Friday, January 1, 2016


Hello! Happy New Year! And Happy Poetry Friday! (Happy, Happy!) Be sure to visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for Roundup and join Mary Lee and Franki's celebration of 10 years of blogging. Wow!!

As if that wasn't enough to celebrate... guess what? Multicultural Children's Book Day will soon be here --January 27, 2016! 

For the second year in a row I signed up to feature on my blog a review of a multicultural children's book. The linky will soon be live -- meanwhile, check out the website.

This year I was assigned a book that's near and dear to my heart: THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS, compiled by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong

Why is this book near and dear? Well, I'll tell you:

1. It's a book of poems! By some amazing poets.

2. Each poem is presented in English AND Spanish!

3. The poems celebrate silly holidays and serious holidays, in a (world)wide range, like Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Gay Pride Day and End of Ramadan and National Braille Literacy Month and National Cookie Day-- no matter who you are or when you pick this book up, it's got something for you.

4. I happen to be a contributor -- my poem "Let's Celebrate the Elephant!" appears in the September section for August 12, World Elephant Day.

 Every classroom (and parent!) needs this book. It celebrates diversity AND it's the perfect book to start out with for the New Year! More on this in a moment. But first, please allow me to share some "official" information:

What is Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCCBD)?

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom
 and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book
Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Look for the hashtag#ReadYourWorld on Twitter and other social media!

MCCBD wouldn't be possible without these amazing sponsors!!

Medallion Level Sponsors: 


Multicultural Children’s Book Day also has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can view them here.

Teachers! Earn a FREE #Multicultural Kids Book for Your Classroom through MCCBD's  Classroom Reading Challenge!

. This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children's book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.
end of official business! Now for the perfect poem for today, from the opening pages of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS. Find additional curriculum connections and picture book pairs at Thank you, Janet and Sylvia, for providing a book of poems so unifying and useful and fun!

New Year is Here
by Kenn Nesbitt

New Year is here!
Let's shout.
Let's cheer!
Yippee! Yahoo!
We start anew.
New dreams to chase.
New goals to face.
New plans to make.
New paths to take.
New skills to learn.
New stars to earn.
New hopes.
New prayers.
new loves.
New cares.
New facts to know.
Can't wait. Let's go!
Let's shout!
Let's cheer!
It's here! New Year!

Love the enthusiasm in this poem! Also, what an easy and fun activity for students... ask them to fill in their answers to the following prompts found in the poem:

Welcome 2016!
New dreams to chase?  participate in the adult strings weekend at Univ. Alabama (I've now been playing the cello for a year!)
New goals to face?   last year I read the Harry Potter series; this year I want to read The Bible, all books by James Herriot, and Bas Bleu's Life Stories Book a Month series
New plans to make?  Key West for Christmas 2016
New paths to take?   sign up for Master Gardener classes in the fall 
New skills to learn?  vibrato on cello
New stars to earn?  totally out of my control, but who knows? The sky is wide!
New hopes?  not new exactly, but yes, somehow new, every single day: to be exactly who I am as often as possible
New prayers? as I enter this season of bringing 2 new books into the world, I am drawn to these words from "For Celebration" by  John O'Donohue: 

"Now is the time to free the heart,
Let all intentions and worries stop, 
Free the joy inside the self, 
Awaken to the wonder of your life."

New loves? oh, yes, keeping myself open and eager for this to reveal itself!
New cares?  hmmmmm... see above
New facts to know? I recently picked up a book at a thrift store called Eloquent Animals. It's about animal communication.
What about you?? Any new hopes, new prayers, new loves, new cares to share?


  1. We're actually celebrating the end of 10 years of blogging, but who's quibbling about a year here or there?! :-)

    How did I never know about Multicultural Children's Book Day -- the celebration, the online community, the classroom connections?!?! Off to check out your links...

    But first -- Happy New Year!

  2. Ha! Correction made! A year matters. 10 is huge! (I actually had 10 and changed it when I read your post earlier this morning... clearly I need another cup of tea. :)

  3. I didn't know about MCCBD either. I will post a link on the NH Children's Librarians Facebook page to let them know about it, too.

    May your 2016 be filled with wonder!

  4. So fun to work with you on the CYBILS committee! I think we done good! I have long been an advocate of diverse books and own a pretty good collection myself, but I didn't know about this day either. I love the poem as a framework for looking at 2016! I might have to try it!

  5. Oh, man, Irene. "Dumptruck body" is so incredibly perfect. You always nail it - cannot WAIT for your books this year. Thank you for such a New Year post of inspiration. Your intentions and plans always turn me more inward, one of my goals for this year. Off to check out the Life Stories...I love BAS BLEU. Hugs to you and yours, friend. xx

  6. I love that John O'Donohue quote - I looked it up and it took me down a rabbit hole that was inspiring and enjoyable! Thanks and Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year, Irene! My year started off with a discussion of the difference between mammoths and mastodons (yes, yes, we are truly nerds) that sent me to the internets...only to find your elephants to top the mammoth/mastodon cake! Love how you took Kenn's enthusiastic poem and turned it into your own goals.

  8. I'm so impressed that you're learning to play the cello. I had one guitar lesson last year and promptly pinched a nerve in my neck! Thank you for spreading so much poetic cheer here today. I love the images in your elephant poem, especially that "swishing/twitching flyswatter tail." Your idea of using Kenn's poem to spur kids (or adults!) into thinking about goals for the year to come is terrific. Happy New Year!

  9. Happy 2016 to you, Irene! So much accomplished last year, so much to look forward to this year! :-)

  10. Happy 2016 to you, Irene! So much accomplished last year, so much to look forward to this year! :-)

  11. This post is full of so much enthusiasm for poetry, books, and life! I love how you turned the New Year's poem into a list for your resolutions. And playing cello? Wow what a great new venture!

  12. This post is full of so much enthusiasm for poetry, books, and life! I love how you turned the New Year's poem into a list for your resolutions. And playing cello? Wow what a great new venture!

  13. Thank you so much for this lovely write up, Irene, and for YOUR wonderful poem. It is an absolute pleasure to collaborate with you!

  14. Thank you so much for being a part of Multicultural Children's Book Day.

  15. To quote Stephen Colbert, today let's cello-brate you, Irene and all that you do!

  16. Thanks for this wonderful and indepth review of a great book! I know for a fact that Multicultural Children's book day is still giving away books to classroom (see their website under the "classroom challenge" tab and they have more diversity-book related projects in the works. Good stuff :) Thanks for a detailed and honest review of this cool book. And thank you for participating in MCCBD2016!


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