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A Wayback Piece

WOTD: SILLY

 

Posting a fun poem I wrote a long while back. I still really like it. Hmmm–maybe it will turn out to be the first piece for a future book of kid’s poetry….

Anyway, here’s hoping it gives you a little chuckle…and full permission to be as silly as you want to be!

Agape

P.S.  Hi, Jean!

 

THINK

by Tameka Fryer Brown

 

I’m mad at Mom. I’m mad at Dad.

They took out every toy I had

and left me in here

all alone

to “think” they said.

I should have known

that when they huddled up

and talked

my goose was cooked.

I should’ve walked—

no ran outside and down the street

to A.J.’s house.

We’d hide and eat

up in his room.

We both like cheese

so we’d eat that

and play with Weeze,

‘cept he’s

a dog that likes to drool

and when you’re eating, that’s not cool.

So nix the dog.

A.J. and me,

we’d eat and then we’d try to see

Trey’s house

(which sits on Main and Pope)

through A.J.’s brother’s telescope.

But as we did,

we just might spy

his grouchy neighbor, Mrs. Blye,

do something that is really gross—

like pluck her chin or

pick her toes

or worse…

hock in her witches brew

and pour it in a bowl marked “STEW”

that looked just like the stew she’d brought

to cure the cold AJ had caught

last week.

He’d scream

and then we’d duck

too late.

She’d see us—

More good luck!

Then she’d come over, ring the bell

looking mad and

quick to tell

his mom

that we were peeping through

her window—

which would not be true—

but even still, she’d call MY mom,

who’d tell my dad,

who’d seem real calm…

but then, they’d huddle—

and today,

I’d still be in here anyway!

 

So while I’m “thinking”, guess I ought

to think about

not getting caught!

Illustrator-Love

I love picture books…which I’m pretty sure comes as no surprise, seeing that I write them.

But since I’m only a wannabe visual artist, it’s the illustrations that I find myself in awe of most often. Soaking up page after page of the most gorgeous, colorful, imaginative artwork fills me with a certain soda pop-bubbly feeling I just don’t get from anything else.

These are a few of the artists whose work never fails to touch me:

Vanessa Brantley-Newton

A Vanessa Brantley-Newton Illustration

Frank Morrison

Frank Morrison's THE QUEEN ON THE SCENE

Kadir Nelson

http://www.kadirnelson.com/images/books/slideshows/FREEDOMBOX4-5.jpg

Kadir Nelson from HENRY'S FREEDOM BOX

 

I really do love picture books.

Who are some of your favorite illustrators? Treat yourself to some of their work today!

Agape. 🙂

My Summer Reading List

WOTD: Summer Reading List

One of the most important jobs an author has is reading. Now that school is out, my kids and I will be able to do lots of that.

I’ve decided to post a running list of the books I read (or re-read) during summer vacation. They’ll include books for all ages; I’ll add to it each time I finish reading one.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading! If you really like it (and I haven’t already read it), I’ll add it to my reading list, too.

 

Tameka’s Summer Reading List

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

The Death of Yorik Mortwell by Stephen Messer

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Neville by Norton Jester; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

A Good Day written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Book 2 in Hunger Games series)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Book 3 in Hunger Games series)

Animal Farm by George Orwell

FYI–The Brown Bookshelf recently posted three, separate summer reading lists: Picture Books & Early Readers, Chapter Books & Middle Grades, and Young Adult. Check them out!

 

Summer Book Fun for Kids

Summer vacation is just days away and I hope you’re planning to read lots and lots of books!

Coincidentally, I know of the PERFECT picture book title for this time of year. It’s a lively, rhythmic tale full of culture, community, and summertime fun!

Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day
by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13: 978-0-8109-8971-9

Click here to check out “the buzz”!  Click here to purchase!

Tornado Drills, Forgotten Chicken, and Hiccups…Oh My!

On last Wednesday (yes, another Wednesday adventure), I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Nations Ford Elementary School for World Read-Aloud Day.

When I arrived at the school, I met up with the Literacy Facilitator, Tonya Pointer, who informed me that we would begin our reading tour right after the tornado drill.

😮

She escorted me to a staff area to wait. Once the bell sounded, all the students and staff members assumed the position in the hallway, while a few designated adults walked around, ensuring everyone was where they needed to be. As the teachers filed out of the room I was in, I asked the Tornado Drill Monitor, “Do I need to go, too?”

“Well we certainly wouldn’t want to leave you behind if we had a tornado….”

I wish someone had snapped a pic of me in the hallway, “assuming the position”.  LOL! Picture knees bent, head down, hands covering my head. Thank goodness I was able to rise smoothly enough from that position so as not to embarrass myself in front of the kids–who were, let me say up front, fantabulous.

My reading tour consisted of twelve 1st and 2nd grade classes. Fortunately for my voice, they doubled up so I only had to read six times.  The kids were quiet, attentive, and asked great questions. The literacy facilitator was very impressed with their behavior. I wasn’t surprised, though. I’ve never had an unruly, inattentive bunch, yet. Speaking of attentive….

I did my usual Q&A after the session, where I ask them some questions about the story, then let them ask me some questions about whatever.  One of the questions I asked is: “What were some of the foods the neighbors ate?” And they mentioned pretty much all of them: mac and cheese, oxtail stew, rice and beans, etc. A couple of students (in totally different classes) mentioned soup–which was never stated in the text, but you could assume such if you were looking very closely at the pictures. I told you, they were on the ball!

Now in two of the classes, kids mentioned “chicken” as a food that was in the story. Very gently and kindly I said, “Weellll…most people do have chicken at parties, so maybe there was some chicken there, but that wasn’t mentioned in the story.” The second time I said this to a student, I saw the look on that boy’s face which said, There was too some chicken. I know I heard the word chicken.

It wasn’t until the last session when another boy said, “Some kind of chicken, I don’t know what it was called,” that I remembered I did have chicken in the book–grilled lime chicken to be exact. Mrs. Pointer and I just had to laugh.  I asked her to go back to the other classes and tell those kids they were right and I was wrong. I hope she remembered. 🙂

Anyway, I had a great time at Nations Ford Elementary. Thanks so much for inviting me.

(Oh, and as for hiccups:  I’ve been typing this entire post while hiccuping! Quite annoying and distracting, but I just had to share this visit with you. Now I shall go drink some water while holding my breath until I can’t hold it any longer–which is a virtually full-proof cure, by the way.)

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time, on last Wednesday, I had my very first Skype visit with Ms. Alexander’s 3rd grade class at Feldwood Elementary School in Atlanta, Ga!

Since I’d never done a Skype visit before, I wasn’t quite sure if I should stay with my standard school visit format or change it. At the last minute, I decided to change it up. Not sure if that was the best move, but the students were so FANTASTIC, it was a great visit anyway! They listened attentively, asked great questions, and laughed when I did my “Mad Max” voice.

When I think of words to describe Ms. Alexander’s class, I think of: smart, well-mannered, disciplined, and scholars.  Thank you, Ms. Alexander, for the phenomenal way you are instructing and leading your class. It is an honor to know teachers like you!

I *Heart* Feldwood!

The End.

 

28 Days Later: Nikki Giovanni

WOTD: Fantabulous

The Fifth Annual 28 Days Later campaign is underway, and today’s honoree is none other than the incredible Nikki Giovanni!

28 Days Later is designed to spotlight various authors and illustrators of African descent, particularly those who are not as widely known as we think they should be.  Author-illustrator, Don Tate, and authors Kelly Starling Lyons, Varian Johnson, Paula Chase Hyman, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Gwendolyn Hooks, Crystal Allen and yours truly make up The Brown Bookshelf team.

Our 2012 honorees are:

February 1 – Kwame AlexanderAcoustic Rooster (PB)
February 2 – Denise Lewis Patrick The Cecile Series: American Girl  (MG)
February 3 – Noni Carter Good Fortune (YA)
February 4 – James HaskinsBBS Vanguard (PB)
February 5 – NiNi Simone  The Break-Up Diaries (YA)
February 6 – Keith Shepherd Walking Home To Rosie Lee (PB)
February 7 – Nikki Giovanni BBS Vanguard (PB)
February 8 – Tracey Baptiste Angel’s Grace (YA)
February 9 – TL Clarke The Secret of the Scarlet Stone (MG)
February 10 – Atinuke Hooray for Anna Hibiscus (MG)
February 11 – Bryan Collier BBS Vanguard (PB)
February 12 – Earl Sewell Maya’s Choice (YA)
February 13 – Debbi Chocolate BBS Vanguard (PB)
February 14 – Lynda Jones Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker (MG)
February 15 – Calvin Alexander Ramsey Ruth & The Green Book (PB)
February 16 – L. Divine  The Drama High Series (YA)
February 17 – Charlotte Riley Webb Our Children Can Soar (PB)
February 18 – Bil Wright Putting Make-up On The Fat Boy (YA)
February 19 – Pansie Hart Flood It’s Test Day, Tiger Turcotte (PB)
February 20 – Traci Dant Some Kind of Love (PB)
February 21 – Nikki Carter Fab Life Series (YA)
February 22 – Sharon Robinson Promises to Keep (MG)
February 23 – Teresa Harris Summer Jackson: Grown Up (PB)
February 24 – Sofia Quintero Efrain’s Secret (YA)
February 25 – Malorie Blackman Boys Don’t Cry (YA)
February 26 – Alice Faye Duncan Honey Baby Sugar Child (PB)
February 27 – Elizabeth Zunon The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (PB)
February 28 – Margaree King Mitchell When Grandmama Sings (PB)

Make sure you visit The Brown Bookshelf daily to find out about these phenomenal artists and their work!

Agape!

P.S. Since it’s leap year, February 29 will be our BBS Members Spotlight day. Look for posts from Crystal Allen, Don Tate, Gwendolyn Hooks, Kelly Starling Lyons, Paula Chase HymanOlugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, and me, Tameka Fryer Brown.