Giggle me, world

Giggle me, world

This October, Spiritual Thursday is arms open wide to share
about humor, meaning –
not mean, but sweet silly stuff that brings on the happy.
I’d smile if you comment.
And later when  ST jolly jottings are up, please leave
a link.

Have you brought out a giggle from a baby or toddler?
For our gal, holding her just a wee bit over my head,
her belly down, face looking at mine,
for a brief “airplane” flight, produced a belly laugh.

And she giggled, too.

Lots of ways of plays brought out the laughs.

Giggle my world

Funny face
puppet paw pat
hide-and-seek-cat
in October, peek-a-book bat.

c.2018JGA

Best medicine for adults, too

I appreciated the experience of feeling that
laughter is the best medicine when
pain & discomfort involving kidney surgery would ease,
anxiety went poof! earlier this season, enjoying a simple joke.

One time, especially.
I felt bothered by the bag of blood
towering over my head. That unease ended
when the the nurse that afternoon threw a
towel over the blood transfusion bag
and then he lightly jiggled the pole, made a funny sound &
turned it into a flowing ghost. It was hilarious. I needed the
laugh/sneeze/cough heart-shaped pillow the hospital
provided, to swaddle my healing belly wounds, it was soooo funny.

c.2018allrightsreserved

I’m gratefully healed across the middle now
& can let the chortles
rip without hurting scar seams.

Top humor starters follow.
Are they similar to yours?

Cartoon collections
Humorist Roz Chast’s New Yorker cartoons & many cartoon books,
along with those of Gary Larson & others.

A few from our
Roz Chast shrine. Collect them all!

Nonsense verse

Spoken out loud. Better yet I read these
out loud from Illustrated versions
of the most nonsensical jollity. The best best best
for my LOL is Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat,”
which I recently learned was voted the favorite children’s poem
in England.
When my poetry-loving mother
offered her liltingly dramatic rendition of the moon-lit journey
of the loveable avian/feline pair, including her finger-ring in
her own nose, in the wood, I fell over in laughter.

Today, I am agog over my discovery,
through the sweet blog Silvershoes and Rabbitholes,
of a Hilary Knight version of O & P! You know it? I didn’t.
Mr. Knight is beloved for ELOISE and also, by Lee Bennett Hopkins fans,
for his illustrations of the LBH poem collections, HAPPY BIRTHDAY and
also, SIDE BY SIDE, which I have gifted to young teachers.
His version features a set-up to the poem that melts my heart
with touches of whimsy that are equal to Lear’s nonsense genius.

Silly sings

ELLA JENKINS, a strummer, a singer is f-u-n-n-y.
Are there silly songs from your homestate or
where you live now? We enjoy the friendly quirks
of Florida where we have created our own family,
where my first family moved when I was in middle school,
so Ella Jenkins cracks me up with her original tune,

“I Know a City Called Okeechobee”

Puppets

Lambchop
I can’t be the only crazy person who loves to
prance & sing “This is the Song that Never Ends,”
made famous by Shari Lewis and her puppet pal, Lambchop.
I hummed this before and after surgery.
So cool that her daughter Mallory Lewis,
carries on the silly tradition.
http://blog.cmnonline.org/2017/03/09/the-song-that-doesnt-end-by-shari-lewis/

Costumes
Odd eyewear. Funny hats

c.2016allrightsreserved

In summary

Dour tastes sour.
Joy is a toy.

And when I create situations of joy
that produce laughter or full on smiles,
my psyche can more easily steamroll irritations,
so my human-imperfect nature
is more likely to react amiably, kindly,
when a roadblock, setback, disappointment
or that occasional huge challenge,
boulders onto the path.
I hope these thoughts make your spirit smile.

Me & a Monster
c.2017JanGodownAnnino
allrightsreserved

Three beats of the heart: books to borrow or buy

Three Beats of the heart: books to borrow or buy

WONDERFUL WORDS
THE WILD BRAID
BIG MAGIC

Three volumes to talk up, today.
I celebrate them
for how they they jolt my Writer Spirit.
Who knows? Could be your new favorites.

WONDERFUL WORDS is a color-packed gallery, illustrated by Karen Barbour,
for anthologist/editor Lee Bennett Hopkins. With visits to ideas
such as Metaphor, Listen, Finding a Poem & more, it bombards
my senses in the best way, with go-go juice. Last weekend at a
writing retreat, thanks in part to this book, I carted off some
wrong words, proud words, from my middle grade verse novel,
a revision on-going with good steam. This thought is
potent for me, a few lines of “Primer Lesson” by Carl Sandburg
Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is
not easy to call them back…

c. 1922, 1950 in WONDERFUL WORDS
Yes, WONDERFUL WORDS a picture book.
The artwork, the poems shared, ensure it is for ALL ages. Hope you find it fast.

I can’t keep track of how many copies of THE WILD BRAID
fly out from here to friends. This slim purse-size book is a
collection of essays, with some poems,
by the founder of Poets House in NYC,
Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) who earned a Pulitzer-prize, worked as a
U.S. Poet Laureate, among shelves of writing connections during his
generous life. This lovely work is a collaboration with photographer
Marnie Crawford Samuelson and the book’s midwife is writer Genine Lentine.
We came to know about Stanley Kunitz, who as a boy was a village lamplighter,
through relatives of his who we chanced to overnight with in a stream of serendipity
that continues to bless our family.
If you become intrigued by him, I send you to this pinterest page, servings of his thoughts.
Last week I copied out one SK verse for a young student in New Hampshire
who intends to be a librarian some day:
I can scarcely wait for tomorrow
When a new day begins for me
As it does each day
As it does each day

c. 2007 StanleyKunitz from “The Round” in THE WILD BRAID

One of my special moments in visiting Poets House in
March of this year, involved
my hubby and I finding a desk
where e.e. cummings wrote. One of our first
connections we shared when we began dating
was cummings’ poetry. Love Poets House.
You can listen to Stanley Kunitz read his poem “The Long Boat.

Poets House, NYC,
March 2018
a desk where e.e. cummings wrote

You have heard of BIG MAGIC from Elizabeth Gilbert. Just finished my
2nd read of this copy, gifted to me by the magical
Joan Broerman of SCBWI fame. It is now inscribed for a writer,
who is also a musician, who I felt lucky
to meet in a singing circle.
At the nurturing TEACHING AUTHORS site, when asked to select a
book to pass along, I instantly picked this for her.
The top life lesson I take away from BM is
get back to creation.
Which isn’t an exhortation to read Genesis
but to know in my bones that folks have always
stuck hands in mudclay to sculpt,
or swiped berry juice on stone,
or grabbed grass stalks & woven,
without making such a big deal out of it.
I’m doodling, I’m paper cutting, creating in ways
in addition to words… With great appreciations to wonderful Joan,
pictured here with a special oil painting by our talented
mutual friend, Brian Nolan.
(I am lucky enough to be seated on the left.)

With joy for your wonderful words, for your wild braid, for
your big magic that I feel vibrates through your soul. xox

plus Three more images – the cove of the river from last weekend’s
writing retreat & charmed gourd cache pot made for me by Turtle Cove Press
writing pal M.R. Street, cheerleader for my artistic expression, & host of the
cove time my lucky self enjoyed.


Gone from the shelf – book gifts

Gone from my shelves – book gifts + original poem

Lee Bennett Hopkins wrote
Good books,
Good times,
Good stories,
Good rhymes…

from GOOD BOOKS,GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, pictures by Harvey Stevenson

Today I share some good books, good rhymes that
no longer belong to me!
First up is the story of Aida de Acosta (1884-1962).
I know. Who?

Aida’s aviation history is
told winningly, lyrically in
THE FLYING GIRL,by Margarita Engle,
with illustrations from Sara Palacios –
both of these talents are awarded book creators.
Margarita is a favorite author I read, especially delving into islands
of her verse novels. Sara Palacios is new to me, but she
shouldn’t be, as illustrator of MARISOL MCDONALD
DOESN’T MATCH & other titles.

This high-flying story of Aida,
a teen in Paris who dreamed
of airship wings
is a charmed picture book biography, with an historical note
about the world of this teen at the end.
I love how the author channels young Aida’s strong voice:

If that man can fly
so can I
All I need are some lessons
and a chance to try!

The colorful drawings capture the period & lift the reader
to dream high.
Memorable moments, such as a dinner on elephant-tall
tables served by waiters on stilts,
feather in a magical quality to this totally real-life story
about flying pioneer,
a young woman too, who few of us know. At least, I didn’t.
I’ve packed Aida & sent her off flying
with a pack of cloud postcards,
to a 3rd-grade poet of the Silver Star Postcard Project in Canada,
Inspired by the pacesetting aviator “Queen” Bessie Coleman, this young poet wrote me that she loves to fly, a connection courtesy of
Poetry Friday’s wonderful Check it Out,
The student’s poem inspires me at my desk.

And right here, Carolyn Angus with the International Reading Association
shares about THE FLYING GIRL.

***
What if…
You opened a book
About dinosaurs
And one stumbled out
And another and another….

C. Isabel Joshlin Glaser
in the poem “What if” by Isabel Joshlin Glaser in
GOOD BOOKS,GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins,
with pictures from Harvey Stevenson

Dinosaurs, one after another, are
thumpingly, exactly what I experienced
when I opened the gift package from a children’s book imprint
new to me, POW! in Brooklyn.
Inside I met the characters of
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR by authors Deborah Bruss & Matt Forrestt Esenwine
(a pal through Poetry Friday)
with color-pow comics style illustrations by Louie Chin.
Two children tackle a list:

“If you’re going to plan
a birthday party,
stop and think it through.
Be careful
what you dare
to ask a dinosaur to do.”

This jolly story
romps around with the ways
dinosaurs that once partied on Earth
might add mayhem to a child’s
living room hee-haw.
I love how this book is clever in bringing to
the youngest read-aloud set, the famous but also
lesser-known
dinos, along with a specific
characteristic for each. It’s fun, it’s a party,
but at the same time, now I know about the one who would be a
balloon-buster, (yes, they all would, but this one, specifically)
DIE-noh-KIRE-us, meaning terrible hands, thanks to DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR.
We have a curious, busy, wonderful, dino-crazy Kindergarten guy
in our own famly zoo,
so this book stomps, crashes, tears, off to him in Rhode Island.

POW! is here.
http://powkidsbooks.com

***
Earlier in springtime, at the beloved
class I’ve visited all schoolyear long,
I gifted the animal antics in
PET CRAZY to Ms. Camoesas,
a vibrant teacher of all things, but an especially
facile guide for young poem-makers.

One of many poems in this lively
work book anthology
that pulls me to it over & over, is
“Loose Tooth, Whose Tooth?”
from the novelist, poet & award-winning children’s literature icon
Carole Boston Weatherford.

Sooooo creative this list poem is, in
tackling the crucially important
loose tooth topic,
enticing young readers with rhyme,
but in a new way,
by drilling us about other teeth,
such as
“Bat’s tooth, rat’s tooth…” or
“Piranha’s tooth, iguana’s tooth..”

c.2017 Carole Boston Weatherford
Pomelo Books
CBWeatherford.Com

I was enticed by this book at
every turn & especially at page 90,
where I was
invited to try my hand at cat art.
And tackling the drawing lesson
from illustrator Franzi Paetzold,
I became inspired to dash off this
this un-rhyme:

Outline thumb
Add three triangles
Two half-macaroni
One moustache
Six toothpicks

Stand back,
find
a
feline
made from your
lines.

c. 2018 JanGodownAnnino


PET CRAZY drawing lesson!
The children’s literature specialists behind PET CRAZY,
part of a popular series from Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong
are here at POMELO Books.
http://pomelobooks.com

Special appreciations to Alphabet Soup/Jama Kim Rattigan forthe gift of this book.

For the Poetry Friday RoundUp, rustle on over to visit Rebecca at SLOTH READS.

 

***
………….

“To Make This World A Whole Lot Brighter…”

‘Twas a mighty day, when Lee Bennett Hopkins was born.

To appropriate from an ancient text,
how I feel about poetry is that
poetry “restoreth my soul.”

And today on April 13, the birthday of Lee Bennett Hopkins,
I am thrilled to think about how
it seems that no other person for so long, steadily
creates opportunity “to restoreth the soul”
of poetry to young readers of all ages,
than Maestro Lee Bennett Hopkins.


For decades & decades, Lee has not only shared
his poems, but he has also brought hundreds of
other poem makers into anthologies that are
beautifully illustrated &
sought by families who love poetry,
by classroom teachers & by school librarians.
Lee is a book maestro
arranging for poet & artist to create together
musical results, such as in
THE SEA IS CALLING ME
& JUMPING OFF LIBRARY SHELVES.
& RAGGED SHADOWS
& SHARING THE SEASONS
& ALPHATHOUGHTS
& others, which some outfit by the name of
Guinness has counted up.

In one of my favorite’s of his, THE SEA IS CALLING ME,
a three-verse poem by Lilian Moore floats the lines:

“Until I saw the sea
I did not know
that wind
could wrinkle water so…”

©LILLIANMOOREallrightsreserved “Until I Saw The Sea”

At the shore
I now am tickled to see
Lilian Moore’s wrinkled water
where I didn’t think of it
that way before.

Lee is a fierce
advocate of many decades standing for
diverse voices being on stage.
In
A CHORUS OF CULTURES, Lee brings Arnold Adoff
into class with the four-verse,
“The Way I See Any Hope For Later”
that says in part,
“…And stop looking
at who is a woman
and
who is a man.”

©ARNOLDADOFFallrightsreserved
And Lee published this book 25 years ago.

I am among the many fortunates, especially in children’s literature,
who call Lee & his genial partner Charles, pals.
We met at a poetry workshop in their adopted
state, Florida, which has also adopted back,
naming Lee Bennett Hopkins
to the august roll call
of artistic legends in the Florida Artist Hall of Fame
where Hurston, Hemingway, Williams & Rawlings
are equally honored.

 

And back at that Society of Children’s Book Writers’ & Editors
workshop I met writers
in a nurturing space who have become pals. There, I also
felt how Lee leads us into the still waters &
the green pastures
of poem making with goodness, mercy
& his sprightly twinkle.

His rough child days
held little twinkle,
needed more laughs.
A teacher
saw a creative spark
in the writings of her student
Lee, who was being ridiculed
for liking writing. Her
lifting him up
made him hope:

“To
make
this world
a whole lot
brighter

when
I grow up
I’ll
be
a writer…”

©LEEBENNETTHOPKINSallrightsreserved

Reading through the
other linked poem moments of his New Jersey
& Pennsylvania start with
a very stressed single mother,
in BEEN TO YESTERDAYS,
fully shivered me.

Lee Bennett Hopkins does
make this word a whole lot brighter.

HB!HB!HB! to dear Lee.
With many many more
poetry books
yet to see,
on top.
SMOOCH!


……..
To see more Lee Bennett Hopkins joy celebrated across
the Kidlitosphere of Poetry Friday & associates, please
turn to the artistic site of my South Carolina
pal & Haiku whisperer,
Robyn Hood Black.

Library Love

Wait just a second!
Today’s Poetry Friday wordsmiths are gathered here. Thank you.

Library Love

A federal entity prompted American composer Ira Gershwin to write,
“Shining
star and
inspiration,
worthy of a
mighty nation. . .” *

Ira Gershwin,
1966, in Washington D.C.

A beloved librarian prompted Lee Bennet Hopkins
to write
Storyteller (for Augusta Baker).
Here are
a few lines from it by LBH

. . . And as her voice
reaches
the highest
rafter-

I believe in

once-upon-a-time,

I believe in

happily ever after.
c. 2015 Lee Bennett Hopkins
in Jumping Off Library Shelves


Book Speak!, Jumping Off
Library Shelves & I Am The Book
comprise my tiny & treasured
collection of poem books
for children
about the dreamland worlds of
books that some
of us are lucky to learn
to love,
the
library.

(Book Speak! is from Laura Purdie Salas, with
the other two from poet/editor Lee Bennett Hopkins. I know I have
missed other poetry collections about libraries/books, not
currently on my shelves,
so educate me, please.)

I pulled these titles
off the shelf Monday,
adrift in thoughts of
library grandeur, due to
a recent reverie
at a library that I only
inhabit
infrequently.

Yes, a weekly trip to our
public treasure trove of titles
is a lift. It is a visit made with
with gratitude not only
for the haul of titles borrowed, also,
it’s where
an astute weekly writing partner
hears me read my
latest, and I, hear hers.

But, hey, it’s Washington, D.C.,
where my heart
flutters to enter
library nirvana.

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

LOC

Literally,
Omnivirous
Collection

c.2017 JGA

The Jefferson Building of
the United States Library of Congress
is a cathedral
to research & to reading.
The art-tiled entry,
& artist-painted murals that represent
the fields of knowledge &
the practice of the arts, the
grand stairs & sculpture
of the entry hall of the main
building, are a
palace for the reading people. One stands
straighter, looks higher and dreams
more determinedly,
here.

At the Library of Congress
we visited, or peeked at, a lot.
The Florida maps on display.
The Gutenberg Bible. The
bookcased and domed
reading room. George and
Ira Gerswhin’s piano, just one classy
piece of the incomparable family
LOC legacy, which includes the annual
American songbook Gershwin Prize. *

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

(*This column’s opening rhyme by Ira Gershwin resides, in his own
handwriting, in the visitor’s guestbook kept for
the Ceremonial Office (here) of the Library of Congress.)

A temporary
LOC display of
special
importance to our family,
with one attorney & one
attorney-in-training, is
“Drawing Justice.”

This engaging exhibit of various
dramatic scenes, mainly in color,
from history-making, even
precedent-setting cases,
created on the job by
our nation’s little-known courtroom
chroniclers, many of them women.
Our volunteer guide that day was
Hope, who we thank for an
extra special tour.

One can not live in the
LOC (although one can enjoy breakfast
& lunch there) & eventually
we left. I was not
sad though, partly because
of another feature of
the LOC.

LOC

Love
Online
Collection

c. 2017 JGA

What/where is your poem about the Library of Congress?
……..
postscript
News flash – I join a party of Poetry Friday pals in celebrating our contributions to a new book, available now in print or Kindle. TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY is edited by Michelle H. Barnes. Look at our book!

Nancy Willard

Nancy Willard

Hello all Poetry Friday seekers.
I am grateful to Heidi who organizes it here this week.

This week, I am spending time with
my Nancy Willard books,
especially, THE SALT MARSH,
TELLING TIME,
A VISIT TO WILLIAM BLAKE’S INN &
STEP LIGHTLY, Poems for the Journey,
collected by Nancy Willard.

I want to pick one to share Saturday,
when I feel fortunate to be meeting with
teens at the request of a legendary
librarian I treasure, Ms. Lenita Joe.

Since Nancy Willard treasured every poem
she placed in
STEP LIGHTLY,
reading them feels like two chairs are pulled up
before a big window overlooking a salt marsh,
tea is poured and
a conversation begins.

Nearly every selection speaks to me, especially
the poems about writing,
but for this post I’m sharing two lines,
from Emily Hahn, in her poem,

“Wind Blowing”
“I can see everything, all around the earth;
Red sun dying, gold sun’s birth.”

c. Emily Hahn, all rights reserved

I feel that is Nancy’s world now,
stepping lightly,
knowing and seeing everything.

Here is a sweet memory written
just a few days ago by her friend
and former neighbor, poet
Lee Bennett Hopkins.

I was thrilled
to meet Nancy Willard in Roanoke, VA
once, at the graduate program
in children’s literature.

She sat in on a creative writing seminar
I enjoyed so much, led by
Han Nolan. She was available to us –
we were all big fans. I treasure the moon she drew
in my copy of NIGHTGOWN OF THE SULLEN MOON.

When she learned that my thesis
for Hollins University included
serious poems about bears in history, she
suggested I look up the work of her poet
friend, Galway Kinnell.
Reading him was rough work, but it helped me.
In expectation of my editing & layout of a
chapbook of bear poems, experiences &
images, I feel fortunate to have been
touched by Nancy Willard’s
magical presence that summer.

I’ve previously mentioned her books here.
and also here, where I shared her signature artwork
a gift that graces books of many admirers.

And I think NW would have liked the recent honor that LBH earned in my state.

“Ballet slippers and saxophones:” #Lee Bennett Hopkins

Kwame Alexander
When I was 2 my mom read me poems by #NikkiGiovanni & #LeeBennettHopkins. So cool that #TheCrossover has won the LBHopkins Poetry award!”

By Jan Godown Annino

If there is a King of Children’s Poetry in the U. S.
he is Lee Bennett Hopkins (the Queen would be
Jane Yolen.)

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists' Hall of Fame  c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame
c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

LBH is a world-wide record holder in poetry.
And as young poets can attest, for 25 years
he has become the leader in establishing poetry awards
that lift up the art of poem-making and poem-reading,
to the highest levels.

This poet – and novelist- is also a long time leader in championing diversity of characters and themes in children’s books.

I can not say LBH chose Florida for retirement,
because so many projects are popping
for him. During a small dinner in his honor
with his lifetime partner Charles Egita, at
Paramount Grill, LBH talked of
juggling 60 poets’ work. That is because
in addition to writing his own heartfelt poems,
LBH a supreme anthologist of poetry for children.

So among tempting aromas, I selected
tofu scramble in his honor last week,
the night before
he took the stage with rock stars
Don Felder (The Eagles) ,
Billy Dean and Jim Stafford,
to be inducted
into the Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Move over Ray Charles,
Tennessee Williams,
Zora Neale Hurston
and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who proceeded
LBH as honorees in the Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Much has already been written and
will be written
about this honor.

Enjoy Robyn Hood Black piece on LBH,
and futurewise, look for a Michelle Henderich Barnes’
report on the Florida
Convening Culture Conference that was
wrapped around the awards event. (Stick with the link to MB
above, for a cuter than candy pix of LBH!)

But let me just say that I felt as if
I was a
mermaid swimming sweetly on Sanibel sands,
among sandcastles made of syllables
and sounds ripe for poem-making,
as a result of being with LBH & his posse.

So now,
I’m back to writing, reading,
critiquing & visiting schools.
(It’s Dr. Seuss week!)

I close with big appreciations to
Secretary of State Ken Detzner and
his posse including Sandy Shaughnessy,
for bestowing the honor, which was
championed by many, including
poets Stephanie Salkin & Jude Mandell

A VIDEO TO NOTE
I do expect to return here with more on
LBH and the award. But first,
visit with this great video record
of the ceremony, which I enjoyed
straight-through as I couldn’t be in the
Gainesville audience,
scooting home for scheduled events.
Hint: when you have time, stick with this
Florida Channel memory for the poetic line,
we need ballet slippers and saxophones.”
Did you hear the crowd’s applause?

. . .
WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
I am still focused on the continued
hate speech in this country.
For my Poetry Friday piece this week, I will again
highlight the resistance anthem, WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
But I am happy to provide links on Friday to some
poetry blogs keyed to an exciting March poetry
commemoration,
which I very much look forward to reading.

………..