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Sunday Book Review and how are you?

March 19th, 2023

Winter 2021-2022

“The Light,” by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley

Why would I be posting this photo, now that spring is almost here? Because it’s still snowing up and down the west coast, that’s why. #globalwarming and we’re all confused. It will be OK. We had sunshine and warmth the past few days, it was much needed.

I found these awesome picture books in my mailbox, wanna hear about them? They’re going to make some kids happy, they’re pretty sweet.

Presenting… “Moms Can Do It All!” and “Dads Can Do It All!” a pair of titles written by Ted Maass and illustrated by Ekaterina Trukan (Grosset & Dunlap, 2023, $8.99 apiece.) Well. OK. Sure, we can, but constantly? Because what about the times when we’re so tired we beg the babies to just watch Elmo or Spongebob on loop, while we nap next to them on the couch? What about the times when you serve mac n cheese, applesauce and toast, again and again, because it’s all they will eat?

No, we can’t do it all, and we shouldn’t hafta. We’re not superheroes, only we are? It’s confusing. Yeah, we are superheroes, it’s true. You’ll see when you grow up, kiddos. In the meantime, these cool little ’60s-style board books, with their primary colors, Fisher-Price type peeps and pets, along with the positive messages they share, will leave you feeling… happy. They’re right! We absolutely can do it all. (But you don’t have to, mommies and daddies. Just do your best. Ay-ay, captain! Elmo and his goldfish Dorothy loooooove naps!)

Here comes a new book from Mr. G (Ben Gundersheimer) and illustrator Dow Phumiruk, “We’ll Make Things Better Together” (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, out this spring, 2023, $18.99). Cheerful, playful book about all the ways communities can work together to make the world better. Only, where’s the music? Because the words sound like lyrics. Sweet illustrations, too.

“How to Get Your Octopus to School,” with words by Becky Scharnhorst and ptictures by Jaclyn Sinquett (Flamingo Books/Penguin Random House, scheduled for release spring of 2023, ages 4 and up, $18.99). Hey, octopus! Ready for school? You’ll need school supplies, buddy. And a backpack, lunch, a new outfit… don’t be shy, you’ve got this! No need to throw ink around. Cute book that will help ease reluctant students into the classroom.

And now, my new favorite: “Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?” Yes, please. Make it happen, please. This beautifully illustrated, lovely book, was given to us by illustrator Kristen Uroda and written by Junauda Petrus. (Dutton Children’s Books/Penguin Random House, scheduled for release April 2023, all ages, $18.99.) Petrus, a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Coretta Scott King honoree, has done an outstanding job with this picture book, which reads like a gorgeous, lyrical poem. I’d like to live in a world run by the grandmothers. (Bonus: the playlist that is included on the flyleaf.)

All for now, talk soon!


Friday Night Book Round-up: What’s New on My Nightstand?

March 10th, 2023


“Woof!” by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley

Hi, grownup readers and researchers, how about some book suggestions?

“Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach,” Sam M. Intrator & Megan Scribner, editors, with an introduction by Parker J. Palmer & Tom Vander Ark (Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 2003, 225 pages). I have one shelf full of poetry books, daily affirmation guides, my Bibles, meditation guides, workbooks, and any other books I find useful. “Teaching with Fire” was gifted to me and the rest of the staff by my first principal, sixteen years ago, and I go back to it frequently. So technically, it’s not on my nightstand, but it’s always within reach. Highly recommend. 

“The Librarian Spy,” by Madeline Martin (author of “The Last Bookshop in London,” Hanover Square Press, 2022, 355 pages, $28.99). Spent some time browsing the new releases section at my local library yesterday, and came across this title. It looks fun and entertaining; starting it this weekend, along with…

Elin Hilderbrand’s “The Hotel Nantucket” (Little, Brown and Company, 2022, 368 pages, $29.00). Hilderbrand also wrote “Golden Girl” and 26, yes, twenty-six other novels.

A self-help/community read book showed up in my mailbox, “How to Human: Three Ways to Share Life Beyond What Distracts, Divides, and Disconnects Us,” by Carlos Whitaker, with a foreword by Sharon McMahon  (WaterBrook/Multnomah, 2023, 206 pages, $18.00). I’ve begun this one, too, because why limit yourself to one or two books when you can read thirty? It’s a good read. Whittaker refers to himself as a “hope dealer,” which is pretty great.

“The Davenports” is a new release from Krystal Marquis (Dial Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, 379 pages, $19.99). This is a delicious, golden, romantic novel, set in 1910 Chicago, and yes, I am a sucker for books set in that era (“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “Sula,” “The Sound and the Fury,” etc.). This would be a good book club pick.

Kristen R. Lee’s “Sun Keep Rising” is a compassionate and clear-eyed novel about the joys and challenges in the life of teen mom B’onca, her sweet baby Mia, and their extended family. (Crown New York, 2023, 227 pages, $18.99.)

Joan Bauer’s “Tell Me” (Scholastic, 2014, 259 pages, $7.99) is another great young adult book. This one introduces us to Anna, who has been sent out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to stay with her grandma, Mim, while her parents figure out what they’re doing. Anna thinks she sees another young girl who could be in trouble. Instead of dismissing her doubts, she says something. The grown-ups? They actually listen. Great story about a serious situation. Bauer is a long-time favorite of mine.  Please check out “Hope Was Here” and let me know what you think.

Speaking of families… “The Wreck: A Daughter’s Memoir of Becoming a Mother,” is an intense read about a daughter from a secretive family, and how her sleuthing helps her unravel her relatives’ past. (Released scheduled for spring 2023, Viking, $27.00.)

Bon appetit, babies, and have a great weekend.


Friday Fun Day: What’s On My Nightstand

March 3rd, 2023


(Solar Eclipse, in the path of totality, 8/21/2017, photo by Nancy E. Row Rawley)

Pretty, huh? Yeah, you had to be there, I think. That was a cool day, though, Eclipse Day 2017. Some of our friends came to town and we headed to the neighborhood park with lawn chairs, blankets and all of the other neighbors. (Except B., who headed to Marys Peak because Reporting for the Newspaper.) Corvallis was in the path of totality which was amazing. OK, okay, moving on.

What’s on my nightstand? Grown-up books and books for teens. Get ready…

“Be the Difference: Serve Others and Change the World,” a monthly planner. OK, I think I mentioned this one already, but it is pretty cool. (WaterBrook/Ink & Willow, 2021, $16.99.) Not just a journal, not just a planner — you can turn it into a bullet journal, a place to set goals, a sketchbook or whatever you want. Go for it and change the world, and yourself, along the way.

“Remedies for Sorrow: An Extraordinary Child, a Secret Kept from Pregnant Women, and A Mother’s Pursuit of the Truth,” by Megan Nix (Penguin Random House/Doubleday, upcoming release 2023, $28). This is an intense read, so I’m attaching a trigger warning here. Please proceed with caution. This is a well-written, compassionate book about CMV (cytomegalovirus). Nix, who lives in both Colorado and Alaska with her family, is not just a talented writer, but a thoughtful reporter, too.

“The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents” (Ballantine Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, 226 pages, $28). This one was written by Lisa Damour, Ph.D., author of “Untangled” and co-host of the “Ask Lisa” podcast. Loads of tips and thoughts on dealing with teen mental health issues, anxiety, moods and emotions. Sometimes those difficult conversations are needed.

The Young Reader’s Edition of “Mission Possible: Go Create a Life That Counts,” by athlete Tim Tebow (with A.J. Gregory) is also new on the shelves. This faith-based book is from WaterBrook/Penguin Random House. (2023, 145 pages, $18.00.)

“Carry Strong: An Empowered Approach to Navigating Pregnancy and Work,” by Stephanie Kramer, is scheduled for release this spring. (Penguin Life, 352 pages, $20.00.) Kramer did her work interviewing CEOs, working moms (all moms, may I say, are working moms), Olympic athletes and others to glean information on what to consider and what to look out for while transitioning/seguing, and adding to life with family and work.

Enjoy your spring, and here’s to reading.


Hello hello… and here’s another book reviews: Zara, plus Insects! and Animals

February 15th, 2023


(Photo of Mae-Mae by my son, Kid Rawley)

You know who loves bugs and insects? That chicken, right there. She keeps the place tidy. Also? Did you know… 

Entomology (think “ant”) is the study of bugs and insects, but etymology is the study of words? It’s good to remember that one. 

Did you know that spiders are not insects! Yes, yes I did. (Did you know that we have Black Widow Spiders in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where I live? I did not know that until we moved here but wow, I do now!)

Did you know that the fossils of the first dragonflies date back to the Carboniferous Period? That was almost 360 million years ago. Whoa.

“Amazing Insects Around the World,” from DGPH Studio, will give you all kinds of cool information about buggy bugs. (Penguin Workshop/Penguin Random House, 2023, all ages, $17.99.) Stellar little encyclopedia.

Its companion book, also from DGPH Studios, “Amazing Animals Around the World” is awesome, too. (Penguin Workshop/Penguin Random House, 2023, all ages, $17.99.)

Zara (from “Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun” and “Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure”) is back, in “Zara’s Rules for Living Your Best Life.” (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, scheduled for release 4/19/2023, grades 2-5, $17.99.) This is a great series by Hena Khan (“Amina’s Voice”), with a spunky, not-too-sweet main character. In this chapter book, Zara has spring break plans — fun plans! — with her friends. But things tend to change, and now Z and her brother, also Z (Zayd) have to hang out with their grandparents. How will this go?

“I Am Temple Grandin,” by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, is from the Ordinary People Change the World Series. (Rocky Pond Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, all ages, $16.99.) Great biography (in a graphic novel format for younger readers) about the scientist/animal behaviorist/neurodiversity advocate who has autism.


Sunday Book Review

February 12th, 2023


Oregon Coast (photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

Today I’m reviewing three awesome picture books about kids and their families:

“Ramen for Everyone,” written by Patricia Tanumihardja, with illustrations by Shiho Pate (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, 2023, all ages, $18.99). This sweet picture book tells the story of Hiro and his dad, who makes the most perfect ramen, every Sunday. Nori seaweed, nitamago egg, savory broth, yummy chashu pork… and noodles. (Yes, cooking tips, a recipe, and some history on ramen are included.) Hiro is ready to tackle the recipe himself, but it’s a little trickier than he thought it would be. Luckily, his dad, mom and sister are there to help and lend some support. This lively book reads like an anime — the illustrations are fun and colorful.

“The Best Worst Day Ever,” by Mark Batterson & Summer Batterson Dailey, illustrated by Benedetta Capriotti (Multnomah/Penguin Random House, 2023, $12.99). Capriotti’s illustrations give a cartoon-style flair to this picture book about a son and his father.

You know when it’s one of those days? Your cereal is soggy, your fave shirt is in the wash, you’re still sleepy and you have to go to work? That’s Bert’s story. He’d rather run and play, but he has to head to the flower shop to work with his dad. But when the clouds roll in, and the rain starts, his dad hollers, “You can’t ruin my day, no way!” at the sky. And Bert starts to look at the world a little differently.

“Babajoon’s Treasure,” written by Farnaz Esnaashari, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2023, ages 4 and up, $18.99). Miriam loves spending part of her summer every year with her Babajoon and Mamajoon. The family, originally from Iran, lives for adventures. When Miriam spies a gold coin that is different from her Babjoon’s other coins, she becomes convinced that he’s… a pirate? Maybe the other language he speaks is pirate code? Lovely illustrations and a fun story. Nice way to learn about non-American cultural traditions.

Have a great week, everyone! Hope your adventures bring you magic and joy.


Black History Month: Thursday Book Review

February 9th, 2023

New books

“My Red, White, and Blue,” written by Alana Tyson, with illustrations by London Ladd (Philomel/Penguin Random House, 2023, all ages, $18.99). The art in this book… I don’t even know where to start. It’s gripping, beautiful, warm, inviting, solid, and standing back a little way, by itself, assessing everything. The topic, too, is serious: What about the American flag? What does it mean to you? Does it represent all of us, or just some of us? What about its history? 

A profoundly moving, important, timely book.

Ladd’s art is outstanding — he uses acrylic paint, cut paper and tissue paper, and the impact is something else. As the author says, plainly and clearly, in a note in the back, “For as long as there has been a United States of America, there has been inequality for Black people within it.” 

I ask, Isn’t it time for our country to get this one right? Isn’t that long overdue?  

New books

“Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illustrated by Kim Holt (Viking/Penguin Random House, 2023, ages 4 and older, $18.99). Read and learn about Ella Baker, Ruby Bridges, Claudette Colvin, Dorothy Cotton, Fannie Lou Hamer, Coretta Scott King, Diane Nash, Rosa Parks, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Gloria Richardson, Jo Ann Robinson, Sheyann Webb and the Freedom Marchers. Say their names.

The art is beautiful, just like these Queens, and the quotes and reference materials are useful. I am honored to be reviewing this book, and the others mentioned today. I just wanted to say that it is an honor.

New books

“What Does Being Brown Mean to You?” written and illustrated by Ron Grady (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, all ages, $18.99). Beautiful picture book inspired by the author’s preschool students. This is a keeper of a book and one to be passed down to the grandkids, and purchased for classrooms and libraries.

A cool new autobiography (in picture book format) by Raphael G. Warnock, “Put Your Shoes on & Get Ready!” illustrated by TeMika Grooms, is next on my list. Georgia’s first black senator has an amazing story to tell. Speak it, sir! Glad to see this splendid book arrive. In addition to serving the people of Georgia, Warnock also serves as the senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta. (Philomel/Penguin Random House, 2023, all ages, $19.99.)

“Dear Yesteryear,” by Kimberly Annece Henderson (author/photographer) and Ciara LeRoy (letterer) (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2023, all ages, $18.99). Extremely cool photography book, compiled by Henderson, a historical researcher, curator and librarian based in New York City.

Henderson focuses on geneaology and Black American lineages. From her bio: “She has facilitated digital projects for the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem.” Her work is impressive, and the images she has gathered are stunning, captivating, incredible. We are blessed to have them. “To my dear yesteryears,” the book begins, “Stony the road, you’ve walked this earth and paved the way I now call home.”

“My Fade Is Fresh,” by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Kitt Thomas (Penguin Workshop/Penguin Random House, 2022, ages 3 and up, $17.99). We used to joke, It’s better to look good than to feel good. But looking good and feeling good? That’s the best. The star of this picture book knows exactly how she wants her hair cut and styled, even when everyone around her is shouting out their opinions on the subject. Vibrant art and a great story.

Tuesday Book Review: What’s New on My Dining Room Table

January 31st, 2023


(“Hi Honey!” — photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

“The Seasons Within Me,” by Bianca Pozzi, is a thoughtful new picture book about moods, friendship, weather and finding peace. (Penguin Random House, 2023, ages 4 and up, $18.99.) I’m glad that we’re finally teaching kids coping strategies, encouraging them to identify their emotions, all of it. This book does a nice job of that. Pozzi is a designer and writer from Brazil; I hope we see more of her work in the future.

“How to Eat a Book,” by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod (Union Square Kids, 2022, $17.99) introduces us to the Grunions. There is nutty, there is unique, there is kooky… and then there are the Grunions. Sheila, and her siblings, twins Gerald and Geraldine, are welcome additions to the world of children’s literature. And you know I’m crazy about drawings layered with collage and paper art. The art in this book is BIG and amazing. (Additionally: Can you really be eaten by a book? The thought hadn’t occurred to me before…)

“When I Talk to God, I Talk About You,” by Chrissy Metz & Bradley Collins, illustrated by Lisa Fields (Flamingo Books, 2023, ages 4-8, $18.99), is a new picture book about relationships with God. Rabbit, skunk, otter, fox, bear and other families illustrate love in this rhyming tale. The art is dreamy and lovely and will charm the littles. 

“Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar,” by Mojdeh Hassani & Samira Iravani, with illustrations by Maya Fidawi. Set in Tehran, this title is a welcome addition to the bookshelf. (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2022, ages 4 and up, $18.99.) A mother-daughter team wrote this exquisite, loving book about a grandmother and granddaughter. The illustrations contain so many details; they’re fun to pore over. Look for the kitty cats! And don’t overlook the note from the authors in the back of the book

Bon appetit, my friends. Happy reading!


Monday Book Review

January 30th, 2023


Asters in September (photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

Today’s books? Oh, I’m glad you asked!

Just in time for the holiday, coming up February 2nd… “Groundhog Gets It Wrong,” written by Jess Townes, illustrated by Nicole Miles (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2023, $18.99). There’s a lot of pressure put on groundhogs, okay? Who can predict the weather? Even the weathermen, with all their charts, maps and computers, can’t always get it right. But Groundhog, the youngest in a family of weather predictors, is sure it can’t be that tough. Can it? Amusing story and clever drawings.

You know what’s next, people. Cupid’s fave (or maybe least fave?) day of the year, St. Valentine’s Day. “The Mystery of the Love List” (Penguin Young Readers, 2022, ages 3 and up, $18.99) is the newest release from author Sarah Glenn Marsh (“Reign of the Fallen” series).

Super sweet and funny book, with lovely illustrations by Ishaa Lobo. The teacher wants the students to make up “love lists” of everything they’re fond of. Pippa wants nothing to do with this; she’d rather read. But wait… a secret admirer may work to change that. Clever book and different from the usual Valentine’s reads.

“A Bucket of Questions, almost answered by Tim Fite,” is a new title from an artist and musician who doesn’t really answer the questions posed at all. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2023, ages 4 and up, $18.99.) Hmmm. Well, try the Internet if you want some actual answers, but with adult supervision, please. (My students promise me “I’m not going down a rabbit hole!” generally right before they go down a rabbit hole and refuse to reappear.)

It’s a fun and goofy book, this one. The art is intense and interesting, but dang it I really wanted the questions answered (or somewhat answered?) in the back of the book. Because I’m practical like that. Here’s to curiosity and imagination, though, in different forms.

Bon appetit, babies!



Sunday Funday Book Reviews

January 29th, 2023


(“Baby! in the Garden,” photo by Steve Rawley)

Boy, oh boy, do I miss having a garden. The deer and chickens are fun and all, but they know how to destroy everything. Here’s the short list of stuff they leave alone: Trees (after they’re grown), ferns, rhodies, figs, azaleas, daffodils, hellebores, anything poisonous… lilies! Yeah, that’s about it.

It’s a horrible time in America, due to police brutality, the triple-demic, school shootings, excessively over-priced everything, from groceries to utility bills to car parts. So I’m keeping the news turned off, remembering to vote, doing what I can, which these days feels inadequate. Have we all gone cagey? Kinda. Reach out to others, even if it’s just a card, a phone call, or an email. We need each other. Also we need to stop killing each other. I’m just feeling like being really extremely incredibly honest today.

We need to stop shooting, scaring, beating and hurting each other. Now.

I’d like to know, though, How are you doing? How are the children?

I teach, I help when and how I can, and I review books. Fun day = wishful thinking. I tried and failed to meditate this morning, i went to church. Later on I will bake some chocolate chip cookies and we’ll have something good for dinner. Please don’t give up hope and I won’t, either. Keep working, keep fighting, stay fierce.

Much love, much peace, WM

Now for the book reviews:

All of the spring releases are popping up like the little shoots in my yard. Here are a few:

“This Little Kitty,” by Karen Obuhanych (Random House Kids, 2023, $18.99). This is Obuhanych’s debut as author/illustrator, and it’s great. Fun collage art; crazy, funny cats and an engaging story.

“When PB Met J: The Best Friendship Since Sliced Bread!” written by Katelyn Aronson and illustrated by Sarah Rebar (Viking, 2023, ages 3-7, $18.99). This one is squishy and makes you feel all the feels, yeah I said it. When the foods in the refrigerator face off with the foods in the cupboard, you know it’s going to get a little feisty. Can we make friends along the way? We’ll see… The illustrations are sweet and whimsical. 

“I Am the Cat in the Hat,” based on Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” is a newly-released board book (Alastair Heim and Tom Brannon, Random House Kids, 2023, $8.99). Dr. Seuss, my old friend, has been put out to pasture. Some of his books have not aged well. So use those to teach the kids about what the bad old days were like, and move along to his titles that have aged well. I’d hate to see him disappear entirely. 

“How Many Squirrels Are in the World?” by Ben “Mister G” Gundersheimer, illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, $18.99). It’s a number book, it’s a rhyming book, it’s an adventure book. The art is sweet. Also, did you know that squirrels are only one inch long at birth?

“Just the Right Cake,” by Christina Tosi (of Milk Bar), illustrated by Emily Balsley (Rocky Pond Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, for big and little kids, $18.99). Phil’s parents split up, and nothing tastes or feels the same. Go with him on a journey to start trying different recipes, and finding new ways to experience the day. A great recipe is included in the back of the book.

L(star) books are the best books

January 23rd, 2023
Bok! Peruvian lilies from my yard (photo by moi) Once upon a time, I was lucky enough to land at a K-8 school where a bunch of amazing students, teachers, parents and staff attended, worked, played and learned. That is how I met my friend L*, a person who was great, funny, smart, talented and steady Eddie. She passed away last year and thanks to the generosity of her kids, I inherited a load of her books. Some of the collection is going to the bookstore, for resale; some titles are going to Little Free Libraries; some will go to my students, and friends; some will stay with me. How blessed are all of us, to have books around? #blessed #loved #friends. Here are some lessons L* left behind for not just her students, but her family, neighbors, friends… and me.
  1. Breathe. Inhale/exhale, inhala, exhala.
  2. You probably can speak more Spanish than you think you can; give it a try.
  3. Throw a lot of love around and see what happens.
  4. Learn when to keep a secret and learn when to tell someone off. Learn when to hug tightly and learn when to give someone space.
  5. Drink tea, stay hydrated, try to eat healthy foods.
  6. Start each day with a poem.
  7. Turn on the sprinklers for the birds and the critters, especially when the air is smoky and it’s hard to breathe
  8. Send letters and be open to receiving letters.
  9. Call when you can.
  10. Teach people to read.
  11. Give away books.
  12. Pay attention to the bugs and flowers.
  13. Garden and work in your yard.
  14. Take your dog(s) for a walk and visit the neighbors.
  15. Let your kids know how much you love them.
  16. Smile.
She. Was. Amazing. I’m a better person, because of her. I mean that. I’m not including links, but I’ll include a list of some of the books she left me. They’re all pretty cool. Be well, leave a comment if you’d like, and don’t forget to read and write. And write and read, and then to read and write some more. XO WM Dick King Smith’s “Alphabeasts,” illustrated by Quentin Blake Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” “Arctic Memories,” by Normee Ekoomiak “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Joseph Schindelman; “The Roald Dahl Treasury”; and “D is for Dahl: A Gloriumptious A-Z Guide to the World of Roald Dahl,” with illustrations by Quentin Blake “Desert Dog,”  by Tony Johnston, with paintings by Robert Weatherford “Fables,” by Arnold Lobel “Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices,” by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Eric Beddows (This is one of my favorite books in the universe, I’m happy to say. And my friend L* introduced it to me. We loved to celebrate National Poetry Month every April, and we liked “Poem in Your Pocket” day. You know it? You keep a poem folded up in your pocket, and all day long you read your poem to people you run into, and they, in turn, read their poems to you! Perfecto! My poem is one that my sister and I like. Our great-aunts taught it to us many, many, many years ago. It goes like this… ready? “I love you little/I love you big/I love you like/a little pig.” — anon.) “Little House in the Big Woods,” “On the Banks of Plum Creek,” “By the Shores of Silver Lake” and all the “Little House” titles, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, pictures by Garth Williams “The Magic Hummingbird: A Hopi Folktale,” collected & translated by Ekkehart Malotki, narrated by Michael Lomatuway’ma, and illustrated by Michael Lacapa Caldecott Medal Winner “Many Moons,” by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin (who also provided the drawings for “The Hundred Dresses,” by Eleanor Estes) “Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem,” “The Dragons Are Singing Tonight” (with pictures by Peter Sis) and “If Not for the Cat” (paintings by Ted Rand), by Jack Prelutsky, Children’s Poet Laureate “Salmon Forest,” by David Suzuki & Sarah Ellis, with illustrations by Sheena Lott “Scruffy: A Wolf Finds His Place in the Pack,” by Jim Brandenburg “Thunderfeet: Alaska’s Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Critters,” by Shelley Gill, illustrations by Shannon Cartwright “Where the Buffaloes Begin,” by Olaf Baker, with drawings by Stephen Gammell Books that I found last week in my wanderings: “Across the Stream,” by Mirra Ginsburg, pictures by Nancy Tafuri “Are You My Mother?” written and illustrated by P.D. Eastman, my hero “In My Mother’s House,” by Ann Nolan Clark, illustrated by Velino Herrera “The Little House,” by Virginia Lee Burton “Madeline’s Rescue,” by Ludwig Bemelmans “Love Songs of the Little Bear,” by author Margaret Wise Brown and illustrator Susan Jeffers “Ninja Red Riding Hood,” by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Dan Santat “Olivia and the Missing Toy” and “Olivia Forms a Band,” written and illustrated by Ian Falconer Hans Christian Andersen’s “Thumbelina,” retold by Amy Ehrlich, with pictures by Susan Jeffers Grownup books: “Awakening Creativity: Dandelion School Blossoms,” by Lily Yeh “The Book of Delights,” essays by Ross Gay “Emperor of the Air,” stories by Ethan Canin “Messages on Stone: Selections of Native Western Rock Art,” by William Michael Stokes and William Lee Stokes “Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs,” by Caroline Knapp “Rescuing Claire,” by Thomas Johnson “Ten Poems to Change Your Life,” by Roger Housden “To the Nines: A Stephanie Plum Novel,” by Janet Evanovich “Teacher Therapy,” by Karen Katafiasz, illustrated by R.W. Alley
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