My focus this month is to explore writing invitations, mostly through newly published picture books, but possibly some other mentor texts as well.
Richard Jones (Illustrations)
Holly Mueller's review
it was amazingbookshelves: 2019-book, animals, anthology, mock-caldecott-2020,poetry, humor, invitation-for-writing, how-to, diversity
What a delightful new anthology of poems, all organized around How-T0s of various kinds: Mix a Pancake, How to Be a Snowflake, A Lesson from the Deaf, and of course, The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog. I LOVE the illustrations by Richard Jones, and all the writing inspiration that could come from this book!
Writing Invitation: Write a How-To Poem or a connection to one of the How-To Poems in this anthology.
Because there were several poems that reminded me of things I loved as a child or that my children loved (toasting marshmallows, making pancakes, basketball, riding bikes, swinging, playing jacks, watching and drawing birds, making snow angels, catching snowflakes, enjoying fireworks, making grass whistle through my thumbs, and nighttime prayers), I'm going to incorporate both a How-To poem and childhood memories. I lift a few lines throughout the anthology to help me!
How To Be a Child
Let the sun wake you up
and feel your feet on the cool
It's Saturday! No school!
Stretch and yawn,
hear your tummy rumble for breakfast.
Skip out to the kitchen,
already smelling of something yummy
and laugh at the heart-shaped
pancakes that flip into the air,
and cover them with warm syrup.
Then run out to the yard in bare feet,
feel the grass tickle your toes
and hear the red-winged blackbird's
welcoming a warm spring day.
Pick a blade of crabgrass
flat and wide,
and grass-whistle for your friend
to come over and play H-O-R-S-E
in the driveway.
aim miss...that's an H!
When you're tired of that,
run over to the swing,
up in the air till you can see so wide,
so high that the leg of the swing set
pumps up out of the ground.
Making your belly flip-flop,
and drop back down.
After swinging and saying goodbye to that friend,
grab your bike
from the garage,
pedal fast over the crunch of the gravel drive.
Head down the road to another friend's house
and skid to a stop.
You're just in time for tomato soup
and grilled cheese!
You can smell it through
the screen door.
When you're done with lunch,
it's time for a game of jacks.
Throw them down
on the ground
toss that ball
not too high
now pick, quick.
Man! She wins again!
Play Barbies all afternoon
until you have to go home for dinner.
You want to call and beg for more time,
but you know they'll say no.
You still have to do a few
things on the chore list
sit out by the fire, stir it with a stick
and toast marshmallows
to a perfect crisp brown
before it bursts into flame.
It tastes like summer,
soon to arrive,
when every day can be like today.
It's time for bed.
Heavy eyelids start to close.
But first, a prayer,
breathing in and out ---
Thank you, God,