This is our 21st Contribution for In My Mailbox, a Sunday meme hosted by The Story Siren. An excuse to showcase books that we have bought, borrowed, traded, or were given to us over the week.
I also thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to launch our new bimonthly theme for November and December. For weeks now, I felt alive every Friday because of our Poetry Friday contributions in the kidlitosphere. So I thought, why not extend the good vibe for the entire week? After some discussion with both Fats and Iphigene, we thought of scrapping our original idea (which was supposedly a war-and-peace-theme-for-the-holidays) – and have a Poetry-filled Yuletide Cheer bimonthly theme instead for November and December.
Hence, we would be featuring quite a number of novels-in-verse, and picture books on poetry, or collection of poems packaged in nicely-illustrated books. I am particularly indebted to Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children for coming up with this blog post that details what is new in novels in verse for 2011. I also made use of the YARR-A website that has been developed by Stephen James from Australia, an astounding resource on verse novels that you have got to check out.
Being the good researcher that I am, I searched for some of their recommendations here in our ever-dependable community libraries. And these are my lovely finds:
Books borrowed from the Community Library
Hidden is a verse-novel written by Helen Frost which was published this 2011. There has been some buzz about the novel possibly receiving some major awards – we shall be on the look out for that. I am also excited to read award winning Margarita Engle’s The Firefly Letters, a Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba. If only I was allowed to borrow more than eight books from our community library (hint hint), I am sure I’d would try to find other books written by both Engle and Frost – quite known for their trademark verse-in-novel creation.
Ever since the recent National Book Award announcement fiasco (which I have been following with avid interest through twitter and facebook posts), I’ve been interested to read Shine and Chime. 🙂 One of the nominated books, however, is a novel-in-verse – which I was able to find from our community library: Thanhha Lai’s Inside out and Back Again. I also made sure that I borrow Sherry Shahan’s Purple Daze since it is also a verse-in-novel about experiences in Vietnam.
Books borrowed from the NIE Library
Since I could borrow up to 40 titles (yay!) from our NIE (National Institute of Education) library, my institution – I always make sure that I borrow as many books as I can that would be connected to our theme. I nearly shrieked when I saw that award-winning Arnold Lobel has a picture book of poetry in Whiskers & Rhymes. I have a feeling my friends who are cat-lovers would enjoy this book. I was also taken by the book cover of James Skofield’s Nightdances and pictures by Karen Gundersheimer. Seems like a quiet and peaceful book.
Could any theme about poetry be complete without Edward Lear’s Complete Verse and Other Nonsense? I am afraid the book on the left though is quite thick (and a tad daunting), so I made sure I also borrow the more manageable The Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear illustrated by Leslie Brooke.
I also am continually on the look out for titles that I can add to the Persons of Color Reading Challenge (which by the way, we have already completed months back, but hey, we love it, so we continue to add to their database). I am glad to find I want to be free by Joseph Slate and F. B. Lewis. I am also excited to feature the poem Harlem by Walter Dean Myers and pictures by Christopher Myers for our Nonfiction Monday.
Now this collection here as seen in the photo above seems to showcase animal-love. We begin with Ellen Stern’s I saw a bullfrog (and a huge bullfrog that seems to be), Elephants Never Forget by Anushka Ravishankar and illustrated by Christiane Pieper, and a touch of the surreal and the strange with Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Peter Sis.
These books, unfortunately, didn’t have very exciting covers, so I thought of flipping it over to their first pages. I am particularly intrigued by Hist Whist: poems of magic and mystery, witches and ghosts collected by Dennis Saunders and illustrated by Kathy Wyatt. The Giggle and Cry Book by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Lisa Atherton also seemed like a great find.
Last but not least, Holly Thompson’s Orchards
I have actually posted these photos several months back, also for IMM, when we first received Orchards, a novel-in-verse from the author herself, Holly Thompson – sometime June 2011, I believe. But since it was her novel which also partly-inspired our theme, I thought of reposting these photos, yet again for the launching of our Poetry-Filled Yuletide Cheer for November and December.