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Poetry Picture Books and Friday Wrap-Up

Yesterday I spent the day playing with poetry. Lucky me! I wrote a first draft many, many times. I think about twenty. It was fun playing with the words, switching one in and out for the other, working with rhyme and reading the stanza's over and over again until I could hear the rhythm. It's now ready to sit for a day or two before I go back and rework it. 

While I was playing with poetry, I also re-read some of the poems in Sharing the Seasons A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by David Diaz (Margaret K. McElderry, 2010). I'm particularly drawn to the section on winter poems probably because I was born in the winter and grew up in Canada. Snow is magical and winter brings thoughts of savory soups and hot chocolate with marshmallows, frost nips at your ears and nose, and I remember my mom bundling me from head to toe and tossing me out the back door into a snow bank to work off my energy. It's a great book to get in touch with your inner child and remember your childhood.  

So as I was sifting through this incredible picture book of poems, I kept coming back to a couple like "Cat" by Marilyn Singer, "Winter" by Lee Bennett Hopkins (interview by Cynthia Leitich Smith with Hopkins), And "Then By" Prince Redcloud and "Winter Home" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (interview by Cynthia Leitich Smith with Dotlich) whom I adore. I also leafed through Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs by Alan Katz and David Catrow (Margaret K. McElderry, 2001). These poems are so much fun to read and sing! 

Well today my new dishwasher and refrigerator have arrived and it's a great excuse to clean out my fridge and do a little housekeeping, but before I do I want to share a few things with you.


On Saturday, join writers and illustrators at BookPeople for the Austin SCBWI chapter meeting. Andy Sherrod, writer of middle grade fiction and he holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, will talk about combating illiteracy and tapping into literary strengths that keep boys pulling books off library shelves.

On Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at BookPeople, Kari Anne Holt is having her launch party for Brains For Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku? pictures by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook Press, 2010).    


Greg Leitich Smith celebrates his recent sale The Chronal Engine: Ahead of Time to Clarion. Greg’s blog shares juicy details! I'm so excited for Greg!

The Trailie Award? Yes, it’s true. The School Library Journal announced a new award for book trailers! Darcy Pattinson’s Revision Notes tells us where to vote!

Congratulations to Chris Barton on his sale John Dobson is Part of the Sky to Charlesbridge. Go, Chris!!

Cynthia Leitich Smith launched the redesign of her website and interviewed her designer Lisa Firke at Cynsations. A must see!

Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, provides a downloadable thumbnail template to paginate a standard 32-page picture book text. Thanks, Cheryl!

Conversations this week!

Cynthia Leitich Smith
visited Janice Hardy’s The Other Side of The Story this week and shared her thoughts on the creative process. She also has a fabulous interview with debut picture book author Tameka Fryer Brown on Around Our Way On Neighbor’s Day.  My favorite quote by Fryer Brown is "Craft trumps talent."

At A Fuse#8 Production Betsy Bird reviews Bink and Gollie (Candelwick Press, 2010) by Kate D. Camillo and Alison McGhee. Peek: “I throw my other shoe, which unfortunately means that I am now without shoes. Bink and Gollie is now looking at me with a mixture of amusement and pity. I fall to my knees and crawl forward. When I’m close enough I whisper, ‘I lied. You’re amazing. You’re everything a person would want in a children’s book. You’re the best thing I’ve ever seen.’”

Time is running out to visit the Golden Kite Golden Dreams exhibit in Abilene, Texas. See Jennifer Ziegler’s blog for details and a look-see into some of the art that dresses the museum’s walls.

Have a great weekend every one! Keep writing!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the shout outs! Greg and I are honored. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!
Sep. 10th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Gosh, my pleasure! Y'all do so much for the children's writing community. See you tomorrow!
Sep. 27th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
He who is adored, adores back.
I sent you a private email (one I
found someplace and now am wondering
if it is correct one.) Thank you.
Those two words sound so dry, but they
are heartfelt and heartful.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

I'm a children's writer and the former Assistant Regional Advisor for the Austin Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

I love blue sky days, endless cups of coffee and cuddly, cozy PJ's.

I'm represented by Erzsi Deàk of Hen & ink, A Literary Studio.

I'm a contributor to ReaderKidZ, a website devoted to fostering a love of reading in kids K-5.

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