Friday, December 5, 2014

15 Best Poetry Books of 2014...Pick 1!

Howdy Campers!

Yippee!--it's Poetry Friday!  (the link's at the end of this post ~)

Confession regarding the title of this post: I lied. Although there were many wonderful poetry books this year, I'm going to talk about just one.

You may already have read it...or read about it on Laura Purdie Salas' TeachingAuthors post in May.

You may already know that it's gotten starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal.

You may have heard that it's one of Publisher's Weekly's Best Picture Books of 2014, it's a School Library Journal Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, it's in the American Booksellers Association Best Books for Children Catalog, and it's on lists predicting the 2015 Caldecott for illustrator Melissa Sweet.

Of course I'm talking about
selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

In this beautiful collection, master anthologist Paul B. Janeczko has organized 36 very short gems around the four seasons, illuminated by Melissa Sweet's both sophisticated and whimsical illustrations.  Wow.

My father was a farmer and an artist. When he sketched my mother playing piano, his goal was to use as few lines as possible to tell that moment of my mother, the light from the window, that sonata.  

In the same way, these poems show moments...and so much more in a few short lines.

Here's one of my favorites from this sterling anthology:


When I was ten, one summer night,
The baby stars that leapt
Among the trees like dimes of light,
I cupped, and capped, and kept.

Another of my favorites is the always amazing Joyce Sidman’s “A Happy Meeting,” which describes what happens when rain meets dirt (first, “soft, cinnamon kisses,” then, “marriage: mud”). 

And...surprise! I am honored that one of my poems is included in this collection:


Sandpipers run with
their needle beaks digging--they're
hemming the ocean.
April Halprin Wayland

and look who just popped in to wave hello...
poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko and illustrator Melissa Sweet!

for hosting Poetry Friday today!

posted with affection by April Halprin Wayland in honor of
my mother, who loved both words and music ~


Margaret Simon said...

The combination of masterful poetic language and imaginative collage art makes this book a masterpiece. Love sharing it with students!

Linda B said...

I bought this for our library at school, hoping that many would share with students. It is wonderful, poems and illustrations, too! I love your poem, April; that hemming of the ocean is a unique image to think about.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Margaret and Linda ~ Yes--delicious, isn't it?

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I love YOUR words and music, Ms. April Halprin Wayland!
Thank you for reminding me of Laura's post and the need to purchase this beautiful collection pronto.
How wonderful that YOUR poem is included.

jama said...

Definitely a stellar book so deserving of all the accolades and awards. Nice to read your poem again today :).

Carmela Martino said...

Congratulations, April, and having a poem in such great company! And thanks for sharing it with us today.

Anastasia Suen said...

What a wonderful way to honor your mother, April....

Bobbi Miller said...

I Love this book! And such a tender, wonderful tribute to your Mother. Thank you, April!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear Esther, Jama, Carmela, Anastasia and Bobbi,

Thank you. Yep..a gift blog post to lieu of flowers :-)


Heidi Mordhorst said...

I love this book so much I swear I could EAT it. Literally. I had the lovely luck to eat lunch instead with Melissa at NCTE. I'm now a Melissa Sweet groupie.

Did I miss seeing you there somehow?

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Definitely one of my most favorite books of 2014. Love those sandpiper tailors, April!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Heidi! Lunch with Melissa Sweet? Seriously? Wowee!

And thanks for your kind nod, Michelle!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Heidi, no you didn't miss seeing me. I wasn't there (boo hoo). I borrowed the photo of Paul and Melissa, :-)

laurasalas said...

This is SUCH a beautiful book. There is hardly a poem in it that's not gorgeous. Love the ones you shared--congratulations on being in there!

jan godown annino said...

"hemming the ocean"
"baby stars"

make me want to be turning the pages this moment to delight in other monthly gems.

thank you for this joyful gift of greatness, april & FIREFLY JULY colleagues.

cool photo of two uber-creatives, too

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Laura and Jan--the other thing I love about this book is the large size--great for teacher/librarian sharing--but also illustration details a kid on a lap have fun finding...