Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist


Click links below to follow our Progressive Poem for Nat'l Poetry Month!

April

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe

2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

3 Doraine at Dori Reads

4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

5 Diane at Random Noodling

6 Kat at Kat's Whiskers

7 Irene at Live Your Poem

8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

9 Linda at TeacherDance

10 Penny at a penny and her jots

11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

14 Jan at Bookseedstudio

15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales

16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

18 Buffy at Buffy's Blog

19 Pat at Writer on a Horse

20 BJ at Blue Window

21 Donna at Mainely Write

22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch

23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town

24 Amy at The Poem Farm

25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

26 Renee at No Water River

27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan

29 Charles at Poetry Time

30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids








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 http://www.kathleenduey.com

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller http://www.debbiemilleralaska.com

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.

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Hush-a-bye, Rock-a-bye...

June 11, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, nursery rhymes


Well, last week's pairings of treatments new and old for a familiar nursery rhyme was such fun I couldn't help but want to continue in the same vein this week. Only a little different.

I'm still enjoying OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY collected by Elizabeth Hammill (Candlewick - England in 2014, US in 2015): a new chock-full treasure of 150 nursery rhymes from around the world, illustrated by 77 stellar international artists, featured recently by our good friend Irene Latham.

I've now gone crazy for one illustrator's work in particular, Olivia Lomenech Gill, who illustrated "Hush-a-bye, baby,...". She's an award-winning printmaker and artist working in northern England. Her first children's book, Michael and Clare Morpurgo's poetry anthology, WHERE MY WELLIES TAKE ME (Templar Publishing ), won the English Association 7-11 Picture Book Award and was shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2014.

Take a look at her work on her website (and her agency website), and perhaps you'll be left sighing as well. Rich, sumptuous, lively, and my favorite subdued but deep color palette, with lots of gorgeous dark line!

But I digress, even if it was delicious. Back to OVER THE HILLS....

I couldn't find "proof" of the "Hush-a-bye" lullaby's origins, though it seems to be held by many that it was written by early English visitors to America, who noted how Native American mothers hung birch-bark cradles in trees, allowing the wind to rock their infants. There are other theories as well, but in OVER THE HILLS..., Gill's illustration depicts the Mayflower and pre-colonial coastline, and it's opposite a Chippewa lullaby ("Little baby, sleep,/Mother swings your hammock low...) and a lovely painting of a Native American mother and baby.

"Hush-a-bye" seems to have evolved into "Rock-a-bye" In the picture above, I placed my little volume of Kate Greenaway's MOTHER GOOSE (Frederick Warne) opened to "Rock-a-bye Baby,..." above the "Hush-a-bye" spread.
Here are the two nursery rhymes, not the same but related?:


from OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY:

"Hush-a-bye, baby,
On the tree top,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall,
Down will come baby,
Cradle and all."




and from Kate Greenaway's MOTHER GOOSE

"Rock-a-bye baby,
Thy cradle is green;
Father's a nobleman,
Mother's a queen.
And Betty's a lady,
And wears a gold ring;
And Johnny's a drummer,
and drums for the king."



I'm betting some of you super-smart Poetry Friday-ers know more about the history of these English rhymes and lullabies than I do. If so, please share in the comments!

Here's what I remember about lullabies in my own youth. My wonderful mother sang "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," because that's the song her mother rocked her by. So that's what I sang to my own two babes for endless hours on the porch swing. Maybe they'll sing it to their own babies one day!

And my brother and I used to cackle at the following little song:

"Go to sleep,
Little creep -
I am tired and beat.
Go to sleep,
Little creep -
before I DROP YOU!"



I still remember the tune, but I'd hate for that to be my maiden voyage on Sound-Cloud, so I'll leave it at that. ;0)

Thanks for visiting, and if you're still awake, please share your own lullaby thoughts.

Then rock on over to the incomparable Jama's Alphabet Soup, where she and Mr. Cornelius have the Round-up. And blueberries, lots of yummy blueberries... mmmmm.

Poetry Friday: How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

June 4, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, nursery rhymes, illustrators, art


Happy June!

Despite the fact that I gave away box after box of books in our big downsizing move last year, every once in a while Poetry Friday is responsible for my adding another, though I really have no place to put one.

A recent PF post by my dear buddy Irene Latham featured OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY collected by Elizabeth Hammill (Candlewick - England in 2014, US in 2015): a new chock-full treasure of 150 nursery rhymes from around the world, illustrated by 77 stellar international artists. Oh, be still my heart. Worth making room for.

I am still perusing and enjoying this delightful book. (Irene confessed: "I want to live inside it.") I thought it might be fun to take one of the rhymes and compare it to a more traditional treatment. Hence the image above with Kate Greenaway's MOTHER GOOSE ( Frederick Warne) turned to "Mary Mary, quite contrary" and the same verse featured from the new anthology.

I was immediately drawn to this whimsical, purple Mary (with stripes!) , illustrated by Niamh Sharkey. Turns out she is Ireland's second Children's Laureate (2012-2014) and has a trail of awards. She also created Disney Jr.'s animated Henry Hugglemonster. Wow!

Back to Mary.

Here is the text of the familiar rhyme.

Kate Greenaway's version:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
and cowslips all of a row.


And from the new collection:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells
and pretty maids all in a row.


Guess it all depends on whether you prefer cowslips or pretty maids, and whether you like them "in" or "of" a row!

Also in the photo are a couple of cuttings from our yard - all brand new as the garden has gotten gobs of water via thunderstorms the past few days. My hubby Jeff loves to play in the dirt, and he's planted zinnias and mums (seen here, along with a cute little yellow flower that I INSISTED we buy last year at the home and garden store, because I fell in love with the name -- butter daisy! What could be more adorable than butter daisies?!) Also coming up are the requisite daylilies, sunflowers of varying heights, calla lilies, lavender, and some purple-spikey magenta plant that looks to be a show-off.

What's in your garden? Do you live where color already abounds, or are seedlings just now pushing their way through the dirt? Wherever you are, wishing you a summer of sunshine and flowers and lots (& lots) of poetry.

Go pick out a poetic bouquet today at Buffy's Blog where wild things and growing things are always celebrated!

Poetry Friday - Celebrating a Birthday, Beatrix Potter Style...

January 22, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, nursery rhymes, ponderings

Top: Morgan and her supervising teacher from last year, Susan Gray, as they prepare for this school year. How special that they are now teaching on the same hall!

Bottom: Morgan's First Birthday, over-the-top Beatrix Potter. And lots of pink.

Happy Birthday to my Firstborn!

Shortly after midnight twenty-three years ago, when January 22nd became the 23rd, I became a mom. I was blessed with a healthy dose of those new mommy hormones, for no amount of exhaustion could dampen the shine on my amazement at our little bundle. I was awestruck.

In the years between then and now, there were a few more emotions, too. (Mothers of daughters? You know….) But now that I’m the proud mom of a grown-up young woman, I’m awestruck once again.

I remember being so excited to celebrate Morgan’s first birthday that I could hardly sleep the night before. Beatrix Potter theme – cake, wrapping paper, coordinating ribbons and decorations, and the obligatory pictures of cake smeared on the faces of our little one-year-old and her baby buddy, McCamy.

So I thought it would be fun to share a few verses from Beatrix Potter today, from CECILY PARSLEY'S NURSERY RHYMES For Little Peter in New Zealand (Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., 1922).

After all, Morgan’s middle name is Cecily, and she’s been to New Zealand!

Here we are:

Cecily Parsley lived in a pen,
And brewed good ale for gentlemen.

Gentlemen came every day
Till Cecily Parsley ran away.



Hmmmm. On second thought, perhaps not the most appropriate poem for a mother to honor her daughter on her birthday? Well, for one thing, Morgan is far too busy teaching her third-graders and juggling her masters degree classes to have time to brew ale, and I don’t think her honey would like all those gentlemen callers.

Have no fear, Beatrix Potter included lots of fun verse in her little volume, and it’s worth clicking over to The Gutenberg Project to enjoy the illustrations.

You might know that our Beatrix had quite the life beyond Peter Rabbit. One of my most treasured books is
Beatrix Potter's Art: A Selection of Paintings and Drawings
by Anne Stevenson Hobbs (Warne, 1990).
Though out of print, you might find a used copy here .

Its description reads:

“As the creator of one of the world's most celebrated children's characters, Beatrix Potter has rarely been seen as a talented and versatile artist in her own right as in many ways the outstanding success of her 'little books' has overshadowed her other achievements.” The book offers an array of beautiful paintings and studies of The Lake District and also sheds light on the author’s work for conservation.

So, hearty cheers for Beatrix – and even more for our Morgan Cecily today. We are all in awe of you.

Speaking of wonderful teachers, you can keep the poetry party going by hopping over to A Teaching Life, where the terrific Tara is our host this week!

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Media
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Poems
Explore a poem or two or five....
Haiku
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
Magazines
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
Books
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!
Portfolio
illustrations