Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I will miss you abuelita...

My abuelita, my grandma is a special person to me. My love for poetry comes from her. My love for life comes from her and my mom. She is the strength I wish I have. She is the wisdom I aspire to own one day. She is my inspiration. I will miss her greatly because at age 93 she decided to leave us. It will not be easy without her, her singing and her poetry but I can't help but thank God for the amazing gift we all had: we got to know her and best of all, we got to love her in a way that knows no boundaries and no distance. I already miss you grandma...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He brightens up my day....

I have written about Mo Willem's talent as a writer in different places in this blog. And honestly, I don't think I will ever run out of positive things to say about him. When I finally got a copy of his new book out, I made an event out of it....why? Because it is a celebration!!! 

So here it is! the new Piggie and Elephant book! So what is happening in Watch Me Throw The Ball? well, Piggie is more than excited to throw Gerald's ball. According to Gerald, throwing a ball takes skills and practice. According to Piggie all you got to do is HAVE FUN! and of course, you have to read the book to find out what happens between these two friends! I promise you one thing: you will laugh, you my dear, will HAVE FUN! Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Something to look forward...

April is a special month. No doubt about that! It is National Poetry Month (my favorite!) and also Children's Day/Book Day is celebrated on April 30. Today I would love to share a special book by Pat Mora, who founded Dia in 1996 to celebrate books, children, languages and culture. Book Fiesta reminds all of us about that special joy that reading brings regardless of where you read....here, there, at the library, or on an airplane ride!

Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day; Celebremos El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros Pat Mora even included a letter in the book with suggestions on how to celebrate Children's Day/Book's Day  on April 30th. If you want to find out more about this event, you have to visit this page in order to get all the wonderful details, and support system created for this event. I am very excited how this project founded by Pat Mora has increased so much throughout the years. She started this project in 1996 and today is celebrated in so many different states throughout the USA.  A day that celebrates children, books, languages and cultures makes it so worthy to invest time to investigate more about it.  And Book Fiesta provides a wonderful beginning to this amazing journey! Make sure you have time to check out this amazing bilingual Spanish/English story!

Friday, March 20, 2009


read it again....
sure I will....
what happens to him?
getting biggger  you know...
when will he stop?
I don't know...
he is on a roll!
I know...he won't stop...
wow! he is huge!
sure he is...after all that food
what's next?
wait and see
a cocoon?
how long will he be there?
wait and see
come on, turn the page
sure I will
a beautiful...

This is my short poem for two voices to celebrate a favorite book of all times: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle! This book has been bringing joy to homes and classrooms all around the world for the past 40 years! This poem is an imitation of a conversation that happens between a child and the reader....
This book never failed to impress children and adult alike as the story unfolds. Thanks Eric Carle!
See full size image

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Face your Fears...

How did  I miss this book when it came out? I am not sure but let me just say I love Emily Gravett's newest book! Visually stimulating, full of creativity and originality are the main ingredients of this book titled Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears.  In this book, we get to know little mouse's fears, all of them from worrying about going under the bed, to feeling worried and stressed about accidents.  Told in a journal kind of way, Emily Gravett invites and encourages little ones to draw, doodle or write their fears in this journal-type of book.. At the corner of each page, there is a type of phobia described such as "hydrophobia: fear of water." With a witty ending, this book is a treat to children and adult alike. Make sure you visit Emily Gravett's website! Such a cool place!Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I am very EXCITED about this....

Share a Story - Shape a Future
First, let's congratulate Elizabeth Dulemba for creating this perfect image for this huge literacy initiative. Want to know what is this all about? Well, you don't have to wait anymore. Tomorrow is Day Number 1 of this sharing and learning opportunity! With the support of other fellow bloggers who are contributing to this event, we have an amazing week ahead of us. Check out this blog to find out the blog tours and the different topics covered. Let the learning begin!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Three books, Three writers, endless possibilities...

My close friends knows this about me...I love love love the work of Sharon Creech. She is a writer that holds a special place in my heart because of all the good memories that were possible to create in my class thanks to her books. Every year in my ESL class, we read one of her books and every group is so different, and so are their experiences and reactions to her books. One thing remains the same: our powerful conversation about the book and/or the characters. So today I would like to honor Sharon Creech and one her work: Love That Dog
Love That Dog

I am sure many of you are familiar with this book, but if you are not let me sum it up for you. Jack is a boy in Mrs. Strechberry's class who thinks that poetry is just for girls. Jack is a poet, but he doesn't know it (yet). Jack is giving a poetry a try by listening carefully to his teacher read the work of several poets including William Carlos Williams. After finding some inspiration in the work of the brilliant poet William Carlos Williams and his poem The Red Wheelbarrow, Jack decides to write his own poem where he slowly starts talking about his yellow dog. And that's when Jack's journey begins. 

We are so lucky to have other books that has been published in the last 10 months that can be used to support Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.  One of them, is the breath-taking work of Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet: A River of Words by William Carlos Williams. I fell in love with this book when I saw the front cover. This is what happens when  you put a talented writer and a magnificent artist together! This combines rhythmical text and an impressive mixed media illustration that you do not want to miss. And I am delighted to say that this book is a 2009 Caldecott Honor Book.
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams

Williams Carlos Williams' poem: The Red Wheelbarrow was one of the work mentioned in Sharon Creech's book Love That Dog. I don't think I have ever seen elementary children trying to hard to figure out why is the Red Wheelbarrow so important. I love all the conversation that this poem starts in a classroom. My ESL students, after constructing meaning together they understand it, they get it. Well, if you would like to stretch your students' brain a little further, I invite you to read with your students Little Boy by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds.

Little Boy
In this adorable book McGhee uses William Carlos Williams' The Red Wheelbarrow's poem as a starting point for this book. Think about the possibilities of all the powerful conversations you may have with your students when they hear you read this book? Why does so much depends upon a yellow cup? or a puddle to jump? Oh yes, this book is an invitation to great thinking, impossible to resist. 

There you go my friends...three books that were meant to be read together, side by side. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday
Do you know Pablo Neruda? One of South America's biggest pride. A poet of poets. A poet of all times. I read his poems in high school (yes, a while ago) and fell in love with his writing. In South America, you say Pablo Neruda and everybody thinks of...."One Hundred Love Sonnets." If you haven't read his work, I highly encouraged to do so. His poems has been translated in English and I must say the job was well done because the essence of Pablo Neruda remains in this translated poems. 

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I don't love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one love certain obscure things
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

Read the rest of this touching poem right here.

Don't miss the round up this week of Poetry Friday at Picture Book of the Day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And you are finally here...

I have been waiting for  you....
where have you been
I have been waiting for you...
I am so glad you are finally here.
I have been waiting for you...
and you brought pink sunrises with you
I have been waiting for you...
windy and sunny days
I have been waiting for you...
Spring Break is not that far away
I have been waiting for you...
You bring colors and everything in between
I have been waiting for you...


I am so glad  you are finally here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Two at the Zoo- A Counting Book

Two at the ZooA new counting book is out and I am sure young children will love this one. Why? Well...there are many things that makes this counting book Two at the Zoo a Counting Book by Danna Smith and Valerie Petrone a successful one. First, the simple story line of going to the zoo and counting animals makes it so interesting to children because a) they love animals and b) the zoo is such a popular beloved place. But what I especially like about this counting book is that it is NOT just counting animals but also that each animals is described by what they look and what they do. For example...

Pretty parrots,
green and blue.
Talking, squaking
We count 2

The little ones that get to hear this book over and over will be learning so many cool words, listen to rhythmic language, and of course, learning how to count. This is definitely a wonderful addition to our counting book collection.