My First School Visit

You know that saying, “It was more fun than a barrel of monkeys?”—Well, I have always wondered what in the world could be more fun than a barrel of monkeys?Monkeys_in_barrel

I mean really! Monkeys in a barrel would be so hard to beat. But this was more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Screenshot 2015-04-29 16.41.05These are the notes I received from the 5th graders after my recent author visit. We talked poetry as I shared content from A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. I, also, talked about revising poems to make them more appealing. As an example, I showed  how Janet Wong and I emailed about revisions for my poem, Buttons, that was recently published in the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. This anthology was compiled by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell.poetry friday celebrations

Landon and I did have our picture made together since I shared our collaboration on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt 🙂

landon and me

So if you ever want something more fun than a barrel of monkeys . . . try a school visit! The thank you notes are the BEST!

 

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Diana Murray and Daughters, Kate and Jane

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Happy National Poetry Month!

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it is my pleasure to welcome  . . .

Diana Murray and Daughters, Kate and Jane

Thank you, Penny, for inviting me to guest post. I love the concept of this series and I’ve really been enjoying all the pairings!

The first illustration I chose, and the accompanying poem, were inspired by my nine-year-old daughter’s beloved pet.

Kate, has always had a passion for art, whether drawing, sculpting, or crafting of any kind. Perhaps what impresses me most, is her ability to create original characters. These characters don’t just exist on the page. They have entire backstories, quirks, and mannerisms. For example, there’s “Buff Chipmunk”, who has rock-hard abs, a squeaky voice, and an obsession with doing things “to the extreme!” And then there’s “Mr. Higglesbee”, a teacher who enjoys giving long, monotone lectures on the history of the blanket.

And now, here is Beardie.

Beardie-DragonsRule copy

And here is a second rendition of the character, as well as a photo of Kate’s muse.

BeardiePhoto

My younger daughter, who just turned six, doesn’t enjoy sitting around for long. And her energy and exuberance always comes across in her art! I think Jane especially likes drawing monsters and aliens because they allow her freedom of expression. She has affectionately named this monster “Larry”.

LarryDancingMonsterDM

In short, there’s no lack of inspiration at my house. Both of my daughters inspire me daily with their creativity and imagination. In fact, kids in general inspire me, and that’s one reason why I love my job so much!

Many thanks to Diana, Kate, and Jane for sharing their creative collaboration with us today! This was a triple treat 🙂


bioDianaMurraySM

Diana Murray is an award-winning poet and picture book author. Her forthcoming books include NED THE KNITTING PIRATE (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, 2016), GRIMELDA THE VERY MESSY WITCH (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2016), and CITY SHAPES (Little, Brown, 2016). Her poems have appeared in magazines including Highlights and Spider and in the recently released POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY: CELEBRATIONS (edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell). For more information and news, please visit: http://www.dianamurray.com or follow Diana on Twitter at @DianaMWrites


Have any of you been wondering what Poetry Friday is all about? My friend, Renée LaTulippe, explains it all as she hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at No Water River.

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Progressive Poem 2015 Progresses to Penny

Happy National Poetry Month!
and
Happy 2015 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem
2015ProgressivePoem

The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem is hosted by poet, Irene Latham. Irene had this brilliant idea in 2012 and each year since words have wandered from poet to poet all through the month of April. A progressive poem is more delicious than a progressive dinner because the words are here to savor and enjoy over and over again. How does it work? Each day of the month, the poem lands at a different blog with a different poet adding a line. Here are the first nineteen lines of the poem along with my addition for line 20.

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

The surface glistens, a shadow slips above her head, a paddle dips
she reaches, seizes. She’s electric energy and turquoise eyes.

Lifted high, she gulps strange air – stares clearly into
Green pirogue, crawfish trap, startled fisherman

with turquoise eyes, twins of her own, riveted on her wrist–
She’s swifter than a dolphin, slipping away, leaving him only a handful of

memories of his own grandmother’s counsel: Watch for her. You’ll have but one chance to
determine—to decide. Garner wisdom from the water and from the pearl of the past.

And tomorrow Tara at A Teaching Life will take us one line further . . . one line closer. Other contributors are listed below.

Just for fun, you can click HERE if you’d like to read the progressive poems from 2012-2014.

1 Jone at Check it Out
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog
6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
11 Kim at Flukeprints
12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine at DoriReads
14 Renee at No Water River
15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
19 Linda at Teacher Dance
20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots
21 Tara at A Teaching Life
22 Pat at Writer on a Horse
23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference
26 Brian at Walk the Walk
27 Jan at Bookseedstudio
28 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Donna at Mainely Write
30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Pat Zietlow Miller and Daughter, Sonia

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Happy National Poetry Month!

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it is my pleasure to welcome  . . .

Pat Zietlow Miller and Daughter, Sonia Miller

Pat and Sonia will have you tapping out a beat with their rhythmic collaboration!

The Poemtext on color

The Picture

Art by Sonia

Art by Sonia

Was that fun or what? Pat’s poem and Sonia’s art are a perfect pairing! Love it!

Here is Pat’s favorite photo of her and Sonia.horse_camp copy

Many thanks to Pat and Sonia for sharing their collaboration with us today!


Pat photo
Meet Pat:
 Pat Zietlow Miller got 126 rejections before selling her first picture book, SOPHIE’S SQUASH. Since then, she’s sold eight additional picture books. Two of them are coming out in 2015 — WHEREVER YOU GO from Little, Brown in April and SHARING THE BREAD: AN OLD-FASHIONED THANKSGIVING STORY from Schwartz & Wade in August. Pat has also won the Golden Kite Award for picture book text and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor.
Learn more about Pat on her Website.

 


Wherever you goWHEREVER YOU GO releases April 21st, which is just days away! This special picture book would make a wonderful graduation gift 🙂


 

Thanks to Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge for hosting today!

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A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and Penny in Episode 12

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Happy National Poetry Month!

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. Since today is the second Friday of April, Landon and I have a new episode!

Now . . .

Episode 11:
A Cow, A Moon, and A Suspicion 

The Poem

Text photo

The Picture
(Which is actually many pictures in the form of a super cool flipbook!)
Be sure to click on full screen to get the full effect!

I love Landon’s flipbook movie. I’m so glad he was on site to capture the “switch.” I hope Ol’ Bess is lovin’ it up there 😉

I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy our guests episodes as well as our past episodes.

Thanks so much for visiting today. We look forward to having you for future episodes!

Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Writing the World for Kids.

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A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Kirsti Call and Daughter, Naomi

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Happy National Poetry Month!

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it is my pleasure to welcome  . . .

Kirsti and Naomi Call!

Kirsti and Naomi are a mother daughter-team. One day they hope that Naomi will illustrate one of her Mom’s books!

“Tree of Life” by Naomi

Naomi's art

Art by Naomi Call

Kirsti’s Beautiful Poempoem on color no border

It looks like to me they’re well on their way to having a book together some day!

Not only is Naomi an artist, she is the lead singer in her band, Rock Solid. Enjoy this performance!

Many thanks to Kirsti and Naomi for sharing their collaboration with us today!


Naomi and KirstiMeet Kirsti: Kirsti Call is a homeschooling mom of five.  Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall, came out December 2013. Her family band, Calling Out, plays songs written by her children. She contributes to Writer’s Rumpus, and Kids are Writers.  If you visit her house, you’ll likely find her reading. You can find out more about her at www.kirsticall.com.

Meet Naomi: Naomi Call is an 11 year old artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.  She has her own etsy shop where she sells art, jewelry and bags where 20% of the proceeds go to The African Library Project.  Naomi is also the lead singer in her band, Rock Solid.  She loves to read and write almost as much as her mom does!


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has the Poetry Friday Roundup at her The Poem Farm today. What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to check out the poetic offerings!

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