Mainely Write for Roundup.
I've spent part of this week preparing for mine and Charles Waters' week-long visit to schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan, thanks to amazing poet/educator/"cool teacher" Kim Doele. More on this later!
I've also been reading, of course, and the book I want to share today is THE HAWK OF THE CASTLE: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith, illus. By Bagram Ibatoulline (Candlewick). It's a combination of verse and nonfiction text boxes and gorgeous art to educate about raptors and also to celebrate a father-daughter relationship. (As one who shared a hobby/obsession with my father, I could so relate!)
Nearly every verse begins "This is..." and ends with "castle." Kind of like the House That Jack Built, except not cumulative.
Here's an early example:
"This is our hawk: a sight to behold,
a master of flight, graceful and bold.
My father trains this bird of prey
who lives with us at the castle."
Right away I learned the difference between hawks and falcons:
"Hawks have a rounded tail and short or broad wings, which allow them to fly more slowly and glide more often than falcons. Falcons, on the other hand, are built for speed, with a streamlined body, long tail, and long, pointed wings."
FALCON WILD by Terry Lynn Johnson, about a current day falconer who must survive after a car wreck leaves her lost. (I love all of Terry's books!)
This led me to find other birds-of-prey poems:
Evening Hawk by Robert Penn Warren (gorgeous language, including "scythes" as a verb!)
And here is a gorgeous choral piece called "The Falcon."
Readers, if you know of other hawk/falcon poems, please leave them in comments, and I will add them to the post. Thank you! Wishing everyone a beautiful beginning of this, our shortest month. xo