Poetry Friday: Celebrating Anniversaries and Elephants on #WorldElephantDay

It’s been a busy week here at the ol’ homestead, with kids going on playdates before summer ends, my wife working two jobs, three birthday celebrations – and me trying to write in-between it all.

My wife and I also celebrated our 14th anniversary (the traditional Ivory Anniversary) by deciding – separately – to give each other a more humane gift. Proof that we are perfect for each other? We each gave the other a framed elephant print for our individual office spaces!

My wife gave me a signed, numbered print of two elephants facing each other and I gifted her with an raised-trunk print of an elephant, a sign of good fortune. But she did me one better – she gave me ivory that’s still attached to the rest of its owner: she adopted an elephant in my name through the World Wildlife Fund! How cool is that?

(Today is #WorldElephantDay, by the way, so I encourage you to find out more about it!)

A few years ago I wrote a haiku about the African Bush Elephant, the largest living land animal on Earth, but never shared it here. So today’s the day!
.

African Bush Elephant

none dare attack; fierce
cheetah, lion, leopard watch
as you gorge on greens

– © 2019 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved
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~ GIVEAWAY WINNER! ~

To celebrate my 10-year “blogiversary” last week, I offered to give away a signed copy of any of my five books – and out of allthe folks who commented or shared the post via Twitter, the one name drawn at random is…

Jany Campana!!

Thank you so much for sharing my 10th anniversary blogging post, Jany! Send me an email letting me know which book you’d like, who you’d like me to sign it to, and where to send it, and I’ll get it in the mail pronto. And thanks for the support!

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In other news, I’m extremely excited that the publication day for my next picture book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022) is only months away!

The book, which comes out October 18, is my first-ever creative nonfiction book – so I’m eager for people to read it but also anxious about what they’ll think! 

That’s where YOU can help…

If you’d like to be part of our Official Launch Team, just send me an email at Matt (at) MattForerst (dot) com and let me know! We’ll send you a link to 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 (or author??) you like.

And if you happen to be a blogger or Instagram influencer and would like to be part of our official blog tour, I can make sure you’ll receive a free copy of Beginner’s Guide to give away to one of your followers! Again, all you have to do is email me and I’ll take it from there.

Stay tuned for more details about the book and sneak-peeks at some of the interior spreads! I can’t wait to show you what illustrator André Ceolin – along with the editorial and marketing team responsible for my picture book Once Upon Another Time – has in store with this!

My friend Margaret Simon is celebrating her birthday (Aug. 11) by hosting Poetry Friday today at Reflections on the Teche with a couple of beautiful poems and two beautiful rainbow photos to accompany them. Be sure to stop by and say hi!

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!

Book review: “S is for Sea Glass”

It’s my last week of vacation, so I thought I’d re-share this post from summer 2014. Since I’m living life oceanside at this moment – with a few pieces of sea glass I’ve found along the shore – I figured this particular post would be quite apropos! 

Jan at BookSeed Studio has today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, including a couple of original sijo poems and a poetic library just to my south, in Cambridge, MA!

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

I write poetry in a variety of styles and forms – some rhyming, some free verse. Some structured, some not quite so.

You can therefore imagine how refreshing it was for me to see a children’s poetry collection that offered this same sort of variety – not the cut-and-paste sing-song of simple rhyming verse, nor the page-after-page of non-rhyming, uneven line-length free verse (which can sometimes get heavy for children’s poetry). In the case of Richard Michelson’s S is for Sea Glass: A Beach Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, 2014), we’re talking about a smart, well-structured book that carries one theme – poems about the beach – but presents that theme in 26 different ways.

Sea Glass cover

Because a trip to the beach or ocean carries with it so many different moods, sights, and feelings for a child, this book makes good use of poetic forms to highlight those differences. One minute the reader is contemplating the ebb and flow of tides, and the next he or she is chuckling over the author’s query of what, precisely, a mosquito is good for.
…..

H is for Horizon

Where does the sea stop and the sky begin?
Where does the sun rise when the dawn slips in?
Where does the ship sail when its sails disappear?
Is it under the ocean? Is it up in the air?

If I travel the world or stay here on this beach,
The horizon will always be just beyond reach.
But its real as my dreams and it’s always nearby –
That magical line where the sea meets the sky.

– Richard Michelson, reprinted with permission, all rights reserved

.

Doris Ettlinger’s illustrations perfectly match the poems, as they are neither trite nor bold nor ornate…but are simultaneously happy and calm, fun and reflective, cool and warm. The fact that it’s an alphabet book is almost superfluous.

Which, I suppose, is a good thing, as I feel many of the poems – most, in fact, read above the level of a child who would need to learn the alphabet. As a collection of poetry, as a book about the beach, as a book that reflects the wonders, mysteries, and joy of being ocean side…S is for Sea Glass is beautiful. The fact that it’s an alphabet book seems unnecessary.

Here’s another one of my favourites:
…..

R is for Rain

Nobody’s  at the beach today. ‘Most everyone’s complaining.
…..The sky is dark. The clouds are thick. And I, the Rain, am raining.

…..…...Folks let waves splash them head to toe. Do you hear any whining?
……….……….No!
…..…..…..They think it’s fun to get wet when their friend, the sun, is shining.

…..…..…..…..I cool the breeze. And fill the seas. Who’s not a rainbow lover?
…..…..…..…..…..So why, when I come out to play, do they all run for cover?

– Richard Michelson, reprinted with permission, all rights reserved


Like I said, smart, beautiful, relatable  poetry. And it’s poetry that makes children think as much as smile. Hopefully, the next time they go to the beach, some of the images will be fresh in their heads. I know many of the images are fresh in my head – but then again, I’ve been spending all week here by the ocean.

And I think it’s time I did some more refreshing. I hear the surf calling my name…

York beach

 

And a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has been part of this journey with me! I couldn’t have made it this far without your support, and I truly appreciate it.

Check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from m 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: 2022 Summer reading lists and “Night Wishes”!

Well, it’s that time of year again – the kids are getting out of school for the summer and parents are wondering how to keep them busy!

Many schools and libraries share lists of suggested summer reading for parents, of course, and I’m very proud to see several of my own books showing up on these reading lists and blogs.

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SUMMER READING LISTS!

A few of the folks I’d like to thank:

Kansas NEA Reading Circle – Recommended Title (Flashlight Night)

Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School (MO) (Flashlight Night)

We Are Teachers (Flashlight Night)

Fairfax County (VA) Public Library “Picture Walks” (Flashlight Night)

Emirates Education Program “Summer Reading List 2022” (Flashlight Night)

World News Era “Summer Reading List 2022” (Flashlight Night)

West Vancouver Memorial Library “Summer Reading Recommended Titles”
(I Am Today)

The Contented Reader “25 Wonderful Books for Earth Day” (I Am Today) (True, this was initially posted for Earth Day 2022, but why not celebrate the Earth year-round??)

Book Trib “Celebrate Our Planet” (Once Upon Another Time) (This was published last spring, but I didn’t come across it until today, so I wanted to make sure I included these nice folks!)

Advent Lutheran Church (NYC) (Once Upon Another Time)

Severna Park United Methodist Church “Caring for Creation (Addressing Climate Change)” (Once Upon Another Time)

Compassionate Christianity (Once Upon Another Time)

Newton (MA) Free Library (Night Wishes)

Book Nerd Mommy “Not-to-be-missed Picture Books” (Night Wishes)

Book Nerd Mommy “Fantastic Poetry Picture Books” (Night Wishes)

Hello, Wild Things “Flashlight Book Basket” (Flashlight Night) (This was posted in 2020, but I just love the concept!)

Asa Books July Reading List (Flashlight Night) (This was also originally from 2020, but I just came across it yesterday and wanted to give them a shout-out. Thanks, folks!)

Last but not least, I want to thank Jena Benton for reviewing Once Upon Another Time on her blog this past April for National Poetry Month! I never realized it until this past week, so thank you so much, Jena!

Since it’s Poetry Friday, I thought I’d share two poems from Lee Bennett Hopkins’ anthology Night Wishes (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2020), which has received so much love from librarians and children’s book lovers!

One of the poems is my contribution and the other was written by my friend Rebecca Kai Dotlich. I was surprised to see that we both used the term, “child” – which I think helps maintain the book’s continuity – even though neither of us saw the other’s poem until the book was published!

There’s a lot more poetry in store! Today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup is at MoreArt4All, Michelle Kogan’s little home on the web, so I hope you’ll stop by and check out all the links and fun!

By the way, if you’ve ever wondered how to get published without an agent, I hope you’ll join Natasha Yim, Ashok Banker, and Yours Truly for what I hope will be a fun, informative panel discussion with San Francisco Northeast Bay SCBWI hostess Gennie Bruce Gorback next Wed., June 22!

Registration closes TODAY, June 17 – so don’t delay!

Only $5 for SCBWI members, $10 for non-members – so no excuses! I’ll be watching for you. 😉

.============================================================

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: 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!

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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!

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

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my newest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids 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: “I Am Today” is officially everywhere – and so are sea turtles!

Well, it finally happened.

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) was officially published this past Tuesday!

Children are always being told they are the “Future”…but what if a child doesn’t want to wait, to make a difference? I Am Today is about a young girl who recognizes a need to take action, but also recognizes that she needn’t wait to take that action.

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “An inspirational and motivational story about a young girl who is acting TODAY rather than waiting for the future to make change”
    Little Book Locker
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

.

All images © 2022 POW! Kids Books, all rights reserved

Learn more about the book and read reviews at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of I AM TODAY from my local independent bookstore today!

Sea turtles play a big role in the story. In fact, readers can even learn how to make their own origami sea turtles – just like the main character makes – using instructions included at the end of the book! So as I was preparing this week’s post, I thought about how I could incorporate sea turtles into a Poetry Friday post about my new book.

And then the poem just came to me…

.
sea turtle tanka

under sea salt moon
you pull yourself from fierce waves
with lumbering grace,
climb above the high tide line;
a family left in sand                   

© 2022 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved

.

In case you do not know, this poem form is a tanka – a Japanese form similar to a haiku, although it actually predates haiku. The syllabic structure, in English-language terms, is 5-7-5-7-7, although one needn’t follow this religiously as our syllables are not exactly the same thing as Japanese syllables. But for simplicity’s sake, I stuck with the structure.

Hope you like it! And I hope you’ll check out I Am Today, as well! For all of today’s Poetry Friay links and fun, head over to Kat Apel’s blog Kat’s Whiskers, where she is celebrating the release of her newest verse novel, What Snail Knows (University of Queensland Press)!

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

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

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

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!

A long-awaited #BookBirthday for I AM TODAY!

It was originally scheduled for publication way back on Oct. 5, 2021…and after six, count ’em, SIX delays, my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), is officially here!

Children are always being told they are the “Future”…but what if a child doesn’t want to wait, to make a difference?

.

I AM TODAY is about a young girl who recognizes a need to take action. The story includes sea turtles, a factory, a town that rallies together, and even origami! But when you read the story, you’ll notice that NONE of that is in my text; no turtles, no pollution, no origami – not even a girl. I wrote the framework for a narrative, and illustrator Patricia Pessoa created and developed the entire plot!

(and at the end of the book, there are even directions on how to make your own origami turtle!)

Learn more about the book and read reviews at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “An inspirational and motivational story about a young girl who is acting TODAY rather than waiting for the future to make change”
    Little Book Locker
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

.

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of I AM TODAY from my local independent bookstore today!

Read Across America Day is tomorrow, March 2, 2022, and I’m once again offering free, 20-minute visits with schools and libraries all across the country!

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

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

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 March 1, 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!

It wasn’t an asteroid, but…

Last week, I told you that unless an asteroid was to hit, my next picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) would be officially published today.

Guess what.

It wasn’t exactly an asteroid, but I just learned from my editor that Simon & Schuster apparently needed more time to process the books that arrived at their warehouse a couple of weeks ago. So now it’s NEXT Tuesday, March 1 that we’ll be seeing the book arrive.

So now, after 7 different publication dates and six delays, I have my fingers, toes, and just about every other available body part crossed that it does, indeed, arrive! Folks who have already seen it have loved it, and I hope you will, too…

.

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

The “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

.

Read Across America Day is only a week away, March 2, 2022 and I still have a few slots available!

I am once again offering free, 20-minute visits with schools and libraries all across the country, so if you’d like me to read one of my books to your class and share a few details about “the story behind the story,” send me an email and let me know!

View my complete list of books below, if you’re wondering what you might like me to read – or I can pick one. It’s up to you! But slots are filling up, so please contact me as soon as you can.

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

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

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 March 1, 2022! Pre-order now!

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

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day) . Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: A 6th grader who doesn’t like poetry is back – with poetry he didn’t even need to write

A few weeks ago, I shared a poem my son had written for school – which was surprisingly good for someone who claims he doesn’t like poetry.

I didn’t realize at the time that he didn’t write the poem for school.

He wrote the poem just because.

He actually wrote four different poems, each about a subject that interests him, although none were required for school as I’d mistakenly thought. Nope, he tells me he wrote them simply because he felt like writing them. (And really, what better reason does one need?)

Now, before I share this second poem of his, I need to interject a little news about my upcoming picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), which is due out this Tuesday:

My next picture book is due out THIS TUESDAY!

After 6 different publication dates and FIVE delays, it finally arrives everywhere next week, Tue., Feb. 22 – and I really can’t wait for you to see it. (Come to think of it, I haven’t even received my own author copies yet, so I can’t wait to see it, either!)

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this now is because my son’s poem actually feels inspired by my book’s plot – even though my son isn’t entirely sure it was. He’s very big on nature-based nonfiction and has a strong sense of right and wrong, so it’s possible his poem was all his own doing; however, I can’t help but feel he may have gleaned a bit of inspiration having seen the .pdf of I Am Today, with his imagery of the sea, its threatened life, the brave child, protesters, and a garbage cleanup.

Certainly sounds like I Am Today!

Regardless, I told him I was proud of his effort:

What a kid, eh? He just might end up being a poet yet.

Speaking of poets, my friend Laura Purdie Salas is gearing up for the publication of her own new picture book, We Belong (Carolrhoda, 2022), and she’s celebrating by hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Small Reads for Brighter Days!

.

Many thanks to the wonderful folks
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)
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!

Read some reviews and learn more about the book, my creative process, and the importance of a good illustrator at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour: