Beginning Again

“Hi!”  It’s been a long time since I have written on this blog.  Ten years ago I learned about blogging when one of my students, a fellow book lover, asked me if I’d join him in beginning a book blog for kids.  I was game and so we began meeting twice a week to learn about blogging (with the support of our awesome tech teacher, Meghan Wyman) and to share books.

When we began in 2011 we wrote this on our About page:

We’re a teacher (teaching grade 3) and a student (6th grade) writing book reviews. We started reading books together 4 years ago and have been sharing ever since. We thought it would be great to have a place to go to find out about books and get recommendations. Historical Fiction and Realistic Fiction are our favorite genres right now. But we like to read all types of books too. Right now we are reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book Two – The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood. We LOVED the book The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. (We’re HUGE fans of the series!)

Ten years later in 2021 I added:

I’m a retired teacher who loves how reading adds to life.  Reading expands my life and helps me become a better person.  Reading teaches me about the world and the people in it.

I always have a book (or two or three…) with me wherever I go.  In the last few months, I’ve longed to share what I’m reading with others.  Books are better when shared and discussed.  So here goes…again.  If you find your way to this blog, let me know by subscribing or leaving a comment.  If you’ve got a book to share, please do.  Reading brings me joy, deeper understanding and renewed curiosity.  What does reading do for you?     Brenda

It’s been a wearying year for a number of reasons – all the ones you know from experiencing the trials of 2020/21, combined with my own.  I’m not in the classroom anymore.  I’m caring for my recently widowed, 90-year old mom and my 3- and 5-year old grandchildren .  I’m busy but, thankfully, I still have time for reading and journaling.  

Luckily, I’ve been able to stay connected to past students.  We write letters (no internet at mom’s). One recent note made me pause.  The writer told me he was feeling stressed. I thought, “Oh, you too?!”  I wondered what I could do to change that.  “Maybe,” I thought.  “I’d find myself smiling more, and sighing less if I started sharing books more often.  It’s what I love.  Maybe reading and sharing would reduce the worry and the weariness.”

So, here I am revamping the blog Matt helped begin 10 years ago.  Let’s see how it goes!

Good Books, Good Times!  poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins is the book that first came to mind with this blogging idea.  I keep these poems “in my pocket.”  I read them so often with my classes, they are a part of me.  “I met a dragon face to face…”  “Books to the ceiling, books to the sky…”  “Good books, good times, good stories, good rhymes…”  This collection shares the joys and comforts found through reading.  They share how books and reading transport you to new places, fill you with new ideas and support you as true friends do.  Savor them all and enjoy!


Happy Reading!📚



Gone Fishing

Gone Fishinga novel in verse

by Tamera Will Wissinger

Sam loves fishing that’s for sure and he is looking forward to the next day when he and his dad will take the boat to the lake for the day.  He is over the top excited.  They have collected their bait.  The tackle box is prepared.  And then… and then… little sister, Lucy comes.  Loud and squirmy, crackly and slurpy Lucy fills the boat.  Worse yet, she seems to have the lucky pole!

From sleepless excitement to rockbottom dispare to appreciative acceptance Gone Fishing shares Sam’s hopes and dreams  about fishing through a collection of poems in a trio of voices.

The books opens with:



Tercet Variations

Dark night.


Dad and I hunt worms tonight.


Grass slick.

Worms thick.

Tiptoe near and grab them quick. …

moves on to



List Poem

Fishing poles,

My tackle box,

Extra pairs of shoes and socks,

Our sweatshirts and

The camera bag,

The fishing next,

The boating flag, …

and ends with, among many…




Four on a stringer

Lucy’s bluegill, my catfish –

Gold-star fishing day.

This is a book for those who love fishing.  This is a book for those who know how hard it can sometimes be to share what you’ve been dreaming about with others.  This is a book for those who care about poetry.  A complete story told through forty-one different poems – each one a different type.  What fun!  “The Poet’s Tackle Box” at the end of the book offers advice and information to interested poets.  You may be surprised to learn how similar writing poetry and fishing are.

Enjoy Gone Fishing.  What’s your favorite?

American Poets


Ogden Nash was born 110 years and nine days ago, on August 19, 1902. He was a very well known American poet, famous for his humorous poetry and uplifting verses. He lived 68 years, dying in 1971. During his 68 years, he published 14 volumes of poetry and wrote more than 500 pieces of comic verse. He has a house in North Hampton, NH by the beach, and was buried in that town as well. The house has a plaque dedicating him to it. Ogden Nash’s poems will always be fun to read.

A Caution To Everybody

by Ogden Nash

Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.

Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874. He is VERY well known for his poems about nature, New Hampshire, New England and how inspirational and thought-provoking his poems are. He lived in a lot of places in his 88 years, but he lived in Derry, New Hampshire in a farmhouse for the majority of his life. Now it is owned by the state and you can now tour it for a very little fee. I did it once, because I studied him in fourth grade, and it was very interesting. I saw the kitchen that the Frost family ate most of their meals in and sat in the chair that Robert Frost sat in almost every day, reading the paper. It is a good experience to have, since Robert Frost will always be one of the best known poets in America. One of his most famous poems is called,  “The Road Not Taken,” and it is deeply inspirational.

Click here to hear Robert Frost read to you, “The Road Not Taken”.


 Shel Silverstein was a lot of things. An American poet for sure, but he was also a singer-songwriter, cartoonist, musician, screenwriter, composer and author of children’s books. His black and white cartoon style of drawing always intrigued me and the story/poem that went along with it was always great as his poetry makes you think about things that don’t exist, but the problems that they have very much exist. My favorite one of his works is entitled The Missing Piece and it is about a ball/circle, looking for it’s missing piece that is shaped like a wedge. He has so many speacial accomplishments. Shel Silverstein died on May 8, 1999, aged 68.

This is a sad poem that Shel Silverstein wrote, about Cloony the Clown. Here is the link:

The Singing Green

Eve Merriam - Author of "The Singing Green"

The Singing Green

by Eve Merriam

This is an inspiring collection of poems that will make you think about nature and the seasons like never before. The creativity and description in all these poems is incredible! When you read the stanza,

Like salt on your nose,
Like stars on your toes,
Tingles the tangy rain.

from the poem “Summer Rain”, you can almost feel the salt on your nose and you can almost see the stars on your toes. It is a great feeling to connect with poetry in such a deep way! When you read the poems that you can connect to, you think about the subject of the poem more and you realize things you didn’t realize.

For a school project, I had to complete a poetry anthology with a theme (mine was nature) with poems written by me and other authors. I chose two of these poems and I think that they are the best two in the whole collection because of the (again) creativity and description.

I am not usually a huge poetry fan, but when I came across this poem book, I formed a new opinion too. Even if you do like poetry, I think you will too!

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Buy this book from!

Click here for a quick bio of Eve Merriam from

Sorry for the lack of an image of the book. It’s very old!

Bookspeak!: Poems about Books

Bookspeak!: poems about books

by Laura Purdie Salas

A month or so ago a friend asked us if we were going to review any poetry books… we hadn’t, but we thought we should.  We share poetry in our classroom every day – we read them mostly from chart paper and not from the books themselves.  Why I wondered?  And so that changed.  We shared lots of poems about reading from Good Books, Good Times!  and I am the Book both with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

And then we found Bookspeak!: Poems about Books by Larua Purdie Salas and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon.  The opening poem gives you an idea of the wonderful poems to follow.

Calling All ReadersBookSpeak!: Poems About Books

I’ll tell you a story.

I’ll spin you a rhyme.

I’ll spill some ideas –

and we’ll travel through time.

Put down the controller.

Switch off the TV.

Abandon the mouse and

just hang out with me.

I promise adventure.

Come on, take a look!

On a day like today,

there’s no friend like a book.

There are poems about the table of contents and an index.  There are poems in voices and poems sharing thoughts about story elements.  We have had fun sharing them with each other in our classroom.  I think you will too – make sure to enjoy that amazing illustrations, or you might want to come up with your own that show how books speak to you.



We got a great comment from someone who said they would like us to post books about poetry. But none come too mind so instead we’re going to have to post poetry about books. Enjoy!

Author Unknown

I like books
I really do.
Books with stories
And pictures, too.

Books of birds
And things that grow.
Books of people
We should know.

Books of animals
And places, too.
I like books
I really do!