I would like to encourage everyone to check out the 2009 Cybils Poetry Finalists. The Cybils awards are given each year by the online kidlit blogging community. They are given to books that have both excellent literary merit and outstanding kid appeal. They're a terrific bunch of books, well worth seeking out. The finalists are:
African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
written by Avis Harley
with photographs by Deborah Noyes
Nominated by: Becky
The Bill Martin Jr Big Book of Poetry
by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: Brie
The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme
by Bobbi Katz, illustrated by Adam McCauley
Nominated by: Jennifer Donovan
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors
by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
Nominated by: Elizabeth Bird
The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination
by Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston, illustrated by Barbara Fortin
Nominated by: Mary Ann Scheuer
Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change. Thirteen leading African American artists collaborated to honor the achievements of African Americans, paying tribute to 10 individuals, including George Washington Carver, Ruby Bridges, and Jackie Robinson. These individual's accomplishments are shown linked together, in a way part of a seamless continuum building on one another. The illustrations are each in a different style, recognizing the unique work of each artist. For more on what it meant to the artists, see Jules' interviews at Seven Impossible Things.
Our Children Can Soar is certainly striking for its illustrations (striking is an understatement - amazing, is more like it), but the poetic text also lends to its power. The simple patterned text is so effective because it repeats the central mantra that each of these figures did what they did so that their children could stand on their shoulders.
Rosa sat soAs Doret wrote at The Happy Nappy Bookseller, "It takes the reader through the cumulative story of the US Civil Rights Movement, expanding the popular slogan beyond these three heroes to include more key players in the struggle for equality. Spare prose and vivid imagery make this a truly moving and accessible picture book to be savored by readers of all ages."
Martin could march.
Martin marched so
Thurgood could rule
Thurgood ruled so
Barack could run.
Barack ran so
Our children can soar!
You can find Our Children Can Soar at a local public library with WorldCat. I would love feedback to see if this link helps you find this at a library near you. It is also available in bookstores and Amazon.
We have many new reviews and poems to share today. If you have a review, please leave a comment and link below or email me at greatkidbooks (at) gmail.com. I will update these throughout the day.
Charles Ghigna shares an original poem, "A Poem Is A Metaphor" on his Father Goose blog.
Bookie Woogie reviewed The Cuckoo's Haiku, and the Z-Kids were inspired to write some great bird haiku of their own.
Greg has a new poem about "firsts" to share on Gotta Book inspired by the poetry stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Susan Taylor Brown has a poem, "First Kiss", also inspired by the poetry stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Carol shares a a Martin Luther King poem called "Standing Tall" by Jamie McKenzie.
Laura Salas shares a poem by Mary Oliver called "The Swan."
Playing by the Book shares a review of All Join In, a collection of poetry and illustrations by Quentin Blake.
Mandy reviews a professional book, Playing with Poems, at Enjoy and Embrace Learning.
At Random Noodling Diane Mayr remembers those who have died in Haiti with Dylan Thomas's "And Death Shall Have No Dominion."
Kurious Kitty has a poem, "Pebble," from The Poetry of Our World: An International Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.
At Write Time, Linda shares a poem by Lyn Lifshin called "The Other Fathers".
Deo Writer shares an original poem about trembling firsts, also inspired by Tricia's poetry stretch.
Sara at Read Write Believe has an entry is about keeping a commonplace book, which enables "wits with short memories" to keep poetry and other important things close.
Karen Edmisten shares a poem by Jane Kenyon, "Briefly It Enters, Briefly Speaks".
Jone at Check It Out: Life in a K5 Library School Setting celebrates William Stafford's birthday with one of her favorite poems: "The Trouble with Reading".
Irene Latham celebratres her 500th post with "To a Skylark" by Percy Bysshe Shelley found on page 500 of the book she'd want with heron a deserted island: The Top 500 Poems, edited by William Harmon. Hearty congratulations for 500 posts!
ShelfElf reminds us that hope matters so much, especially this week, sharing the poem "“Hope” is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson.
Jeannine Atkins writes about how Margarita Engle blends poetry and verse with her novels-in-verse.
Brian Jung, aka Mr. Chompchomp, shares one of his favorite poems for January, "These" by William Carlos Williams, found on PoemHunter. As he writes, it seems especially fitting right now as we face "desolate, dark weeks / when nature in its barrenness / equals the stupidity of man"
Martha Calderaro also shares a poem that helps her reflect about the tragic earthquake in Haiti. She shares Marilyn Singer’s poem “Wells” from her collection How to Cross a Pond: Poems about Water
Welcome to Kathy B at Forwords Books - this is her first Poetry Friday. She is recommending several books for for Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish birthday of the trees, including a Cybils finalist: The Tree That Time Built.
At Becky's Book Reviews, Becky is sharing a speech from Julius Cesear by William Shakespeare from Manga Shakespeare's edition of Julius Caesar.
At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine Magliaro shares "Mouse: An Original Acrostic Poem". Over at Blue Rose Girls, Elaine also also shares "Winter Dusk," by Walter de la Mare.
At Bildungsroman, Little Willow has posted an Emily Dickinson poem: "The pedigree of honey."
Tiel Aisha Ansari shares an original poem this week about Haiti.
Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia shares a poem by Stephen Edgar that she hasn't been able to get out of her mind: "Nocturnal"
Lisa in Little Rock shares a Joyce Sidman poem, "Spelling Bomb" from This is Just to Say; Poems of Apology and Forgiveness.
At Here in the Bonny Glen, Melissa Wiley has a post about Rilke, with an excerpt of “The First Elegy,” from The Duino Elegies.
At Writing and Ruminating, Kelly Fineman has written a post about Marmion by Sir Walter Scott.
At Semicolon, Sherry has a poem called "Christ in the Universe" by Alice Meynell.
Kelly Polark has a limerick and a word game to share.
Miss Erin is sharing an original poem called "i see invisible magicians."
Doraine Bennett has posted a poem from Emily Dickinson today,
At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee has sent a poem about making mistakes by Fleur Adcock.
That's all, folks. Thanks so much for sharing great poetry.
Please note: if you click on the Amazon links for the Cybils finalists, the Amazon Associate links will contribute a small percentage toward the Cybils organization. If you click on a link on my review, a small percentage will go toward Great Kid Books.