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The Best of Today's Little Ditty: 2014-2015 (Volume 1) Paperback – November 15, 2016
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About the Author
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is an award-winning children's poet and anthologist. Her work appears in magazines and anthologies, including One Minute till Bedtime (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), Here We Go and The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Pomelo Books), and forthcoming collections from Charlesbridge and National Geographic. She has been blogging about poetry at Today’s Little Ditty since 2013.
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But what Michelle does on her blog each month is amazing, featuring an interview with a poet or editor and then a poetry challenge based on a form or topic or theme. Readers write poems to the challenge, and Michelle features those poems on the blog all month. Then...on to the next interview/challenge. It's very cool. So, I was happy to donate a couple of poems. And when my copy arrived...wow!
This is an excellent anthology! I have had so much fun reading through the poems, and I am completely impressed with the range of poems, styles, moods, voices. This would be wonderful to use in the classroom, since it's divided into the challenges (water cinquains, monster haiku, clerihews, kindness poems, etc.) and features a nicely varied selection of poems written to each challenge. It would also be fun for a poet to work his or her way through the book, analyzing what you like or don't like about each poem and then writing your own poem for the challenge. But most of all, and most surprising of all to me, it's just good reading.
Here are just a few short poems from this anthology. (There are some longer ones, too.)
From the zeno challenge:
First storm of autumn: drenching rain,
leaves tumble down.
--Jone Rush MacCulloch
From the monster haiku:
hollow eyes, grave grin
And from the deeper wisdom poems:
What Does a Seed Know?
What does a seed know?
To reach for sun, the warmth and light
to wait until the time is right
to send shoots through the earth.
What does a seed know?
That germination takes some time
that soon enough the stem will climb
that flowers mark rebirth.
Aren't those lovely? There are many more excellent poems--some funny, some silly, some beautiful, some heart-breaking. You can order it on Amazon (in paperback or Kindle), and make sure to head over to Michelle's blog to check out her poetry challenges:>)
Thank you for reading my review. I hope it was helpful. :-)