About the Holiday
Are you a poet? Most likely! Inside all of us are poignant moments that tug at our hearts, funny memories that make us laugh, and questions that beg for answers. All of these things are the seeds of poetry! Let these seeds grow by writing down your thoughts. Your ideas don’t have to rhyme or be made up of fancy words to be a poem. Today’s holiday encourages people to publicly share their poetry by grabbing a piece of chalk and writing poems on sidewalks or walls, picking up a pen and composing on paper, or sharing on social media. Rather read poetry than write? Go for it! Find a new or favorite collection of poetry and enjoy! For more ideas on how to celebrate Random Acts of Poetry Day visit Writer’s Digest.
I received a copy of Poetree from Red Deer Press to check out. All opinions are my own. I’m happy to be partnering with Red Deer Press in a giveaway of Poetree. See details below.
Written by Caroline Pignat | Illustrated by François Thisdale
In Caroline Pignat’s remarkable acrostic poems, readers glean fresh insight into the wonderous life of trees as they germinate, thrive, prosper, and even propagate their own legacy. Divided by season, the poems also metaphorically follow the stages of human life from Spring’s youth to Winter’s old age. Pignat offers six poems for each season, which is introduced by a rhyming couplet.
Exquisite, evocative images – leaves described as “Emerald flags” and “Vibrant bunting” and apples as “plump parcels,” – entice readers to look anew at trees, with their singular seeds, intricate foliage, and long-held histories.
As a buried seed nudges its way upward in springtime, it is simultaneously:
Of darkness, yearning for
“Reaching down deep
Of sight, anchoring in
During summer, the sapling grows stronger and mature trees “beckon buzzing bees” and offer strong support where:
“Nature’s nursery keeps
Tucked ‘til mother’s return.”
In Fall it’s reaping time for farmers and for small, diligent creatures:
Underground, another harvest hides,
Thanks to a busy
As the weather turns cold and leaves fly away,
“Brittle bark hugs the
Aging tree at
Rest as its sap
But with the coming of spring, the cycle begins anew as once again there is “Amazing growth and wondrous deeds / now promised in these tiny seeds.”
From the sepia-toned endpaper at the book’s opening—in which a boy carrying a hoe walks past a fog-enshrouded barn—through to the endpaper that closes the book and presents the boy’s home standing silent amid a wintry mix of snow and sleet, François Thisdale recreates the richly textured world of a farm in his double-spread, mixed-media masterpieces. In addition to interpreting the poems, each page gives readers much to see and talk about as life goes on above and underground. Birds, animals, and insects stop by to pluck a worm from the ground, sniff a tender seedling, gather powdery pollen, and prepare for, enjoy, or sleep through winter.
As the seasons change, the boy—always shown in silhouette—matures, becoming an adult in summer, passing through middle age in fall, and growing older in winter. While most of the illustrations depict the natural world, two take children inside the farmhouse where an apple-raspberry pie waits in the cozy fall kitchen, and a nearly-finished puzzle is set up next to a warm radiator while a windy and moonlit night makes a “leafy canvas” of the curtain-less window. The final view of the now-old man walking away near the edge of the page and the last image of a straw hat nestled next to a hewn tree present poignant moments for discussion.
Ages 7 and up
Red Deer Press, 2018 | ISBN 978-0889954922
Discover more about Caroline Pignat and her books on her website.
To learn more about François Thisdale, his books, and his art, visit his website.
I’m excited to partner with Red Deer Press in this giveaway of:
- One (1) copy of Poetree, written by Caroline Pignat | illustrated by François Thisdale
- To be entered to win, just Follow me on Twitter @CelebratePicBks and Retweet a giveaway tweet during this week, October 3 – 9. Already a follower? Thanks! Just retweet for a chance to win.
A winner will be chosen on October 10.
Giveaway open to US addresses only. | Prizing provided by Red Deer Press.
Random Acts of Poetry Day Activity
Grow a Poem Craft
A poem often grows in your imagination like a beautiful plant—starting from the seed of an idea, breaking through your consciousness, and growing and blooming into full form. With this craft you can create a unique poem that is also an art piece!
- Printable Leaves Template, available here and on the blog post
- Printable Flower Template, available here and on the blog post
- Wooden dowel, ½-inch diameter, available in craft or hardware stores
- Green ribbon
- Green craft paint
- Green paper if leaves will be preprinted
- Colored paper if flowers will be preprinted
- Flower pot or box
- Oasis, clay, or dirt
- Hole punch
- Markers or pens for writing words
- Crayons or colored pencils if children are to color leaves and flowers
- Paint the dowel green, let dry
- Print the leaves and flower templates
- Cut out the leaves and flowers
- Punch a hole in the bottom of the leaves or flowers
- Write words, phrases, or full sentences of your poem on the leaves and flowers (you can also write the poem after you have strung the leaves and flowers)
- String the leaves and flowers onto the green ribbon (if you want the poem to read from top to bottom string the words onto the ribbon in order from first to last)
- Attach the ribbon to the bottom of the pole with glue or tape
- Wrap the ribbon around the pole, leaving spaces between the ribbon
- Gently arrange the leaves and flowers so they stick out from the pole or look the way you want them to.
- Put oasis or clay in the flower pot or box
- Stick your poem pole in the pot
- Display your poem!
You can find Poetree at these booksellers
Picture Book Review