April Literacy Events for Children

If you thought March was a great month for promoting literacy, wait until you see what is on tap for April!

April 1, 2013 kicks off National Poetry Month.



Our favorite event for National Poetry Month is Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Just find a poem and carry a copy in your pocket to share with others. We’ll be featuring poetry-filled books throughout the month to inspire you.

If you need more ideas, here’s a list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, one for each day of April.


On April 12, 2013 it is National Drop Everything and Read Day.

What is National D.E.A.R. Day? It’s a great way to celebrate reading and books. At some point in the day, simply drop what you are doing a read a book. Of course, it is even more fun if you join with family and friends.


Next is National Library Week, April 14-20, 2013.



Take time to celebrate the value of libraries, librarians and library workers! Look for events at your local libraries.


We’d love to hear from you about how you are celebrating literacy this month.

Shoes for Me Book Inspires Activities

Shoes for Me! by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Mike Laughead has been released just in time to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. The story follows a colorful, bouncy romp through a shoe store with Hippo. Fliess creates a pitch perfect rhyme to keep the tempo fast-paced and exciting. You are compelled to turn the page to discover what shoes Hippo will find next.

“Feet got bigger,
heel to toe.
Time for new shoes.
Off we go!”

You get a good sense of the flavor of the book in this trailer.

Shoes For Me! is a sweet, amusing addition to your poetry shelf that is sure to appeal to the shoe shopper in all of us. It might also be useful for children who are shy about getting new shoes and need a little preparation for the big event.

Reading the book will encourage little fashion designers and poets to get creative. Satisfy their cravings with some fun “tie-in” activities.

1. Write a poem about shoes (or an article of clothing).

Shoe Acrostic (with alliteration)

What shoes should I wear today?

Sloppy slippers?
Holey high-tops?
Old oxfords?
Elegant espadrilles?
Sassy sandals?

I know, no shoes!

(By Roberta Gibson)

A shape poem of a shoe or t-shirt might be fun. ReadWriteThink has an interactive shape poem generator to help get started.

2. Design your own shoes on paper.

Draw some shoes on a piece of paper and color them with marker, crayons or colored pencils. Cut out bits of colorful cloth and glue them on the shoes. Pieces of ribbon or lace might be nice to add, too. Consider sprinkling on glitter or sequins to add shine.

If you don’t want to draw your own shoes, here are a pair of shoes to color (link is for.pdf file)

3. Decorate some canvas shoes


  • Clean canvas shoes
  • Fabric paint (older children might use acrylic)
  • Ribbons or lace (optional)
  • Sharpie marker (optional)
  • Stencils (optional)

Draw a design onto the shoes lightly with pencil with a stencil or freehand. You might want to color areas or apply the fabric paint only to the design. Try an Google image search with keywords “canvas shoe hand paint children” to see some great ideas.

365 Days of Crafts has an example of painted shoes.

Special thanks to Jessica and Selena for sharing their thoughts about this book.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Corp (March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0761458255
ISBN-13: 978-0761458258

Book was provided by author for review purposes.

Bursting With Poetry

April is a wonderful time for National Poetry Month. Flowers are blooming, the leaves are popping, insects are buzzing. Spring is a magical time of rebirth, which seems can only be fully and joyfully expressed in the form of poetry.

For example, the bright yellow brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) are blooming on the roadsides right now in Arizona.



The bright yellow masses inspired this simple acrostic poem:


Bright yellow flowers
Rattlesnakes slip into shade
Indigenous to Arizona
Tortoises munch
Tarantulas wander by
Lizards sunbathe quietly
Elegant bouquet

Bees slurp, then zip
Underneath is cool
Sun loving
Heat resistant

By Nathan and Roberta


And this haiku:

bee sits on flower

buzz buzz bee sips sweet nectar

quick! next flower waits

Roberta Gibson

If you are in the mood to read some insect-inspired poetry, then Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (illustrated by Eric Beddows), is an absoulutely wonderful older book to pull out and enjoy once again. It was the winner of 1989 Newbery Medal.Joyful-Noise

On page 3, the grasshopper poem is a perfect accompaniment to a good bout of spring fever.


Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (December 28, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0064460932
ISBN-13: 978-0064460934
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices


(Affiliate link to Amazon)


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at Shelf-Employed.

National Poetry Month

Hurray, it is finally time to kick off National Poetry Month.

I admit it, I love poetry. I even got an early start on the celebration with my last post, a review of the children’s poetry book Nest, Nook and Cranny. NPM_LOGO

National Poetry Month is a great time to get the word out that poetry is fun, interesting and as the website says, has a “vital place in American culture.”

The official Poets.org website has a wealth of information to help you get involved, including  Great Poems to Teach and a list of 30 ways to celebrate.

As March rushes out with a roar of wind gusts, I’m reminded of:

Who Has Seen the Wind?

By Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro’.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.


Photo Credit:  Public Domain Pictures.net by Andrew Schmidt