Make Way for Winter Walking

Poem below dusted the keyboard lightly after a flurry of false starts. (Appreciations to Carol Varsalona’s, Winter Whispers prompt) ( In icy snow and hot sand land, Poetry Friday links up weather zones, via Cathy Mere at   Make Way for Winter Walking  by Jan Godown Annino In my snow white winter meadow paved with … Continue reading

Children of many cultures, celebrate! #ReadYourWorld

Welcome to the party. The vibrant Children’s Literature Community is celebrating Multicultural Children’s Books Day! On Twitter we are at #ReadYourWorld. For Jan. 27,  a world of attention lights upon what many editors and writers focus on all along the year – books for children ages pre-school through 12, which illuminate ideas of creativity, fun, … Continue reading

Marilyn Nelson + Jerry Pinkney Make Music

Poetry Friday is arranged wonderfully today by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. Wanting poetry with a bit of swing for readers who swing, I noted a few. I came up singing with a big (90 pages!) hardcover picture book of musical poems from 1940s segregation times, Sweethearts of Rhythm. It is from a potent creative … Continue reading

New Year New Day 2015

New Year New Day 2015  by Jan Godown Annino Pairs of coots, licorice gumdrops on the surface Great blue herons, statues ready to spike fish (frogs, snakes…) Black anhingas tend wings, arched in pine tree branches   Watch animals Read poems Make notes   My handsome returns from a marsh path, with sightings to report … Continue reading

Hobbit – Tuesday Trees

It’s hard to scratch the surface on the ferny forest of tree titles available to young readers that celebrate that most woody of Hobbit-land evoking entities. But, as someone who leafed through her chapter book pages in a dogwood tree during aboreal child days, I’ve liked planting this list.  Climb a favorite branch, if you’re … Continue reading


November evokes warm good feelings and smiles. It’s my anniversary month with my hubby who made my heart melt because he was game enough to put on a silly wig and dress up with me for Halloween with friends who also did the favor of dressing up & reciting original scary tales or poems or … Continue reading

First Peoples Month

First Peoples Month: Kid Lit Heroes by Jan Godown Annino If you are around young readers who could benefit from some myth-busting about the heritage & culture of North America’s first peoples – and isn’t that every kiddo? – I’ve found some accessible, expert resources. The creators of the four sites here deserve hero status … Continue reading

Owl Bee Thinking of Owl-o-ween

Owl Bee Thinking of Owl-o-ween Whole universes of poets and their poems from countries afar, and originating from our own states just up the road, who I don’t yet know, became an obvious missing part of my education when I sat in a graduate poetry seminar that I devoured at a green little place tucked into … Continue reading

POETrees & an OCTOBER POETry Day

POETREES is an arbor picture book illustrated & written by Douglas Florian. It cascades with leaves, trunks, roots and tree canopies. As is delightfully typical with this poet, invented words are seeded to be found among the pages. One is “glossatree,” in the handy reference section. POETRESS brings me to some exciting non-native woody towers … Continue reading

Silliness from Shel

Anyone in Florida or other coastal spaces, or inlanders yearning to return to summer beaches, may enjoy lending their ears to the punny poems by gifted artist & creative, Shel Silverstein, in Underwater Land. Warning: “He sole it to a loan shark” & other silliness stirs the sand.   And  I’m  already planning our Halloween Meal, … Continue reading

JoAnn Early Macken

A storm that rolled in the day our daughter recently winged back home, made me think of poet JoAnn Early Macken’s WAITING OUT THE STORM.   This gentle prose poem is an appreciation of finding shelter in a storm, to then watch it in wonder. A mother and daughter consider the small creatures who live … Continue reading

Diane Ackerman by Poetry Light

Poetry Friday is hosted this week at AUTHOR AMOK!   For the high school, or even advanced middle grade poet, today’s PF post here at Bookseedstudio suggests  that lines from some of Diane Ackerman’s poems, which speak to doubts about creative ability, can rock their world.   Part of  ORIGAMI BRIDGES, a Diane Ackerman poetry … Continue reading

Flora & Ulysses

  Gladiola. Caramel. Spiral. Of the words and terms that evoke a relaxed feeling for me, many can’t mean the same thing to you. For example, the names of my husband and daughter, my first childhood kitty, Wacky, my mother’s sister, Lily, and the places on Earth where I felt one with the universe. But … Continue reading

I met Enola Holmes!

If you know children’s mystery series, especially ones that riff on the BBC-loved Sherlock Holmes canon, you know Enola Holmes. She is Sherlock’s younger, brilliant sister. And she is the creation of an American writer, Nancy Springer.     Enola loves to ride bikes, uncode secret messages & fool her much-older brother, who she admires … Continue reading


 Summer by Jan Godown Annino more time immersed in water meals made without cooking them less care with my looks pared schedules serendipity daydreams writing reading c.  Jan Godown Annino Water! This summer I’m in the water more than usual, but also, working with deadlines I didn’t expect. Below, I’m sharing lines from a poem that feels … Continue reading

Nelson Mandela by J. Patrick Lewis

  July 18th is a day for Mr. Nelson Mandela, who said,   “It is within your hands to make of our world, a better world for all.”   Thank you, Anastasia Suen & POETRY FRIDAY & J. Patrick Lewis. The J. Patrick Lewis poem gives me goose bumps, especially at one line: Nelson Mandela … Continue reading

Collecting poets : William Jay Smith

Collecting poems & poets: William Jay Smith   I’ve known one person with a hat box of printed poems she collected from here & there. Magazines, mainly, but also plucked from church bulletins, found on post cards, and in newspapers, back when newspapers printed poems. The collector was my amazing mother, a secretary at Rockefeller … Continue reading

Dad’s Days

Advice shared by my father – Live as close to your work as possible Never go to bed angry at anybody Think pleasant thoughts Grow vegetables & flowers Look up at the night sky Stand at the shore & think about who & what are on the other shore Doubt what leaders, including preachers, say … Continue reading

Poet characters

ZURI Jackson is a junior poet character who writes: Danitra’s scared of pigeons. I promised not to tell. Then I opened my big mouth and out the secret fell. I tried to shove it right back in, though it was much too late. I told her I was sorry, but Danitra didn’t wait. lines from “The … Continue reading

Green Poetry

Kermit’s green is a color that surrounds us here in North Florida so you would think it is hard to miss. But guess what – don’t we all experience how that which is familiar, can become less special? But, Ho! Visitors from the parched West arrive. And they play in our nature’s backyard. And so … Continue reading

Answering questions

Kathy Halsey, a retired librarian who is writing for children, wants to know: Q: What is your writing process? Q: What are you currently working on? Q: And so forth.   A: First, thank you for your career, Kathy, matching books to readers. And thank you for your 2nd career, as a writer. Back to … Continue reading

A young poet in character

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye edited the poetry anthology SALTING THE OCEAN, which is afloat with the vibrant writings of young poets. Like Nye, I think that attention paid to young poet voices can build peace, provide future strong leaders and just make any poet’s day. If you agree, Poetry Out Loud,  is a brilliant program you … Continue reading


This time of year big black refrigerators of the woods, bears, still slumber in the United States. Bear specialists tell us that here in Florida, they don’t enter a true hibernation. A few published poems of mine are about black bears. That is fitting as these wild, grub and berry eaters and I have met up three times unexpectedly. I’m not … Continue reading


When I made a trip from Florida to visit a newsgal pal, Deborah, who lived in New York City in the 1980s, one day I arranged to ride a bus to one of the city’s most fascinating neighborhoods, Harlem. Harlem is connected to Florida in many ways but especially because Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Augusta Savage and … Continue reading

Asteroids, sheep, flower

I love where we live but this afternoon I have a strong urge to build a rocket and land it at the Morgan Library, where our family has enjoyed hours among the giant rooms and manuscripts. Today I would dwell with materials curated by  Christine Nelson, about THE LITTLE PRINCE. Since I won’t be doing that … Continue reading

Angel Island

Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty were important to  my family, where stories were told about my mother’s Irish and Danish relatives landing on U.S.A. shores. As a Jersey gal for the first stretch of my child days, images of the outstretched arm and golden lamp were more tangible than other U.S.A. icons, say, … Continue reading

Poetry Friday

Today is Friday, PoetryFriday! (Poetry Friday links are below) Today, among the three or four mighty fine books I’ll have time to read in school as a BookPALS volunteer to five classes, I’ll share this favorite: WHEN LUCY GOES OUT WALKING. This is a fun calendar book from Ashley Wolff.  I am lucky to have met … Continue reading

Miracle Mail

Miracle Mail  from  Bookseedstudio/ Jan Godown Annino The entryway basket brims with these. Every holiday card in the palm frond basket is plucked from our ginormous black box at the end of our driveway. As a child on my appointed rounds, as I ambled in the scratchy fields and skimmed along the sides of dark … Continue reading

In the company of trees

Think of your strong images of trees. Climbing? Jumping from them? Picking pears from low branches? I am fortunate to know days of those sports. Here are more leaves of this memory scrapbook – Palms bowing down against the wet sluice of hurricanes. Brown hairs of Resurrection Fern transforming to lime green after rain. Morning … Continue reading

Gratitude in this latitude

Haiku poems offer the reader stories in three little lines. For this time of gratitude, here  are Thankus, Haiku poems of thanks. I am fortunate to know about THANKUS from poet April Halprin Wayland. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ FLORIDA THANKUS Giving Thanks #1 by Jan Godown Annino Run red hills and dale Not found in Sarasota We are like … Continue reading

Poetry Friday in October

Poetry Friday in October It is easy in October To forget the clover Of the summertime shade As the pumpkin candles flicker And our steps are going quicker Find a bit of bookade with the poetry of these days   Presenting a Poetry Friday collection of select  silly Halloween Read Alouds. enjoy!    

The mystery is history

The mystery is history About now in the school year a search is on. Students round up a few likely suspects: They probe into their past. And they create a short script, or construct a table display or write an essay about the object of their attention. If they are passionate and well-informed and … Continue reading

Reading by firefly light

Reading by firefly light The lights of my childhood summers were sunset light, full moon light, shore cottage porch light and then after we moved to Florida, phosphorescent light. You may remember the glow of other summer lights- campfire light, lantern light… Because we are enjoying recurring deluges of rain this summer – welcome by … Continue reading

Summer salads

Summer salads We are full into summer. It is fecund and tasty. The last of three summer presentations is upcoming soon. And I’m happy to be at work with the boost of pals in three writing challenges. I’ll see you in September! The images (C. copyrighted as is all material here) are from summer fun … Continue reading

May Days of Book Play

My cat isn’t literary. He drapes his tube body of orange-ginger fur across my belly as I fall into the latest page turner (in this case a journal, The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Journal of Florida Literature). And, I decide that the smile Ginger’s mouth makes, is from absorbing my joy in reading. Each spring I … Continue reading

The “p” in April is for ?

The P in April is for ? We played a game in our family that involved verses. When I was six, seven, eight, my Aunt Florence if she was visiting, but more often my mother, would point to me. Then began the count, out loud: “ 1, 2, 3…. By 10, I had to start … Continue reading

March on!

March on! As a writer for the inaugural North America-wide celebration of girl power, known forever now as KID LIT CELEBRATES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH I’m here to say, who knew? Who knew the discovered details of these overlooked lives, & their stunning superior accomplishments? Who? Who? Your writers did. Your anonymous, and sometimes, famous, researching … Continue reading

Creative juice

What makes the creative juice flow? It can be walking in silence at the end of a fire drill line of kids who have their quiet fingers held up to their lips, walking with them out the school door on a drill, walking behind the boy who imagines with the other hand he is spraying … Continue reading

Hop Around the Block

  Your correspondent here at Bookseedstudio, Jan Annino,  is in a tag team book blog hop.    My  thanks  to  the author who tagged me,  Anne Macdonald of the Guppy Listserv & her blog, Anne’s Writing Life      At the end of this blog  I tag the next author-hoppers.   And if it’s enabled on … Continue reading