Thursday, January 7, 2016

Loving Antarctica!


A wonderful benefit of being part of the Poetry Friday community is getting to know the work of a lot of different poets. I love this because I’ve discovered some amazing poets I might not have found otherwise. Irene Latham is one of the those poets. For the past several years, I've enjoyed reading her Live Your Poem blog, her poems in anthologies and magazines, and her first collection for children, DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST.  So, when I saw she had a new collection, I pre-ordered right away, and I’m so glad I did!

WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA is a gorgeous book.  The 15 poems are both playful and informative taking readers on a journey from the start of summer to its end.  As a teacher, I love the nonfiction information that accompanies each poem. Irene provides just enough information to tease readers into wanting to learn more.  A bibliography of book and website titles on the last page make it easy for further exploration. 

Wait until you see  Anna Wadham’s delightful illustrations. They are gorgeous and perfectly match the poems.  The details in each spread add to the fun of learning about Antarctica.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the poems, but I must admit, I do have a favorite. It is written in the form of a personal ad. Such a clever (and romantic) idea!  (I tried for over an hour to get the line spacing correct, which is supposed to be couplets, but blogger just wouldn't cooperate.)

Adélie Seeking adélie

Wanted: a guy with a white-ringed eye
who looks just like me.

An accomplished builder
who borders the nest with the best pebbles

to protect my eggs from dregs
of melting snow.

A boy with a pleasing bray
who will stay all summer.

A mate who will meet me
                               here
year after year
after year.

-Irene Latham (all rights reserved)

Wow! Don’t you just love that? Yep, I'm gushing, but this is a "gush-worthy" collection!  I wanted to know more about how this poem came to be, and Irene kindly shared a bit about its background.
That poem is the very first one I wrote for the collection! When I read about how carefully the female will select a male, I instantly thought of personal ads -- what would Ms. Adelie say? The publisher and I even talked about "boxing" the poem to make it look like a personal ad, but in the end, we figured kids wouldn't necessarily know that reference (who reads newspapers anymore?!). But you can see from the illustration that Anna Wadham incorporated newsprint into the art.

One interesting note: while I love the idea of Adelie's being lifelong mates, my expert reader said that it is not true of all Adelies. (Some return to the same mate, some happily pursue a new one.) Because I am a romantic, it's true of MY Adelie. And what a fun poem for upcoming Valentine's Day, right? :)

Many thanks to Irene for permission to share her lovely poem.  I’m thrilled to add WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA to my poetry picture book collection, and I can't wait for Irene's next book , FRESH DELICIOUS due out in March!

A special thank you to Tabatha for hosting this week's roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.















31 comments:

  1. This poem would melt any freezing heart. Irene has a way of selecting exactly the right words, and I am so tickled that she has two new books coming out this winter. Thank you for sharing this review! xo

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    1. And I am tickled to be sharing a release season with YOU, my birdloving poetry friend! xo

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    2. And, Amy, I'm looking forward to your newest collection. Of course, it's already on pre-order. : )

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  2. Linda, isn't it fitting that the Adelie poem was the first one I wrote for this collection, and here you've written the first review of the book! Thank you so much. I'm honored and grateful. So glad you like it... those Adelies will make you smile even on a black cloud day. xo

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    1. Irene, I shared the poem with my sixth grader students today. They liked it so much, they asked me to bring the book in on Monday. Looks like I'd better order an extra copy so I'll have one for my classroom and one for my personal collection. : )

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  3. I'm looking forward to reading Irene's wonderful book, and enjoyed hearing about it from you, Linda, and the words from Irene, too. I've studied penguins a little bit before, & love the enticing way this "advertising" is written, that "stay all summer". Thanks!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Linda! The book features 4 of Anarctica's penguin species, covering breeding, nesting, hatching, and fledging! Such interesting creatures. xo

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    2. Linda, I know you'll enjoy Irene's book. She is such a talented poet, and the illustrations are just beautiful. : )

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  4. Yay - for Irene's newest collection, and for it first review here! I love how playful this poem is - Irene knows how to warm up a chilly morning. And ecosystem. Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Robyn! Writing this collection warmed me to all things Antarctica... but my father (in North Dakota) assures me that the "real" cold isn't always so playful... xo

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    2. Robyn, as soon as I read this poem, I knew I had to share it. The collection came out at the perfect time of year too! : )

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  5. I have one of her book it is wonderful and I look forward to reading her new book

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    1. I know you'll enjoy it, Jessica! Thanks for stopping by!: )

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  6. I have one of her books I look forward to reading her new one

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  7. Congratulations to Irene and what a terrific review, Linda! I do love your choice of poem, being one who has enjoyed (if that is the word) using personal ads in the past. This will be a popular book in classrooms, won't it!?

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    1. Thank you, Heidi. Yes, I agree. this is going to be popular with teachers and students! : )

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  9. I'm looking forward to reading this book even more now! Thanks, Linda.

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  10. Appreciations for this spotlight, Linda +
    Brava! with an snuggly artic vest on top, talented + kind Irene.

    Penguins are so comical to me watching them in movies + videos, so I like how this poem advert leads us to this girl Adelie,s heart.

    I know when I get to sit down with WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA, I will enjoy warm moments like this, with all the poems.

    I still open DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST often to marvel at how Irene helps us see creatures + their unusual (to me) places in the world, in new ways.

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    1. Jan, I know what you mean. This poem really tickled me. There are so many good poems in this collection to enjoy! : )

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  11. I have to get this book! I love poetry/science books and Irene's DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST is terrific! And I love hearing Irene's voice chime in on her process!

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    1. Carol- It was so kind of Irene to include some background information. She is such a sweet person. Thanks for stopping by! : )

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  12. I love Irene's poetry and am so happy you've shared this preview of her new collection with us. I know it will be a favorite with kids!

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    1. Catherine, I'm already looking forward to Irene's next book! : )

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  13. Thanks for the heads up about this book (and Irene's next)! Like Carol, I have to get this book!

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    1. I know you'll love it, Mary Lee. Thanks for stopping by! : )

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  14. Like Wildebeest, it looks like Irene has another classroom hit! She certainly does a beautiful job of weaving nonfiction and poetry.

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  15. Thanks for reviewing Irene's new book--it's on my wish list! Looks like another treasure...

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  16. Oh my! I have to read this book. I love Dear Wandering Wildebeest and I can see I'll love this one too! Thanks for sharing Adélie Seeking adélie...WOW!

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  17. Linda, I am so happy that Donna led me to Irene's poem at your post. I did miss your Poetry Friday post when it came out so this was a treat. The poem is very special and I can see elementary students really enjoying the book. Thank you for your thoughtful review that really entices readers.

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