You might notice the blog has a new look. Yes, I am in the process of renovating all my materials to include this happy, imaginative little octopus, specially created for me by Thea Baker, illustrator for LOVE, AGNES.
I have been thinking about this for several years, as my bibliography has grown and my writing life has moved away from adult work. I decided I wanted to fully embrace the joy of writing for children!
But it's hard, you know, letting go of the old... Our shifting identities are intensely personal and come barnacled with all that has come before... and how to predict the future?
Well, I decided to just focus on FUN, and that's when I figured out that the only thing all of my books have in common is imagination. And what better symbol for that than a purple octopus conversing with a yellow bird? :)
Speaking of imagination....
|Pre-orders available NOW.|
This book is beautiful, both in words and pictures. Laura has graciously given me permission to share one poem for each season, and boy was it hard to pick! These poems aren't haiku for the haiku purist -- they do follow the 5-7-5 syllable scheme, but they are bursting with all sorts of rich, evocative metaphors -- which aren't employed in traditional haiku, where the focus is on the literal experience of the moment. Helpful article about tenets of traditional haiku found here.
Plus, these poems have an additional fun element: they're all riddles! In fact, the collection grew out of one of Laura's National Poetry Month projects which she called Riddle-ku. There's a wonderful note from Laura about this at the back of the book, and an invitation to readers to try crafting their own riddle-mask-haiku.
Giveaway! Laura is offering one autographed review copy for one lucky reader. Simply add your comment to this post by noon Thursday, Nov. 29, and Maggie the cat will select a winner! Winner will be announced next Poetry Friday (Nov. 30).
And now a sampling of poems from the book... as you read, see if you can solve the riddle! (I've made "fall" particularly easy for you by adding the art. :)
colorful flowers -
we sprout on stems of people,
bloom only in rain
you gasp as I roar,
my mane EXPLODING, sizzling --
lion of the sky!
|the "pencil" page|
I'm a yellow train,
CARRYING thoughts from your brain
to the waiting page
I'm thin silver blades,
spinning circles, carving lines --
you and I, we FLY!
Did you guess them?? The art in the book is exquisite, and really helps guide the reader to the answer.[answers: umbrella, fireworks, pencil, ice skates] There's also an answer key at the back of the book.
You may remember a similar book that was popular a number of years ago: IF NOT FOR THE CAT, haiku by Jack Prelutsky, paintings by Ted Rand, brought to us by HarperCollins back in 2004. I remember poring over this one with my now-grown boys!
And I will leave you with a quote that feels apt and true... won't you read a poem aloud today? Happy Thanksgiving!