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JOYCE CAROL THOMAS – A REMEMBRANCE

Posted on August 18, 2016
Joyce and I have known one another for many years. She led quite a life. Born in Oklahoma on May 25, 1938, the state was the setting for many of her books. At the age of 10, her family moved to California where she learned the language of Spanish-speaking migrant wrokers who toiled with her during summers, picking tomatoes, cutting onions, gathering grapes. Her first book of poetry, BROWN HONEY IN BROOMWHEAT TEA appeared in

FED UP WITH CUPCAKES

Posted on July 30, 2016
In classrooms across America, children celebrate their birthday. A common practice is for parents to provide cupcakes for this event. Well – instead of a cupcake, why not encourage all parents to donate one book to a class or school library, something that will last. Imagine – a school filled with (an example) 200 children – all having a birthday – and receiving 200 books per year. This is more than any school library budget

LOIS DUNCAN – REMEMBERING

Posted on June 18, 2016
It is with great sadness to hear of the death of Lois Duncan this week, a wondrous, warmhearted, witty woman.I don’t know if anyone knows the tale she shared with me but it is quite story. In 1989, Knopf published her SONGS FROM DREAMLAND a book of original lullabies, illustrated by Kay Chorao.When her daughter,Kerry, had her first baby, Erin, Lois’ s first grandchild, her other daughter,Robin Arquette,a musician and songwriter, collaborated on a recording

RIP: JAMES CROSS GIBLIN

Posted on April 11, 2016
One of my earliest collections was a book of poems called ME! published by Seabury Press in 1970. I worked with a young, enthusiastic editor, James Cross Giblin. We adored one another – our thoughts, our thinking, our philosophies. ME! was to be an early picture book of poems dealing with a child’s self-concept. I included works by Gwendolyn Brooks, Charlotte Zolotow, Myra Cohn Livingston and even an offbeat Mother Goose rhyme. Jim contracted Talavaldis

POETRY: ABOUT AWARDS – A HISTORY

Posted on April 1, 2016
In November, Marilyn Nelson will be the l9th recipient of the prestigous National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. In the late l970’s when the Award was being discussed, I served on the NCTE Board of Directors. Both Bernice (Bee) Cullinan and I were very active in all aspects of NCTE. It was Bee who proposed the Award to honor her son, Jonathan Paul (1969-1975), who at six years