Monday, December 16, 2019

Sweep by Louise Greig {Mental Wellness}

I love how Sweep by Louise Greig begins with identifying two groups of moods; good and bad.  Ed the main character is in a bad mood and when he's in a bad mood we learn he isn't nice.  The next page describes a bad mood in such intriguing ways; tiny whirlwinds or a raging storm.  His mood starts small and grew - gathering speed.  He knew it had gone too far and he didn't know how to stop it.  His mood keeps brewing and hovers over the whole town with a looming darkness.  A new wind brings change  - moving things and shifting things for Ed.  A kite comes to Ed and makes him look pall while connecting with others over kite flying.  The end of this book acknowledges the bad mood might return and he thinks through the what if. 

This book addresses our emotion mind and I love how Ed is mindful of his current emotion, in the moment.  I feel like Ed does take time to understand his emotional experience.  Illustrator Julia Sarda uses a fall day - leaves and more leaves piling up; showing Ed's bad mood just brewing bigger and bigger.  Then it a wind from a different direction and it feels like opposite action.  

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Benny Doesn't Like to be Hugged by Zetta Elliott

I was recently talking with my friend, a counseling graduate student about a few things going on in our classroom community and he recommended Benny Doesn't Like to be Hugged.  Zetta Elliott wrote the text and Purple Wong illustrated the book - this is their fifth collaboration.   A little girl narrates the story and describes her friend and their relationship.  

The reader will discover rhyme and a repetitive phrase. We the reader begin the story by learning about a few things that Benny does like and then we learn, "Benny doesn't like to be hugged."  Then we learn about things Benny likes with a small attribute he doesn't like related to what he likes; "Benny likes clothes that don't have any wrinkles."  Then the readers learn about behavior things Benny does that might appear a little bit different.  

These two pages make this a must have book.  "If he needs things done a certain way, I don't give it a second thought.  Because true friends accept each other just the way they are."

Neurodiversity.  Such a rich word and a new word for me thanks to the author's note.  Zetta Elliott was inspired by her friends that have children with autism and realized while she had diverse books, she didn't have one about promoting neurodiversity.  She hopes this book will offer readers a model of compassion and understanding, just what my community might need to continue the great work they are already doing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Waiting Brings Engagement {Slice of Life}

This past Sunday I attended Ted Talk Columbus Women and heard about many brilliant opportunities and thinking happening in our city.  One speaker I would love to spend more time with was Paula Penn - Nabrit.  She was sharing about Biodiversity in Gardens and had started a church garden community in memory of her husband.  She had the biggest smile, I started taking more notes, and then I felt like a writer again.  She said three words and I started jotting notes about something from the day before; collecting seeds.

Paula Penn - Nabrit said, "waiting brings engagement."  I had to pause and think.  I wouldn't not of thought about this before and began to ponder if it was true.  My first reaction might have been waiting slows me down or waiting is annoying.  Then I ponder the last twenty four hours and by goodness gracious, she was right.

The day before I was in JoAnn's collecting some must have door buster items when the checkout line was SO long.  I had to wait to get these great prices.  As I waited, I practiced some breathing and noticed a mother daughter pair ahead of me.  I can't remember our first reason for engaging and soon we visited about our daughters in school, knitting, a new idea for a simple tree skirt, her plans for tonight and how she was going to modify the bustle of the evening ahead.  We even talked about if a recipe prep was really going to be five minutes and how she could probably hop in the shower while the dish baked.  Yes, waiting brought engagement.

Later that very same day I was in line to return something at Target when a young boy ahead of me sneezed three times.  I said my usual bless you and his mother said thank you.  I over heard her share with her son she always sneezes in threes.  I had to share my husband does too and I never heard of anyone else doing this.  We chatted with her own children about the sneeze quantity each time for them and I shared no one else in our family of five do a three in a row sneeze event regularly.  We then started wondering why and considered asking, "Dr. Google."

I don't know either ladies names or where they live.  I have no plans to connect with them again.  I'm not sure why I connected with strangers this day.  I think Paula Penn-Nabrit gave me more than motivation for gardening with others.  She made me stop and realize waiting brings engagement.  I enjoyed these conversations.  I smiled.  I felt in the moment.  Engagement fosters connections and connections is needed to our lives and world right now.  I'm going to be on the look out for more waiting opportunities.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community each week.

Friday, December 6, 2019

AnimalArk - Celebrating our Wild World in poetry and pictures {Poetry Friday}

Hello Friends - I'm excited to dust off this writing space with my most recent book purchase and join the Poetry Friday community.  I started volunteering at our local zoo this summer and never visited the gift shop until tonight.  I'm going to need to add this to my list of places to discover great books.

AnimalArk - Celebrating our WILD WORLD in poetry and pictures is going to be read this morning as we start our day with Poetry Friday.  The photographer Joel Sartore and poet Kwame Alexander have created a stunning collaborative text highlighting 32 species that are endangered.  Together this author and photographer duo are bringing awareness and fostering readers to care about creatures.  In the author hope from Joel Sartore he says, "And once we love something, won't we do anything to save it?"  I love this found in the author note from Kwame Alexander; "Joel Sartore's photographs are exquisite visual haiku that capture something even words cannot, and yet the combination of the two creates a landscape, a third language only the heart knows."  Kwame uses haiku for its focus in less is more.  This book was created to help us pay closer attention to species we share our world with.

Here's a video with Kwame Alexander that will help you get a better feel for the book.

Thank you Tanita Davis  for hosting Poetry Friday this week at {fiction, instead of lies}