A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Preston and Penny

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Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

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)

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 seventh-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 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.

Ever since my great niece Kennedy collaborated with me this past December, her younger brother Preston has been anxious to follow in her footsteps. So today you’ll meet Preston and have a chance to enjoy his art. Not only did Preston draw for this collaboration, but Kennedy joined in the fun, too.

I had a snow theme in mind because they live in snow country and there is usually snow in March. But guess what? Not a flake in sight! But they’ve had plenty of experience with snow and you’ll see their past snowy memories served them well. Their art is a real treat!

Aunt Penny’s Poem

Preston’s Art

Art by Preston (click to enlarge)

Preston at Work

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Kennedy’s Art

Art by Kennedy (click to enlarge)

Kennedy at Work

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Thanks so much for joining us today. I appreciate all of you who read this series. See you week after next when I’ll have guest collaborators.


Meet Great Aunt Penny (the one who blogs here): Penny Parker Klostermann is the author of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2015) and the upcoming, A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale(Random House, 2017). She loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. She has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too.

Penny grew up in Colorado and now lives in Abilene, Texas-the Storybook Capital of Texas!

Other Places to find Penny
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Marcie Colleen and Three Nieces-Elizabeth, Elena, and Emily

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Thanks to Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for hosting Poetry Friday. Today many poets will be sharing the work of Billy Collins who was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

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

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

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 seventh-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 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 one 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’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

One Aunt and Three Nieces
Marcie Colleen, Elizabeth, Elena, and Emily

From Marcie: My three nieces are very creative visually and therefore, I knew right away that I wanted to include all three of them in the collaboration. The only problem was, I don’t fancy myself a poet. But then, while doing some cleaning I discovered this poem that I wrote when I was a kid! It’s like I am time traveling—kid Marcie gets to work with her kid nieces. What could be more fun!

Marcie’s Poem: Written in 3rd Grade

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And now for the art. Be sure to read Marcie’s reactions to her nieces’ works. You’ll find an art-specific comment below each piece.

Elena’s Art

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Pencil drawing by Elena (8-years old).

From Marcie: Just look at those cheerful little bees dancing in the rain!

Emily’s Art

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Pencil drawing by Emily (12-years old).

From Marcie: I love the flower with a clock center and the bees holding the umbrellas!

Elizabeth‘s Art

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Detailed pastel work by Elizabeth (14-years old).

From Marcie: I just marvel at the water droplets!

I just love Marcie’s obvious delight over the illustrations 🙂

The Collaborators

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Elizabeth (14), Aunt Marcie, Elena (8), and Emily (12)

Many thanks to Marcie, Elizabeth, Elena, and Emily for sharing their talents with us today.


marciecolleen_headshotMeet Marcie: Marcie Colleen has been a teacher, an actress, and a nanny, but now she spends her days writing children’s books. She is the author of the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series (Macmillan/Imprint). Her debut picture book, Love Triangle, illustrated by Bob Shea (Blazer+Bray/HarperCollins, Oct. 3, 2017) sold in a five-house auction. It is about best friends Circle and Square, and Triangle who comes between them. Other upcoming picture books include The Adventure of the Penguinaut (Scholastic, Fall 2018) which will be illustrated by Emma Yarlett. Marcie is a frequent presenter at conferences for SCBWI, as well as a faculty member for Kidlit Writing School offering courses with a focus on plotting and revising picture books. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband and their mischievous sock monkey. Visit her at www.thisismarciecolleen.com or on Twitter @MarcieColleen1.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests-Sylvia Liu and Her Daughter, Sarah

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Thanks to Karen at Karen Edmisten* for hosting Poetry Friday today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

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

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

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 seventh-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 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 one 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’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Sylvia and Liu and Her Daughter, Sarah

From Sylvia: This collaboration is one that bends the space-time continuum, because it’s between my almost-13 year old daughter and my 13-year old self. Sarah wrote the poem as part of an English assignment, which was to write about something the student would like to do but is not old enough to do, in the style of Langston Hughes’ I, Too. My drawing of an eagle seems like an appropriate illustration of this poem.

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Sylvia’s Arteagle-sketch-s-liu-1-copy

Sarah and Sylvia visiting an art installation in Norfolk, VA, called Stickwork, by the artist Patrick Dougherty.sarahjacobs-stickwork-1-copy-2sylvialiu-stickwork-1-copy-2

I absolutley love that Sylvia created her art when she was similar to Sarah’s age. That makes this episode extra special in my mind. Thanks to both of them for sharing their talents.


© K Woodard Photography

© K Woodard Photography

 

 

Meet Sylvia: Sylvia Liu is a children’s author and illustrator. Her debut picture book as an author, A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books 2016) won the Lee & Low New Voices Award. She is inspired by her family, the ocean, aliens, kraken, and cephalopods. Sylvia’s website is www.enjoyingplanetearth.com, and she co-runs the kid lit resource website, www.kidlit411.com.

A GREAT NEPHEW AND A GREAT AUNT: LANDON AND PENNY

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Jone at Check It Out is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

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

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 seventh-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 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.

With today’s collaboration, Landon and I are wishing you a belated Happy Valentine’s Day or maybe an early Happy Halloween. If that seems confusing, I think you’ll get it once you read the poem and see the illustration. (And just so you know…Landon did not hide an object in today’s art.)

Penny’s Poemslide1
Landon’s Art

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art by Landon

Thanks so much for joining us today. I appreciate all of you who read this series. See you next week when I’ll have guest collaborators.

Winners of The Green Umbrella by Jackie Azúa Kramer

And we have WINNERS!!!!TheGreenUmbrella-cover-layout.indd

I interviewed Jackie Azúa Kramer in a blog post a couple of weeks ago. She shared about sources of inspiration and we had a drawing for two free books — one copy for the winner chosen by random.org and one copy for a Little Free Library near the winner. The drawing is over but if you missed the post head over and read it by clicking HERE

And the WINNERs are . . . 

Margaret Simon

and the 

Little Free Library in her City Park in New Iberia, LA.

Congratulations!

Poetry Friday Roundup is Here Today: Plus! Heidi Mordhorst and Her Students With a First-Class Collaboration For the “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt” Series

poetry friday buttonWelcome to the Roundup.
You can leave you link at the very bottom of my post. Glad to have you!
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)

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 seventh-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 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 one 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.

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.

Every guest episode is delightful. But today’s episode is extra special due to the number of collaborators. Prepare to be wowed as . . .

 Heidi Mordhorst and Her 2nd Grade Students Take Us Under the Sea

From Heidi: These poems came about as part of a group of related projects with “a special place” at the center. The class voted to study coral reefs way back in November, and in addition to writing information brochures about this ecosystem, I offered an opportunity to express understandings in another form–poetry. Part of our inspiration came from Kate Coombs’s book Water Sings Blue, and you’ll see echoes of her “Coral,” “Shark” (what a poem!) and “Nudibranch.”  It must be said that some students did not know the factual information as well as they felt the wonder of the reef—a helpful check-up!

This was our first “assigned” poetry writing of the year, after months of steeping in excellent models. We keep Poetry Friday, gluing a poem each week into our simple construction-paper covered Poetry Anthologies. We have experienced metaphor through Christina Rossetti’s “Flint,” concrete poetry through Colleen Thibeaudeau’s “balloon,” and  list poems through Eve Merriam’s “How to Eat a Poem” among many others.  Next up will be “Winter Wear” by Douglas Florian.  As always, I consider it a success when the great majority of kids blast off on their own, knowing that they are the boss of their poem, its concept, its language, its mood.

The reef mural was made by groups of four at the TASS Table (my teacher desk, repurposed as a standing project table for “Thinking and Academic Success Skills”) after each kid used a rubric worksheet to actually score another student’s brochure! They took this very seriously, especially the using of teacher marking pens aspect. I provided the two large sheets of blue or green and the sandy color, and they did the rest completely independently—just your basic construction paper, markers, crayons, colored pencils. Oh, and wet glue–a rare treat.  : )

Heidi’s school is a large preK-5 in Montgomery Co., MD. It is a diverse urban-suburban district just outside Washington DC.

Each student wrote and illustrated their own poem. They all collaborated on the coral reef to display their work.

Enjoy poetry and art as we explore their coral reef.watal-no-name-copy

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If you had trouble reading any of the poems as part of the artwork, click HERE for a PDF of poems—text only.

The Brochures

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Closer View

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Reef With Poems and Artreef1 reef2 reef3

Group photo with Mr. Bruce Moravchik, one of our dads who works at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and came in to help us understand threats to the coral reef and how to protect them.

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Not pictured, Angela H

Many thanks to Heidi and her students for taking us on this underwater tour with their poems and artwork.


heidi-headshotMeet Heidi: Heidi Mordhorst is a poet and a classroom teacher (her 30th year and counting), and she likes doing both together! An active member of the online Kidlitosphere Poetry Friday community, Heidi is the author of two collections of poetry for young people: Squeeze: Poems from a Juicy Universe and Pumpkin Butterfly: Poems from the Other Side of Nature (both Wordsong/Boyds Mills).

She has contributed poems to numerous anthologies, and offers poetry workshops whenever she can squeeze them in. Visit her blog at http://myjuicylittleuniverse.blogspot.com.

Heidi is a dabbler–in the past she has been a calligrapher, a choral singer, a quilter, and a salsa dancer. She has lived in New York, London, Paris, Munich (“everybody talk about pop muzik”), and has always been an activist for equity in education.


Please leave your links below with Mister Linky.

Interview With Jackie Azúa Kramer, Author of The Green Umbrella and a Double Giveaway!

TheGreenUmbrella-cover-layout.inddToday we’re here to celebrate Jackie Azúa Kramer’s upcoming book, THE GREEN UMBRELLA, which will be on shelves January 31, 2017. That’s tomorrow 🙂
**Don’t miss the double giveaway. Details below.

Here’s the synopsis of THE GREEN UMBRELLAWhen Elephant takes a peaceful walk with his green umbrella, he’s interrupted by a hedgehog, cat, bear, and rabbit―each claiming that they’ve had exciting adventures with his umbrella. After all, it is an umbrella, and it certainly hasn’t been on any adventures more exciting than a walk in the rain. Or has it? Things aren’t always what they seem in this charming tale of imagination, sharing and friendship.

Prepare to be more than delighted with this book. It’s so full of imagination that I believe readers will be inspired to take imaginary adventures of their own.

Speaking of being inspired, it’s a fact that inspiration is a wonderful and necessary part of writing. Jackie wrote a great article for the Society of Children’s Book Writers (SCBWI) and Illustrators Summer 2015 Bulletin. Her article talks about inspiration. For today’s post, Jackie agreed to answer these questions about how she feeds her imagination with sources of inspiration.

PPK: In your article, Light My Fire, in the SCBWI bulletin, you discussed pictures as prompts or inspiration for your writing. Can you share about this source of inspiration?

JAK: I have very strong memories in my childhood, of what I’d call, visual inspiration. As a family we travelled all over the world. Exotic destinations like India, Israel, Venezuela, and Russia, to name a few. Between the people, architecture, clothes, art, food it was a feast for the eyes, not to mention all my other senses.

And the visual muses continued with my fascination in movies and theatre. I grew up close to New York City, and my parents would often take us to Broadway plays. The curtain rises and there are the incredible actors and sets, lighting, costumes and props. And movies…from the Golden Age of Hollywood to foreign and indie films, I can’t get enough.

So when I write, like scenes and acts in a play, I envision the page turns; the sets, costumes and props. As a matter of fact, every story I’ve ever written, I see as a moving image. Here’s one of my favorites—To Kill a Mockingbird.to-kill-a-mockingbird

PPK: Pictures are inspiring to me, too, Jackie. I’ve come up with many ideas based on an expression or action conveyed by an image. You mentioned to me that music is another source of inspiration for your writing. I’m curious about this. Could you tell us more?

JAK: Music! I think of the oft-used quote, “If music save the savage beast…” My music, as we have this virtual conversation is a plane flying overhead, birds chirping, dogs barking, kids playing, wind over trees, and more. In my upcoming picture book, The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick Press), a story about loss, and the sensitive questions and emotions between a boy and his father. I listened to sweeping movie soundtracks, A River Runs Through It and Out Of Africa. Here’s a sample:

I call that my writing environment in which I create a mood or a virtual reality.

PPK: So music helps create a mood for writing, as well as your writing environment. Tell us about your writing environment. And do you only write in one environment or do you move around your home or even outside your home? Do different environments inspire different parts of your writing?

JAK: Yes! I often venture out of my home workspace to a bookstore or my lucky local library where I wrote The Green Umbrella. Each place has a unique ambiance. In a secluded corner of the library I look out onto a tree lined street and this beautiful, old church.

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And six months out of the year, I love to write outdoors in my beautiful yard, surrounded by trees and flowers, I lovingly refer to it as ‘The Canopy’. My soundtrack becomes birds chirping, dogs barking, kids playing and the wind over trees. How can one help, but be inspired.

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PPK: Many writers advise getting out and living life to spark inspiration. How important is this advice in your writing life? How do you employ this advice?

JAK: As Matthew McConaughey said, in Dazed and Confused, “Just keep livin’! L-I-V-I-N!” It’s super important to live the life that one’s given. I call it the three ‘R’s’—refuel, recharge, renew. As creators we tend to work in isolation. In order to give our best, we need to give back to ourselves. Museums are an endless source of inspiration. Both in their 80’s, Matisse’s ‘Cut-Outs’ and Picasso’s ‘Sculptures’, remind me that it’s never too late to learn, and for new possibilities in creative expression.

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The three R’s are available to all of us in the smallest of ways. Light a candle, listen to music, take a walk, talk to people. I don’t need to go far. I’m lucky to have a beautiful park in my town.

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But every now and then, I have a bout of wanderlust and I’m gone, gone, gone. My partner in crime, and I, get on a plane, rent a car, stay in one town for a couple of days and move on…it’s so freeing. Last year, I had the opportunity to visit my ancestral roots in Spain.

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Jackie, thanks so much for sharing about inspiration. I know it will be helpful to writers, both young and young at heart.

Double the Giving, Double the Fun! Giveaway for You and a Little Free Library!

Readers, today is your lucky day because Jackie is giving away two signed copies of THE GREEN UMBRELLA to one lucky winner! One copy is for the winner to keep. And the other copy is to donate to a Little Free Library near you. Little Free Library is near and dear to Jackie and I love that she’s donating a copy to be placed in one of them. If you’re not sure if you have a Little Free Library close by, you can follow this link and perform a quick search to find out—Little Free Library Map. If you want to know more about Little Free Library, head over to their website: Little Free Library. If you win, we need ‘proof of’ with an official charter sign and charter number. All registered LFL’s have them. For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post no later than midnight (CST), Monday, February 6, 2017. I will use Random.org to choose a winner. The winner will be announced on Friday, February 10 in my A GREAT NEPHEW AND AND A GREAT AUNT post.

Watch the adorable trailer!

Be sure and check out Jackie’s other blog tour stops. You will learn about this wonderful book and learn more about Jackie. Click HERE to see the schedule and find links to other stops.


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Meet Jackie: Jackie earned her Masters of Education from Queens College. She is a member of SCBWI and has written for the SCBWI Bulletin. In 2014, she was invited to be a member of the Bank Street Writers Lab, Bank Street College. In 2015 Jackie was a presenter at the 1st nErDCamp Long Island.  Her picture book, The Green Umbrella (North South Books) debuts February 2017. The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick Press, TBD) and If You Want to Fall Asleep (Clavis Books, Spring 2018). Visit Jackie at: Jackieazuakramer.com


Other Places to Find Jackie
Twitter @jackiekramer422
Facebook Jackie Azúa Kramer
Instagram