I’m so thrilled to be part of THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE, Edited by Miranda Paul and Illustrated by Marlena Myles (Millbrook, September 2019). It’s my debut as a children’s poet, and I couldn’t be prouder of the finished product. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this book help fund WeNeedDiverseBooks.org, an organization dedicated to diversity in children’s literature. All children need to see themselves in children’s books, both as characters and in the people who create them, and We Need Diverse Books is committed to making this happen!
I would especially like to thank Miranda Paul for making this work possible and for allowing me the chance to be part of it. Thanks, Miranda!
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, I hope this book helps you and all the young readers in your home learn more about what being grateful means. Many blessings to you and yours in the coming weeks!
Sensibility-Gratitude is more than just saying, “Thank you!” It is an attitude of the heart!
Sense- Set aside time in the weeks ahead for thankfulness. A gratitude jar, a conversation at the dinner table or during quiet moments before sleeping or bedtime prayers help children grow their gratefulness each day.
What are some ways you and your family focus on gratitude during the holidays?
I’ve already announced this on social media, but I wanted to share here as well that I’m over-the-moon excited to be part of a new poetry anthology for children called, THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE, edited by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Marlena Myles (Lerner/Millbrook, Fall 2019).
Poetry brings a different kind of music to the world, and it helps us see that same world through the eyes of some of the most sensitive and emotionally well connected artists who ever lived. Now, you’re probably thinking, “It’s a little late in the month to finally be talking about poetry Patti!” But really, is it ever too late to talk about something that is both beautiful and powerful? I think not!
For the writer, there are lots of ways to celebrate National Poetry Month! And if you haven’t done so already, here are some of my best suggestions:
Post some of your favorite poems on your social media sites. I love sharing works by Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson and James Whitcomb Riley on my Facebook page.
Get to know a new poet! It’s easy to fall back on your favorites when you want to spend time enjoying poetry. But we writers are to be students of other writers. This is one of the best ways to make your words stronger and more meaningful. So choose two poets that are new to you and study them for the rest of the month.
Rediscover some of your favorite children’s poems. I still have my Mother Goose book on my book shelf. I loved this book as a child, and I like to take it out occasionally. But as an adult and a writer, I look at it differently. Study some of your old favorites this month and focus on good examples of alliteration, rhythm, rhyming patterns and word play.
Participate in “Poem in Your Pocket Day!” This year the day is April 30th. On that day, choose one of your favorite poems, carry it around in your pocket, and take the opportunity to share it with friends, students and others at libraries, coffee shops and anywhere there is a spontaneous poetry slam!
And if you’re looking for great poetry resources to help you celebrate, here are some of my favorites:
Ed Decaria’s, Think Kid! Think (Promoting kid’s poetry/ sponsor of March Madness Poetry Contest)
So, even though there are just two weeks left in April, there’s still time to enjoy some poetry and share it with those you love. And if you’ve never written your own poetry, just throw those excuses out the window and do it! You never know where your words will take you.
“In Just Spring,” by e.e. cummings
Sensibility-Poetry brings beauty, gentleness, wisdom and controversy to the world. The words of great poets ask us to think deeply and challenge us to be and do more than we thought we could.
Sense- Read your favorite poets, then as an exercise, mimic their writing. Use your own words, but model the pattern set for you and see how they fit into the poets mold.
This year I am happily participating in the Think,Kid,Think! March Madness Poetry Contest and I’m having a blast. Be sure to click on the link and cast your vote! Authletes are given a word and then have 36 hours to craft a kid-friendly poem around that word. My first word is “supersede.” Hoping I get voted through so I can write another poem! Join the madness and head over to the Think,Kid,Think! blog and check out all the amazing poems on display. You have just 11 more hours to vote for your favorites and help a classroom win a set of poetry books for children! So much fun.