Saturday, April 2, 2011

Celebrate Poetry Month with these resources

All this month, visit Greg Pincus’ blog GottaBook for the first annual 30 Poets/30 Days project, a celebration of children's poetry. Every day in April, he will update his blog with a previously unpublished poem by a different poet. You can also follow the project on Twitter. Participating poets (in alphabetical order): Arnold Adoff, Jaime Adoff, Francisco X. Alarcón, Kathi Appelt, Jorge Argueta, Brod Bagert, Carmen Bernier-Grand, Calef Brown, Joseph Bruchac, James Carter, Kurt Cyrus, Graham Denton, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Douglas Florian, Kristine O'Connell George, Charles Ghigna, Joan Bransfield Graham, Nikki Grimes, Avis Harley, David L. Harrison, Alan Katz, Bobbi Katz, Julie Larios, J. Patrick Lewis, George Ella Lyon, Elaine Magliaro, Heidi Mordhorst, Kenn Nesbitt, Linda Sue Park, Ann Whitford Paul, Greg Pincus, Laura Purdie Salas, Liz Garton Scanlon, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Susan Marie Swanson, Charles Waters, April Halprin Wayland, Carole Boston Weatherford, Janet Wong, Jane Yolen, and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Happy Poetry Month!

Harcourt Trade Books is offering a free classroom kit for celebrating National Poetry Month and Young People’s Poetry Week based on the book new book Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures by Julie Larios, illustrated by Julie Paschkis, and are suitable for students in grades 3-6. Kirkus gave Imaginary Menagerie a starred review stating, “Using poems and pictures, this modern bestiary proves a fascinating introduction to mythical creatures from different cultures. . . . Each creature is described in a poem capturing some of its unique features as well as its mystery. . . . End-pages ingeniously unite the curious creatures providing the perfect start and finish to this little masterpiece.” I was delighted with Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary by the same author/illustrator team. Julie Paschkis' illustrations are amazing. Free classroom kits from the previous two years are also still available to download inlcuding informationand activities on poets Douglas Florian, Bobbi Katz, Julie Larios, and Mary Ann Hoberman.

The Poetry Foundation's Children's Program offers several resources. More than Mother Goose: Poems for the Kids in Your Life is a list of 20 poetry books, ranging from audio collections to classics to contemporary anthologies. Lunchbox Poems provides suggestions for poems parents or other caregivers can slip into children’s lunchboxes to share a giggle or remind them that you’re thinking of them. An Xceptional and Xuberant Poet is an article written by the Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky on the verses of X.J. Kennedy. Thank Goodness It’s (Poetry) Friday is article about how bloggers in the kidlitosphere enthusiastically offer up their favorite poems for kids every Friday (which I will start with the first Friday in April!). In the article She Speaks in the Voice of a Child, Jack Prelutsky discusses the work, writing habits, and fashion preferences of his friend, children's novelist, and poet Nikki Grimes, sharing a few of her newest, unpublished poems along the way. Dragons Pulling Wagons is a feature in which Jack Prelutsky turns the publicity on other fine poets writing for children today. Each month during his tenure, he'll tell you a bit about a poet he admires, and then select a few favorite poems and books by that author. With A Little Help from Dr. Angelou turns the spotlight on African-American poetry. Robert Frost in the Petri Dish discusses steps you can go through to find the science in Frost’s poems about fireflies, birches, the solstice, and growing fruit. Last, but certainly not least, the Essential Collection is a list of books essential to a superb children's poetry library as identified by nationally respected children's literature experts, librarians, educators, and parents. The list includes anthologies, collections of contemporary and classic poetry by individual authors, and poetry collections that include audio recordings on tape or CD.

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