Fishing and Stars…

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I’m sorry for the longer than expected blog absence.  During the past few days, whenever I sat down to post, something would come up that pulled me away. I think the coast is clear right now…

A note to teachers: If you teach poetry to students between the ages of 7 and 12, find a copy of this book – Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger.  Sam is looking forward to a day fishing with his dad, but things don’t go exactly as Sam hoped. Much to Sam’s initial disappointment, his little sister, Lucy, the “slowpoke of the year,” comes along.  All goes well, of course, and they even bring home fish for dinner, but what makes this book a teacher’s treasure is that the whole story is written in verse!  Each page is written in a different poetic form and the page is labeled for quick reference. There’s also a “Poet’s Tackle Box” at the end of the book which includes a list of techniques and forms.  You don’t often find an engaging and fun book that will make kids want to play with words – Gone Fishing  will.  One note: Wissinger’s book is an ideal read-aloud, but if you choose that route, make the book available somewhere where the kids can find it for independent browsing. Matthew Cordell’s line drawings perfectly complement this fanciful story.

Star Gazing….

During my first trip to Nantucket many years ago, while out taking a walk, we saw the Maria (prounounced like Mariah) Mitchell home. I didn’t know who Mitchell was, but as soon as I learned her story, I was sorry it took me so long to know about her.  Mitchell was the first “professional” female astronomer – she even discovered a comet!  She was born on Nantucket on August 1, 1818 – which means today is her 195th birthday.  Here is Google’s tribute:

If you have a budding astronomer in your life, give them a copy of Deborah Hopkinson’s picture book, Maria’s Comet.  Or, you can take a field trip to Nantucket and visit her home. Here’s the link to the Maria Mitchell Association’s website:

http://www.mariamitchell.org/

As a side note, I am finally reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters. It was a big summer book last year – so I’m a bit late to the party.   Now, of course, I can’t put it down. It’s as sparkly as the stars that Maria Mitchell viewed through her telescope…

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