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Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday's Poem: Family Stories

FAMILY STORIES

Some stories float in air
and slip in on the wind.
Listen to the words whispering.

Auntie's curtain fire
and the supper's startled surprise
and the cousin's screams
and then...
and then...
Uncle's mug of root beer
tossed just right
and just in time
and the cousins' claps
and the cousins' laughs
and the found
frightened cat.

Goblin spelling tests
in the one room school
that twisted Grandpa's
tummy in wicked knots
and then...
and then...
his times table
gobbled up and memorized
in one wizardly week.

Mama's first shiny dime
on her first day of school
that lost itself
and lost lunch, too
and tears and tears
and then...
and then...
a shared sandwich
and a new friend
who lived around the corner
and who grew up
to marry Uncle,
a brave man
who put out the curtain fire
with well-tossed
well-timed
root beer.

Some stories float in air
and slip in on the wind.
Old stories.
Told stories.
Listen well and hold them.

                                Anne Knowles

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Poem: Inside Outside Air

Inside Outside Air

Air is bouncing,
bouncing in air,
inside a bubble,
bouncing up there.

Air is floating,
floating in air,
inside a bubble,
floating up there.

Air is soaring,
soaring in air,
inside a bubble,
soaring up there.

Soapy, soapy bubbles,
cuddling inside air,
bouncing, floating, soaring,
in outside air up there.

                               Anne Knowles

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday's Poem: A Book Comes Knocking

A Book Comes Knocking

Someone was knocking,
knock, knock on my door.
Then, in walked a book
and sat on the floor.

"Come join me," it said,
"and open me please."
I opened its pages.
Oh! What did I see?

Page after page,
but nothing was written,
not huff, not puff,
not mitten, or kitten.

Not Goldi, not locks,
not pokey pup paws,
not tailor, not duckling,
not Potter, or Oz.

"Write me a story,"
the book sadly said.
"Help fill me all up
with words from your head.

Start Over the hill,
or A long time ago.
Start Under the oak tree
or Up where there's snow."

So I told a story,
and each word that I said,
danced straight to the page
from inside of my head.

I finished with happily
ever and after,
and you should have heard
the book and its laughter.

                                   Anne Knowles

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday's Poem: If I Don't Have a Ball

If I Don't Have a Ball

I crinkle a paper
and that's not all.
I squish it;
I squash it;
A round, tight ball.

I kick it; it rolls
straight through the hole:
Chair legs;
Wide legs;
One for me! Goal!

                       Anne Knowles

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

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

Jump high.
Touch sky
and smile,
smile,
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

SLEEPYTIME ME
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.


GOOD NIGHT, GOOD NIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE
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.


DON'T LET THE PIGEON STAY UP LATE
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.


GOOD NIGHT MOON
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
GO THE F**K TO SLEEP
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.