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    16 Poetry Picture Book Recommendations for National Poetry Month

    Looking for poetry picture book recommendations?  The KidLitPicks Book Club has a few recommendations.

    Parents have the capability to open the door to an incredible world for their child(ren). They have the sole pleasure of sharing the beauty and wonder of poetry with them. Poetry books contain soothing rhythms and rhymes, short, simple sentences and clever repetition of key words and phrases. There is nothing like the rhythm of words flowing together to form a story in such rich language. Poetry is such a happy thing! It’s magical to watch children’s eyes, minds, and hearts dancing along the rhythmical lines of poetry and into a lifelong love of lyrical language.

    The variety of language and structure in poetry is great for children’s growing brains and imaginations. It’s also refreshing for the grownups who read with them! With National Poetry Month now that we’re in April, it’s a splendid time to let poetry blossom in your household and in the young hearts of your children.

    Finding Wonders, by Jeannine Atkins 

    “’Knowing our history can make us stronger.’ Having examples of strong, determined, intelligent women from history for our own girls to read about can make them stronger.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

    Things to Do, by ​​Elaine Magliaro and Catia Chien

    Things to Do shows readers that wonder and enjoyment can be found anywhere and everywhere.” — Mel from @spiky_penelope

    A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson

    “It’s easy to hear [poetry] and immediately jump to Shel Silverstein… But before there was Shel, there was Stevenson.” — Katie from @afriendlyaffair

    Noisy Poems, by Debi Gliori

    “It makes a nice change from stories every now and again and it’s worth mentioning that it is chosen by Little Miss Bookhabit quite regularly so it gets the child friendly seal of approval.” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit

    A Family of Poems, by Caroline Kennedy and Jon J Muth

    When read aloud, poetry is rhythm and music and sounds and beats. Young children may not understand all the words or meaning, but they’ll feel the rhythms, get curious about what the sounds mean and perhaps want to create their own.” — Leah from @astoryaday

    Feelings, by Richard Jones and Libby Walden

    “Full to the brim of delightful illustrations and with a brilliant use of colour, this book is a beautifully poetic look into a wide range of emotions ranging from ‘happy’ to ‘angry’ to ‘alone’ and ‘calm.’” —  Kim from @bookbairn

    Voyage, Billy Collins and Karen Romagna

    “My selection has sentimental value as it was given to me by a dear friend to celebrate the arrival of our daughter.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

    Poems to Perform, by Julia Donaldson

    “This book was such a great find and has propelled me to explore poetry and performance in the classroom.” — De from @books_and_babycinos

    Animal Ark, by Kwame Alexander and Joel Sartore

    “Stunning images and beautiful text! National Geographic does it again!” — Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

    What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? by Judith Viorst

    “This collection of thoughtful, funny, and touching poems is grouped into child-centred topics, such as feelings, school stuff, family, home, friends, help, best and worst, seasons, mysteries, and unfinished business.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

    Tan to Tamarind: Poems about the Color Brown, by Malathi Michelle Iyengar  and Jamel Akib

    “Who knew there were so many beautiful shades of the color brown!” — Charnaie from @hereweeread

    The Moon and Me, by Anna and Brian Boyter

    “This easy read is perfect for little ones, especially with its lyrical text.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader

    A Poem for Peter, by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Lou Fancher, and Steve Johnson

    “It’s a heart-burstingly inspiring and beautiful read. And one that I foresee becoming a well-thumbed, much-discussed book in this household for years to come.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

    Poetrees, by Douglas Florian 

    “Ripe with information, Douglas Florian’s poems in Poetrees are perfect for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers.” — Jamie from @smallysbookshelf

    Come With Me To Paris, by Gloria Fowler and Min Heo

    “I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and share my love of this big beautiful city with my kids.” — Michelle from @the.book.report

    The Land of Nod, by Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Hunter 

    “It’s a phantasmagoric journey through twilight shadows and moonlight.” — Liam from @words.and.illustrations

    This post may contain affiliate links.

    Your turn: What poetry/haiku books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book giving day, multicultural children's book day, national dictionary day, national library week, national picture book month, national poetry month

    15+ Literary Events & Holidays You Should Know

    Hooray for fun children’s and young adult literature events!   You can find them being celebrated from coast to coast all across the country and internationally as well.

    I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keep track of all those hard-to-remember literary dates.  You know, National Dictionary Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, etc.  I think it’s great that there are so many opportunities to get involved and promote literacy, reading and books, but sometimes I find it hard to recall when they take place throughout the year.  That’s why I decided to write this blog post to use it as a reference for myself and others.

    If you’re a literature lover like me, I hope you’ll appreciate having this list of dates handy to refer to throughout the year.  Enjoy!

    January

    National Letter Writing Week
    The purpose of National Letter Writing Week is to encourage and foster the advancement of international understanding, better human relations, friendship, good will, and peace through a world fellowship of men and women of good will.

    This year it will be celebrated on January 13 – January 19, 2019.

    Multicultural Children’s Book Day
    The mission of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

    Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2014 Jump into a Book and Pragmatic Mom presented their very first Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books. The results and support overwhelming as authors, publishers, parents, teachers, bloggers and librarians joined forces to offer up an online event designed to shine the spotlight on diversity in children’s literature.

    This year it will be celebrated on January 25, 2019.

    February

    Harry Potter Book Night (#HarryPotterBookNight) is back!  This year it will be celebrated on February 7, 2019.

    Get ready to celebrate The Professors of Hogwarts on February 7th 2019 when once again, fans of all ages will have the chance to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful series – and pass the magic on to young readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books. 

    Take Your Child to the Library Day
    Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library. Launched in 2011 in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, TYCLD raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child, and promotes library services and programs for children and families.

    TYCLD is officially held on the first Saturday in February – but the date is flexible! TYCLD celebrations may take place on any date(s) in February – it’s up to your library.  This year it will be celebrated at many libraries on February 2, 2019.

    International Book Giving Day
    I recently wrote a blog post about this day.  Find out how I celebrated last year by clicking here.

    International Book Giving Day takes place on February 14th each year (Valentine’s Day). The aim is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible.  International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.

    World Read Aloud Day
    World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people like you who participate and spread the word across the globe!

    This year it will be celebrated on February 1, 2019.

    March

    Read Across America Day (also known as Dr. Seuss Day)
    Read Across America Day is an initiative of the National Education Association (NEA).  NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2nd, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.  NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.

    National Read Aloud Month
    March
    is Read Aloud Month, started by Read Aloud 15 Minutes. Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child’s readiness to read and learn. When every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school.

    April

    International Children’s Book Day
    Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

    This year it will be celebrated on April 2, 2019.

    National Library Workers Day
    National Library Workers Day (NLWD) is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

    This year it will be celebrated on April 9, 2019.

    National Bookmobile Day
    National Bookmobile Day celebrates our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated library professionals who provide this valuable and essential service to their communities every day. Each year, it is celebrated on the Wednesday of National Library Week.

    National Bookmobile Day is an opportunity for bookmobiles fans to make their support known—through thanking bookmobile staff, writing a letter or e-mail to their libraries, or voicing their support to community leaders.

    This year it will be celebrated on April 10, 2019.

    D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read)
    D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what’s more fun(damental) than reading, really?

    D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April . . . offering classrooms and communities additional time to celebrate!

    Independent Bookstore Day
    Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April.  Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. But in addition to authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids events, art tables, readings, barbecues, contests, and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day.

    This year it will be celebrated on April 27, 2019.

    National Poetry Month
    The month of April has been designated as National Poetry Month.  National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

    While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996.

    World Book Day

    World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

    In the UK and Ireland World Book Day is on March 7, 2019. This date came about after serious thought and lengthy discussion to ensure that we were making the best decision for all participants and our supporters. We take into consideration religious holidays, school terms and potential conflict with other charitable activities.

    In other countries World Book and Copyright Day takes place on April 23. Celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the magical power of books – ‘a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.  By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge…’

    National Poem in Your Pocket Day
    Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day as schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues ring loud with open readings of poems from pockets.

    Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative national, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard.

    This year it will be celebrated on April 25, 2019.

    National Library Week
    First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

    This year it will be celebrated the week of April 7 – 13, 2019.

    School Library Month
    School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning.

    May

    Children’s Book Week

    Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.

    Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes — wherever young readers and books connect!  Children’s Book Week is administered by Every Child A Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children.

    This year it will be celebrated April 29 – May 5, 2019.

    June

    Audiobook Appreciation Month
    June is Audiobook Appreciation Month!  Celebrating Audiobook Month is simple, find your favorite book in an audio format and try listening to it on your way to work. You can listen to it while you’re in the shower, or laying in bed, or even riding the bus or driving in the morning. The opportunities are endless, and the types of books you can find on tape are growing every year, from compilations of mythology to books on learning a new language, and even certain forms of technical manuals can all be found in an audio format. What would you like to listen to during Audiobook Month? Start making a list!

    GLBT Book Month

    Starting in 2015, the American Library Association will mark GLBT Book Month™, a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
    Originally established in the early 1990s by The Publishing Triangle as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month, this occasion is an opportunity for book lovers and libraries with the very best in GLBT literature.

    August

    Book Lovers Day

    August 9 is Book Lovers Day, an unofficial holiday that encourages people to pick up a book (or two) and spend the day reading.

    September

    National Library Card Sign-up Month
    September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the American Library Association and libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.

    Banned Books Week
    Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read since 1982, is observed the last week of September. Each year, librarians, booksellers, teachers and countless others take this opportunity to highlight the importance of intellectual freedom and remind us not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

    This year it will be celebrated September 22 – 28, 2019.

    October

    National Dictionary Day
    National Dictionary Day is observed annually on October 16th, the same day as Noah Webster’s birthday.  Dictionary Day was founded to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Noah Webster – the father of the modern dictionary. The objective of this day is to emphasize the importance of dictionary skills, and seeks to improve vocabulary.

    Boo’s for Books
    Boo’s for Books is an annual Halloween campaign sponsored by Sydney’s Book Club. Their goal is to offer parents, families and communities an alternate approach to the traditional Halloween experience by considering passing out books to trick or treaters visiting their home or business in lieu of or in addition to candy and other treats.

    This year it will be celebrated on October 31, 2019.

    November

    National Picture Book Month
    Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November.

    Founder, Dianne de Las Casas (author & storyteller), and Co-Founders, Katie Davis (author/illustrator), Elizabeth O. Dulemba (author/illustrator), Tara Lazar (author), and Wendy Martin (author/illustrator), put together their worldwide connections to make this happen.

    Every day in November, there is a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important.

    December

    Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day
    Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day (TYCBD) is celebrated on the first Saturday in December. Founded by novelist Jenny Milchman, TYCBD has grown from 80 stores participating in its first year to 700 this year across all 50 states, Canada, Europe and Australia.

    This year it will be celebrated on December 7, 2019.

    Your turn:  What is your favorite literary event/day to celebrate?  Did I miss any days that should be added to the list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    Poetry Reading and Craft Challenge for Kids: Week 5

    It’s the final week of our poetry reading and craft challenge.  I hope you and your kids have been following along each week and have enjoyed it!  For the last week of the challenge I selected a poem about summer.

    Finally it seems like the heavy grey veil has been lifted over the Northeast. The trees are starting to get green again. Flowers are starting to bloom.  Spring has sprung and you can already feel summer coming up around the corner. This is my favorite time of year. It’s a time of anticipation, celebration and FUN!

    Here the poem we’ll be memorizing this week:

    This week’s craft was “Popsicles” made out of construction paper and popsicle sticks.  You can also choose to make ice cream cones or another craft of your choice.
    Materials Needed:
    • Construction paper of varying colors
    • popsicle sticks
    • scissors
    • glue
    • pencil
    First, trace and cut out the shapes for your popsicles and decorations.  We used a mixture of circles, squares and rectangles.  Finally, use glue to decorate your popsicles to your liking.~Until next time!

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    Poetry Reading and Craft Challenge for Kids: Week 4

    Hello Friends!

    Apologies for the late post, but I had a fun-filled weekend and didn’t manage to update the blog until now.

    Hooray!  We made it to week #4 of our poetry reading and craft challenge!  For the last two weeks I decided to choose longer poems and projects geared towards older kids.  Of course I still expect you to read the poems to the smaller children and work on memorization 🙂

    Below is the poem we’ll be working on memorizing this week.  In honor of Earth Day coming up on Wednesday I chose a poem about planting trees.  I hope it resonates with you and your little ones.

    Click here for a larger version of the poem.

    This week’s craft was so simple and fun to work on!  The kids assisted by handing me the scraps of the ribbon.  I did everything else.
    It’s a “tree” made from a stick I found outside, scrap ribbon I had at home, and a piece of twine. Pinterest inspired, of course!

    For this project you’ll need:

    • 1 stick
    • scrap ribbon (I used brown and green scraps)
    • twine
    • glue gun and glue sticks
    • scissors
    • lighter (to prevent the ends of the ribbon from fraying)
    First, decide which ribbon you’re going to use and cut it if necessary.  (Note: in order to prevent the ends of the ribbon from fraying use a lighter to burn them.)  Next, start tying the ribbon onto the stick working from the bottom to the top.  Finally, attach a piece of twine to the top for hanging up your tree.  Easy peasy!  These trees would also be cute for Christmas tree ornaments!
    ~ Until next time!

     

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    Poetry Reading and Craft Challenge for Kids: Week 3

    It’s week three of our poetry reading and craft challenge!  Have you been following along with your little ones?  I hope so.

    This week’s poem and craft is all about caterpillars.  I don’t particularly like caterpillars, but I think they are are truly fascinating creatures.  There is something so interesting to me about watching them undergo metamorphosis and emerge as a beautiful winged creature.

    I hope you and your children enjoy this week’s poem and craft selection!

    Here is the poem we’ll be memorizing this week.  Click here if you want to print it out.

    This week’s craft is caterpillars made with pom pom’s, googly eyes and clothespins.

    Instructions:  Simply hot glue pom poms onto a clothespin then add two googly eyes.  Doesn’t get any easier than that.  You can also add antenna and legs using pipecleaners if you want to jazz it up a bit.

    Feel free to do this craft or one of your own.  Enjoy!

    ~ Until next week!

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    Poetry Reading and Craft Challenge for Kids: Week 2

    Happy Easter!

    This week we’ll be memorizing a poem about raindrops and flowers growing.  Please note the original author of the poem I selected is unknown in case you’re wondering.

    Here is the poem:

     

    You can either choose one of the two crafts we did or create your own.  The raindrops and umbrella craft should be pretty straightforward.  To do this you’ll need:

    • Cupcake liners (we used 2)
    • Scissors (or a sharp object to poke a hole through the top of the cupcake liner)
    • Pipecleaners (we used 1 and cut it in half)
    • Sharpie marker
    • 1 piece of construction paper (we used blue, but you could also use white or another color)
    • blue paint and paintbrushes (or a blue marker/crayon for the raindrops)
    • gluestick or glue gun
    If you and your kids want to tackle the paper plate flower craft you’ll need:
    • 1 white paper plate
    • 1 piece of green construction paper (for the flower stem and leaves)
    • 1 piece of white paper (for the flower petals)
    • scissors
    • paint and paintbrushes (we used purple, pink and yellow)
    • glue gun
    Here is a pictoral tutorial for both craft projects:
    Again, I’m not going to include step-by-step written instructions as I think these should be easy to figure out on your own.  As always, please ask questions if you need to.  I’m willing to help!I hope you and your little ones enjoy this week’s poem and craft project(s)!

     

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    Poetry Reading and Craft Challenge Week 1

    Since Spring has finally sprung (well, sort of if you live in the Northeast like me) and Easter is right around the corner, I thought we’d kick off the first week of this challenge with an Easter themed poem and activity.

    This poem — like all the ones I’ve chosen is short and should be pretty easy to memorize in one week.  The craft activity idea was inspired by my beloved Pinterest website.  I added my own personal touches just to spice it up a bit.

    Remember, the goal of this challenge is two-fold: to memorize the poems with your kids and work on the craft activity together at some point during the week.  That’s it!  Also, you don’t have to be crafty to work on the projects.  The main thing is for you and the kids to have fun and to have the experience together.  We’re not going for perfection here.

    Here is the first poem we’ll be memorizing:

     

    Click here if you’d like to print this poem.
    Here is the craft project: Peek-a-boo bunny!

    Click here to open this tutorial in a separate window.

    Craft Project Notes

    For this project you’ll need:

    • 2 white paper plates
    • green felt or construction paper
    • pink felt or construction paper (optional – for the inside of the bunny ears and nose)
    • pink fabric (optional – for the inside of the bunny ears nose – this is what I used)
    • green ribbon (optional – if you want to add a bow)
    • 1 black Sharpie marker
    • glue
    • scissors
    • stapler
    I think the pictoral tutorial is easy to follow so I won’t include step-by-step instructions.Don’t forget to recite the poem daily with your child(ren) and most importantly don’t forget to pull down the hands covering the bunny’s face when you say ‘peek-a-boo’ at the end of the poem.  So fun!

    I’d love to see your bunny craft projects or hear from you.  Feel free to drop me a line at hereweeread {at} gmail {dot} com or leave a comment in the comments section below.

    ~Until next time!

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