Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Picture Poetry Book - Days to Celebrate by Lee Bennett Hopkins

A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More
Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn
2005 Greenwillow Books
out of print, available used
112 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.97 - 39 ratints
My rating:  4
Endpapers: Bright yellow 

My comments: Another anthology of poetry for kids by super-poetry-guy Lee Bennett Hopkins.  This one includes a calendar for each month of the year before a handful of pages that represent that month, including birthdays and historical dtes with their information.  An eclectic group of poems, I found MANY that I truly enjoyed.  (See below

Goodreads:  In Days to Celebrate Lee Bennett Hopkins has collected an astounding array of information to show us that each day of the year gives us a reason to celebrate. For every month he has compiled a calendar of birthdays, holidays, historic events, inventions, world records, thrilling firsts, and more.
          And for every month he has selected surprising poems in honor of some of the people and events commemorated in the calendar. There are poems about the seasons and holidays, of course, but there are also poems about a "Flying-Man" (for February 4, Charles Lindbergh's birthday), birds (for April 26, John James Audubon's birthday), windshield wipers (patented November 10), and earmuffs (patented December 21).
          Beloved poets, such as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Christina Rossetti, are joined by new voices in sixty poems that take us on a remarkable journey through a year -- and through the years. Stephen Alcorn's illustrations, based on the style of art found in old almanacs, are airy, whimsical, and thought provoking. They perfectly match the breadth and depth of this volume.
          Brilliantly conceived and elegantly illustrated, Days to Celebrate is a book that pays tribute to the people, events, and poetry that make up our past and will inspire our future.


People shoo me
from their lawn,
scold me,
chase me,
want me gone,
treat me like some kind of pest,
a most unwelcome
garden guest.

Then one day,
for mysterious reasons,
they crown me ---


King of Seasons.

Will spring come soon?
Will winter flee?
The world awaits
my royal decree.

            Maria Fleming


Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever he weather
Whether we like it or not.

Prayer for the Lunar New Year

This is the day
you grow another year wiser.

This is the day
you forget what you know to be impossible.

The moon loves to play a game.

Sweep your grudges out,
scatter them to nothing.

Scrub your wishes pure,
wash your heart clear.

Open your windows wide,
let the new year begin.

            Janet S. Wong
Labor Day

First Monday in September
that’s when we remember
to honor workers who toil long.
Their efforts make our country strong.
We give a gift they all like best;
We give them all a day of rest!

            Marci Ridlon

Harriet Tubman
Auburn, New York, 1861

Before I rode “The Railroad,”
            I didn’t understand.
I thought that tracks were tunneled
            underneath the land.
The Underground Railroad
            runs out of sight.
The last stop is freedom
            if you ride it right.
Good peope gave me food
            and hid me all the way,
until I reached Pennsylvania
            at sunrise one day.
I stared at these black hands
            To make sure I was me.
I felt like I was in heaven.
            At last I was free!

I worked as a cook,
            saved my money
                 and then . . .
            I went down South
            again and . . .again
to lead others to the stations:
            women, children, men.
Yes, I worked and I saved
            and I kept going back.
I never lost a passenger
            or ran my train off the track.

Folks began to call me Moses.
            The though tickled me.
Moses!  There was a conductor
            who set God’s children free.

                        Bobbi Katz

Earth, What Will You Give Me?

Earth what will you give me
In summer,
In summer,
Earth, what will you give me
In summer

I’ll give you my fields
Made of lilies,
Of lilies,
I’ll give you my fields
Made of lilies
And green.

And what will you give me
In autumn,
In autumn,
And what will you give me
In autumn
So bold?

I’ll give you my leaves
Made of maple,
Of maple,
I’ll give you my leaves
Made of maple
And gold.

And what will you give me
In winter,
In winter,
And what will you give me
In winter
So light?

I’ll give you my stars
Made of crystal,
Of crystal,
I’ll give you my stars
Made of crystal
And white.

And what will you give me
In springtime,
In springtime,
And what will you give me
In springtime
So new?

I’ll give you my nests
Made of grasses,
Of grasses,
I’ll give you my nests
Made of grasses
And blue.

            Beverly McLoughland

Treasure Words

Words are magic ---
quiet, loud.
Steady, strong
slow, proud.
Whisper, shout ---
let them out ---
hold words close,
toss afar,
see them sparkle ---
each a star.
Thread words on
a silver chain,
let words touch you
warm as rain.
written, read, said, heard ---
delight in, sip on,
treasure words.
                        Rebecca Kai Dotlich                                                                                                                               

On my desk
In a small brown vase,
A bouquet of tall yellow flowers
Smelling of cedar.

            Beverly McLoughland

Monday, July 6, 2020

Poem - The Secret of My Art by Chris Harris

The Secret of My Art

"It's a beautiful whale," my teacher declared.
"This drawing will get a gold star!'

"It's a beautiful whale," my father declared,
"Your talents will carry you far!"

It's a beautiful whale," my mother declared,
"What a wonderful artist you are!"

Well, maybe it is a beautiful whale . . .
But I was trying to draw a guitar,

Chris Harris
from the book I'm Just No Good At Rhyming

Talk about "you can't judge a book by its cover! : 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

TV Show - Dark

First ever German language series on Netflix
Dubbed in English
Premiered: 2/1/17
Seasons:  3
Number of Episodes: 24
Length of Episode: about 50 minutes
IMBd: 8.8
RT Critic's Consensus Season 1:   Dark's central mystery unfolds slowly, both tense and terrifying, culminating in a creepy, cinematic triumph of sci-fi noir.
RT Critic's Consensus Season 2:  Dark's sumptuous second season descends deeper into the show's meticulously-crafted mythos and cements the series as one of streaming's strongest and strangest science fiction stories.
RT Critic's Consensus Season 3: Dark's final chapter is as thrilling as it is bewildering, bringing viewers full circle without sacrificing any of the show's narrative complexities.
: RT Audience Score:  94/95
cag: 4
Produced by: Netflix

Characters:  So, so many!  Four families:  Kahnwald, Nielsen, Tiedemann, Doppler (three generations of each).... Check out Wikipedia

My comments:  Loved Season 1, got terribly confused with seasons 2 and 3, even with making a family tree list.  By the time I got to the end of Season 3 I had pretty much figured everyone out.  Adding two worlds to the original world was hard on me, lol!  Satisfying ending. Loved the actors.  Loved that it took place in Germany.

Storyline from IMBdA family saga with a supernatural twist, set in a German town, where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Poem - Take a Number by Mary O'Neill

I think this is an excerpt from the original full poem, it was taken from the book Marvelous Math, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins,  It was written by Mary O'Neill.

Take a Number

Imagine a world
Without mathematics:

No rulers or scales,
No inches or feet,
No dates or numbers
On house or street,
No prices or weights,
No determining heights,
No hours running through
Days and nights.
No zero, no birthdays,
No way to subtract
All of the guesswork
Surrounding the fact.
No sizes for shoes,
Or suit or hat . . .
Wouldn’t it be awful
To live like that?

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Picture Book - Trees Make Perfect Pets by Paul Czajak

Illustrated by Cathy Gendron
2020 Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky
HC 17.99
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.19 - 48 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Endpapers: mossy green

1st line/s:  "Birthdays are the best days for wishes and on this birthday Abigail wished for a pet."

Dedications:  To Abigail:  Yes, We'll get a dogwood, but you have to name it. - PC
     To green thumbs everywhere - CG

My comments:  I love trees, so I quickly and happily pick up every new book I find that has something to do with them.  This one was adorable, both the premise, the setting, and the illustrations.  This particular tree did seem to grow particularly quickly, but it's a picture book, right?

Goodreads:  Abigail is determined to get the perfect pet.
          So she chooses Fido. He keeps her cool from the sun, stays where she tells him, and even gives her air to breathe. That's because Fido is a tree!
          But not everyone thinks having a tree as a pet is a good idea, though, especially when Fido starts to grow. Will Abigail be able to keep her perfect pet?

Poem: Sea Joy by Jacqueline Bouvier

Sea Joy

When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the blooming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter round about me

I can run about - when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish
Oh - to live by the sea is my only wish..

           Jacqueline Bouvier
           from A Family of Poems (Kennedy)

Friday, June 26, 2020

2020 Quilter's Trek: TRUE BLUE (formerly Row by Row)

This year I'm going to actually make the quilt.  It'll be in different shades of blues and I'm really looking forward to getting started.  I've ordered a few of the kits, they're on the way!

My first call was for my favorite block in all my searching all over the country.  I'm quite sure it was the owner I spoke with, and she was super nice and talkative.   She says these fabrics are from her favorite lines.  The kit was $14.99 and s/h was $4.95, which seemed pretty darned reasonable to me.  Can't wait to see and touch the fabric.  Love that there are words on the background fabric!

My second call was to Lind, WA.  I loved the idea of including a crazy quilted square, and their kit cost and shipping was incredibly reasonable ($10 plus $2.20 s/h) and I think this one will be easy and fun to put together!  Christy told me about retreats they have if I ever get anywhere nearby, and they sound great.  I think she says they're about 70 miles from Spokane.  Fun!

My third call was to Knit One Quilt Too in Rhode Island.  You had to order the kit ($18.95) through their website and s/h is ten bucks.  This seemed a bit much, so I decided to look further before purchasing.

The fourth call stayed right here in Pennsylvania, to Wormelsdorf.  I'm going to have to hit the maps ti figure out where in PA they are.   In Stitches Quilt Store used yo-yos as flower ins a basket that looks pretty easy, with an appliqued handle on each.  I think I can tackle that, something a little different....  The kit was $17.99 with s/h $4.75. Okeedokee!

This is so much fun, might as well track down another!  My call to Cambridge Quilt Shop in Cambridge, MA was easy as pie!  It looks like an extremely easy kit and packs a punch - and I can add anything and everything to embellish it if I want. The kit is for the HOME, she added the HOPE to give another idea of how it might be used.   The kit is $14.95 and she though s/h would be somewhere between four and five bucks.  SOLD!

Well, I've spent $75.00 on this quilt so far, time to yank in the reins until next payday.  But was this ever fun!  I wonder when the first one will arrive?

I really like the background of this Dresden plate, and I love the idea of appliqueing the ties to it.  Unfortunately she doesn't have any extra of that fabric (I thought it might be nice to use in other places in the quilt) but I could always cut away the background behind the applique, right?  She'll send an invoice via email to continue the purchase, So now I have a block from Missouri!  It's 16.95 plus tax which includes s/h.  Can't go wrong!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Poem - Miss McGillicuddy by Mary Anne Hoberman

Miss McGillicuddy

When our old baby-sitter quit
Another sitter came to sit.
She told us as she did the split,
     “I am not a fuddy-duddy.
      I am Miss McGillicuddy.”

While she touched her toes, she said,
“Homework should be done in bed.
Rest is best to clear your head.
     First you snooze and then you study.”
     So said Miss McGillicuddy.

When it rains, she doesn’t fret,
That’s because she likes to get
Dripping, dropping, sopping wet.
     “I don’t mind if I am muddy.”
      Silly Miss McGillicuddy!

                        Mary Ann Hoberman
                        from Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry (Kennedy)
                        illustration by Karen Lee Baker

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Poem: What I Love About Summer by Douglas Florian

This is a wonderful example of a "LIST" poem:

What I Love About Summer

Morning glories
Campfire stories
Picking cherries
And blueberries
Riding bikes
Mountain hikes
Bird calls
Curve balls
Short sleeves
Green leaves
Swimming holes
Fishing poles
Nature walks
Corn stalks
Skipping stones
Ice cream cones
Double plays
And barefoot days.

                                Douglas Florian
                                from Summersaults (Florian)

Poem: Stegosaurus by David Elliott


Your brain?
The size
of a
Your bulk?
Which proves
there’s some-
thing more
to life
than just

                        David Elliott

Poem: The Aliens Have Landed by Kenn Nesbitt

The Aliens Have Landed

The aliens have landed!
It’s distressing, but they’re here.
They piloted their flying saucer
through our atmosphere.
They landed like a meteor
engulfed in smoke and flame.
Then out they climbed immersed in slime
and burbled as they came.
Their hands are greasy tentacles.
Their heads are weird machines.
Their bodies look like cauliflower
and smell like dead sardines.
Their blood is liquid helium.
Their eyes are made of granite.
Their breath exudes the stench of foods
from some unearthly planet.
And if you want to see these
sickly, unattractive creatures,
you’ll find them working in your school;
they all got jobs as teachers!
                                    Kenn Nesbitt

Poem: My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of it is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow –
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow:
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as the shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

                                    Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Poem: Golden Gate Bridge by Joan Bransfield Graham

Golden Gate Bridge

Rising above
            the fog,
I am an aria
            of orange,
a symphony
            of steel –
a remembered
            I span the
Golden Gate Strait,
            from shore to
shore, with a
            chorus of cars.
What song will you
On the other side?

                                    Joan Bransfield Graham

Poem: The Moon was but a Chin of Gold by Emily Dickinson

The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A night or two ago ---
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below ---

                                    Emily Dickinson

Poem: Diary of a Very Short Winter Day by Judy Sierra

Diary of a Very Short Winter Day

At the first hint of dawn
I awake with a yawn
And follow my cousins
(All thirty-three dozen)
To the end of the land.
Where we stand and we stand,
Playing who'll-dive-in-first,
And, fearing the worst.
We listen for seals
Who want us for meals.
I see one penguin lunge.
Then in we all plunge,
Take a bath, gulp a snack,
And climb out in a pack...
Hurry back to our home
For a quick preen and comb
So our feathers aren't wet
As we watch the sun set.

           by Judy Sierra