Welcome to The Bookies' Latest Update!                               April 2016 issue 2
The Bookies Newsletter
Poetry display
Waxing Poetic for National Poetry Month
First, a confession from your Pretzel Bowl editor. In honor of National Poetry Month, I asked my fellow Bookies to tell me about their favorite poets or poems. Skeptic that I am, I thought this might be a tough assignment and expected only a few answers.

Wrong! It turns out that many Bookies carry a poem in their heart. For some, it's an unforgettable verse or rhyme from childhood, for others, something from a long-ago Language Arts class, and for others, it's something contemporary - and, for all of my respondents, it was hard to choose just one poem to talk about. The response made me much more enthusiastic about poetry than I have been for a long time - and isn't that exactly what National Poetry Month is about?

The World of Christopher Robin 
Oh, so many choices!

But, I am going with The World of Christopher Robin by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepherd. which is When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six in one volume. I tried to choose one or the other, but I have favorite poems in each, so it was too difficult. Favorites include Bad Sir Brian, Disobedience, Rice Pudding and King John's Christmas. I have very fond memories of my Uncle Wally reading these poems to me in his lovely New Zealand accent.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 
When I was a junior in college I lost one of my good friends who had brain cancer. The poem Autopsy in the Form of an Elegy by John Stone really helped me. For me there is comfort in the simplicity of this poem. I feel it shows the unfairness we feel with death while also celebrating the person as more than what the end of their life looks like.

When I was young, we had a picture book of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. It's my dad's favorite poem and it will always have a place in my heart. I was delighted to find it in the store!

19 Varieties of Gazelle 
My favorite poem is The Traveling Onion by Naomi Shihab Nye. We have several of her collections in the store, including 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East.

And there is a quote from a Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day, that always sticks in my mind: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Susan L 
The Firefly Letters 
A terrific book for middle grades is The Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle, a fictionalized verse account of Fredrika Bremer's time in Cuba. Bremer was raised in a strict Swedish Lutheran family in the mid-1800s, with very little freedom to do anything. She was, however, allowed to do some traveling and spent three months in Cuba. This book tells of her horror at discovering the reality of slavery in Cuba and the US, not least through her friendships with Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her lost home in Africa, and Elena, a wealthy Cuban.

Personally, I love Lucky is the Child by Greg Denman, an educational specialist who was a guru of whole language back in the 80s. He shared a lot of his wisdom with teachers all over the country who were trying to present authentic, rich and enduring literature to their charges. I'm a proponent of poetry all year long but poetry month serves to remind all educators that its place should be huge in their literacy program.

I am always reluctant to do favorites since, especially where poetry is concerned, much is dependent upon mood and situation. I do, however highly recommend Garrison Keillor's poetry anthologies beginning with Good Poems and continuing with Good Poems for Hard Times and Good Poems, American Places. One that I like from the first of these books is titled Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh.

John Updike wrote his final book in the seven weeks preceding his death. There isn't a bad poem in Endpoint and Other Poems and many quite wonderful ones.

For middle grade children, I have long been a supporter of Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle edited by Dunning, Lueders, and Smith. I used this for many years with my students and can attest to their fondness for modern verse that doesn't talk down to them, nor cater to them. A great example is Eve Merriam's poem, How to Eat a Poem, included in this anthology.

The Dream Keeper 
My favorite poem is Dreams from the book Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Brian Pinkney. 

The first time I heard it was from a storyteller that signed the poem in American Sign Language. The sign language was as beautiful as the words of the poem.

A Child_s Book of Poems 
As a child I loved my Treasury of Poetry, selected and illustrated by Hilda Boswell, which had wonderful illustrations and poems that just broke my heart like The Lost Doll by Charles Kingsley, and funny ones like They Went to Sea in a Sieve by Edward Lear. That particular book is not in print any more, but I think that a collection of poetry like this is a wonderful gift for any child that likes to dream. One similar collection that is still in print is A Child's Book of Poems, originally published in 1969. The newer version, with lovely illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa, contains many of my ageless favorites!

Poetry for Schools  
In our section for teachers we have a separate display of poetry for schools. This ranges from anthologies to guides on helping your students write their own poems. A couple of our teachers picked their favorites to share with you.

The Place My Words are Looking For 
Selected by Paul B. Janeczko
Simon & Schuster, $19.99
The wonderful thing about this book is that it contains not just the poems, but an explanation by the author about their inspiration or process in writing the poems, which add extra depth and great starting points for discussion. Good for late elementary and middle school. 
By Charles R. Smith, Jr.
Puffin, $7.99 
Fast-moving and exciting, in both poetry and prose, the rhythm and speed reflects the game. Accompanied by photographs and lively colors and fonts. Great for middle school.

Compiled by Jill Kalz
Picture Window Books, $8.95
Great series on reading and writing poetry. Bright and colorful, with engaging titles and illustrations, each book features poems and highlights the tools that poets use to write them. Students are shown how to practice those skills, then encouraged to write their own poems. Other titles in the series include: Thorns, Horns, and Crescent Moons: Reading and Writing Nature Poems
Pucks, Clubs, and Baseball Gloves: Reading and Writing Sports Poems.
Read_ Recite_ and Write_ Concrete Poems 
by JoAnn Early Macken
Crabtree Publishing Company, $9.95
Another series that helps students understand and then learn to write their own poetry, this time by focusing on specific genres of poetry, including Haiku, List Poems and Narrative Poems. Good for late elementary and early middle school. 

By Jacqueline Woodson
Puffin Books, $7.99
Locomotion is a novel in verse about Lonnie, an orphan just settling in a brand new life, unable to forget the past, and learning how to express his feelings and tell his own story in his own words. Fast-moving with an authentic voice and wonderful characters. For anyone over 10 and fans of Brown Girl Dreaming.

Please Excuse this Poem 
Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation
By Brett Fletcher Lauer, Lynn Melnick, Carolyn Forche
Viking, $16.99
Ideal for teachers looking for contemporary poetry that will appeal to older students. This collection features work from 100 young American poets from diverse backgrounds, showing an amazing range of styles, forms and topics.

Poetry for Young People_ William Shakespeare 
Poetry for Young People
Sterling, $14.95 each
This wonderful series features some of the most readable and accessible poetry by famous poets across the generations. It's a wonderful way to introduce children to great writers without intimidating them.  
April Storytime Schedule!
Judy, the Fairy Goodreader, reads her favorite picture books to preschoolers every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.! What hat will she be wearing this week? Pop in and find out!

April 12th   Fairy Goodreader Favorites!
April 19th   Weather
April 26th   Dinosaurs

Something a Little Different

Colorado Children_s Clothes
Due to popular demand, we've expanded our collection of Colorado children's wear to include more cute styles for summer. Dresses, rompers, hats, and more - we even have frilly baby bloomers featuring the Colorado logo! Great gifts for out-of-state friends and family and, of course, any Coloradan child!

Local author Julia Brandeberry Weaver dropped into the store recently and posed for a picture next to
Julia Brandeberry Weaver
her book, Eggs y Huevos. Julia is a former Colorado Council International Reading Award winner for her work in teaching children to read, and her debut picture book tells the true story of how one simple question led to great things.

Another great gift is Doodle Away, created by Colorado artist, Krista Hines. Find and draw the images hidden in the paint - then wipe the page clean and find the next one! (Apologies for our attempt at drawing - any child can, and will, do better!)

Summer Reading Open House!
We're so excited to be inviting teachers and librarians into the store for special events devoted to the newest books for summer reading lists - or for anyone to enjoy! Details are below - and click on the image for more information. These are drop-in events, no RSVP needed! Parents looking for great summer reads, also welcome. Look forward to seeing you there!

Sue Lubeck

Teacher_s event