Poetry Friday : Familiar Faces

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who tries to make a point of visiting libraries and bookstores whenever travelling. There’s something so thrilling about surrounding yourself with books wherever in the world you happen to be. While it’s exciting to discover new authors and regional favourites, it’s also a lot of fun to see different versions of familiar books popping up in unlikely places. It’s liking see an old friend with a cool new hair colour – you still recognise your friend, but you’re delighted by their exciting new look!

And so, another haiku with related imagery from my trip to Japan! I do hope you’re not sick of Japan-related posts yet. Life has unfortunately not been particularly nice recently, so I’ve been longing for the free backpacking days of our adventure, and reliving the trip through the 5,000+ (!!!) photos we took.

In a foreign land,

Miles away from home, I see

familiar faces

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend! Anyone watching the Oscars on Sunday? I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve only seen one of the seven films nominated for Best Picture…oh well, at least I’m a book nerd, and not a film nerd, so I don’t have to feel too embarrassed!

MONDAY FUNDAY: February 20, 2017

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share some of the titles you’ve been enjoying, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

Duddle Puck the Puddle Duck

Audience: PreS-Gr 1

Oh, talk about a tongue twister title! Karma Wilson is such a picture book treasure. Her texts always exude such warmth and gentleness, while still being lots of fun. Duddle Puck is a trailblazing duck who quacks to the beat of his own drum. This doesn’t sit well with the other residents of the farm, who take it upon themselves to teach Duddle Puck how to act like a proper duck.

To be fair, there’s nothing too groundbreaking about Duddle Puck – it’s got your typical “be yourself, don’t let others tell you what to do, believe in yourself” sort of moral. Still, the rhymes are bouncing, the animal noises are plenty of fun, and Marcellus Hall’s soft illustrations are absolutely delightful. This one is a bit long for my storytimes, but could work really well for slightly older groups.

The Cow Loves Cookies

Audience: PreS-Gr1

Have I mentioned I love Karma Wilson? When I grow up I want to be Karma Wilson, pumping out winning picture book after winning picture book. This is another collaboration with Marcellus Hall, which features the same farmer and several of the animals as Duddle Puck! I love that these too books seem to take place in the same universe.

The cumulative, rhyming text follows a farmer as he feeds his many animals – the horse gets hay, the geese get corn, the pigs get slop, and the sneaky, cheeky cow loves cookies! The cow, it’s revealed, has a mutually-beneficial arrangement with the farmer – the farmer shares his cookies with the cow, and the cow shares her milk with the farmer, so he can dunk his cookies! It’s very sweet, and once again Marcellus Hall’s soft illustrations have such a classic, vintage gentleness to them. This is another text that just too long and too complicated for my current groups, but which could work very well with slightly older groups, or groups that have a bit more patience!

Slug Needs a Hug!

Audience: PreS-Gr1

A little slug wonders why its mother never hugs it. Is it because it isn’t huggable? The little slug decides to make itself more huggable, and wanders around asking other creatures for their feedback. Of course, each animal suggests that the little slug change its appearance in a different, and at the end of its quest, the slug looks quite ridiculous. In an ending that will likely come as no surprise to anyone who has ever picked up a picture book before, mother slug reveals that she loves the little slug just the way it is – she doesn’t hug the little slug because she doesn’t have arms! So, the mother slug showers her little slug in kisses!

This is another longer rhyming picture book that I probably wouldn’t use in my story times, and some of the phrases don’t quite seem to flow as naturally as I would like. The “be yourself” message is a familiar one, and stories about characters changing their appearance to fit in (and looking ridiculous in the process) are a dime a dozen. Still, slugs rarely get cast in starring roles, and Tony Ross’ charming illustrations are sure to bring the laughs. Nothing groundbreaking, but still a lot of fun, and worth taking a look at.

So, how’s your week looking so far? Hopefully these sweet picture books will help you start the week off on a sweet note!

Celebrate Saturday: Diverse Kids Lit!

It’s Saturday, and that means it’s time to celebrate! I’m joining with Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community to connect, share and celebrate life’s small joys.

Discover. Play. Build.

This week, I’m celebrating a group of dedicated, hard-working teachers, librarians, writers, parents and book-lovers who are passionate about supporting diversity in children’s literature. I’ve participated in this group for several months now, and I’m always inspired by the diverse literature I discover. Diversity and representation are major challenges in the world in the children’s literature. Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of colour, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. This has got to change, and those of us who work with both books and young people are in a perfect position to support the fight.

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Poetry Friday: Street Cats

 

poetry

My partner and I were looking through the 5,000+ photos we took while traveling through Japan, and as we flicked through, one thing quickly became apparent.

I took a lot of cat photos.

lot of cat photos.

Japan is famous for its stray cats. We encountered cats wandering the streets in every city we visited, from the cities of Hokkaido in the north to the warmer cities of Kyushu in the south. There were cats everywhere, and unlike the stray cats we’d encountered in other countries, these ones generally seemed to be in very good condition, sleek and well fed and very confident. They had some definite swagger, and accepted the attention showered on them by tourists and locals alike with a quiet sense of well-being, as if this was the life they were born into. I often imagined these cats as world-weary celebrities, patiently accepting the attentions of their devoted fans. Japan is a nation of cat lovers, and it was gratifying to discover that I wasn’t the only person who just had to pull out my camera every time I spotted a feline.

In honour of the friendly street cats of Japan, with their curiosity and their confidence and their swagger, here is a little poem I penned. Enjoy!

Oh, paparazzi,

Taking my photo again,

Capture my good side!

 

Happy Friday, everyone!

MONDAY FUNDAY – February 13, 2017

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share some of the titles you’ve been enjoying, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

its-mondaywhat-are-you-reading

Happy Family Day, fellow BC’ers! Hopefully you’re having a relaxing day with your family, whatever your family might look like!

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Celebrate Saturday : Escaping into a Book

It’s Saturday, and that means I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres to share, connect and celebrate. Let’s find those moments of joy and share them with each other – the world could always use more positivity, especially when things seem their darkest.

celebrate

It’s been a hard week. A close family member has been given a serious medical diagnosis, and we’re all still in shock. One minute your life is just ticking along like normal, and the next the rug has been pulled right out from under you, leaving you staggering around in a daze.

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Poetry Friday: If You Were the Moon

poetry

Friday is absolutely one of the best days of the week – not only does it mark the end of the work week and the start of the weekend, it’s also the day when writers and bloggers come together to share, explore and celebrate poetry!

This week I’m so excited to share with you a beautiful new books that many of you have probably already had the opportunity to enjoy – Laura Purdie Salas‘ If You Were the Moon

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#Road2ReadingChallenge – Freckleface Strawberry

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading
.

Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy and Michelle Knot at Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook have come to together to start a conversation all about emerging readers!

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MONDAY FUNDAY: February 6, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share some of the titles you’ve been enjoying, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

its-mondaywhat-are-you-reading

More picture books! My life is just all picture books, all the time, right now, which means I have a few to share with you (and not that much else)!

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Celebrate Saturday : I’m a Poet, I Just Didn’t Know It

It’s Saturday, and I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community to celebrate life’s everyday joys and successes. The world is complicated, stressful, anxiety-inducing and in need of so much love and change, but there are still moments worth celebrating, even if you sometimes have to dig a bit deeper to find them.

Well, I’m a little bit behind schedule this week – we’ve had a very rare snowfall here in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s just about thrown everything for a spin! Trains delayed, buses stalled, traffic snarled – it’s been a right old mess. Beautiful, but a mess.

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