PPBF: Scrappy the Pup

ScrappyCoverAuthor: John Ciardi
Illustrator: Jane Miller
Publisher: J. B. Lippincott, 1960
Ages: 3-8yrs
Themes: stories in rhyme, watchdogs, farmers
Opening: This is the story of Scrappy the Pup, Who slept so hard he just couldn’t wake up.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Here is a Poem about Scrappy the pup who was supposed to be a watchdog. What Scrappy really liked to do was eat and sleep, and once he was asleep nothing could arouse him-not thunder, rain, guns, nor anything else – until his owner, a farmer, broke Scrappy’s dinner plate.Scrappy2

I like this book because: the rhyme is sublime! I am a late bloomer when it comes to poetry, but I know a good ‘un when I read it! I saw the author mentioned in an interview with illustrator Moira Swiatkowski on Joanna Marple’s blog HERE. I put a bunch of his books on hold and am totally in love! As I told a friend, I feel like I’m being pushed on a swing while reading this. No need to take my word, read the three consecutive pages posted here. I enjoyed the simplistic and loose illustration style, and feel it works well with the rhythm of the story.Scrappy3

Resources/activities: read more of John Ciardi’s collections for children; read Renée LaTulippe’s Ciardi post with Lee Bennet Hopkins at No Water River HEREwrite a poem!Scrappy4

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: All Kinds of Families and a New Course: The Lyrical Language Lab!!

INFO ON THE NEW COURSE BELOW – keep scrolling!!
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Author: Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrator: Marc Boutavant
Publisher: Little Brown, 2009
Age: 3 – 6 yrs
Themes: families, animals, stories in rhyme
Opening: Families, families, all kinds of families – Families are people and animals, too – But all sorts of other things fit into families – Look all around you and you’ll see what they do
Summary: (from Amazon) With irresistible, rollicking rhyme, beloved picture book author Mary Ann Hoberman shows readers that families, large and small, are all around us. From celery stalks to bottle caps, buttons, and rings, the objects we group together form families, just like the ones we are a part of. And, as we grow up, our families grow, too.

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I like this book because… I picked up this title out of the shelf in my library while engaging in one of my ‘hobbies’ – pulling my favorites and placing them on display! I had read a book (and reviewed it for PPBF) from this illustrator before, and with a touch of neon pink and orange on the cover, well, I was sold! Funny thing is, in writing this post I discovered he illustrates another graphic novel series I already love, but was unaware of the fact  – names, I tell ya! – called ARIOL. And I’m a goner – totally falling for this illustrator’s work! Cannot wait to see the other titles I’ve just put on hold, like his latest GHOSTS (Oops, was published in France in 2001!). Enough already about the illustration, because THE WRITING IS FANTASTIC! Yeah, super smooth swinging rhymes that do not let go! So guess what? I put a bunch of Hoberman’s titles on hold too!

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Resources/Activities: create animals or creatures or faces using letters, just like this one from the book! There are plenty more inside to jog the imagination; Make a family tree of your own.

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For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

AND NOW, if you haven’t already heard, I am happy to be able to tell you about Renee LaTulippe’s new course – THE LYRICAL LANGUAGE LAB and a GIVEAWAY – a scholarship for the course – on her post TODAY!

The course is designed for

–Rhyming PB writers who would like a stronger foundation in the mechanics of poetry
–Prose PB writers who would like to punch up the lyricism of their writing through poetic techniques
–Writers who would like to learn more about writing poetry for children

I happen to be one of the very lucky beta testers of the first five lessons of her course. Renee wanted at least one total newbie to give it a trial run. Someone who may have dabbled but really had no clue what they’re doing. ME! No joke, I GET it now, even what is meant by ‘don’t mess with the stress!’ Teresa Robeson wrote a much more descriptive post about her beta experience – HERE

I know, practice makes perfect. I’m an amateur not a fool, but look at some of my  homework: first, an iambic quatrain

I’d like to drink a cup of tea
in your adoring company
But if you don’t enjoy the tea
Ingest! Delight! Just bask in me!

Maybe not gonna bring the house down, but I got the beat (everybody get on your feet… No? Too 80’s for ya?)

Just one more – not quite there yet, but here is my first try at the anapest (and Wantagh is where I grew up) —

In the middle of winter in Wantagh
I caught cold from the breezy night air
Though my mother had taught me much better
I camped on a patio chair

She said, Child what on earth were you thinking
your whim could have caught you your death
for in Wantagh the devil is lurking
on the moisture that carries your breath

I did rock out an AWESOME double dachtyl, but I can’t share it yet because I’m being brave –  going to enter it in my library’s contest this month – Battle of the Bards!

Day Three: Initiative

Day three into the 15 Habits of Great Writers Challenge Jeff Goins tells us to take the initiative and form good writing habits so we can become “who we are through the things we do (or don’t do).” (For more info click on the icon in the sidebar)

I like to write everyday, but I have other ‘writing’ habits. I read articles and books on writing, everyday. And I read picture books, everyday (ten or more!). I review picture books to learn more about their structure, for my own records, and I participate in Perfect Picture Book Friday hosted on Susanna Hill’s blog. I also listen to the spoken word, through conversation of course, but also through  special poetry videos like Renée LaTulippe’s on her blog No Water River. Or through films, like this gem from Temujin Doran. This short film is based on an archival sound recording taken from the 1945 Linguaphone series ‘English Pronunciation – A practical handbook for the foreign learner.’ Sit back and savor sights and sounds.