Daisy’s Big Night by Sandra V. Feder/Book Review

Daisy’s Big Night by Sandra V. Feder
Illustrator: Susan Mitchell
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Length: 116 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Source: eBook
Release Date: March 1, 2014

I read Daisy’s Big Night as part of my read aloud task for children in my school district. Daisy is a huge lover of words, and shares a fun night at a poetry party with Mrs Bookman. Shortly after this event, Daisy’s teacher Ms. Goldner plans an ‘end of year showcase’ to highlight the skills her students possess. While Daisy is unsure of what she could bring to the showcase, her friends and family guide her to realize that her gift with words is something valuable to offer.

I really enjoyed reading Daisy’s Big Night, since it’s a chapter book centered around the love of poetry for kids. I love writing poetry, and value this form of the written word as a creative artform. Children benefit from poetry since it provides an outlet for expression for their developing voices! I also appreciated Susan Mitchell’s illustrations, as they feature Daisy interacting with everyone she meets!

I recommend Daisy’s Big Night for anyone that loves reading about children practicing poetry. This is a lovely book to give to children!

Synopsis

The third addition to the well-received, illustrated chapter book series about word-loving Daisy. In her latest adventure, Daisy is faced with a dilemma about what to exhibit at her class’s end-of-the-school-year Student Showcase night. An invitation to a grown-up poetry party sets off a series of events that eventually lead Daisy to the realization that the perfect solution to her problem has been with her all along — in the green notebook covered with purple polka dots in which she collects her favorite words. Author Sandra V. Feder has created a likable, enthusiastic character early readers will be drawn to, and as self-described Delightfully Different Daisy ventures into the world of poetry, they’ll happily follow along. The easy-to-understand explanations of ode, haiku, rhyme and free verse, along with short examples of each, make this book an excellent resource for a unit on poetry or as a tie-in to an elementary school’s celebration of poetry month in April. The inclusion of Daisy’s Wonderful Word Lists at the end (the lists are named by category, such as rhyming words, pairs of words, made-up words and quiet-time words) offers a terrific jumping-off point for students to begin their own lists of words. Overall, Daisy offers children a unique new perspective on how to think about words and how much fun it can be to play with them. The book is illustrated with just enough line drawings by Susan Mitchell to keep young readers engaged.


What are your thoughts on Daisy’s Big Night? Feel free to share!

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Book Review/Obit: Poems by Victoria Chang

Obit: Poems by Victoria Chang
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Length: 120 pages
Acquired through Scribd
Genre: Poetry
Release Date: April 7, 2020

My Thoughts

Death is a serious topic to discuss. Writing about the death of a parent is equal parts difficult and a testimony of strength.

In ‘Obit’, Victoria Chang’s poetry expressed the loss of her mother in stunning verse and imagery. The poems inside ‘Obit’ not only speak about the loss of Victoria’s Chang’s mother, but also about the loss of life as Chang knew it. Each poem marks a moment in life that gradually departed, marking a personal loss. ‘Ambition’, ‘Memory’, and ‘Friendships’ (among others), each have their own date as to when their presence in life gradually slipped away, leaving fragments of events, of experiences now confined to the past.

By providing a voice to these moments of loss, Victoria Chang imbues life. She describes the last moments with her mother with intensity. The gradual departures of her father’s way of life are equally vocal and heartbreaking. She shares every time her parents’ mental health and her daily way of life took a drastic turn. Instead of casting these events aside, Chang gives each moment the recognition it deserves.

While I enjoyed Victoria Chang’s unflinching honesty about the loss of her mother, I understand that the topic of death is not a comfortable one to discuss. As a collection of poetry, ‘Obit’ is rich in imagery as it paints a personal picture of precious moments in life. Definitely give this book a chance if you enjoy reading pieces about the value of family, and how each aspect of life should be held close.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis

After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of “the way memory gets up after someone has died and starts walking.” These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died (“civility,” “language,” “the future,” “Mother’s blue dress”) and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living.

Have you read ‘Obit’? If so, what did you think? Feel free to comment below!

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‘The Riot Grrrl Thing’ by Sara Larsen/A Review

The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen
Publisher: Roof Books
Length: 112 pages
Genre: Poetry
Release Date: March 30, 2019



My Thoughts

The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen reflects back to time of punk rock and female empowerment. Reading her poetry collection brought me back to my high school years in the 1990s, when Bikini Kill and Nirvana opened the floodgates to my eclectic tastes in music. Sara Larsen’s poetry takes you back to her youth commuting from Camden and Cherry Hill to Philadelphia, making friends and broadening her horizons while becoming an independent young woman in the music scene. Larsen also includes a commentary which explained the mantra many young women created for themselves during this time period. Each declaration unique as the individual herself, Sara Larsen takes an unflinching account on what it means to embody the Riot Grrrl movement.

I highly recommend this collection of poetry for Women’s History material, or for someone who would love to take in the powerful message of a strong woman asserting her independence through the spoken word!

Rating: 5/5 Stars





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The Wheel of Life Always Turns

This post is a Six Word Saturday contribution. Please check out Debbie’s source post here.

The original source for Today my husband and I attended a birthday party. It was for a 1 year old, and when it comes to babies at parties, he was certainly calm! He had cake for the first time today, and ot was adorable watching him eat it!

Watching this little guy take part in play and family fun brought to mind A.A. Milne’s ‘Now We Are Six’. It’s an enlightening book of children’s poetry celebrating life’s daily happenings with children. I read some of A.A. Milne’s work while working on my ‘poetry for children’ thesis at graduate school. It was so valuable!

Doylestown Saturday Trip, and Meeting Toi Derricotte

I hope everyone is having a good week so far!

Last weekend I had a fun trip to Doylestown Bookshop! Andy and I decided to make Saturday a ‘bookish excursion’, since we were also attending a poetry reading in Frenchtown that evening.

Photo is from The Doylestown Bookshop site

It’s been a couple weeks since I last visited Doylestown, so when we arrived I enjoyed browsing all the books! I admire the wide selection of diverse titles that’s always available. The selection rivals that of the Bank Street Bookstore in New York City, which also a diverse selection of reading material tailored to both patrons and teachers.

I picked up a couple interesting reads at Doylestown!

Girls in the Front by Sara Marcus is a tell-all featuring the rise of the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s. Skimming through the book brought back so many memories of my grunge-fanatic days back in high school!

I also picked up a light read, No Judgments by Meg Cabot. This is a Contemporary Romance that involves a young woman that moves to Key West and tries to reinvent herself by running an animal rescue service.

Later that evening, Andy and I traveled to ArtYard in Frenchtown, NJ to see Toi Derricotte present a poetry reading from her recent poetry collection “i”: New and Selected Poems. Toi Derricotte is a writing professor from the University of Pittsburgh and co-founded the Cave Canem foundation. She’s also a finalist for the National Book Award (we will all find out the winner on November 20). I couldn’t wait to see an experienced poet displaying her art. I also recall seeing a Cave Canem performance in Newark a few years ago and loving it!

Toi Derricotte gave an amazing poetry presentation. The stories she shared about her early life as a young mother truly touched my heart. After the performance, I purchased a copy of Derricotte’s book and had it signed. As nervous as I was about having my copy signed, I felt determined to meet her and compliment her amazing poetry. Toi Derricotte was very sweet, and she made sure that my name was spelled correctly. I’m so happy that I met her, and I hope that she wins the National Book Award!

That’s it for now! I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!