Friday, January 31, 2014

Poetry Picture Book Giveaway! Poetry Friday! Who Am I? A Mask Poem

Howdy Campers!

Happy Poetry is the (gasp!) last day to win TeachingAuthor Jill Esbaum's brand new rhyming picture book about a hyper baby killdeer,
I HATCHED! All the details of how to enter are here

PF is at The Miss Rumphius Effect today--thanks,Tricia!

Earlier this week poet Joan Bransfield Graham stopped by on her blog tour to offer a terrific Wednesday Writers' Workout based on her new book, The Poem That Will Not End—Fun With Poetic Forms And Voices. 

She reminded me how much fun it is to write mask poems--poems from the point of view of  something else.

Here's idea I've been tossing around for decades... 
photo by Dorothy Brooks Photography from
Gardenias Ask The Night
by April Halprin Wayland

if we send
our scent high

Sister Moon

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

 photo  from

Now it's your turn: who will you become?  Please share!

Remember, today, Friday, January 31st, is the last day to win our very own  
Jill Esbaum's wonderful, rhyming picture book about a hyper baby killdeer, I HATCHED! All the details of how to enter are here!
posted with love by April Halprin Wayland and the moon, who says she will.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Joan Bransfield Graham's New Book & Poetry Exercise!--Wednesday Writers' Workout

Howdy, Campers!

We're taking a breaking from HATCHing today--i.e.,celebrating the arrival of Jill Esbaum's newest book, I HATCHED! (here and here so far), but the contest to win this remarkable rhyming picture book by our very own Jill doesn't end until January 31st, so get your tail feathers on and enter here!

Today, I'm excited that TeachingAuthors is one of two mid-week stops on Joan Bransfield Graham's blog tour (the other stop today is at Renee LaTulippe's terrific No Water River) introducing Joan's new poetry book...AND since it's Wednesday, we welcome her as our very own personal trainer for today's Writing Workout.

This is my friend, the effervescent, inventive and truly original author and thinker, Joan Bransfield Graham

Joan is an award-winning poet who can't STOP writing poetry. She has files and piles of poems, which have been featured in anthologies, magazines, textbooks, and on CDs. She likes to think "outside the page" because poetry is "everywhere." Her books SPLISH SPLASH and FLICKER FLASH--shape poems about water and light--were both chosen as School Library Journal Best Books of the Year and NCTE Notables, among many other honors, and have been described as "ingenious," "wonderfully evocative," and "stunningly delicious." She loves photography, art, traveling and lives not-too-far from me in Los Angeles, CA.

 Celebrating its 20th Birthday!

Celebrating its 15th Birthday!

Just YESTERDAY, Joan's newest book--The Poem That Will  Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices--was published! This fabulous book, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, was recently featured in an article called "A Year for Poetry" . . . "A picture book which may have language arts teachers doing a happy dance." – Kirkus Reviews

As Joan describes it, this book is the opposite of writer's block--Ryan O'Brian can't STOP writing poetry and does so in many unusual ways.  There is a book-length story poem, 22 poems embedded in the artwork, and a three-page glossary done as Ryan's notebook, describing the 15 poetic forms and five voices used. (Note: The publisher will provide a Teacher's Guide for this book with ties to the Common Core. I'll post the link as soon as I get that information.) 

Joan is truly a TeachingAuthor--her degree in Elementary Education is from Rowan University in NJ.  She taught 2nd Grade in New Jersey, did substitute teaching for grades 1 - 8 in Kentucky, and taught 4th and 5th Grade Gifted classes in California.  She is always teaching during her school visits, doing what she enjoys most--encouraging students to use their imagination and creativity.

And now, without further ado, here's Joan's WWW Olympic Writing Challenge:
JOAN: With the Winter Olympics fast approaching (Feb.7th in Sochi, Russia), April and I are going to turn writing into an Olympic sport--and we want you on our team!  Among the poems in my new book, THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END:  Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices, is a bike poem.  In this mask poem, the bike "speaks" for itself:

Step on—
I am wheels
and gears,
I am speed.
I will heed
your slightest

I will take you
I am wind
in your hair,
I am things
I’m the road
ahead . . . .

--© Joan Bransfield Graham

illustration by Kyrsten Brooker

In this Olympic Writing Challenge we ask you to see the Games through the "eyes" of a piece of sporting equipment--give it a voice--and write your own mask poem

What will you be--an ice hockey helmet, ski poles, ice skates or...? 

Share your mask poems with a loved one...and with us in the comments section below--we want to hear them!

And to double your pleasure, snowboard over to Renee LaTulippe's No Water River blog and transform your poem into an apostrophe poem (in which the poet addresses a non-living or non-human being)!

And BTW--did you know that Renee lives in Italy?  So, this "doubleheader" poetry prompt is an international event! Work out those mental muscles and Go for the Gold!

Thank you so much for sharing this energizing WWW with us, Joan!

Links to Joan Bransfield Graham's Grand Blog Tour 2014:
Monday, Jan. 27--Poetry for Children--Dr. Sylvia Vardell, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX, a behind-the-scenes look,
Tuesday, Jan. 28--Tales from the Rushmore Kid--Tina Nichols Coury, editor interview with Melanie Kroupa,
Wednesday, Jan. 29--Double Olympic Poetry Challenge--an international event!
No Water River--Renee LaTulippe (in Italy--using "Soccer Ball" as a prompt, write an apostrophe poem for a piece of Olympic sporting equipment),
Teaching Authors--Six Authors Who Also Teach--(USA--using "Bike" as a prompt, write a mask poem for the same sports item--skis, skates, etc.)
Thursday, Jan. 30--The Miss Rumphius Effect--Dr. Tricia Stohr-Hunt, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA,
Friday, Jan. 31--Jama's Alphabet Soup--Jama Kim Rattigan--review of book, potato recipe, plus write "food couplet" (a la "Couplet for French Fries") to be entered into giveaway
*  *  * 
Remember to enter our Book Giveaway of Jill Esbaum's
I HATCHED!--you have until Friday, January 31st!

posted with love by April Halprin Wayland with help from the fairies and the killdeer

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hello Again

Happy New Year!  I'm happy to be back this week as a "guest blogger" -- especially on this most exciting day when the children's book world celebrates its equivalent of the Academy Awards.

As most of you probably know, you can follow the live feed of the ALA announcements here:

Yay, librarians!  Yay, writers, illustrators, and editors!

I have been enjoying my hiatus from blogging duties to relax, read (gasp), and yes, even work on my own writing -- that is, when I'm not teaching, working at my day job, or schlepping my kids all over central Maryland.  The opportunity to "fill the well," as they say, has been much needed and most welcome.

While I have been on a bit of a reading binge, I admit that I haven't run out to acquire most of the (I'm sure fabulous) books on this year's Mock Newberys lists.  [Here, by the way, is an awesome Mock Newbery blog.] I have made no secret in the past of my populist tastes, and a colleague I respect very much who writes literary fiction recently said something very revealing to me.  She shared that she enjoyed dabbling in writing for kids because "it's okay to have a happy ending."  The fact that it's not okay to have a happy ending in "serious" works probably wholly explains my populist taste.  As someone who's suffered from depression my entire adult life, I frankly don't enjoy reading books that depress me.  

(courtesy of Way Off Broadway)

Over the holiday break, my daughter was cast in a local production of The Sound of Music, and we have been glorying in listening to My Favorite Things on endless repeat.  I also introduced her to my favorite childhood show, The Brady Bunch, and she prefers it to all of our Netflix offerings. Eight is such an amazing age -- that blend of wit, innocence, intelligence, ignorance.  I honestly wish I could freeze this moment in time forever. 

But while I grew up in an era of Little House and The Waltons, it's now a world of Dance Moms and the Kardashians and Justin Bieber.  The catch word is "edgy."  Scan the list of acclaimed books, and count how many feature dead parents, siblings, mental illness, war, or some combination thereof.  Certainly these books are necessary and important, and I would never want to imply otherwise. I also greatly appreciate the fact that today there is a place for heroines like Katniss (even if I can't bring myself to read anything about vampires or dystopian societies).  At the same time, I wish there were more appreciation today for the literary "comfort food" that sustained me through my childhood.  I believe there is still an appetite for the cozy, (and yes, cozy can be realistic!) family stories that I loved and that my daughter still loves today.

In some ways, our kids are so sadly wise in the ways of the world.  Yesterday I had to tell my daughter about a mass shooting at "our" local mall, which we visited just last week.  Experienced in "duck and cover" drills as she is, she barely reacted to the horrifying news.  At the same time, I never thought that I would have an almost-nine-year-old who still believed in Santa -- and she is far from alone among her peers.  Technology is, I'm sure, a big part of the reason -- in this Internet age, Santa's rapid transit feats no longer seem quite so impossible; and those video chats and apps featuring the "man" himself add credibility, too.  But I also suspect that our kids want to cling to the innocence of childhood, to be kids longer than they are often allowed to be.

At least in the field of picture books, happy innocence is still the rule.  If you're looking for something to warm your heart, don't forget to enter the giveaway for Jill Esbaum's delightful new book, I Hatched!
Click here for contest details.

Congratulations to Jill on her recent book birthday and to all of today's ALA nominees and winners! -- Jeanne Marie

Friday, January 24, 2014

I Hatched! Giveaway, Part 2

These are my National Geographic books. Seven published, six in the pipeline. What do they have to do with I Hatched!? None of them would be published without it. Well, they’d be published. But someone else would be their author.

A National Geographic editor was featured at one of our state conferences six or seven years ago. The staff dinner (I was on staff at the time) was a relaxed affair held at a member’s home, so when I saw the editor, who seemed the quiet type, leave the buffet and take her plate into a comfy (and empty) den, and nobody else was following, I made myself take the plunge. I was a painfully shy kid, and initiating conversation with strangers still isn’t easy for me. But I was more concerned, in this case, that she feel welcome. I wasn’t even writing nonfiction, so it wasn’t like I was going to try to pump her for secret submission tips or anything. (I know. Overthinking. But yes, that ran through my mind. I was hoping if I mentioned that I only wrote fiction, she’d know she could relax around me.)

As I always do when talking with somebody I don’t know well (or at all), I turned every conversation to her. She warmed up as she answered my questions about working at nat geo – telling me about the beautiful atrium, frequent opportunities to attend talks by explorers, their amazing photo archives, etc. One topic kept leading to others, and we ended up having a long and extremely pleasant conversation. I stopped thinking of her as Ack, an editor! and came to see her as a really nice, fascinating person.

I hadn’t written I Hatched! then, but a few years later, when it was ready to submit, I thought of her. My agent sent it her way. Sadly, she’d left nat geo not long before. The current staff passed on I Hatched! BUT. They liked my writing enough to ask if I might be interested in writing a couple of books for a new series they were planning. Um, gee, let me think about it for a min–YES!
I learned a long time ago that when a new writing opportunity arises, the answer is ALWAYS yes, even when I’m not sure I know what I’m doing (which is most of the time, honestly).

So what is all this leading up to? Well, since my fellow TAs have been posting about One Thing for 2014 they’ll do more or less of to support their writing, I hope the rest of you introverts out there will vow to make a special effort to step out of your comfort zones at least once this year. Attend a writing conference and talk to people, take an on-line workshop, write an e-mail to the author of a favorite book. Making a new connection might end up leading to Big Things, writing-wise. But getting involved, expanding your relationship pool – however you do so – will definitely enrich your life and make you a more interesting person. What do you have to lose?

                                                                                                      Two introverts passing through our farm. 

Remember, there's still time to enter our contest to win an autographed copy of I Hatched! 

Good luck!

Jill Esbaum

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Picture Book Giveaway! I HATCHED!

Every spring and summer, the edges of our gravel road are alive with killdeer. When I take my morning walk, they zigzag ahead of me or zip down the narrow strip between tire tracks and roadside weeds.

Those are adults, of course, trying to distract me, hoping I’ll chase them rather than stop and look for their eggs/chicks. Their nests shouldn’t be too difficult to spot, as the females lay their eggs atop a shallow pile of sticks or stones. Not that I’ve found one yet. But one of these days I’ll be in the right place at the right time.

A few years ago, I read about the birds online. I wasn’t thinking of writing a book; I just wanted to know more about them. And oh, my. The chicks were ADORABLE. They’re precocial, staying in the shell longer than most “yard” birds. When they break out, they’re ready to go, miniature versions of their parents, running and searching for bugs and exploring their world.

                                                                                                 Wikipedia Commons

Not long after reading about them, I had a vivid, just-before-waking dream. In it, a killdeer chick hatched and, in a funny little birdie voice, narrated aloud as he ran around discovering his neighborhood and himself. I woke, drowsy, and as I stretched I thought:  Ohhh, that was a sweet dream…WAIT A MINUTE! …because I’d just realized that the birdie’s voice was in rhyme. Yowser. I stumbled to my office to jot down any lines I could remember – only two, but thankfully I recalled the gist and was able to reconstruct the rest over the next few days.

Fast forward three years or so, and Dial Books for Young Readers will release I HATCHED! this Wednesday. Illustrator Jen Corace did a spectacular job of bringing this little hatchling to life. From the publisher:

“A baby chick bursts from his egg and into the world with hilarious enthusiasm, awe, and I-can't-help-myself energy, capturing babies' delight in new discovery and parents' joy in this amazing new person. Rompy, rhyming text evokes the zeal of a toddler who's eager for everything. And Jen Corace's gorgeous artwork is alive with critters and curiosities and surprises--the biggest of which? The hatching of a new baby sister, to the absolute delight of her now 'expert' big brother!

Breathless, breathtaking, and downright funny, this story is sure to find fans in new moms, toddlers, and big brothers and sisters too.”

You can win an autographed copy of I HATCHED! by entering with Rafflecopter, below. The contest will end January 31st. Please add a note in our comments section telling us why you hope to win the book. Thanks!

Jill Esbaum
P.S.  If you see an early version of this post, there won't be pictures, as Blogger isn't letting me post them, for some reason. I'll keep trying! If you're reading a later version, and you see the pics just fine and dandy, then, um, never mind.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 17, 2014

Focusing Fifteen Minutes a Day, and a Downton Abbey Poetry Reference

Today I continue our One Thing for 2014 series, in which we talk about one thing we want to do more (or less) of this year to support our writing. I'll also provide information about a contest for young writers. And at the end of today's post, in honor of Poetry Friday, I'll share a snippet from a poem I discovered in an unusual way--via this week's episode of Downton Abbey.

My One Thing for 2014:
I could really relate to what Esther said on Monday about putting other responsibilities ahead of her writing. I've been wanting to start a new novel for awhile now, but I've allowed myself to be distracted by other responsibilities, including freelance work and finding new teaching venues. I figured I needed long blocks of time to tackle something new. Then, last September, I participated in Laurie Halse Anderson's Write Fifteen Minutes a Day (WFMAD) Challenge and I discovered something important: you can get A LOT done in 15 minutes! And often, that 15 minutes magically stretches out into 30, 40, even 90 minutes. Unfortunately, I fell back into old habits during the holidays, putting off my FUN writing (as April calls it) to focus on other things again. Unlike Esther, I've been doing plenty of writing, including drafting a work-for-hire project, crafting query letters, and revising my YA historical romance (which, I'm happy to report, recently won the YA category of the Windy City RWA 2013 Four Seasons Contest). I just wasn't working on the new idea that was calling to me.

image from doctor_bob at morguefile
So my One Thing for 2014 is to Focus Fifteen Minutes a Day (FFMAD) on my new project. I've been actually setting a timer and keeping a record of my time spent. While I did miss a day this week, I am making progress. My new mantra: Slow Progress Is Better Than No Progress. And now that I've put my goal in writing for all the world to see, I hope to be even more consistent. J

So what's your One Thing for 2014? A few of our readers have been sharing theirs via the comments and emails. Perhaps if you share your intention with us, it will help you follow-through, too.

A Contest I Learned about this Week:
This week I learned about the Listen to a Life contest, sponsored by the Legacy Project. Students ages 8-18 are invited to:
"Travel through time as you interview a grandparent or grandfriend about their life experiences – you may be surprised by what you learn! Then, submit a 300-word story to send a message around the world and into the future." 
Teachers, why not encourage your students to participate? Entry deadline is March 28, and the contest is open to residents of U.S. and Canada. For details, see their How to Enter page.

A Poem for Poetry Friday, Courtesy of Downton Abbey:
I'm a big Downton Abbey fan. I have to admit that this week's episode was a real downer. (Episode 2 of Season 4.) However, one highlight was a brief reference to a Christina Rossetti poem. If you haven't seen the episode yet, you can watch it online. About 27:40 into it, Maggie Smith, in her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham, says the last two lines of the sonnet "Remember." Not recognizing the poem, I went in search of it, and found it on the Poetry Foundation website. You can go there to read the whole poem. I'll share only the last 6 lines here.

               from Remember
              by Christina Rossetti
          . . . 
          Yet if you should forget me for a while
                   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
                   For if the darkness and corruption leave
                   A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
          Better by far you should forget and smile
                   Than that you should remember and be sad.

Now it's time to check out all the other great poetry in today's Poetry Friday round-up over at Keri Recommends.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

POV: Greg Pincus' Wednesday Writing Workout & One Thing for 2014

Howdy Campers! 
It's time for TeachingAuthors' first WWW of 2014!

Starting this year, we're cutting back a bit: we'll be featuring WWWs just once or twice a month. Why? It's our collective New Year's Resolution so each of us has more time to...W R I T E.

In fact, in our cozy TeachingAuthors's treehouse lounge this month,we're each sharing One Thing for 2014 to support our writing. Just One!  What a fine idea.

JoAnn talks about "developing fresh ideas while kneading, baking, and eating fresh bread" (yum!) while Esther plans to spend the first hour of her writing day (at least) living inside her own heroine's story--before she edits her students' work.

Me? I resolve to...wear more fun earrings--not just the default pearl studs I've worn forever.

Wait--what? A resolution about my writing?  Oy--it scares me to make a resolution about my writing.  What if I never actually do it?

But maybe I can make a teeny resolution.  Just One Thing.  Baby steps.

Okay...deep breath.  I'm going to focus on writing what's fun to write, whether it makes sense for my career or not: picture book, adult article, poem for kids or adults

And's Wednesday--time for our guest author WWW!

In case you missed it, author Greg Pincus stopped by for a fabulous chat a few weeks ago about his debut novel, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K  and promised to come back with a writing exercise for you...and here it is!

No!!!! Anything But That!
A Prompt from a Different Perspective
Writing Prompt Thingee
by Greg Pincus

Playing with different perspectives can be a lot of fun as a writer...  but putting yourself into another person's mind can also be daunting.  One way to simplify that is to eliminate the other person and instead take the perspective of something inanimate. 

So... look around you right now. What do you see?

An apple? A pencil? A window? The floor?
Whatever it is that you saw has a purpose in our world (a window can be to see through or serve as for decoration, for example) or is used by humans in some specific way or another (we walk on a floor; we eat an apple).

The writing workout is to write from the perspective of what you saw... and tell a story that will prevent a person from using "you" in the way we usually would.

For example, here's me as an apple...

...who doesn't want to be eaten:

You can't see it, I know.
But a worm's just below
My glistening skin.
So when you bite in,
You won't get a crunch
But rather you'll munch
That poor worm's guts and pieces
And the gunk it releases.
Yes, I expect if you ate me
You'd expectorate me.
So please leave me be.
Go try cookies and tea.

poem © 2014 Greg Pincus. All rights reserved
While this is a poem of simple couplets, the prompt can work as the way to start a  persuasive essay or as a way into perspective taking in poetry or fiction or, really, any sort of writing.  Unless, of course, the object you see is an essay and it tries to convince you NOT to write an essay. Then, well, who knows what happens?
Thank you, Greg--this sounds like fun!  I can hear my earrings talking to me now...

Readers: what object is calling you?  What is your One Thing for 2014? Fess up!

posted by April Halprin Wayland.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Of Geese and Ganders and New Year's Resolutions...

The truth is,
I don’t need to spend hours kneading dough to think of that One Thing that would make a difference in my writing life this year.
I know it and I’ve known it throughout 2013.
I must begin each day living inside my stories.

                                                          (Morgue Files, Jim Munnelly)

There’s no getting around it.  Once I’m caffeinated, and even sometimes before, all of me writes best in the day’s early hours.
Usually at my desk, in my writing room,
or on the couch,
or in my bed,
but always, at my keyboard.
That’s my M.O.
It works because I work best first thing in the morning.

This past year, IMHO, I continued to do my best work in the a.m.
I eagerly arose to dig into stories, except and alas,
they were the stories of the writers I teach and coach.
Which wasn’t all bad, because, to my delight, as my teaching and coaching plate overflowed, so did my Gratitude Journal.
In 82 lifetimes I’d never come to know the fine people with whom I've worked.
My writers allow me to give everything I’ve got.  They keep me sharp.  They make me smart.
But I was so caught up living inside their stories first, investing in their characters, their plotlines, their hopes and hearts, all in the name of telling their good stories well,
sadly my Heroine sat last in line, waiting.  

She was patient at first.
But this past year, as I wrote notes and narratives and follow-up emails for and to my writers, as I shared tools and shortcuts and hard-gained wisdom, she whimpered and whispered, then heaved heavy sighs.
She scratched at my insides, poking, pinching, finally punching come Fall.
“You promised me you’d tell MY story to the World!” she scolded.  “You can’t break your promise!”

So this year, I’m keeping it.
I’ve now spent at least the first hour of the past thirteen days living inside my Heroine’s story.
I'm re-reading first drafts, re-viewing revisions, re-visiting notes and my Writer’s Journal. 
I’m creating a GPS of sorts for my final revision - singling out Turning Points, re-weaving subplots, ordering scenes, layering plotlines, reconsidering motives, short-handing themes, summarizing the story, readying my pitch.
I’m working hard, doing everything I tell my writers to do.
And THEN I go on to live inside their stories.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
                                                   (Morgue Files, emlyn)

I’ve even returned to an earlier writing practice I used with each of my books: falling asleep with my story on my mind so it’s there in the morning, waiting with the sun.

Here’s to new days and (hopefully) new ways!

Esther Hershenhorn

Friday, January 10, 2014

One Thing for 2014

Can you think of one thing that would make a difference in your writing life in this new year? What could you do more or less of to improve your skills, your acceptance rate, or your overall outlook? We Teaching Authors will answer that question in a new series of posts starting today.

This week, cold weather added two extra days to our holiday break. While my husband (an accomplished baker) was home to coach me, I decided I wanted to learn how to bake bread. I’d made plenty of batter breads but never attempted the yeast kind before.

You know how some projects seem daunting until you try them, and then you wonder why you waited so long? Baking bread was like that.

I followed the very helpful “Illustrated Guide to the Baking of Yeasted Bread” and the Basic Bread Recipe in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. With my husband looking over my shoulder, I sprinkled yeast into wrist-temperature water, beat in flour and a few extra ingredients, kneaded, punched, kneaded, shaped, and baked.

In the middle of all my kneading, I thought.

I concentrated.

I wondered.

I consciously socked away old worries and focused on future possibilities.

Keeping my hands busy allows my brain to function more freely. Almost any repetitive motion, including chopping fresh vegetables and hanging laundry outside, coaxes back-burner ideas to the forefront. After all that kneading, I felt less stressed, more energetic, and more optimistic. (I can do this! Hooray!) That result alone was worth the effort.

And at the end of the process, we got to eat warm homemade bread. Hooray and yum! Now I’m researching recipes, gluten, and different kinds of flour. I’m looking forward to developing fresh ideas while kneading, baking, and eating fresh bread. Try it! Happy New Year!

JoAnn Early Macken

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Magnificent Seven Cybil Poetry Book Award Finalists--read all about 'em!

Howdy, Campers!

Quick quiz: why are the Cybils called the Cybils?  
The word kinda sorta comes from
Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards

I had the great honor to be a first-round judge on the 2013 Cybils Poetry Book Award committee this year.

Our able leader was Jone MacCulloch, who many of you know and love, and whose job it was to herd, help and cajole the judges to read the nominated books and then turn in reviews of the best by the day after Christmas

While Santa was delivering presents, Jone was pulling out her eyebrows.

photo from

I was in extraordinary company. Round One Judges were:

Ed deCaria, Think, Kid, Think!  @edecaria
Kelly Fineman, Writing and Ruminating @kellyfineman
Jone MacCulloch, Check It Out  @JoneMac53
Anastasia Suen, Poet! Poet! @asuen1
Sylvia Vardell, Poetry for Children @SylviaVardell
Bridget Wilson, What is Bridget Reading? @bridgetrwilson
and moi: April Halprin Wayland, Teaching Authors  @aprilhwayland

We've whittled our pile of nominated poetry books down to seven and sent our list off to the second-round judges.  Winners will be announced on Valentine's Day (awww...)
 photo from

And here, Campers, are our seven finalists and our reviews (in no particular order) :

posted by April Halprin Wayland