Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Celebrate! It's Children's Book Week!

What better way for this children’s book writer to celebrate Children’s Book Week than to capture the event’s heart in a Zeno poem, the original poetic format shared last Friday, May 7 in my fellow TeachingAuthor April Halprin Wayland’s post.

Wave your bookmark! Clap! Shout! Holler,
“Let’s go, readers!”
This week
on Children’s Books -
of pages bound.
How each

Sponsored by The Children’s Book Council since 1919 (!) and administrated by Every Child a Reader, this year’s May 10-16 celebration includes a bounty of brand-new events and initiatives to accompany the third annual Children’s Choice Book Awards.
The CBC is partnering with a bookstore in at least 10 cities to stage CBW events, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, San Jose and Philadelphia. Former Children’s Book Ambassador Jon Scieszka and current Ambassador Katherine Paterson appear May 10 at the Barnes & Noble at 86th and Lexington. To learn what’s going on in your neck of the woods, check CBC Online.
CBW receives a boost from a first-time TV partnership. Lifetime's The Balancing Act hosts a different author every morning from May 10-14, including Scieszka, Johnette Downing, Barbara Bottner, Jo Nobisso, and Carol Nevius.

The online website offers all sorts of fun, meaningful ways for teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, writers and of course, last but not least, young readers to celebrate children’s books and the wondrous book selections available to kids this week, May 10 through 16, but any week, any month, any year, every year.
  • Share how-to instructions for making Children’s Book Week bookmarks.
  • Check out the downloadable Children’s Book Week Crossword and Word Search puzzles.
  • Be sure to also check listings for your local libraries, local booksellers and local community events.
And, don't forget Jeanne Marie's Monday, May 10 Writing Workout link to the Children's Book Week Story Starters created by National Ambassador Katherine Paterson, Eoin Colfer, Barbara Park, Lemony Snickets and others. Mo Willem's contribution starts a short comic story titled "BLAM!" His opening line? 

Happy Children's Book Week!

Esther Hershenhorn

Writing Workout:

My B is for Book page in S is for Story: A Writer’s Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, ’09) offers up Andrew Clements’ words:

“I don’t know a single writer who wasn’t a reader first.”

We remember our First Kiss, our First Love, our First Job, our First Sale.
What about our First Children’s Book?
Think back on the children’s books that made you a reader and thus made you a writer.
Track down your very favorite – on your own bookshelf or on the bookshelf of another, in a basement or attic box, at your local library or bookstore.
Turn the pages, remembering who you were the first time you heard the story.
If possible, read the words out loud.
YOU, of course, have changed.
But has the story and its telling? Has its place in your heart?
Now, try your hand at writing a Zeno poem – one that celebrates the character, pays tribute to the story or simply acknowledges the deliciousness of the reading experience.
If I can do this, so can you!

Here are April Halprin Wayland’s instructions.

A) Pick a topic.
B) Spill memories about this topic on paper.
C) Choose one of the memories.
D) Decide on the one-syllable word on which you’d like your poem to end.
E) List at least three one-syllable words which rhyme with the word you chose above and which could somehow be related to your subject. Find the rhymes by using your noodle, opening up a handy rhyming dictionary or using one online.
F) Review the structure of a Zeno. It helps to write out the pattern this way (the numbers indicate how many syllables, “A” indicates the same rhyme):
1 A
1 A
7) Get down in your mud puddle of form, ideas and words—and play


Esther Hershenhorn said...

I swear: I wrote an honest-to-goodness Zeno poem, with a first line of 8 beats/syllables.
Alas, Blogger's spacing shows otherwise!
One of these days I'll get the Blogger software right.

Unknown said...

I'll have to try this exercise! This is a really inspiring blog. To celebrate children's book week, I've interviewed children's author Caroline McAlister, writer of Holy Mole' and Brave Donatella and the Jasmine Theif, winner of the 2010 Junior Library Guild Selection award.

Rena Jones said...

Thanks for all of the links. I'm off to check the bookmarks one now!

Carmela Martino said...

I shifted the image and got the poem to line up properly for you!
Kneesandpaws: thanks for sharing your interview link.

Carmela Martino said...

I believe you posted a comment, but I'm not seeing it right now. Unfortunately, some of the links are wrong. I think this is the one Esther meant for the bookmarks:

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Mea culpa!
I - incorrectly - typed .org for the BookWeek links instead of .com.
Thank you, Marti, for being so vigilant.
All should be working now....
Thank you, Knees and Paws, for sharing your link to your interesting interview.

Unknown said...

Carmela and Esther,
You are most welcome. Thanks for including my comment and link! This is a terrific blog. Awesome and inspiring...I may have to start writing for a young audience in the future:)