Monday, June 30, 2008

It isn't often...

... that you see a classic poem (and one arguably for kids, even) in a major news story, but today saw Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark" referenced by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals! What's next? Well, I look forward to Shel Silverstein somehow making an appearance in the current Presidential campaign....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

ALA bound (kinda)

As if BEA wasn't enough, today I'm heading off towards the ALA Convention. OK, sure, I'm not actually attending... but I am gonna hang out with a bunch of kidlit bloggers and pals. Good times. Will I see you there?

Also, I missed Poetry Friday yesterday... but that doesn't mean I can't post you the link to the roundup on a Saturday. So head on over to Biblio File and wax poetic.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sure, step 14 is okay... but 15???

Sooooo, I'm always thinking of vacations, particularly when it gets hot here in LaLa. Now, thanks to my friend Late Blooming Mom (with an assist from the fine folks at Google Maps), I now know the way to get from here to Sydney, Australia! I'm pretty good with it up until step 15. But there... well.... Hey, care to join me?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What goes around...

... always comes back around, or something like that. What prompts this profundity? I've noticed a lot of searches coming my way for FIRST day of school poems! Yes, somewhere school (or summer school) is beginning again, even as it's ending elsewhere.

I admit that I was one of those who always enjoyed the start of a new school year... but I also enjoyed the end of the school year (and some years WAY more than others!). As an adult, there's nothing with that same cycle for me... nothing with two such powerful, emotional responses. Well, except maybe waking up and starting the coffee and waiting for it to finish... but I don't think it's a fair comparison.

How many of you are on summer vacation? How many of you wish you were? And who's doing something which'll make me jealous??? A guy wants to know....

Monday, June 23, 2008

June Carnival time....

I'm sure in many towns there are June carnivals and soon to be July 4th Carnivals, but I was actually referring to the June Carnival of children's literature. It's here! This one, hosted by Susan Taylor Brown is all about fathers in children's literature, so it's a meaty one. I had nothing to add to this convo (figuring my father poem wasn't really about dads in kidlit!), but believe me, it's well worth a read-through.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Slowly, slowly" said the typist

I know that those of you in the Northeast had your recent heat wave, but we here in the desert are going through ours. So I'm typing slowwwwwly. Very slowly. Fast typing (even of just the alphabet) would cause sweating and more heat. And we can't have that. In fact, there'll be enough of that when I head to a BBQ where, upon last check, the expected temperature will be 193. Or close to that, anyway, at least in the sense that it'll be three digits of heat.

The plus side of this is that I don't actually have to leave my desk to eat, as I can scramble eggs on either my office floor OR the back of my computer (which is whining in the heat in a most un-Mac like way!). Those who have seen my office floor are probably wondering if this is a good strategy, of course....

It's time to turn off the computer, find some cold caffeine, and enjoy the day, heat or no! Writing's just gonna have to wait....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You know...

... I took time today to read every single blog on my blogroll (and realize that in a few cases, I realllllly gotta update those links). Goodness gracious, there are some really fantastic bloggers out there! Any of you interested in the broader world of children's literature owes it to yourself to go clicking along....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Talking about book promotion....

Last month I left these parts to talk all about book promotion on social networks. Now, I've left these cyber-parts and blogged about it elsewhere. But while many of you chose not to travel cross country with me, you can all just click here to read my post! I hope you'll come check it out and join in the conversation....

Look at me, all cross-posting and stuff like that. Wooo hoo!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Books. No... I mean it.

It's flashback time again for me, dealing with stocking up a whole new library. You'd think there'd be ample state funds... programs galore... library starter kits every which way you turn. But no. And in tough economic times, I suppose, a library (as opposed to a classroom library) might be looked on as a 'bonus' or some such. Feh. I don't think I coulda spoken as passionately as I can after three years volunteering, but a library surely has the potential to be a wonderful, wonderful, necessary place.

And so, with our school year winding down, I can turn my attention to making sure we open up the school year with books aplenty. I look forward to it. But if you hear me whine this summer, cut me some slack, cuz building a collection with no money just isn't easy no matter how passionate you are!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Suspicions confirmed....

I had figured that lots of folks would be searching the web for father's day poems and that some of them would end up here at Gottabook. But as usual, the exact search terms that led folks here... well... what do you all make of this?

father's day poem for an uncle about little feet

Perhaps they were thinking of Little Feat? Though what that has to do with anything I'll never know....

Ah well. My guess is that somewhere out on the web there's actually a poem for an uncle and about little feet. Not here, perhaps, but it's a big web!

Friday, June 13, 2008

A poetry "re-issue"....

Again digging into the vault for a poem that seems quite fitting these days: an end of the school year poem!

Hello, Summer! -- (A Last Day of School Poem)
Gregory K.

Goodbye, classroom!
Goodbye, Teach!
You can find me at the beach...
Or in the park or at the pool
Or any place that isn’t school.

Goodbye, quizzes!
Bye, reports!
Hello days packed full of sports
And days when I’m just lazybones
While eating melty ice cream cones.

Goodbye, homework --
Lunchroom, too.
There’s so, so much I wanna do.
I know the school year flew on past…
But please, please summer -- last and last.

The Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Clouds Come over at A Wrung Sponge. Do go on and check it out.

If you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer schedule...

I can feel it creeping in already... working its way in my pscyhe, my tempo, my drive. Yes, it's gonna be the summer blogging schedule before I know it. Sure, it's not much of a difference (4-5 posts a week vs. 5-6, more or less), but it's coming... it's coming.

My blog, interestingly to me if not to y'all, has a traffic pattern that's very influenced by the school year. I have a wonderful steady stream of readers all year round (subscribers, linkers, and google-arrivals), but I can tell when school is out and in. Seems healthy to me -- teachers and students looking for poetry and not just in National Poetry month. Still, there is a somewhat noticeable summer schedule in my readers, too. Seems like we're a good match!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Invigorated? Or...?

It was the last kid-book schmooze of the season for us tonight. Much as I love the online world and my friends here, it's still great to get out 'in the flesh' from time to time and talk with wonderful, enthusiastic, like-minded people. It's inspiring and invigorating... yet it's three months til the next scheduled gathering. Eeeps!

I will turn elsewhere, I know. And make extra coffee. But for tonight, anyway, I'll just rue the three month layoff....

Monday, June 09, 2008

Meeting the challenge!

Why not head on over to MotherReader's today and go tip your hat (cyberly or otherwise) to all those who participated in her 48 Hour Book Challenge. These are some dedicated folk!

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Gift for Dad -- a Father's Day poem/a poem for dad/a poem for fathers

Gregory K.

My family plays lots of games, and sometimes I feel bad –
No matter what, from sports to chess, I always beat my dad!
I know he’s trying really hard in every game we play.
I see the glimmer in his eye... but things just go my way.
Sure, he never moans or whines. I’ve never seen him crying.
But I’m afraid if this keeps up, then one day he’ll stop trying.
And so today, I have a plan (although he’ll never know it),
When we play games, I’ll let him win!
I hope he doesn’t blow it.

As you ponder whether this is a Father's Day poem, a father's birthday poem, a poem for Dad on any day, or all of the above, why not check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at just another day of Catholic pondering?

If you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Whoa. Flashback.

I'm staring at three boxes of books in my office -- three boxes bound for the new school library (mentioned below); three boxes that'll be with me for a month before they can move. Boy, does this bring back memories of the last three summers!

This also, of course, gives me an excuse not to clean my office. And really, what's wrong with that????

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Books! Books! Again with books!

Longtime readers hereabouts know that one of the hats I wear is that of the volunteer librarian at a public elementary school library. Beyond the day to day librarianship, I'm also one of the folks who helped build our collection with a budget of (drum roll, please) zero dollars! See, it turns out you can actually open a public school WITHOUT a library, since money is so scarce. Didn't seem acceptable to me three years ago when I first started building the collection, and it still doesn't. And that "still" matters, as this coming year, we're forced to split our campus into two locations. Ahhh, the life of a charter school. Anyway, what this means to me is that...

We're starting up a second library!!!!!!!!

The focus of this library is early elementary -- think kindergarten and first grade (and, of course, books for the non-readers and advanced readers among them). Yes, we're still working to grow our existing collection (getting new books with no budget isn't so easy!), but I just can't imagine September coming and our second campus not having books, books, books. So....

As before, I'm open to any ideas y'all might have, be they grants, folks to beg from, buried treasure troves of books, whatever. And if you happen to be in Los Angeles, feel free drop off donations!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Carnival's Back!

Yes, it's the May Carnival of Children's Literature hosted over at Here in the Bonny Glen (where the word kidlitosphere was coined, I do believe). Sure, I'm linking in June, but that's no reason not to go catch up on what May offered. Go on... be off!