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poem of the day + kitty of the day

January 29th, 2013

Bengal

At the International Cat Show, Portland, Ore., Jan. 27, 2013.

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“Love Is Not Concerned”
Alice Walker

“love is not concerned
with whom you pray
or where you slept
the night you ran away
from home.
love is concerned
that the beating of your heart
should kill no one.”

peace.

December 14th, 2012

Multnomah Falls' younger cousin

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

that quote was the only thing that helped me this week. that, and knowing that I don’t have to let my family out of my sight this weekend. so sorry for everyone who experienced losses and trauma in the shootings at Clackamas Town Center on Tuesday and in Connecticut today.

forest + Rumi

December 13th, 2012

Forest slope

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Unmarked Boxes (fragment)

“Tatatumtum tatum tatadum.
There is the light gold of wheat
in the sun and the gold of bread made from that wheat.
I have neither. I’m only talking about them,
as a town in the desert looks up
at stars on a clear night.”

– Rumi

Tuesday Book Review: “A Child’s Calendar,” “Nighttime Ninja” and “Waking Dragons” (day 20: November blogging)

November 20th, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Talk about the opening of your favourite book.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. They left the house at half past nine… The smallest one was Madeline…” — “Madeline,” Ludwig Bemelmans

“A Child’s Calendar” is a book of poetry by John Updike, with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman (Scholastic, unpaged, all ages). I use this book when I teach, and it’s just always what the students and I need on those days. You know the ones. When nothing is running on time, when plans go askew, when we don’t know exactly what it is we need or want. I recommend getting a copy of this for your home library and paging through it when you need to.

November

by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Nevertheless,
Displays a certain
Loveliness –

The beauty of
The bone. Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.

Give thanks: we do
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.

“Nighttime Ninja” is a new release from Barbara DaCosta, with art by Ed Young (Little, Brown, 2012, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 3-6). Wacky Boy likes this one and says: “It doesn’t have any really big sentences, so that’s good for the younger readers. The illustrator was really creative with the collage art.” The illustrations were done in cut paper, textured cloth, string and colored pencil.

This is DaCosta’s first children’s picture book. The story is sweet and engaging. Young, who was born and raised in China, moved to America as a young adult, in order to pursue his art. Success! He has illustrated more than eighty books for kids. “The House Baba Built” is about his childhood in Shanghai. He is a Caldecott medalist (for “Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China”) and also wrote “The Emperor and the Kite.” My favorite work by Young is “Seven Blind Mice.” He has been the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award on two occasions, and has received a number of other award and honors for his work.

Jane Yolen’s latest work is “Waking Dragons,” which was illustrated by Derek Anderson (Simon & Schuster, 2012, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 4-8). Another hit with my son, who says: “It also doesn’t have any big sentences, so it’s good for the younger kids. The drawings are really good.”

I’m a fan of Yolen’s — everything she’s ever done, basically, as I’ve written here before. How many writers can you say that about? Her dinosaur series (“How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You,” “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight,” and others)? Just perfect. Her newest is just as fun as the others.

“Don’t forget
to
wake the dragons
before school.
Love,
Mom”

the book begins, and you know you’re going to enjoy going along for the ride. Derek Anderson (who also illustrated the “Little Quack” series) did a lovely job on the paintings. They’re whimsical and won’t scare the littles.

day 3: QOTD

November 3rd, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012
“Tell us your favourite quotation and why.”

That’s not how you spell favorite.

There, that’s my new favorite quote.

Actually, it’s this one, and I think it’s got to be kind of obvious why.

“I stuck the letter back in the envelope, Scotch-taped it together, and readdressed it to Buddy, without putting on a new stamp. I thought the message was worth a good three cents. Then I decided I would spend the summer writing a novel. That would fix a lot of people.”

– Sylvia Plath, “The Bell Jar”

Daylight savings starts (ends?) tomorrow here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m gonna grab that extra hour and make it take a nap with me.

don’t i know it!

October 2nd, 2012

Best spam I’ve ever received:

“You Sir/Madam are the enemy of conufison everywhere!”

You know who’s confused? This tomato:

Get bent

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

qotd: Baldwin

September 25th, 2012

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” — James Baldwin, writer (1924-1987)

QOTD: Melville

September 21st, 2012

“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” — Herman Melville, novelist and poet (1819-1891)

Mitt Romney, Menace to Society

September 19th, 2012

“To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there’s more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.” — Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)

qotd: John Leonard

September 13th, 2012

“In the cellars of the night, when the mind starts moving around old trunks of bad times, the pain of this and the shame of that, the memory of a small boldness is a hand to hold.” — John Leonard, critic (1939-2008)

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