Without a doubt, this is my favorite collection of children’s poetry of all time. I love this book for every possible reason: its careful concision, its recombinant rhymes, its ordinary-meets-extraordinary observations. And Natalie Babbitt’s pen-and-ink pictures are the perfect complement to Valerie Worth’s poems.
As we head into April, National Poetry Month in the USA, I want to recognize some recent and upcoming efforts spearheaded by our PACYA members:
- Congratulations to Ed DeCaria and all the participants in the first March Poetry Madness! The Final Four features two pairings: Susan Blackaby vs. Stephen W. Cahill; and Debbie LaCroix vs. Greg Pincus.
- Congratulations also to Sylvia Vardell who has released a phenomenal new book, The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
- Sylvia and her students will launch the 5Q Poet Interview Series for April: 30 Poets/30 Days starting tomorrow.
- Greg Pincus will offer his own 30 Poets/30 Days feature, now in its fourth year.
- Jama Rattigan shares a wealth of other links for National Poetry Month.
- Renée LaTulippe has invited 11 poets to make videos of themselves reading one of their own poems. These will appear Mondays, Fridays, and some Wednesdays throughout April, and include written interviews with each poet.
- Here at the Poetry at Play blog, I will feature 30 poetry books that I will carry in my memory and on my bookshelves for the rest of my life.
- Please comment here or email stevenwithrow(at)gmail(dot)com with other exciting April features.
- Steven Withrow, PACYA founder
Kate Hosford continues her excellent series of interviews on children’s poetry at the Cynsations blog with a wonderfully in-depth conversation with poet Laura Purdie Salas. Lots of great information and insight for everyone!
- Carol Rumens’s Poem of the Week: “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” by Eugene Field
- In Defense of Performance Poetry
- 10 Questions for J. Patrick Lewis | TIME For Kids
In other news, my posting pace has slowed because of an especially busy spring, but PACYA is still going strong. I welcome your ideas for contributions: reviews, interviews, essays, etc. Please email me at stevenwithrow(at)gmail(dot)com.
The North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh, is having an exhibition of author/illustrator (and poet) Ashley Bryan’s children’s book illustrations, Rhythms of the Heart, from April 15 to August 19.
Alazar Press will be releasing new editions of Ashley’s two picture books of African American spirituals in April, and he will read and autograph at the museum on April 22. He will also visit bookstores and other sites in that area of North Carolina, from April 19 to 22. If you’d like more info, Alazar Press can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To continue our string of high-profile publications reviewing children’s poetry books, The Atlantic has a nice review by Noah Berlatsky of Gail Carson Levine’s Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It (illustrated by Matthew Cordell; HarperCollins, 2012). I’m not sure I completely agree with his assessment of contemporary poetry, but the essay is worth reading.
Children’s book critic Pamela Paul briefly reviews TAKE TWO!: A Celebration of Twins by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen (Candlewick Press; illustrated by Sophie Blackall) today for The New York Times. Would love to see more coverage of children’s poetry in NYT!