Can I just take a minute to praise Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong?
Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong are poetry anthology geniuses. Or angels. Or both! They gather poets together in collections on topics for children that need to be out in the world. They champion lesser known poets, as well as maintaining friendships with kidlit poets they already know. If you haven’t met them yet, you’re missing out! They offer poetry classes that are fantastic. (Sidenote: if you don’t already follow Pomelo Books on Twitter, I highly urge you to do so!)
During the pandemic, they thought to put together a collection of poems to get kids stuck at home up and moving. BRILLIANT! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a few years now and I was fortunate enough to win a copy.
HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING is exactly what it says. There is a different poem by a different poet on every page, illustrated in black and white line art by Franzi Paetzold. There is also a side bar with facts, activities, and book recommendations to match each poem’s subject.
The one I want to share with you today is one that really captured my heart. During the pandemic when masks hid smiles, I invested in masks embroidered by a friend of mine with smiles. I learned to exaggerate my eye movements and expressions so kids could know how I was feeling without seeing half of my face. This poem describes that perfectly.
And if you’re looking for more poetry fun this month, be sure to check out the Kidlitosphere Event Roundup!