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 we play, too. And it’s like feeling the world anew with the sensory overload of a healthy toddler.

“Green! It’s so green here,” they marvel, these green-seeking, water-wanting folks. And they are right, thank them. Through their eyes my hubby & I see our gorgeous green world, again. And in celebration, I’m sharing the color green from three poets writing for children.

 

THE GREAT BIG GREEN by Peggy Gifford, with illustrations from my friend Lisa Desimini, is the newest book.

 

“The thing is,

the thing is green.

And the green is,

the green is green.

And by green I mean

real

mean

I mean

dragon green

anaconda green

electric-eel green

green-iguanas-in-the-sun green.”

c. 2014 Peggy Gifford

c. Lisa Desimini and Peggy Gifford

c. Lisa Desimini and Peggy Gifford

 

 

I like the way Peggy dips into the hues and presents  tints of greens not always covered in books about colors for children. The surprise riddle that runs through this picture book is fun to test whether you & the kiddos can solve this one. I think you will!

Lisa provides a note about the scanning of her own skin, photos & other materials for the mixed media collages, including green marble from the Emerald Isle, Ireland.

The spectrum of inventive green art & word imagery of THE GREAT BIG GREEN make this a mighty fine addition to any colorful bookshelf for young readers.

 

WELCOME TO THE GREEN HOUSE by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Laura Regan is the first book about the tropical rainforest (as opposed to our U.S. Pacific NW rainforest) that our family spent time with when our college age daughter was a toddler. It’s a challenge to pick just a few lines to share but here goes:

 

“…where the slow, green-coated sloth

and the quick-fingered capuchin

make their slow-quick ways

from room to room

in the green house,

in the dark green,

light green,

bright green,

copper green,

blue green,

ever-new green house.”

c.1993 Jane Yolen

 

My signed copy is on the To Mail shelf, as it was won just this week, here.

But the claimant didn’t have a chance yet to come forward with a postal address so if that continues, I may become fortunate & move it back to my permanent poetry pile.

 

c. Jane Yolen and Laura Regan

c. Jane Yolen and Laura Regan

 

HAILSTONES & HALIBUT BONES by Mary O’Neill with illustrations by John Wallner (Leonard Weisgard created art for the very first edition) is the standard against which I think about books on color for children. We received this modern classic (with a storylife of its own as a multimodal way of sharing color with sightless or low-vision children) as a family gift from writer/editor Susan Cerulean when my hubby & I were new to parenting. At the time I didn’t fully appreciate how this sophisticated yet accessible book would work wonders. It’s a book to have read to you, with your eyes closed, as each color is represented in a Mary O’Neill poem through the feeling it can create.

HAILSTONES & HALIBUT BONES is a deft, deep & delicious collection of poems about colors. I know I haven’t seen every childrens’ book on all the colors, but I’m guessing that if I did, HH&B would sill rank with as my personal best.

 

Here is Mary O’Neill on, “What is Green?”

 

“Green is the grass

And the leaves of trees

Green is the smell

Of a country breeze.

Green is lettuce

And sometimes the sea

When green is a feeling

You pronounce it N.V.

Green is a coolness

You get in the shade

Of the tall old woods

Where the moss is made.”

c. 1961 Mary O’Neill

c. Mary O'Neill and John Wallner

c. Mary O’Neill and John Wallner

 

“Green Poetry” article citation: Bookseedstudio/Jan Godown Annino April 11, 2014

c. all rights reserved

 

notes – Mother’s Day Weekend 2012

A very good ‘bye & two hellos

Anne Rudloe/Butterflies On A Sea Wind

Suitably for a memorial,  clouds opened up Sunday May 13 in time for umbrellas to pop like mushrooms, among congregants arriving at church to reflect upon the life of author & scientist Anne Rudloe.  Because she was a Buddhist teacher I wondered if we would find jewel- tone prayer flags & sandalwood incense & perhaps the sound of a delicate small gong?  Instead, lovely hymns & also some Gershwin & The Sound of Music. Many smiles & tears. Loving tributes to her life, where she enriched so many. Departure was in pure sunshine, drops dancing off tree leaves, shimmery glints along the path home. Good wishes to Family &  Gulf Marine Specimen folks.

FAITH RINGGOLD. She stood up the whole hour she spoke. She is 81.

&  FAITH RINGGOLD/c. Jan Godown Annino

After decades of world-wide accolades, she still had to outfox an oily art dealer who intended to keep her Clinton family portrait rather than pass it on as intended. With her husband Birdie helping, she put it directly into grateful hands at the White House. Her sparkling mural mosaics are lesser known than the totemic story quilts that are catalysts for children’s books.

She read from her witty new bullying poetry.  Public school kids in NYC knew her as their art teacher, before she quit to spend time with her other talents. California college students call her professor.Thanks, FSU Fine Arts folks.

ANDREA DAVIS PINKNEY. Wow. Never imagined two years ago when I presented at the library on SIT IN, a Brian Pinkney-illustrated history for young readers of Greensboro, N.C. desegregation by brave students, that the author would be presenting on it herself.

The interactive event that covered many children’s literature titles, found us stretching our credulity to see if we thought our cat lounging at home could talk & narrate a story & also asking ourselves how we would respond to hot coffee & catsup being poured on our heads. A lively & deep talk, all the more special because of the all-ages audience.

Pinkney sets her alarm for 4 a.m. She writes every day.  Thanks, LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library folks.

Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney

shrimp 101

Shrimp

I can barely remember that I once wouldn’t eat shrimp.

But  I am also someone who once, wouldn’t eat tiramasu.  Now I relish shrimp, especially like this:

Yum in the making.

We are enjoying local, fresh-caught seafood at Stinky’s, Barnacle Bill’s & other reliable kitchens, such as our own (above) unless we retrieve solid, gulf oil disaster/BP/Deep Horizion -related reasons, not to.

Back to SHRIMP.

Cruising by today is the newest book from Jack Rudloe & Anne Rudloe, Florida scientists & writers & genuine personalities on the ecological battlefront in North Florida, who have been married to each other umpteen years & certainly enough that their youngest son is now running things at the famous Panacea institution that I think must have invented touch tanks, Gulf Specimen Laboratory.

http://www.gulfspecimen.org/

In response to their new book SHRIMP: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold, Florida writers besides myself agree this deserves your attention.

Randy White,  a Gannett colleague of mine eons back at the The News-Depressed (Fort Myers News Press) who now serves shrimp in his own island restaurant that has grown from his appealing Doc Ford character in umpteen popular mystery books, blurbs thusly:

“Jack and Ann Rudloe aren’t just Florida literary treasures, they are national treasures. Their most recent work – Shrimp- is among their best – and that is very good, indeed!” RANDY WAYNE WHITE

And  from pink crustacean expert J. Buffett:

” Most humans are said to be composed 90% of water, but for those of us who grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, I think that other 10% must be shrimp. The Rudloes leave the Living Dock behind for a voyage to the land of Pink Crustaceans, and I for one am happy to be aboard for that voyage.”  JIMMY BUFFETT

The Rudloes travel around the world touring shrimp farms. After reading this report,  you understand that imported shrimp isn’t something you want to consume. It’s not only about the dubious quality of the food, but about the destruction of wetlands, to create the shrimp farms around the world.

As biologists, the Rudloes let us in on all things shrimp. They take us aboard a shrimp boat to see how the gems are collected.

They discuss these cute carnivores (I misunderstood that shrimp were vegetarian) in all ways – from  their common names (if you only know pink & rock & jumbo shrimp you are in for a surprise: opossum shrimp , coon-striped shrimp, pistol shrimp & more) to their biology & life cycle, to  the precarious status of clean water environments.

With 4,000 shrimp species to cover, it’s a lot of territory but Jack & Ann Rudloe serve SHRIMP,  deliciously,

When I tell you that this book is indexed and expertly sourced, you will see why any marine biology, coastal or seafood enthusiast needs this on the bookshelf.

Enjoy.

ISBN 978.0.13.700972.5

Pearson Education/FT Press

http://www.ftpressscience.com