Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's Time for Fun in the Sun for Everyone!

I hope you've had time for fun in the sun this summer! And surely you have wondered how fairies enjoy this season. In How Do Fairies Have Fun in the Sun?,  Liza Gardner Walsh and Hazel Mitchell give you the answers to the title's question.

Walsh's rhyming text offers possibilities aplenty, and it turns out that fairies have fun in the sun in much the same way as humans. Mitchell's magical, detailed illustrations bring the text to life.

I won my copy from Hazel Mitchell in an online contest. (Thanks, Hazel!) The package itself was "sqee"-worthy-- 
Yes, I now have a Hazel Mitchell original on bubble mailer! 

Hazel very kindly autographed the book to my granddaughters, ages 5 and 2, and I was delighted to read it with them. They had made a fairy garden but most of it got washed away in a heavy rain. Had any fairies lived in the garden? I asked. The five-year-old thought. "Maybe the tooth fairy." Walsh includes tips for making a fairy garden on the book's last page. So what did the girls think? Walsh's lilting rhymes suggested lots of fun, and as I read we talked about what they thought fairies would do and whether the girls would do that activity, too. When I turned the page to the fairies' pool scene, the five-year-old gasped and said, "Wow!" A great endorsement. You can see part of that scene in the "Look Inside" feature here.

Walsh & Mitchell have spent time at fairy festivals this summer. Take a look here and host your own! 

Still want more? I wrote about Walsh, Mitchell, and spring fairies here.  

One thing is certain, summer is made for fun in the sun, whether you are a human or a fairy. How are you have fun in the sun?

Monday, July 9, 2018

What if Bugs Went to School? Crawly School for Bugs Review

Happy summer! School is out for most kids and teachers in the U.S., but young insects have a  lot to learn. Take a look at David L. Harrison's Crawly School for Bugs: Poems to Drive You Buggy to see what school might be like for ticks, termites, mosquitoes, and other insects. Imaginative, informative, and laugh-out-loud funny, the poems might make you think twice before grabbing the can of Raid.

Julie Bayless enhances the humor with her illustrations, characterizing scenes and caricaturizing the bugs. My favorite is the spread that accompanies "What's Left of Termite Class," which shows termites in classroom mayhem. (Use the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon to see it and other illustrations.)

Harrison's well-crafted poems have perfect rhythm and rhyme to make for fun reading out loud, with worthy punchlines at the end to amp up the humor. One of my favorites is "Stink Bug Class."

"Smell that smell?"
complained a kid.
At first we didn't,
then we did!"

I don't want to give away the rest, but this poem strikes me as one that kids will relate to.

I love the summer sun and fun, but when bugs start swarming? Not so much. This book helps me look at bugs in a whole new way!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Meditation on Mothers: Happy National Poetry Month!

My poet friend, Nancy Keck, is always inspired by her home in Northern Minnesota. In this dreamlike work, she ponders the eternal cycle of life and encourages us to remember our mothers and other women we have loved.


I walked into a forest and looked over the sea
     the Goddess came to me in memories of my mother, Jane
     my grandmother, Margaret, my friend, Martina
all gone from me now, but their love still very much with me.
I asked the Goddess to heal my broken heart
to somehow smooth together the fractures of loss, of hopes mislaid, of dreams forgotten.
I gave to the Goddess a lilac, one stem of purple flowers,
     the scent of spring , the image of my spirit
     of my love for this earth, for this life
     its beauty in brief and eternal time.

The Goddess gave me the hope of my dreams, the continuation of our family’s lineage
     through my cherished daughter, Suzanne,
     a tiny, perfect baby.
I kissed the baby’s fingers and held it tightly, yet gently
     realization of Suzanne’s longing to become a mother
     incarnation of my hope to become a grandmother
     connection with my mother and grandmothers
     link back through the women of our family
          to the ancient rocks of England, to ancient Celtic spirits
          to ancient voices singing through the waves of Lake Superior
          through the branches of pines in the Northern forest
          to the Northern Lights that danced all over the sky following my mother’s death.

I sit beside Lake Superior
watching the waves wash into the shore, then back out again.
One day those waves will carry my ashes, my spirit,
to join those of the women who have gone on before me
to become one with the Divine.

     ~Nancy Ronstrom Keck
     (c) April 26, 2009

How do you remember and honor the women who have gone on before you?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Peachy Poetry: Happy National Poetry Month!

(all photos by Jane Heitman Healy (c) 2011)

If you follow this blog in late summer, you know I love peaches from Western Colorado. So when teacher-poet Janet Clare Fagal submitted these poems, my mouth watered! Enjoy the poem, leave a comment for Janet, and enjoy a fresh peach when you get a chance.                  

                                  After Spring Comes Summer: A Trio of Peachy Poems

                                                           The Peach

                                                           Rub, squeeze, chomp, sip
                                                           sweet fleshy globe.
                                                           Golden-pink like sunset.
                                                           Slips down your throat
                                                           cool as night.
                                                           Feels like summer.

                                                               Orchard Treasure

                                                               Silky summer
                                                               poised in the farmstand
                                                               Piled high, plump,

                                                                  Peach Cobbler

                                                                  Swirled like pearls,
                                                                  soft and plump,
                                                                  round like globes,
                                                                  gone in gulps.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Walking Watson: Happy National Poetry Month!

Watson, age 5

Happy Birthday (April 22), Watson! He loves his new ball and is grateful for spring because that means more frequent and longer w-a-l-k-s. (I'm in trouble if he learns how to spell!) Watson is a great walker now, but in his puppyhood, walking him was more challenging, prompting this poem from 2015:

Walking My Dog, Watson

When I walk Watson, he sets the pace.
He launches off  like he’s in a race
And runs a block or maybe two
While I hold on. Who’s leading who?
He trots and stops and circles back to sniff at every tree.
He jumps at squirrels, which seems to make him gallop vertically.
He lolls at every post and bush and runs full-out between,
And when we meet some people, he licks their faces clean.
Some ask why I do it, but the question ought to be
Am I walking Watson, or is Watson walking me?
                                                ~Jane Heitman Healy, (c) 2015
(This poem first appeared as a Word of the Month poem on David L. Harrison's site in April 2015. The word was "pace.")

Fall 2017

Monday, April 23, 2018

Earth Day Every Day: Happy National Poetry Month!

Paula, a scientist, is always thinking of ways to be kinder to the planet. Here's one offering: 


Goes 50 miles on just the electric

People ask, where is it charged? 
It can be done in your garage

Unplug the car, away you go
Forget the gas; it isn’t low

For the electric encourage more miles,
Build more plugs—the reward is smiles.
                                    ~Paula Struckman

I regularly play over at poet David L. Harrison’s Word of the Month poem. This month’s word is “earth.” My acrostic entry is below, and you can go to this page to see the others. Leave one of your own if you like!

Our Only Planet

Acts of kindness
Tender care of our
        ~Jane Heitman Healy

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Importance of Bees: Happy National Poetry Month!

Elizabeth Neubauer knows a lot about insects and appreciates them more than the average person. We should all value bees for their ability to pollinate our plants, which in turn, creates our food.

                                                    April 7th
                                                    Bees rooting around in flowers for
                                                    Tongues slipping through petals
                                                    Touching pistils and stamens
                                                    Collecting pollen in bags
                                                    To take home to their babies
                                                    While fecund blooms
                                                    Ripen into fruit.

                                                             ~Elizabeth Neubauer (c) 2018

Elizabeth's poetry also appeared here earlier this month. Leave her a comment if you like.