Tag: poetry

15 amazing Langston Hughes quotes to help start important discussions with your kids

Today marks not only the beginning of Black History Month, but the birthday of the beloved, brilliant, prescient poet Langston Hughes, who would have been 114 today. As with all essential writers throughout history, his words live on long past his death in 1967. In fact, so many Langston Hughes quotes, thoughts and lines from his poetry are as relevant today as they ever were. One of the things I like to do with my kids from time to time, is read them a quote then discuss it. It’s actually amazing how kids even as young as four or five can have some basic...

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Put a poem in your pocket: A fun way to celebrate National Poetry Month

By this point in the school year, my kids know not to expect the sorts of lunchbox love notes they got from me daily in September. But there are a few days on the calendar that inspire me to scribble something special to surprise them: Valentine’s Day (of course), St. Patrick’s Day (a must in our Irish-American household), and Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poem in Your Pocket Day (today!) is my favorite part of National Poetry Month each April. The idea is that everyone should carry a poem in their pocket to read in quiet moments or share with friends. Because, who...

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Novels written in verse (yes!), for kids, are must-reads for National Poetry Month

I have a new obsession: novels written in verse. Seriously, I’m flying through a few of these books a week and the best part? My kids are too. The fact that these novels are poetic gives them a lyrical beauty that’s missing in a lot of plot-driven stories for kids, and yet they’re still fascinating page turners — a must when you’re trying to capture a tween’s attention. Even the most pesky readers who feel poetry is boring with a capital B are likely to be hooked after the first couple of pages. I pretty much guarantee it. Related: More of our favorite poetry...

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7 must-have poetry books for young readers, in honor of National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, so we’re having some fun adding poetry to our bedtime reading routine. Of course, any reading out loud to my kids is good for growing brains, but kids seem to have a special love for poetry–even before they understand the words we’re saying. If you’re ready to build your library beyond The Cat in the Hat, I recommend these must-have poetry books for young readers. Related: 2014’s best books for kids: All the lists, all in one place   Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein You knew we had to go here first, right? All of Shel Silverstein’s books for kids are amazing,...

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Our favorite Maya Angelou quotes, in honor of one of the best human being in the history of the world

I can’t tell you how sad we all are about the death of Maya Angelou today at 86. Starting with the must-read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings back when I was a kid, I was instantly captivated by her amazing command of the language, and how profoundly she could find truth and convey meaning even using the most accessible prose.  The older I grew, the more important her essays and poems became to me. In fact, there are so many quotes we have all commonly heard, that you may not even know they originated with Dr. Angelou. If you feel like surrounding yourself with a little more of her remarkable...

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Goodnight Songs: A wonderful collection of new poems by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny were among the regular read-aloud books in my home for a very long time. So I am thrilled for her old and new fans alike that Goodnight Songs, a treasure trove of poems from the late Margaret Wise Brown, has been discovered and published in a gorgeous new children’s book complete with illustrations from so many of our favorite artists.   Goodnight Songs is a special book in so many ways. For those of us who have always loved the gentle rhythm and repetition of Margaret Wise Brown’s writing, it brings to light a dozen...

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Honoring Black History Month with inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou

The history of Black Americans is filled with stories of inspiration and strength, so in honor of Black History Month, I was so happy to find artwork inspired by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Each piece features quotes that have been turned into artwork and speak of that resilience, hope, and courage. I also love how universal they are in their messaging, and how her beautiful words speak to all kinds of people. Wise words for us all. Etsy’s Finding Sunshine Rae creates typographical prints on photo paper (at top) which feature a mix of lettering and colors to spell out...

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Josephine: A children’s book as complex, vibrant, and endearing as Josephine Baker herself.

It’s clear that Josephine Baker is one of those few celebrity icons who transcends generations. My parents loved her, I loved her, and now my girls love her thanks to the new book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. And despite it being a book for kids, if it weren’t for Christian Robinson’s wonderful illustrations, you might think it was an adult-targeted poetic ode to the legendary performer. Patricia Hruby Powell’s prose feels like jazz itself, dancing across the pages with a kind of defiant playfulness; the random line breaks, indentations, metaphors, erratic use of all-cap words are writers’ tools...

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Poems by New Yorkers: The website that will inspire you to talk to strangers

When I first heard about 365 Day Subway: Poems by New Yorkers, a project started by friend, neighbor, and prolific author Madeline Schwartzman it was like one of those instant, “d’oh! Why didn’t I think of that!” moments. Well there’s a good reason why–because she’s way cooler than I am. And evidently fearless when it comes to approaching random New Yorkers on the subway and asking them to write a poem for her on the spot. Yes, you read that correctly. She’s just launched a website featuring beautiful, poignant, funny, sassy, and incredibly profound poetry from all kinds of...

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Making your walls a little more literary

I love prints that play with typography. Clever, modern design has a way of turning what could be a cheesy inspirational quote into a piece of art I could live with.   That’s why I love the work by New York graphic artist Evan Roberts on Etsy. These cool literary quote posters inspired by the likes of T.S. Eliot (no, not from Cats), JD Salinger, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemmingway, Kurt Vonnegut. It’s refreshing to see he hasn’t generally picked the most ubiquitous of quotes. Each one is printed beautifully on heavy, archival paper. Look closely and you’ll find lots...

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