Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday's Poem: Up and Down

Down and Up

Touch knees is down.
Touch feet is down.
Touch ground
is reach
way down.

Hop hop is up.
Jump high is up.
Touch sky
is reach
way up.

Mouth goes down
mouth goes up.
Frowns go down
smiles go up.

Touch knees.
Touch feet.
Touch ground.
Hop hop.

Jump high.
Touch sky
and smile,

                          Anne Knowles

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday's Poem: Tall People Talk

Words, Words, Words

Tall people talk
Not very clear;
Yiklety yaklety
Fills up my ears.

I'm way down here;
Talk's way up there.
Peoplety talklety
Fills up the air.

                       Anne Knowles

Thursday, December 11, 2014

SOME BOOK: Go-to-Sleep Picture Books

Written by Edith Hope Fine
Illustrated by Christopher Denise

I love this book.  I love any book that will get my toddler grandson to start yawning and rubbing his eyes.  The sounds of "sh" and the two sounds of "s" are my best friends forever.  So is the word "yawn."  In one 4-line stanza alone there are two "sh" sounds, six "s" sounds, and two "s" sounds that sound like "z."  The word "yawn" is my other best friend forever.  It's totally in this book.   And--you guessed it--I'm yawning right now.

Illustrations are peaceful sunset, dusk, and night images.  From sky, nature, farm, town to home and bed, the greens, blues, golds, and moon-white colors are calming, soothing, and perfect for the text.

Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

 The title of this book forced me pick it up, take it to the cashier, and hand over my Visa card.  Truth!  The rhythmic and rhyming text helps toddlers settle down.  The illustrations move from sunset to dusk to dark using soothing colors.

I have one issue with the book--as I do with many cartoons, children's movies, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.  All of the vehicles are male.  Girls like construction sites and vehicles, too.  I was always charmed by cement mixers as a little girl.  It's an open-up-your-mind vehicle that moves in a straight line on wheels that are rolling in circles, with a gigantic barrel full of wet cement turning and turning at right angles to the direction the wheels turn.  Now that's physics for a little girl or boy.   In short, female trucks would be out-of-this-word awesome.

Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems

Muted, calming colors and text that is playful, funny, and charming.  Willems' pigeon books are a blast.  By the end of the book, I've read the word "yawn" so many times that reading is a challenge.  I'm yawning on each page.  So is the kid.

Written by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Clement Hurd

Of course!  Of course!  Of course!  I was 18 months old when this classic was published.  We're in our late sixties and both of us are doing well.

WARNING:  For Adults Only
Prayers are answered.  Kid's asleep.  You're weary and half bald from pulling out your hair.  This is a go-to-sleep book that understands you, forgives the unholy language that hovered in the background of your read-out-loud voice, and gives you a free membership card in the billion-strong club called "Time to Put the Toddler to Bed."  What can you do but laugh about the genius-level machinations of a don't-want-to-go-to-bed toddler.
Thanks for stopping by.  I'm off to take a nap.  



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday's Poem: With Nothing at All

With Nothing at All

I can have fun with nothing at all:
Skip, jump, or roll in a ball;
Hop, spin, or race down the hall;

Make up a story; make up a song;
Make up a cow fifty-feet long;
Make up a friend twenty-times strong;

Wonder if stars are hot or cold;
Wonder if circles like to be rolled;
Wonder if numbers do as they're told;

Duck waddle-waddle, or snail-slow crawl;
Seed sprout rise, or leaf twirly fall;
I can have fun with nothing at all.

                                        Anne Knowles

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SOME BOOK: Everywhere Babies

Holiday book or baby shower idea:  Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers.  Illustrations are by Marla Frazier.

No preaching.  No moralizing.  Simply the acceptance through words and illustrations that each one of us is normal and that all kinds of family relationships are normal.  Children can find themselves in the book.  That makes it SOME BOOK.

Everywhere Babies is recommended for 6 months to 3 years.  I'd recommend it for newborns to 3 years.  Babies need to hear written language from the very beginning.  The text is spare and rhythmic, and it's fun to read.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday's Poem: All of Me Tall

All of Me Tall

I'm not small,
Not small at all.
From the down of me
To the up of me,
I'm all-of-me tall.

                             Anne Knowles

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday's Poem: On the Other Side of Broken Me

On the Other Side of Broken Me

On the other side of broken me,
I see what I am going to be.
A doctor, a nurse, a strawberry grower,
A builder, an artist, a round-the-world goer.
Hitting a ball or walking on Mars,
Cooking or swimming or fixing up cars.
Fighting a fire, singing, teaching,
Caring for animals, writing, or preaching.
Anything!  Anything!  Something I love!
Rocks or math or turtle doves.
Anything!  Anything I want to be!
Hiking the hills or sailing on seas.
On the other side of broken me,
Someone is calling to broken me.
I'm listening.  It's me!  It's me calling me!
I'm telling myself to keep holding tight,
To follow myself with all of my might.

                                     Anne Knowles