Monday, April 12, 2010
peep a thon
We're slowly working our way through the candy loot. These three peeps are not just a metaphor for spring, but signal some good peeps about Nest, Nook and Cranny. Author Susan Blackaby has sent lovely reviews that quack nicely about our book.
Here's what Sheila Egan from Children's Lit had to say:
"Otters loll like whiskered boats,/Bobbing gently in the swells." Utilizing similes and many other "figures of speech," Blackby has created an enchanting tool for teaching as well as for pure enjoyment. Here her poetry covers five different habitats (desert, grassland, shoreline, wetland, and woodland) and the creatures that dwell in each particular area. The table of contents reveals these five divisions and also lists "habitats" and "writing poetry." The last two sections are invaluable. The habitats section succinctly defines the environment, flora, and fauna of each specialized environment; while the "writing poetry" section has references to individual poems which explain the poetic form used or gives explanations of how the poem was researched and developed. Teachers will be pleased to have precise explanations of such terms as homophones, sibilance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, consonance, and rhyme schemes. Blackaby employed a variety of poetic forms to support the various themes she presented, including: couplets, triolet, sonnet, unrhymed couplets, villanelle, than-bauk (a Burmese form), and a variety of rhyme schemes. Her explanations of the forms chosen for the different poems will open new channels of writing prowess for those who create their own poetry and those who aspire to do so. Pastel and charcoal pencil line drawings perfectly match the tone of the poems and give support to the information revealed in them as well. The drawing that goes with the heron poem gives life to the lines: "Herons walk with stilted steps/Stalking, cautious, through the marsh..." Every school and public library needs to own this gem.
What with April being National Poetry Month, word play is popping up like pansies!
Last Monday, I welcomed award-winning photographer Peter Ralston for a peep into my cluttered studio.
He came to Peaks Island to document picture book illustrators for an upcoming piece by David Tyler for the Island Journal. I am honored to be in the company of such talented neighbors as Scott Nash, Annie O'Brien, and Tim Nihoff.
I didn't have time to be nervous; Peter put me immediately at ease. He caught me working on my next book project for DownEast.
More on that in another post.
Later, I brought my SMCC class to the beach for nature studies, always a good exercise in observation and design. Plus, we were all thirsty for sun after weeks under florescent lights in the classroom.
Here are a few of mine.
After drawing the big driftwood tree, I got closer and examined the rhythms of the gnarly root forms.
And seaweed seemed like a marvelous choice for creating pattern with movement.
The same elements of pattern show up in this illustration for Nest, Nook and Cranny.
And I just saw my first snake in the yard! Gave my involuntary shriek at this sure sign of spring.
Peeps or shrieks, I am WAAAAY ready for spring!