Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Love is Everything: Father Goose does it again!

Love is Everything, by Charles Ghigna, (Nov. 2021, Schiffer Kids), $16.99, ISBN: 9780764362231

Ages 3-7

Charles Ghigna’s ode to love is just what cuddle time, lapsit, and Valentine’s Day storytimes need. The poem reaffirms beliefs in everyday magic, like mornings and nights; mountains and trees, music, the seasons, and, most importantly, love. Artwork shows a little bear and bigger bear sharing time together, enjoying each other’s company, and sharing warmth and joy in the every day. Charles Ghigna begins each new line in his poetic tale with the affirmation, “I believe…” creating a sense of optimism and positivity that readers really need these days; comforting images and reassuring words come together to give young children a soothing storytime. Softly colored images of cute bears frolicking throughout nature, with uplifting verse, make this a lovely bedtime, laptime, or anytime read.

Visit Charles Ghigna’s author webpage for resources. The Poetry Foundation’s Charles Ghigna page has a biography and links to some more of his poetry.

 

Posted in Fiction, Intermediate

What is a poem? Oh, so many things…

A Poem is a Firefly, by Charles Ghigna/Illustrated by Michelle Hazelwood Hyde, (April 2021, Schiffer Kids), $16.99, ISBN: 9780764361081

Ages 5-8

A lovely answer to the oft-asked question, “What is a poem?”, A Poem is a Firefly is also a love letter to the art of poetry. I’ve been asked many times about poetry, when my own kids and my library kids have worked on a unit at school. “Does it have to rhyme?” “What’s the difference between a poem and a story, if it doesn’t rhyme?” “How do I read this, anyway?” The answer? I don’t really have them, because poetry tends to confound me, too. I love Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, and their silly verse, but the true meaning of poetry has escaped me while I have friends who simply adore it (and have earned my envy). A Poem is a Firefly is a lovely guide to unlocking the poetry kids have inside them. A group of animal friends wonder and wax thoughtfully on what a poem is: it can be a whisper or a shout; it can be a “thought… turned inside out”; it can be an “echo… slowly passing by”, or a “moment… a memory caught in time”. There are beautiful things that a poem can be, including a firefly, on the summer wind. Beautifully phrased, the rhyming verse encourages readers to observe the poetry in nature, around them, and inside them. It’s a great storytime book and a great way to introduce a poetry unit in school. Cartoon animals invite readers in, and they hang around on the endpapers, welcoming readers and seeing them out. A lovely way to introduce poetry this National Poetry Month.

Fun thing to watch for: the title and the firefly on the cover are glow-in-the-dark!

Charles Ghigna is also known as “Father Goose”. His author webpage has links to plenty of resources, including help on writing a poem.