Poetry Friday: “Spring at Pond Meadow”

poetryfridaybutton-fulll

This post was originally published six years ago, in the spring of 2016 (where have the years gone??). Although it’s still too early for the geese to return (they’ll probably show up in another week or two), I wanted to dust this off and share it again today because the sooner we start thinking about spring and talking about spring, the sooner spring will get here.

That’s the way it works, right?

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About a week and a half ago, I shared a short video on my Facebook page, taken behind our house, along our property line. It was simply 10 seconds of a babbling brook, but it’s a quiet little place I like to go and bring the kids to relax and listen.

Today, I’m sharing something from the front of the house!

Geese 2

Actually, it’s right across the street from the front of our house.

On the other side of the road, you see, a hay field and pond are home to a variety of frogs, ducks, snapping turtles, deer, red-winged blackbirds, and a Great blue heron – as well as a family of Canada geese that has been growing the last few years:

Geese
(click either image to enlarge)

Five or six years ago, it was one pair of geese. This spring, I counted 5 pairs, most with their own gaggle of goslings, and one lone adult straggler. (Hey, there’s always that one confirmed bachelor in every family, right?)

Spring at Pond Meadow

Goslings follow Mama’s lead,
through tall grass and jewel-weed;
Father watches wily fox
hiding kits from hungry hawks.

– © 2016, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

For the complete Poetry Friday Roundup, head over to The Poem Farm where Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has all of today’s links and poetry!

And by the way, many thanks to everyone who has been picking up copies of my new picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), and sharing such kind words about it! It’s available wherever books are sold, of course, but if you’d like a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy, there’s only one place to go – and that’s my local independent bookstore!

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!

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?

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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!

Poetry Friday: An antique Thackeray collection yields lost beauty

I’m praying no asteroids hit the earth.

If this seems a rather odd statement, then I encourage you to check out this past Tuesday’s post, where I explain why my next picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) has once again been delayed – for the last time!

Now then, as you may know, I’ve been in the process of moving my upstairs office/studio to a new space downstairs, and in doing so have been discovering all sorts of treasures I’d been holding onto for years:

I’ve found old CDs copied from cassette mixtapes I’d made while in college, stuffed animals like Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar, and even a Tim Finn promo album cover from when I was program director for my college radio station, WIUV, that I grabbed before I graduated. Thirty-seven years later, it finally has a frame – and a home on my office/studio wall!

I also found a commemorative baseball I’d received when I threw out the first pitch at a NH Fishercats baseball game way back when I was still working in radio.

Oh, and a giant door-sized poster of The Smiths!

And a college pennant!

And a — well, you get the picture. Lots of stuff to go through, and my wife is thrilled to know I’m not keeping it all.

But The Smiths poster is definitely staying.

Among the many books I re-discovered was a late-1800’s collection of works by 19th-century author William Makepiece Thackeray, most well-known for his novel, Vanity Fair. You might be familiar with another of his novels, The Luck of Barry Lyndon, which was turned into a movie by Stanley Kubrick in the ’70s.

Thackeray’s early life was equal parts tragedy and aimlessness. He went to school in Cambridge, England, but wasn’t a fan of academics; he studied law but didn’t stick with it; he inherited quite a sum of money upon his father’s death but sqaundered much of it gambling; he tried to start two newspapers and failed; and lost a great deal of money when two Indian banks failed (Thackeray was born in Calcutta, so had strong ties to India throughout his life).

And all of this happened before he even got married! Sadly, his wife began suffering post-partum depression following the birth of their third child, and because the medical community did not know how to diagnose or treat these issues, she fell further and further down the dark hole of mental incapacity until she was eventually confined to an asylum. (Interestingly, she outlived him by about 30 years)

The one thing he was good at was writing – and that’s what saved him.

So I thought I’d share this brief poem of his today. It’s neither one of his most well-known, nor one of his best, but I love the sentiment and cadence. Plus, with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought a little love poem like this would be perfect for Poetry Friday. (I also like the fact that it’s written from the POV of the flower):

(Click to enlarge)

Some may feel it’s overwrought or too sentimental, but I love its classic romantic, heart-tugging tone. For all of today’s poetry links and fun, head on over to Teacher Dance, where Linda is hosting the complete Poetry Friday roundup!

In other news…

“An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
.
Many thanks to Good Reads with Ronna for her wonderful review of I AM TODAY!
(click here to read the complete review)

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!

Yes, it’s true. After five delays and six different publishing dates, my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is scheduled to be published Feb. 22, 2022 – for real!!

Learn more about the book, my process, and the importance of a good illustrator at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

Read Across America!

.

If you’ve not heard, Read Across America Day is coming up on March 2, 2022 and I am once again offering free, 20-minute visits with schools and libraries all across the country!

If you’d be interested in having me join your class to read one of my books and share a few details about “the story behind the story,” please send me an email and let me know!

I’ll be scheduling visits on the hour and half-hour all day long, and slots usually get filled up fairly quickly, so don’t wait! You can see 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!

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

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

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

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 Feb. 8, 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 writes really good poetry

Wow.

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

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

The kid who claims he doesn’t like poetry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Blog Tour:

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

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

Pre-order your copy now!

.

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

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

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

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

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

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

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

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

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

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

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

Click any of the covers below to order!

Arriving Jan. 25, 2022! Pre-order now!

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

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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

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

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

Wow.

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

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

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

(click to enlarge)

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

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

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

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

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

The Blog Tour:

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

Care for a sneak peek?

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

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

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

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

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

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

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click any of the covers below to order!

Arriving Jan. 25, 2022! Pre-order now!

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

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Click to enlarge)

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

Then Dec. 21.

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

Fingers crossed!

The complete list:

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

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

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

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

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

(Click to enlarge)

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

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

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

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

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

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

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

Click any of the covers below to order!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order now!

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

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Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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

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

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

So congratulations to the winner: JILANNE HOFFMAN!!

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

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

The complete list:

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

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

Click to enlarge

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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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click any of the covers below to order!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order now!

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

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The complete list:

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

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

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

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

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

Red Pine

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

All it needs
is a ho-ho-ho.

© 2014 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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

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

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