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Kathleen Isaac is our winner!

Kathleen Isaac is the winner of Jack Prelutsky’s The Frogs Wore Read Suspenders!

The drawing was carefully audited by my two cocker spaniels, Joe Cocker and Francine.

To see the official video of my 7-month-old baby, Amelia, picking the winner, click the link below:

Amelia picks the winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered. The next contest will be posted within the next few days.

We love Wordsong Poetry of Boyds Mills Press!

I’m working on fine-tuning a manuscript I hope to submit for publication to Boyds Mills Press. I love this publisher! They are the trade division of Highlights for Children, Inc. and the same values evident in these magazines are represented by every book they publish. Can a mission statement get any better than this?

Respect for children is among the highest priorities when we (Boyds Mills Press) acquire a manuscript. We aim to publish good stories with lasting value. We avoid the trendy and never publish a book simply to fill a market need.
We believe in and are committed to publishing and exposing young readers to the best literature available in other countries, cultures, and languages. We believe in new voices. Finally, we believe books should be beautiful to look at and to hold.

BMP has 5 imprints:

Boyds Mills:  “Imaginative, socially-conscious, educational picture books and informative, lively nonfiction.”

Calkins Creeks: “Revealing stories from America’s past”
Calkins Creek Books introduces children to the many people, places, and events that shaped our country’s history. Our picture books, chapter books, and novels—nonfiction and historical fiction for ages eight and up—combine original and extensive research with creative, energetic writing. History is key at Calkins Creek-front and center. Our authors transport their readers back in time to recognizable places with living and breathing people.

Front Street: “High quality fiction for children and young adults and sophisticated picture books from here and abroad.”
Front Street’s young adult fiction often deals with children in crisis or children at risk, offering hope and succor, however difficult the subject. Our picture books emphasize art and design. We strive to expose young readers to the best literature available in other countries, cultures, and languages.

Lemniscaat: “The best picture books published in Holland.”
Lemniscaat is a highly esteemed publishing house located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The list represents the broad traditions of European picture books and incorporates the best contemporary art, design, and story.

And most important…(to this blog, at least):

WordsongFresh voices in contemporary poetry.
The only imprint in children’s publishing in America dedicated to poetry, Wordsong captures the vibrant, unexpected, emotional connections between text and young readers. Our books range from the silly to the serious and are infused with the wordplay and imagery that allow readers to view the world in new and thoughtful ways.

Here are some of Wordsong’s newer and award-winning titles you might want to check out:

Book Cover: Another Jar of Tiny StarsBook Cover: In the Spin of Things (p)Book Cover: Scarum FairBook Cover: Zombies! Evacuate the School!

“Plans” by Maxine Kumin

I just read this poem and thought it was very sweet…

by Maxine Kumin

When I grow up, I plan to keep
Eleven cats, and let them sleep
On any bedspread that they wish,
And feed them people’s tuna fish.

I like this plan! 🙂

By the way, Maxine Kumin also writes poems for big people. I just ordered her Up Country: Poems of New England, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.

Here is a list of her children’s books:

  • 1961 Follow the Fall (illustrated by Artur Marokvia)
  • 1961 Spring Things (illustrated by Artur Marokvia)
  • 1961 Summer Story (illustrated by Artur Marokvia)
  • 1961 A Winter Friend (illustrated by Artur Marokvia)
  • 1962 Mittens in May (illustrated by Elliott Gilbert)
  • 1964 Sebastian and the Dragon (illustrated by William D. Hayes)
  • 1964 Speedy Digs Downside Up (illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats)
  • 1967 Faraway Farm (illustrated by Kurt Werth)
  • 1969 When Grandmother Was Young (illustrated by Don Almquist)
  • 1971 When Great-Grandmother Was Young (illustrated by Don Almquist)
  • 1984 The Microscope (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
  • 2006 Mites to Mastodons (illustrated by Pam Zagarenski)

co-written with Anne Sexton:

  • 1963 Eggs of Things (illustrated by Leonard Shortall)
  • 1964 More Eggs of Things (illustrated by Leonard Shortall)
  • 1974 Joey and the Birthday Present (illustrated by Evaline Ness)
  • 1975 The Wizard’s Tears (illustrated by Evaline Ness)

If you’ve read any of these, PLEASE COMMENT!

If you haven’t, PLEASE COMMENT! 😉

Hope you’re having a great weekend…

Night night!!

“Fold Me a Poem” — Haiku meets origami

Kristine O’Connell George‘s book Fold Me a Poem has received much acclaim. It won the Minnesota Book Award, was on the NYTimes “100 Books for Reading and Sharing” list, and was on the Wyoming Book Award list. It is also in the process of being translated into Korean.

The collection is a series of haiku illustrated through origami and I think it is a great way to foster an appreciation for haiku. The official book description and some of George’s poems with illustrations are below. They are followed with a note from George on her inspiration and creative process.


Join a young boy as he creates a world filled with origami creatures of all shapes and sizes out of an array of brightly colored paper. From roosters waking up and buffalo pawing the tablecloth to cheetahs racing lions and moths that yearn for butterfly colors, here is a glimpse into the vibrant imagination of a child.

About Writing Fold Me a Poem:

“The boy sat so quietly in the back of the room with a stack of colored paper, his fingers were nearly flying as he folded sheet after sheet of colorful origami paper into fanciful animals.  Once he’d folded a zoo’s worth of animals, I watched him play with them, talk to them and give them quirky personalities. His paper animals seemed almost real and I found myself thinking that while an adult may create art for art’s sake, children extend their art into their own lives through imaginative play.

Watching him that afternoon, I was also struck by the similarity between poetry and origami — how a few spare words, carefully chosen, can bring a scene to life, and how a few small folds, artfully made, can bring a sheet of paper to life.

I was startled when I first saw the Lauren Stringer’s sketches for FOLD ME A POEM: She had painted what was inside my head! I’ve never met Lauren and we didn’t communicate while she was working on the book. So, how did she know that I’d visualized the camel leaning against the salt shaker? Spooky! Most importantly, Lauren clearly saw that this book was not only about origami, but was also an exploration of a child’s joy in creating art and weaving that art into a deeply personal, imaginative world. I love Lauren Stringer’s evocative art; the Internet doesn’t do justice to the gorgeous full-page spreads and her vibrant colors!

Lauren and I hope you enjoy reading Fold Me a Poem. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to fold some origami and write poems about your own creations.”

–Kristen O’Connell George

HILARIOUS letters from children to poet Jack Prelutsky.

Yesterday was Jack Prelutsky‘s birthday. How do I always miss these by one day?

As a celebration of our first children’s poet laureate,  I’d like to share a few letters from children written to Jack Prelutsky. They are featured on his website and I think they are hilarious!! To see more letters go to Jack’s website and click “Letters to Jack.”

Also, COMMENT on this blog for a CHANCE TO WIN Jack Prelutsky’s “The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders!

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Dreams, Langston Hughes, and GOOD NIGHT! :)

I was reminded today of the book The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes. I used to have it, so I looked around for it this evening to no avail. Truth be told, I probably gave it to some boy when I was younger in an attempt to flirt with him. Yes, I was a complete dork who liked to give out poetry books to the boys I liked. Luckily, my husband would never have fallen for such a stunt and I knew it — and now I no longer do such dorky things. Well…at least I don’t give books as a means of flirtation.


That was a good book! And remembering what a good book it was, I wanted to give a sampling from it. Since I’m EXHAUSTED and headed to bed (and since we’re looking for the best lit for our young dreamers), the dream-themed poems seem most appropriate.





Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me your heart melodies,
That I may wrap them in a blue cloud cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers of the world.

Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

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