Putting a Poem in Your Pocket

Tomorrow, April 30, 2015, is Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is to put a copy of a poem in your pocket in the morning and pull it out to share with others throughout the day.

I decided to share one of my favorites, “To Any Reader” by Robert Louis Stevenson (from A Child’s Garden of Verses.)



This poem is both sad and hauntingly beautiful to me.

You can also see and hear it online:  Stevenson, R. (1913). To Any Reader. A Child’s Garden of Verses: Selected Poems (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved April 29, 2015, from http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/59/a-childs-garden-of-verses-selected-poems/4755/to-any-reader/

Looking for more? Diane Rehm has a timely discussion of the fabulous memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson that you might find enjoyable.

The organizers of the event ask that you share your poem selection on Twitter tomorrow by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

Will you be sharing a poem? What poem did you choose?



Disclosure: These books were from my personal library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Singing the Praises of Forest Has a Song

Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Robbin Gourley has only been out for a few weeks and already people are singing its praises. forest-has-a-songIt was Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis’s February 2013 Book Pick, for example.

The accolades are well deserved. VanDerwater’s gentle poems about nature hit all the right notes. Any book that can evoke the cool summer feeling of wearing “moss socks” is sure to win the reader over. My personal favorite is “Forest News” about reading animals tracks in newly fallen snow, which makes me miss my New England roots.

Robbin Gourley’s illustrations are also marvelous. They reflect the poems, yet leave room for the child’s imagination to flow free. A few curled ferns, a leaf or two, interspersed with scenes of a girl and her dog (and her mother) hiking, playing or skiing in the woods. Poem Farm has a post about how Robin developed the illustrations.

The book trailer of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater reciting the title poem gives you the best impression of what the book is like.



Isn’t that lovely? In an interview at Nerdy Book Club, the author reveals the book took a long time to come out. It was well worth the wait.

Reading Forest Has a Song is a superb way to celebrate National Poetry Month and it sure to inspire some budding poets. It would also be a great choice to read for Earth Day and to celebrate nature. You will want to return to the Forest again and again.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has an awesome Poetry Activity Kit to accompany Forest Has A Song (plus three other books of poetry) to download or print out for free.


Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (March 26, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0618843493
ISBN-13: 978-0618843497

This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes.



Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s round-up can be found at a wrung sponge.

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.