I could end this blog post right now! His collection of poetry in Make Magic! Do Good! is simply stunning.
I wept when I read his poem "Genius" (emotions running high?). There was something about it that reminded me of our work as teachers... the power of sharing dreams with others. When I read the line, "...and they'd wake up in the dark of the night with one small idea that would change the world forever..." memories came over me like a steam roller.
Childhood. It's so fleeting and I worry about the lives of youngsters. I had a great conversation with my friend, Katie Keier, this week about play. And, I think when I got home and sat down to read this book, our conversation was still tumbling through my mind. The personal connection I had with this poem and others ("Colors," "Try!" "Love Song") makes me excited to get these little poetic gems into the hands of students.
I was joking with a friend about the fact that "blogging" has created a "shopping frenzy" at local independent bookstores around the country. And, yes, this book is a must have (especially in a certain classroom at Little Elementary, wink!). And, yes, I'm adding Dallas Clayton's other books to my own shopping list!
Listen to part of the book flap, "I write books and draw pictures, and I travel the world and read stories to children of all ages and talk to them about their lives and jump into water and climb up trees and paint walls and have adventures." Now who couldn't love a book by an author who says that? Who does that? Who lives that?
I'll end this little post with Mr. Clayton's poem, "Travel Stories"
Her quiet stories were best of all
'cause she never wrote 'em down
she lived 'em out by traveling'
and roamin' in town to town
and sharin' jokes
as the world went round and round...
Now travel to your local Indy and buy this one! Make Magic! Do Good!
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Read this interview of Dallas, it's "awesome" and so captures the spirit of his work... here's a snippet, "Basically, I wake up each morning to a new letter or a new email or a new article or a new photo of someone telling me that what I have made has helped inspire them in some small way. That’s my reality. Every day! Isn’t that crazy!? It’s like waking up each morning to a kiss on the cheek or a gold medal or a really big warm hug."
Thanks to my friends at Candlewick Press for your brilliant work.