50+ trade and educational books for children, as well as 31 e-Books. Her titles include DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2023) and THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Kane Press, 2019) which was nominated for a Cybils Award. A science enthusiast from a young age, she now incorporates her studies in science and her everlasting curiosity into her books. Lydia is an active member of SCBWI, CANSCAIP, 12 x 12, and The Authors Guild. She’s very involved in the kidlit community and also volunteers as a judge on Rate your Story. Another passion of hers is fostering love for children’s literacy through the writing workshops she regularly offers in elementary schools. Lydia is represented by literary agent Miranda Paul from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Website/preorder: http://www.lydialukidis.com/
Twitter: @LydiaLukidis
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/LydiaLukidis
Blog:https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3fATvqtKDk

~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~

And now, dear readers, it’s time for that GIVEAWAY I told you about!

Lydia has graciously offered to provide a manuscript critique for a fiction or nonfiction picture book! (non-rhyming, <1000 words) Just let us know you’d like to be entered in the random drawing by leaving a comment below OR by sharing this post on Twitter – just be sure to tag Yours Truly so I’ll see it.

I’ll announce the winner NEXT FRIDAY!

= = = = = = = = = =

“EVERYBODY COUNTS!”

My newest picture book, Everybody Counts! (The Little Fig, 2023), originally scheduled for publication Jan. 1, 2023, appears to be ahead of schedule as bookstores are already receiving their copies – so the publisher has told them to feel free to sell it!

Everybody Counts! features 12 animals of varying ethnicities teaching the reader how to count to ten in each of their languages, along with an ethnic name and food item.

Languages included in the book:

© 2022 The Little Fig, all rights reserved
  • Swedish
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French
  • Swahili
  • Portugese
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Navajo
    .

Readers who want to learn more will soon have the opportunity to go the The Little Fig website to find links to pronunciation videos and more. You can order directly from the publisher, but you can also pre-order through Amazon, B&N, Indie Bound, and Target. (Or my local hometown indie bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds, which offers personally-signed copies!)

It was one of the more popular titles on sale this past Wed. at our state capital’s only independent bookstore, Gibson’s Bookstore of Concord. I had visited the store for a storytime/book signing with families and teachers from the Concord Family Center, and it was a lot of fun sharing my books, teaching origami, and making crazy faces! (I’m currently booking school/library author visits for winter/spring 2023, so scroll down just a wee bit for more details on that!)

Today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup can be found at Michelle Kogan’s blog, More Art 4 All. Ukraine has been on her mind lately and she shares some news and thoughts about the country and the war, as well as a new poem and artwork about the gift of a morning song.


Thrilled to be a First Round panelist for the Poetry Category!

I’m booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year!

Click the graphic for more details!

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! My presentations are tailored to fit the needs of the classes and students’ ages. 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 MattForrest.com!

If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE (soon!):
EVERYBODY COUNTS!
(The Little Fig, LLC, 2022)

or order now, directly from the publisher!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of this or or ANY of my books
from my local independent bookstore!

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

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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 look back at a Highlights workshop poem, “The Apple Tree”

As you probably know, the publication of my new picture book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), has been taking up all my time and attention the past few weeks – and now that it is officially available everywhere and my next book doesn’t come out for two more months (YES!! See below!), I thought I’d catch my breath and share a poem I originally posted way back when it was first written, in Oct. 2013.

True, I’ve written many poems while attending the Highlights Foundation workshops; you can read a poem about a stone wall HERE, some light verse HERE, or even a love poem HERE.

Such beauty and youth…

In this particular case, I was enjoying my very first Highlights Foundation workshop hosted by David L. Harrison and was relishing the opportunity to live, eat, breathe, and sleep poetry!

I was inspired to write many things during that week; one of them was this poem, written about an old tree I saw, situated alone in a field on the Highlights’ grounds in Boyds Mills, PA.


.

“The Apple Tree”

One autumn day while walking
alone in an unfamilar area I spied –
crouched like an old man
with a strong crutch
and weak heart –
an apple tree
standing in solitude amidst the sawgrass,
goldenrod,
and a few errant wildflowers,
so full of precious fruit
I surmised it must be
in wont of a visitor
with whom to share
its treasures.

Desirous of the beauty
I beheld, I journeyed
through green-amber weeds
high to my waist, urgent
soft steps growing
quicker, quicker
and more deliberate. How could ancient limbs
such as these carry the reward
that awaited me?

The tree beckoned, each coy leaf lifted
to expose
sweet bounty beneath.
Soon, I saw boughs heavy
as the Milky Way, bearing
stars upon stars
that outnumbered
and outshone the very leaves
that held them
in the sky.

Faster and faster I trod, consumed
by a fervent lust
for sustenance;
such succulence I’d never seen!
Closer, closer, I came,
heart and eyes wide and longing
until
breaths away…

I stopped.

Under shade of canopy,
only now could I see clearly
blessed fruit blushed
with blight.

Mold-speckled faces frowned
through borers’ brown holes
while wind-wrinkled skin hung
criss-crossed with blemishes
of age and neglect.
I stared for only a moment
then sat close to its trunk,
where low-hanging corpses
mocked my desire.

Yet
I would not leave this spot,
for I knew my hunger
was insatiable, and my thirst
unquenched. Here my craving
had begun, here it remained;
here I would remain
yearning, never satisfied,
but content
with what could have been.

– © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

…yet, upon closer inspection…

.

My friend Heidi Mordhorst is hosting Poetry Friday this week at My Juicy Little Universe, where she is celebrating Folktale Week with a video of the prologue to the musical Into the Woods – which is poetic and musical and just plain fun!

= = = = = = = = = =

(And OH, YES, dear readers, I have another picture book coming out the first week of January – and will be hosting the official COVER REVEAL here next week! I can’t wait for you to see it and learn more about it! If you love animals, numbers, and multicultural food, BE HERE NEXT FRIDAY!)

= = = = = = = = = =

Thrilled to be a First Round panelist for the Poetry Category!

I’m also booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year!

Click the graphic for more details!

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
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE:
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!

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

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: With a #BookBirthday behind me, it’s time for “Apple-Stealing”

All I can say is…you are in luck, my friend.

You see, I am finally taking a break from the inordinate amount of shameless self-promotion I’ve been fomenting this past week and going back in time.

All images©2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved

In case you haven’t heard, my newest book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), is officially in bookstores everywhere, and a few days ago I celebrated with a special blog post and GIVEAWAY that you can still enter! (Just leave a comment on that post and I’ll pick a name at random next week!)

I would also like to take a moment and thank the many folks who have posted reviews over the past couple of weeks:

As happy and thrilled as I am to have a new book out in the world, I thought readers might enjoy a break from the excitement with a trip back in time…to ten years ago…to my first published poem for a non-adult!

I say “non-adult” because it wasn’t really a children’s poem – it was definitely more YA. But considering it was published in 2012 – the same year I had left fulltime employment to work from home and be a stay-at-home dad – it definitely helped me feel like I was moving in the right direction with regards to young people’s literature.

The poem was titled “Apple-Stealing” and was about one night in college when a couple of friends and I snuck into the apple orchard right next to the college to steal apples late at night. Full disclosure: I would never advocate stealing anything and was extremely hesitant to go, but once I learned that the college actually paid the orchard several hundred dollars each year due to students stealing apples – well, I figured I had already paid for them and I was going to get my money’s worth.

Not sure that logic is completely sound, but it was good enough for me at the time)

So here’s my poem, which was published by the now-defunct Young Adult Review Network (YARN):

.

Apple Stealing

Moonglow; steadfast, unwitting
cohort,
lights autumn evening
orchard shadows
while three devious figures skulk
quietly between Macs
and Cortlands.

Grey watercolor brushstrokes soften
the edges; forms flow
one into the next;
our eyes unreliable,
texture,
…..distance,
…..…..perspective
give way to guesswork
and guile.

Crickets, night birds
knowingly
talk amongst themselves, voyeurs
in anticipation
watching us from their posts;
fighting
our fears, we dismiss
guilt,
ready our bags,
…..plan our attack,
and move in, deftly
selecting our prizes.

Suddenly, a rustling –
massive darkness looms
before us, behind, in front, beside
the trees;
bags dropped, we stop
cold, eyes straining, hearts
racing faster, faster
than stone-heavy legs.
Our criminality
laid bare, devil creature
raises its head in frightful judgment…
and bites

leisurely

.…..…..into fruit.

.
Horses steal apples, too.

– © 2012 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved
.

This poem is special to me not just because it was my first young person’s poem published, but because poet/author Kip Wilson, who was one of the folks operating YARN at the time, nominated the poem for a prestigious Pushcart Prize! So this week I get to share both my newest piece of writing as well as my first piece of (young adult) writing. Hope you liked it.

Thrilled to be a Firstt Round panelist for the Poetry Category!

I also hope you’ll consider picking up a copy of Beginner’s Guide. You can order personally-signed copies of this or nearly any of my books from my local bookstore. And be sure to visit Wee Words for Wee Ones, where Bridget Magee is hosting today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!


I’m also booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year!

Click the graphic for more details!

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
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE:
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!

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

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: CYBILS Awards, a favorite past winner, and ‘Beginner’s Guide’ is popping up in the world!

Even if I didn’t know I had a new book coming out next month, I’d still know – because only when a new book is due does life get this busy!

I’ve been coordinating interviews with bloggers, corresponding with bookstores, getting marketing posts out and scheduled, and already signing copies of A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022)!

My first creative nonfiction book (from the publishers of Once Upon Another Timeintroduces the very human concepts and emotions of love, creativity, and empathy, and I hope you’ll check it out. (You’ll certainly have plenty of opportunity to do so, as the number blog posts, reviews, interviews, and podcasts will start increasing as we get closer to publication date of Oct. 18!)

I’ve already seen the book on the shelf of one local bookstore, Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH (guess they couldn’t wait, ha!), and yesterday I spent part of my afternoon signing all the fresh copies that had just been delivered to another local bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, NH. I absolutely LOVE this!

As if I wasn’t busy enough, I’ve just learned that I will be a First Round Panelist for this year’s CYBILs Awards! I’m always eager to see what books get nominated for the various categories (I get to judge poetry!), and I’m especially excited because there are finally, finally TWO separate categories for poetry collections and verse novels.

Many of us have been requesting this for years, because it’s impossible to compare a collection of poems written for a 2nd-grade reading level with a YA verse novel. They might both be poetry, but they are as different as a board book and an early reader – they are two completely different genres, and it’s nice to see the CYBILs recognizing this.

Nominations for all the categories will open on Oct. 1, so be sure to check out the CYBILs website for all the info – and bookmark it so you can stay updated!

So to celebrate the CYBILs, I thought I’d reach back in time and share a poem from the book that won First Place in the Poetry Category the very first year I participated as a panelist or judge: 2013! (Wow, has it really been 9 years?)

The winning book was Forest Has a Song (Clarion Books, 2013) by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, who at the time I’d only recently connected with on social media. Over the ensuing years, however, Amy and I would get to know each other better through our poetry, our books, and a mutual friendship with the late, great Lee Bennett Hopkins.

We’ve even had the privelege of contributing to each other’s books – me, by writing a soccer poem for her book Poems are Teachers (Heineman, 2017) and her, for contributing a poem to an upcoming poetry anthology of mine.

One of my favorite poems from her book has delightful wordplay and is beautiful in its simplicity and brevity – neither of which is an easy task, when it comes to poetry:

Image ©2013 Clarion Books and Robbin Gourley, all rights reserved

If you click the image, you’ll be whisked away to Jama Rattigan’s original blog post celebrating the publication of Forest Has a Song, so I hope you’ll check it out if you missed it 9 years ago!

Here in present day, however, Tabatha is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, and sharing a cute pussy willow poem, “The Willow Cats,” by award-winning poet Margaret Widdemer.

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

Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new
creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

(Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!

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

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: Thoughts on the “Tao Te Ching”

I feel bad I neglected to post for Poetry Friday last week; however, I had been spending the first half of the week preparing for my live announcing gig at our local state fair, which began Thur., Sept. 1, at which point I began my 55-hour weekend.

I’ll share my thoughts and insights on the fair, as I do every year, next week – but for now, I’m sharing a golden shovel poem based on the famous words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who is credited (likely improperly) with writing the Tao Te Ching, a series of texts upon which the philosophy and religion of Taosim is based.

In a nutshell, Taoism is the belief that aligning oneself with the Tao – also known as The Way, the universal rhythmic force that binds everything and everyone – is the key to happiness. Rather than fighting in opposition to the flow of the Tao, a Taoist allows the flow to guide them, using a principle of wu wei, roughly translated as “action through inaction.” This is not to mean one should be lazy or exert no effort at all, but to work with the flow of life and not against it.

With this in mind, I took a walk along the brook that borders our property and was inspired to write a short golden shovel using a portion of Lao Tzu’s famous quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”:

My friend (and wonderful supporter) Carol Varsalona is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today at her blog Beyond LiteracyLink with a couple of poems celebrating the season we are leaving behind, one of which is a cento – a poem created from lines of other poems. I see we are both openly inspired by others’ words today!

COMING SOON…

Arriving everywhere books are sold on Oct. 18 from Beaming Books!

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

Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new
creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

(Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!

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

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: Rainbow Eucalyptus Part II, the poem you never saw

Sometimes, blog posts just sort of create themselves.

Case in point: last week, I shared my Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree poem that was included in J. Patrick Lewis’ The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Kids, 2015). But then just a few days later, I discovered that I’d never shared the poem that didn’t make it!

You see, when Pat asked me to write a poem about these trees, I had to do a lot of research – having never heard of them before, I needed to learn about what they looked like, why they looked like they did, and where on Earth one would even find them. This took me a solid day, at least. I then set about trying to come up with a poem worthy of a National Geographic book, and eventually wrote two of them.

The poem I shared last week, the one that made it into the book, was actually the second poem I wrote; the first one never saw the light of day. I sent Pat both poems so he could decide which he preferred, but I was glad to see he chose the second poem, as that was my favorite of the two, as well.

But that first poem was nice, nonetheless, and I always regretted that no one would ever read it. So why not publish it here??
.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Near a clearing in the forest,
jungle pixies paint with glee
the canvas of a eucalyptus;
Nature’s artist-tree.

– © 2014 Matt Forrest Esenwine 

.

Rainbow Eucalyptus, Wikimedia Commons, by amelia

You can probably see why both Pat and I preferred the second poem; this is nice, but very simple and not exceptionally engaging. The second poem is much more vivid and contains fun, inventive wordplay.

Analyzing it now, this feels more like the “rough draft” of the second poem – although I didn’t realize it when I wrote it. Just goes to show you how important it is to keep working at your project, even when you think you’re done, ha!

For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, head on over to Tanita Davis’ blog fiction, instead of lies, where she shares a poetic exercise that was a lot more taxing than she ever imagined!

ALSO:

My next picture book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human  (Beaming Books, 2022) is only two months away from publication, and we could use your help!

My first-ever creative nonfiction book comes out October 18 and you’d like to help share the news with the world, I’d love for you to be part of our official Launch Team! Just send me an email at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and let me know. We’ll send you a link so you can read the digital ARC (Advance Review Copy) and will coordinate news and announcements with you to share.

It’s not a lot of work – sharing social media posts, leaving reviews, etc. – but it’s a significant way you can lend a hand in showing support for a book you like. And if you’re a blogger or influencer and would like to be part of our official blog tour/virtual launch, I can make sure you’ll receive a free copy of Beginner’s Guide to give away to one of your followers!

Image © 2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved; reprinted with permission

Again, just email me if you’d like to learn more and I’ll take it from there. I hope you’ll jump on board!

And thank you so much for all your support – I couldn’t have come this far without you!

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

Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new
creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

(Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!

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

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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 4th-grader celebrates a famous flycatcher with a poem

I always love seeing kids writing poetry. I don’t know if it’s because I see my younger self in them or if it’s because I want to encourage them to engage writing in a genre that is both highly esteemed yet gravely misunderstood.

Either way, I’m happy to show my support by publishing students’ work here whenever I have the opportunity. Today, it’s a poem from a young writer who is OK.

He’s actually a really cool kid, with lots of interests, kind heart, and an inquisitive mind. I say he’s OK because…those are his initials!

This young homeschooled poet has taken a great interest in writing poetry lately, and his folks shared one his poems with me a few days ago. I thought it was so well done for someone so young, that I offered to share it here with the world:
.

Phoebe flying, perching low,
On a windowsill below.
Milky belly, silver back,
Catching bugs with beak of black.
Partners switch, pumping wings
As it sings,
……….phoe-be,
………………..phoe-be.
Sitting on a mossy ledge,
Sipping on the river’s edge.
Back to nest, to feed their young,
A Phoebe’s work is never done,
Make it strong with grass and twig,
Web works best
to form the nest.

– written by O.K., July 2022

.

Pretty impressive for a 4th-grader, yes? I told him I’m quite partial to phoebe flycatchers, which are quite plentiful around here, so I was extra-excited to share it on my blog. Well done, OK! You and your folks should be proud.

For more poetry, be sure to check out today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup at Unexpected Intersections, where Elisabeth shares an original poem about breaking routine and changing direction. Also, if you happened to miss National Mac and Cheese Day yesterday (July 14), you can still celebrate with my ode to luscious fat and carbs HERE!

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new
creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

(Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!

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

I’m 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 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!

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: York Beach haiku

This post was originally published on July 13, 2018. My family and I spent our annual vacation back at York Beach this week, so my brain is still full of sunshine and sea spray. I thought I’d bring this favorite of mine back this week, since I’m doing my best to not work. 😉

Janice Scully has today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Salt City Verse!

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

(click to enlarge)

My wife captured this photo during the last week of June, while we were staying at a friend’s cottage along York Beach, Maine. We were walking along the shore around 6pm or so, and after a brief rainfall, we noticed the sky attempting to display three separate rainbows. Alas, they were only pieces, but I’ve had this image stuck in my head for some time now, and wanted to find a few words to accompany it. Finally did!

By the way, if you missed my little “tip of the hat” to elementary school teachers, you’ll find a mid-summer poem HERE – along with links to a few of the summer reading lists that include Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017)! Of course, if you’re still hungry for more poetry, you’ll find all of today’s links at Poetry for Children, where Sylvia Vardell is hosting Poetry Friday.

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

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!


  (coming Sept. 25, 2018!)

You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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

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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: New “Stargazing” picture book announcement!

Wow, what a busy week it has been! I’ve written a new poem for an upcoming anthology, I’ve had a new book list published at Shepherd.com (more on that below), and librarians across the country are taking advantage of a package of ocean-themed activities that my 2022 picture book marketing group and I have put together as a way to supplement CSLP’s summer reading program.

In the midst of all this, you can imagine my joy when I learned from my publisher that I can officially announce the awesome news that I have ANOTHER picture book coming out!!

The Thing to Remember about Stargazing – a book that has been nearly TEN years in the making – will be published by the incredible folks at Tilbury House (fingers crossed for the latter part of 2023), and the illustrator they’ve signed is none other than the amazingly talented, award-winning Italian artist, Sonia Possentini.

Sonia Maria Luce Possentini

If you are unfamiliar with Sonia’s work, you need to visit her website and check out some of her beautiful work. She’s had numerous art exhibitions in addition to her illustration work and I believe she will bring an elegant and pastoral tone to my book.

What is Stargazing about, you ask?

Well, it answers the question: what is the most important thing to remember about stargazing? Is it when to do it, who to do it with, what to look for? (Hint: It’s none of those!)

Written in a loose, lyrical narrative, it is my hope that Stargazing – with its unique blend of poetic text and science – encourages, entices, and enchants. And with Sonia’s illustrations, I’m sure it will!

.

So remember when I mentioned earlier that the book has been nearly ten years in the making? Well, Stargazing actually started off as a poem. Way back in 2014, the late poet, educator and anthologist Paul Janeczko asked me if I had any poems he might consider including in a poetry anthology of “how-to” poems he was putting together – which would eventually become his posthumously-published The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog (Candlewick, 2019).

One of the poems I sent Paul was a much shorter, slimmed-down version of Stargazing. He decided not to select it for his book, so I held onto it for a while and a few years later asked our mutual friend Rebecca Kai Dotlich what she thought of the poem. She liked it, but suggested it might be a bit too long for a children’s poem – perhaps, she said, either pare it down to make it shorter or flesh it out into a picture book manuscript.

Not really wanting to cut anything from what I’d written, I opted for the latter. I added, revised, tweaked, and polished – and eventually began submitting it. Twenty five rejections later, Tilbury House read it and immediately contacted me to ask if it was still available! (This is why I tell newcomers that you must, must, MUST keep subbing – if you believe in your story, don’t give up on it)

You can see now why I felt Poetry Friday was the perfect time and place to announce the official news; a poem that ahs become a picture book! I’ll be sharing more details over the next year and a half, of course – but I can’t tell you how excited I am for the world to finally see this book.

By the way, speaking of poetry, I have a new list at Shepherd.com – a website that allows you to find exactly the types of books you’re looking for, because the books are categorized into Top 5 lists created by authors themselves!

Looking for historical fiction books about World War 2? Science fiction books published in the last 2 years about cyborgs? All children’s books about robots for 8-year-olds?

This is how specific you can get with Shepherd.com – and not only is it great for book buyers, but I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot of traffic from authors and illustrators using it as a means of finding comp titles. I do hope you’ll check them out!

Since my new list features what I consider the best children’s poetry collections about animals, I thought I’d share one of my favorites poems from David Harrison’s A Place to Start a Family (Charlesbridge, 2018):

Click to enlarge. ©2018 Charlesbridge, all rights reserved

By the way, I say this is my “new” list because I have another list, as well: the best children’s poetry collections about nature, which you can find HERE. I’m hoping to create at least one more list of picture books, which I’ll share once it’s been created and posted.

If you’re an author or illustrator and would like to learn more about Shepherd, head to their website and read all about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and the progress they’re making!

LIBRARIANS! Click the graphic to learn more about how you can receive TONS of free ocean-themed activities from my PB22Peekaboo partners and me – for use this summer, or beyond!

Since it’s Poetry Friday, there’s a lot more poetry awaiting you! Be sure to visit my friend Buffy Silverman’s blog for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!

.

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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

Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN (Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!

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

I’m 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!

Available 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: My favorite 12-year-old poet returns – and “Beginner’s Guide” ARCs have arrived!

They say middle schoolers are hard to figure out – well, that is certainly true of my 12-year-old son, who claims he doesn’t like poetry even though he writes really good poetry. (huh??)

I’ve shared a few of his poems here over the past few months, like THIS ONE and THIS ONE. Well, he’s back with another, and I told him I’d be sure to share it with my blog readers.

Keep in mind, he’s not writing these as part of his schoolwork – he’s writing these in his spare time, yet is adamant he’s not a fan of poetry. Personally, I don’t care if he’s unsure of his opinion, I’m just glad to see him writing it and enjoying the process!

And yes, he does love all of those – he’s a budding conservationist, whose heroes are Steve Irwin and David Attenborough! So don’t be surprised if you see him hosting a show on Animal Planet one of these days.

Speaking of poetry and writing, I had a great time this past weekend at MainStreet BookEnds, a local independent bookstore in New Hampshire! My friend and neighbor David Elliott was there chatting and signing books during the morning, and then I stopped by and did the same for another couple of hours.

Me, bookstore owner Katharine Nevins, and David Elliott

This is the store that offers personally-signed copies of all of my books – so if you go online to place an order, you can leave a note requesting the book be signed, and to whom. The owner will send me an email letting me know, I’ll zip down to the store and sign it, and it’s in the mail in about 24 hours or less! How’s that for service??

In picture book news…

e-ARCs have arrived!

These are electronic Advance Review Copies, which publishers use to pre-promote the book to potential buyers, and are about as close to final proofs as you can get before they head off to production. I can only share one spread here, but I can’t wait for you to see the entire book:

The book is my first-ever creative nonfiction book to be published, so I’m eager for people to read it – but also anxious about what they’ll think! Personally, I love the concept (which was my editor’s idea), I love the structure and tone (my idea), and I love Andre Ceolin’s illustrations (his idea, natch).

I hope you’ll love it, as well! (Pre-orders are available now – just sayin’.)

Have a wonderful weekend! And since today is Poetry Friday, I hope you’ll check out all the poetry links and fun at Teaching Authors, where Carmela is hosting the complete roundup with STEAM-Powered Poetry and an original poem from a brand-new anthology.

.

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!

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Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my newest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
from my local independent bookstore!

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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 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!

Available 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!