Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich
Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby
Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy
Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire
Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller
photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com
Copyright 2005-2016 ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any text or images on this website, except for reproducible
"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.
October 27, 2016
Hello with a wave from North Georgia, as I'm winding up a busy week of school visits.
The ever-lovely Linda has our Roundup this week at Teacher Dance
Join her to wave farewell to October! (Already?!!)
October 19, 2016
Welcome, Poetry Friday Fans!
Today we have a special treat -
Charles Ghigna, a.k.a. Father Goose®
, is in the house!
You’ll find his name on the spines of more than 100 award-winning books from publishers such as Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., Abrams, Boyds Mills Press, Charlesbridge, Capstone, and Orca, and as a byline on more than 5000 poems in anthologies, textbooks, newspapers, and magazines - including Highlights, Cricket, The New Yorker
and many more. Though he gallivants all over connecting kids and poetry, we’re happy to claim him here in the South, as he makes his home in Alabama.
This month we’re celebrating some fun new animal books running wild – just in time for any critter-crazed kids on your holiday gift list.
Just out from Animal Planet, Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals
is sure to please any budding zoologists or simply curious kids.
“The target audience is ages 8-12, but we think ALL ages will like this one”
Charles says. “It's 128 pages chock full of stunning close-up photos by some of the world's top nature photographers! You will see creatures from the bottom of the world's deepest oceans to the uninhabited jungles of the Amazon. Many of the animals have only recently been discovered!”
for a peek inside.
Charles has kindly shared the poems introducing each section.
Strange how we as humans
View creatures great and small—
For we who see their strangeness
Are the strangest ones of all!
Unusual is what we call
The weird, the fast, the rare.
We classify each creature—
But do they really care?
Gross is used instead of yuck
For words like poop and pus,
But all these animals agree—
It's only gross to us!
Cool is how we think we look
When we try to impress,
But animals are born that way—
With lots of cool finesse!
Poems ©Charles Ghigna. All rights reserved.
Need some animal-friendly titles for the younger set? Check out Charles’s recent books from Orca Books, A Carnival of Cats(2015) and A Parade of Puppies(released in August), both illustrated by Kristi Bridgeman
. These interactive board books feature rhyming texts that playfully invite young readers to guess what kind of dogs/cats are hiding on the pages. Wag, wag!
Now, how about an Extra Credit Q & A with Charles?
If you were an animal, what animal would you be & why?
An Arctic Whale. It can live for more than 200 years. That would give me a little more time to write a few more books and poems!
What's the coolest animal you've ever seen in person?
Our Golden Retriever, Honey. She was a loving, loyal, smart companion. She used to follow me up here to my treehouse and sit beside while I wrote, then follow me down the stairs for coffee breaks -- and treats.
Whenever I'd lie on the floor to do a few sit-ups, she would lie down beside me on her back.
She had quite a vocabulary. She understood words like "walk, car, food, go, stop, sit, stay -- and pizza!" We used to spell those words when she was in the room to keep her from running to the backdoor to get in the "car" or run to the front door for a "walk" -- or when we ordered "pizza." ;-)
Is your Muse diurnal or nocturnal?
I guess I'd have to say both. She's been good to me day and night. I often write late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. So far she's been a very accommodating companion.
Are you a dog person or cat person? (Or, like me, unabashedly both?)
I'm like you. I'm unabashedly both. I love dogs -- and admire cats! ;-)
My first two books and my last two books are about dogs and cats. My first books from Disney were GOOD DOGS BAD DOGS and GOOD CATS BAD CATS and a couple of my latest books are A CARNIVAL OF CATS and A PARADE OF PUPPIES.
Do you currently belong to any pets?
Yes, but not in the house. My "pets" now are all free range pets: a hawk that lives in a nearby tree and circles over the treehouse each day to say hello, multitude of squirrels and chipmunks I watch from my window, and two jeweled hummingbirds I'm watching right now at the feeder.
I would add the menagerie of monarchs that have been dancing outside my window this summer, but it looks like most of them have already started heading to their vacation homes farther south.
You mentioned "treehouse" again - do you really work in a treehouse?
Yes, I do. It's the treehouse-looking attic of my home, a 1927 red brick Tudor cottage here in Homewood, Alabama.
That is just wonderful. Thanks for visiting with us today! [Pssst – want a peek at the treehouse? Click here for a 2009 video tour created by the Homewood Library.]
The wonderful Tricia is rounding up for us this week at The Miss Rumphius Effect
[I’m gallivanting myself for Family Weekend at Seth’s college and then a week of school visits near Atlanta – will check in when I can from the Peach State!]
October 13, 2016
Hellooooo, Poetry Friends!
On the hurricane front: we were very, very fortunate. We are freshly back in our home after a week's evacuation, and with power to boot. Our older kitties and diminutive doggie did fine with all the traveling and disruptions of "normal" life.
Our house is fine, but please keep some of our neighbors in mind - Thursday afternoon we saw firsthand how trees toppled onto roofs right around us, with at least one neighbor displaced for the next few months as major repairs are needed. Some neighbors (and plenty of folks on the sea islands) are still without power. And, of course, please keep the people of NC and other states in thoughts and prayers as there has been such suffering and loss, and of course on such a massive scale in Haiti.
Our lovely little Beaufort is making strides toward normalcy, though for many folks who haven't been able to return home because of washed-out roads, life won't be the same again for quite some time, if ever. [Our beloved local beach, Hunting Island State Park, is closed for the rest of the year.] If this was a Cat 2, I surely wouldn't want to see Cat 3, 4, or 5!
On Thursday, the Publix was packed, with customers and staff swapping stories of the storm. Ditto for the hardware store. Many local business have re-opened, sporting Welcome Back
signs. Kids are happily on the loose, as schools won't re-open until Monday.
As Jeff and I began yard clean-up early Thursday evening, we ended up chatting with several neighbors out doing the same, or walking dogs, or driving by and stopping to say hello and check on us. Even our mail carrier greeted us with a "Welcome Home" as we were unloading on Wednesday.
It's been a whirlwind! I can't believe it's been two whole weeks since I had the privilege of leading a Found Poem Makerspace Activity at Poetry Camp. Click HERE
for a recap of that creative, collective adventure.
As for this blog, I was able to get winners of the JUST YOU WAIT giveaway
randomly picked, though a fulsome new post with Charles Ghigna will have to wait til next Friday. Be sure to circle back!
And now, drumroll please..... The JUST YOU WAIT winners are:
Matt Forrest Essenwine
and Linda Baie!
Congratulations! I probably have all your addresses somewhere, but in my current state of disarray, please send an email with your preferred mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I'll get your copies on their way to you next week.
Many thanks to Pomelo Books
for providing these copies.
For terrific poetry you don't have to wait for, please visit my beautiful friend and poetic genius Irene Latham
for this week's Roundup!
October 11, 2016
At the risk of triggering déjà vu after last week.... If this post is still up THIS Poetry Friday, we're still trying to get right-side-up after a week of evacuating ahead of Hurricane Matthew. I'm posting this Tues. night (while I'm in a house with power!), with plans to drive back home on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, our neighbor told us our house was still without power, hence my hesitation at having a post up and running in a couple of days. Rest assured, I WILL get that drawing for YOU JUST WAIT announced and celebrated after the lights are back on and the mail trucks are running.
Also, we'll still have fun with Charles Ghigna when a real post appears here again. Thanks for your patience. :0)
October 5, 2016
Greetings, Poetry Peeps! If you're landing here for Poetry Friday:
I'd planned to post about our wonderful POETRY CAMP this past weekend in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. But almost as soon as we got home to our "Atlantic Southeast," we were under evacuation orders in light of Hurricane Matthew's expected advance. So, this little Lowcountry family is hitting the road. Not sure exactly when, because my hubby is having to work on evacuation day. But soon, we will be headin' for the hills with a tiny Chihuahua, two kitties, baby pictures, passports, and whatever else one is supposed to cram into vehicles on such an occasion.
I'm thinking a real blog post is not going to happen, but I wanted to let you know I'll announce JUST YOU WAIT winners from last week in next
Be sure to circle back, as we'll have fun with Charles Ghigna on the 14th!
Thanks, and Stay Safe & Dry.... XO
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Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!
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Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Council of Teachers of English
Click here for KidLitosphere's links to current poetry round-up