Friday, November 27, 2015

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Woodpecker Wham!

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Illustrated by Steve Jenkins, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, May 12, 2015.

“Verdict: Lovely and exciting, this title is a great hook for young researchers, as well as fledgling ornithologists.”

-Starred Review, School Library Journal.

“Repetitive onomatopoeic sounds such as ‘CHOP, CHIP, CHOP’ and ‘BONK-BONK-BONK’ combine with plentiful alliteration to make the simple verses come alive . . . Attractive and surprisingly informative, this should join the duo’s Eat Like a Bear (2013) on every preschool and primary nature shelf.”


“Sayre introduces the distinctively noisy woodpecker and the rhythmic cadences that fill its industrious life through a rhyming, sound word-filled text.”

-Horn Book

“Short, playful text featuring plenty of action words and onomatopoeia describes a variety of woodpecker activities.”


Eat Like a Bear

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

“Sayre and Jenkins follow Vulture View (2007) with a similarly excellent study of brown bears that’s in equal parts poetic and enlightening.” -Kirkus, starred review.

ALA (American Library Association) Notable Book 2014

Outstanding Science Trade Book NSTA

Bank Street Best Book 2013


Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat is a chant which introduces children to beans, nuts, grains, and spice seeds. Endmatter explains why seeds don’t grow inside our stomachs, why seeds are such great food, and how seeds fit into biology, ecology, and culture. This book completes the trio of books that includes Rah, Rah, Radishes: A Vegetable Chant  and Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant.

Here Come the Humpbacks! Paired With Poetry

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Booklist Online’s newsletter has a lovely article by Anastasia Suen that has some terrific ocean poetry books and includes Here Come the Humpbacks! as a book connection. Hurray!

Writing Poetry

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

For you aspiring poets, and teachers of poetry, I recommend the new book  Write a Poem Step By Step by JoAnn Macken. It’s incredibly useful. So clearcut and inspiring.

I love writing poetry. A few folks have even convinced me to admit I’m a poet.  (Okay, so I was late to accepting that particular moniker. Afraid…perhaps!)

I blogged about this quandry on Katie Davis’ site.   I also discussed some of the math behind my chant/poetry work on INK.

On Jama Rattigan’s site I celebrated poetry month. See? I’m getting used to the idea…perhaps!


To Love a Toad

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Just publishing one of my poems here because. Because why not put it out there? Just dug it out of a little corner, forgotten, of my computer file pile. There are so many poems stuck in there like scraps of paper.

April Pulley Sayre


To Love a Toad


To love a toad

is to love all manner of wartiness

and melded colors

and cool air that hovers

near mud and shade.

To love a toad

is to laugh on rainy days

at slip slap soundings

to shake your head,

to raindrop fling.

To love a toad

is to kneel knee dirty un caring

to sup with slugs and creature crawl

to watch where you step

in case the toads trust too far.

To dig gently

just in case

a toad’s at home.

April is poetry month

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I’ll be doing two guest blogs for poetry month. Here’s the first, on Jama Rattigan’s Poetry Potluck. She’s featuring lots of poets, their poems, and recipes, all month long.

Am I a poet? Hmm…just considering that this month, after two folks asked me to blog about poetry. I blogged about this quandry on Katie Davis’ site.   I also discussed some of the math behind my chant/poetry work on INK. 

THE CHANT BOOKS: Read, Taste, Teach!

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

My chant books are a celebration of  words, rhythm, rhyme, and biodiversity. To celebrate my upcoming (June 16th, 2011) vegetable chant, I’ve assembled sound samples to help in teaching and understanding these books.  (more…)

Seven Hills-Doherty An Author’s Dream School

Monday, March 8th, 2010


I’d just been to Seven Hills-Lotspeich. How could another school day be just as fun? Well, if you’re at the other Seven Hills Campus—Doherty. It can! This Cincinnatti school just percolates with life. If I were going to be a teacher, I’d want to work in one of the Seven Hills Schools.

Why? Because excellent schools need faculty that care for one another, that lunch together, that chat and exchange ideas.  This school has it on both campuses. Education can be joyous when staff share that passion for helping students. But left alone in classrooms, teachers can grow isolated, like stay-at-home moms who love their kids but need some grownup time now and then. Staff development makes it sound all technical. That is helpful. But the core of the best schools I have seen is a caring staff community: community that nurtures creative teachers and does not squash them. You could see it at work, hear it at work during my lunch with some of the Doherty teachers.

Seven Hills also has another community that uplifts the place. The parents. Wow. They pitch in for all kinds of things. At the whirling center of joy is librarian Linda Wolfe who I had the pleasure of spending the day with.

She is a dynamo who knows children’s literature inside out. She created wonderful activities to go with my books. Just look at what they did with Vulture View. She found some kind of scratch paper that is black with silver underneath. The students cut out vultures and scratched through to make the beautiful silvering of the feathers.

She describes how she introduces Trout Are Made of Trees to her students. To celebrate the book, she used a scale/math/art activity. She gave kids large photos of the aquatic insects. Then the children had to draw them, as accurately as possible, on the tiny pieces of paper. It’s a good thinking project. You can just imagine how many neurons fire when trying to duplicate but shrink an image.

In the halls were more art projects to celebrate If You Should Hear a Honey Guide; Dig, Wait, Listen; and other books. Penguins for Antarctica. Maps of South America. There was art of many kinds.

Among my favorites was an organizational project done by Mr. Schmidt’s class. They took my books and graphed them in various ways to show the content and relationships in the books. It’s a good way to prepare for writing books of their own.

I saw and experienced all of this in one short school day at Seven Hills Doherty. Just imagine what a student could learn in a school year of being with these hard working, creative educators.

About Me
April Sayre

April Pulley Sayre is an award-winning children’s book author of over 55 natural history books for children and adults. Her read-aloud nonfiction books, known for their lyricism and scientific precision, have been translated into French, Dutch, Japanese, and Korean. She is best known for pioneering literary ways to immerse young readers in natural events via creative storytelling and unusual perspectives.

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