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Poetry Month—and Book Giveaways!

It’s April 1st and the official start of Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month was established in the United States in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry.

Here on my blog during the next four weeks I’ll be posting interviews with four terrific children’s poets. Check back this Wednesday to hear from my first guest, Heidi Bee Roemer, children’s author and poet, teacher, and editor!

I’ll be sharing some favorite websites featuring children’s poetry, and links to other ways to celebrate poetry.

I’ll also be giving away copies of my picture books, NAME THAT DOG! and FROM DAWN TO DREAMS, to two lucky blog readers in a drawing at the end of April. No fooling! To be entered in the drawing just leave your comment on any of my blog posts this month. Official rules are posted on the left on my blog page.

Here are some poetry books for children that I’ve recently read and recommend—

OUT ON THE PRAIRIE by Donna M. Bateman, illustrated by Susan Swan; Charlesbridge 2012, picture book/poetry/non-fiction

OUT OF THIS WORLD, Poems and Facts About Space, by Amy E Sklansky, illustrated by Stacey Schuett; Alfred A. Knopp, 2012, picture book/poetry/non-fiction

SERENDIPITY and ME by Judith L. Roth, Viking 2013, middle grade novel in verse

AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!, a Global Gathering of Sports Poems, compiled by Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer, illustrated by Kevin Sylvester, Friesen Press 2012, middle grade anthology/poetry

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate, Harper 2012, middle grade novel in verse, 2013 Newberry Medal winner

Two other places that are giving away books during poetry month are:

To win an autographed copy of AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!, A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, on Story Patch go to Story Patch.

The Academy of American Poets: The Academy will edit and distribute 30,000 free copies of a special anthology of poetry for children ages 10 to 14, HOW TO EAT A POEM: a Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers. With a foreword by U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, the anthology includes 70 poems by well-known poets such as W.S. Merwin, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Kenneth Koch, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, and Thom Gunn. Find out more at The Academy of American Poets website.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you here during April!  Read More 
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Reach Out and Read--ROAR!

It's always nice to be a visiting author. I had a great time reading and talking about my books at Citizens Financial Bank a couple of weeks ago. Donut holes and a cold drink, a goodie bag filled with activity pages, and a story to go with the start of fall, just the right time for a book about pilgrims and a turkey hunt. There were toddlers just the right age for young poems. And there are always kids, and grown-ups, too, who like poems about dogs that they can relate to with their own dogs.

Last Friday I was one of the featured authors at the Reach Out and Read (ROAR) fundraiser, An Evening of Authors, in Indianapolis. ROAR provides thousands of books each year to Indiana children age birth to five years. Books are given out by local health care providers, and are often the first book the child owns and the first introduction to the world of literacy. You can find out more about Reach Out and Read at https://www.reachoutandread.org.

It was a great evening, with lots of nice people, a buffet dinner, story time and children's crafts and prizes. There were wonderful baskets for the silent auction. And of course, authors there to autograph their books which were for sale at the event.

I remember how, as a young child, I loved having books read to me, and my favorite books, Nurse Nancy and Little Red Riding Hood. I remember when I first learned to read stories about Dick and Jane in school, and how my aunt, who was babysitting, let me stay up past my bedtime to read beyond the pages that we were assigned to read at home. I hope that this school year children of all ages will feel that excitement of holding a book in their hands, and be motivated by stories, reading and exploring new worlds through books.  Read More 
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Thanksgiving Blessings

There are lots of things that I'm thankful for at Thanksgiving. My family, friends, good health. I can't wait for tomorrow, to be with family, and for the turkey and the pumpkin pie!

When it comes to writing and giving thanks, I think of. Read More 
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