Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Two, Two... Two GIfts in One (Well, Three Actually)

Another great find at NCTE (thank you again, Candlewick Press) was Switching on the Moon by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters.  It's a wonderful collection of "bedtime poems," but really is so much more.  60 poems, old and new, in one place... poems rich in warmth, peace, and hope that only "bedtime" poems can bring.  And an added bonus, it's illustrated by G. Brian Karas, who is on my top ten list of illustrators (oh... that could be a future blog... watch for it)!
     When I picked this book up at NCTE, I just knew I had to have it... and my friends at Candlewick Press made it happen!  The cover art is absolutely delightful and inviting.  I could spend a week with my students just writing from the cover.  But open it up and the delight continues.  Some of my favorites are "Naughty Soap Song" by Dorthy Aldis, "Mama Bird's Lullaby" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and "Snuggles" by Penny Kent.  Of course, there are many others by some of our favorite poets.  I love "Who Sings in the Night?" and "Night Noises in the City" by Jane Yolen.  I love Andrew Fusek Peters's poems "Rain Song" and "Wonder."  Such simple and delightful poetry. 
     I wish I was Jane Yolen or Andrew Fusek Peters and could just ring up a few close "poet" friends and say, "I'm collecting bedtime poems... and I'd love your suggestions," or "Hi Lee, I need a bedtime poem, search your notebooks!"  Or perhaps this is the perfect book to nudge the writers in my care to "collect" poems on a favorite topic and to write a few of their own.  For now, I'm going to savor it with my students... let the words float through our minds and fill the air for a bit... like incense... and let the beauty of their simple words linger in our hearts and minds for a bit."


  1. Yes, I agree! I was tickled to ask Jane to sign this book when she was here at the Rochester Children's Book Festival...and I can't wait to give it to my young nephew for Christmas. It is a perfect combination of words and illustrations. A.

  2. I just ran across this and I wanted to thank you, Patrick; so nice to know that Mama Bird's Lullaby was one of your favorite poems. It IS a delightful book! Your 4th graders are rich for having a teacher who loves and introduces poetry to their spirits.