ACEI remembers and celebrates the life of Maryann Manning, who passed away September 8, 2013. She contributed so much to the association, this journal, and the field of education. She will be greatly missed.
We both love words and marvel at the ability of poets to weave words into joyous music. Throughout the centuries, writers have used poetry to express emotions, information, and musings. The beauty of poetic language can be appreciated by young and old alike.
As classroom teachers, we used poetry throughout the day and now share our favorite poems every chance we get with our grandchildren. In this column, we have included works by poets we have loved for many years, such as Lee Bennett Hopkins, Mary Ann Hoberman, Jane Yoland, J. Patrick Lewis, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. One of our personal favorite poets is Charles Ghigna, who has written many poems on popular topics that attract children.
In recent years, we have witnessed increased availability and popularity of nonfiction books. We are pleased to find more and more nonfiction poetry books. We hope you enjoy reading these new poetry books as much as we did.
WATER SINGS BLUE: Ocean Poems. Il. by Meilo So. ISBN978-0-81187-284-3. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2012. 36 pp. $16.99. Filled with rich vocabulary, breathtaking illustrations, and captivating sea creatures, Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems will be a certain hit for any beach or sea lover. The author creates the perfect balance of beauty and factual knowledge, capturing the reader's attention with every detail of every page. Coombs's voluminous wording paired with Meilo's exquisite illustrations make the compilation of poems more than worthy of the many awards and honors it has received, including the 2013 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award; the 2013 National Council of Teachers of English Notable Books; one of Kirkus's Best Books of the Year, 2012; one of Meghan Cox Gurdon's 12 Favorite Picture Books and Chapter Books of 2012; and a Cybils Finalist for Poetry 2012. Readers will learn to love a range of sea animals, from the little-known gulper eel to such favorites as sea turtles and sharks. Coombs's book is the perfect mentor text for young authors learning to write poems about nonfiction topics, while also learning about a wide range of animals. Ages 4-8. (Kristen Falkner Leonard)
SPRING BLOSSOMS. Il. by Leslie Evans. ISBN978-1-58089-412-8. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2013. 32 pp. $16.95. This is a beautifully written nonfiction poem about trees. Two girls run through the trees and enjoy the blossoms that are blooming in spring. The illustrations feature white dogwood, crab apple, magnolia, cherry, white oak, beech, red maple, redbud, white pine, and balsam fir. The book explains pollination, with pictures of the male and female blossoms.
"The white oak bears two kinds of blooms.
Male flowers droop. They're greenish gold.
The female blooms are small and red.
Both open as new leaves unfold."
The final pages of the book present all 12 blossom illustrations with labels. Ages 4-7. (Maryann Manning)...