Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dirty Dog!: A Sunday Pooch Poetry Post

The Infamous Jack Murphy

Here's a link to my second guest blogger post at the law blog of Jonathan Turley. It's about my daughter's Labrador retriever Jack--who is a real rascal!

Giles Corey: An Iron Man Who Was a Victim of the Salem Witch Hysteria

My first guest blogger post for Jonathan Turley's law blog is up.
Giles Corey: An Iron Man Who Was a Victim of the Salem Witch Hysteria

Friday, October 29, 2010

An Original Fairy Tale Poem & Information about My NCTE Poetry Sessions

Here’s another poem from my unpublished collection Excerpts from the Fairy Tale Files.


Important message. Urgent. Read!
Our sage advice you must now heed.
Stay in the cottage. Don’t go out.
Your evil stepmom’s hereabout.
She’s dressed up as an ugly crone.
She knows that you are home alone.
Go lock the windows. Bolt the door.
Hide in the closet. Please ignore
Her coy attempts to sell you things:
Poison apples, combs, or rings.
She’s bent on murder. She won’t rest
Until her mirror says she’s best.
Don’t let her trick you. Use you head!
Or she’ll be fairest. You’ll be dead.

Here are links to previous Wild Rose Reader with witch poems and poetry and picture book recommendations for Halloween

Witch Poems

Children’s Poetry Books for Halloween

Picture Books & Poetry Books for Halloween

Bone Soup: A Great Halloween Read-Aloud

Tailypo: A Ghost Story

Poetry for Halloween

Picture Book Review: The Three Bears’ Halloween

Great Halloween Read-Alouds for Little Listeners

NCTE Annual Convention News
I’ll be presenting at two sessions at the NCTE Annual Convention in Orlando.

Session Title: Poets and Bloggers Unite: Using Technology to Connect Kids, Teachers, and Poetry
Date: November 19th
Session/Time: A.09—9:30 am to 10:45 am
Format: Panel

Other children’s literature bloggers who’ll be participating in the session along with me are Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children and Tricia Stohr-Hunt of The Miss Rumphius Effect. The poet members of our panel will be Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jame Richards, and Marilyn Singer.

NOTE: I'll be featuring Lee Bennett Hopkins at Wild Rose Reader next week!

Session Title: Poetry for Children and Teachers at Its Best: The 2009 Notable Poetry Titles
Date: November 19th
Session/Time: C.20—12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
Format: Panel
Panel Members: The NCTE Excellence in Poetry Committee


At Blue Rose Girls, I have an original poem titled Look at the Man: A Poem Explaining Why Women with Mates Gain Weight, which I previously posted at my blog Political Verses.

Toby Speed has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Writer’s Chair.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Blue Rose Girls Blog Gets a New Look

Blue Rose Girls has a great new look thanks to Anna Alter, Alvina Ling, and other contributors to the blog.
The Blue Rose Girls
(From left to right)
Elaine Magliaro, Alvina Ling, Grace Lin, Meghan McCarthy, Anna Alter, and Libby Koponen

Read Alvina's post titled Ch- ch- changes! to find out about the revamped Blue Rose Girls blog.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good News!

Hooray! I got my computer back this morning!
I have a lot of work to catch up on.


FYI: I've been asked to be a guest blogger on Jonathan Turley's law blog next week.

In his post, Introducing Our New Guest Bloggers, today, Professor Turley wrote the following:

I am happy to report we will be implementing another one of your suggestions for improving the blog. Various people suggested a year ago that we have guest blogging to allow regulars a chance to make entries on the blog. With my upcoming speech in France, I thought it would be a great time to try this out for a week from October 31st to November 6th. I have selected three of our best known and most respected regulars: David Drumm (aka Nal), Elaine Magliaro (aka Elaine M) and Mark Esposito (aka Mespo).

You can read the rest of Professor Turley's post here.
You can read Jonathan Turley's biography here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Education Week Blog Article: No Teacher Speech Rights on Curriculum Court Decides

Still without a computer! Borrowing my husband's MacBook again.


Here's an interesting article I read yesterday at The School Law Blog (Education Week).

Court: No Teacher Speech Rights on Curriculum

By Mark Walsh on October 21, 2010


Teachers have no First Amendment free-speech protection for curricular decisions they make in the classroom, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday.

"Only the school board has ultimate responsibility for what goes on in the classroom, legitimately giving it a say over what teachers may (or may not) teach in the classroom," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, said in its opinion.

The decision came in the case of an Ohio teacher whose contract was not renewed in 2002 after community controversy over reading selections she assigned to her high school English classes. These included Siddhartha , by Herman Hesse, and a unit on book censorship in which the teacher allowed students to pick books from a list of frequently challenged works, and some students chose Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman.

A group of 500 parents petitioned the school board against the teacher, Shelley Evans-Marshall, calling for "decency and excellence" in the classroom. The teacher also had various run-ins with her principal. Despite positive performance reviews before the controversy, the principal's evaluations afterwards criticized Evans-Marshall's attitude and demeanor and her "use of material that is pushing the limits of community standards." The school board in March 2002 decided not to renew her contract, citing "problems with communications and teamwork."

Evans-Marshall sued the Tipp City, Ohio, school district and various officials in 2003, alleging that her termination violated her First Amendment free-speech rights. In 2005, she won a ruling from the 6th Circuit that allowed her case to survive a motion to dismiss by the defendants. The court said at that time that it appeared that Evans-Marshall's termination was "due to a public outcry engendered by the assignment of protected material that had been approved by the board." (Education Week reported on that decision here.)

The suit proceeded to discovery until the school district defendants sought summary judgment last year. A federal district court granted the defendants' motion on the grounds that Evans-Marshall could not prove a link between the community outcry and the school board's decision not to renew her.

In its Oct. 21 decision in Evans-Marshall v. Board of Education of the Tipp City Exempted Village School District, a 6th Circuit panel ruled unanimously for the school district and other defendants, but on other grounds. (The appeals panel said the teacher had clearly shown that "her teaching choices caused the school board to fire her.")

But while Evans-Marshall's case satisfied two earlier Supreme Court standards on public-employee speech (Pickering and Connick), she could not survive the court's most recent decision in this area: Garcetti v. Ceballos. In Garcetti, decided in 2006, the high court held that public employees do not have First Amendment protection for speech "pursuant to" their official duties.

Friday, October 22, 2010

LICORICE: An Original Poem for Halloween

I'm posting late today due to computer problems. My computer is with the "geek squad" again--for the second time in one week. I had to borrow my husband's MacBook so I could post for Poetry Friday. It's so frustrating being without my computer. I hope I get it back soon. I can't get any writing done!

Here's a poem for Halloween from my unpublished poetry collection about candy--tentatively titled Sweet Dreams.

By Elaine Magliaro

I bite the licorice stick,
close my eyes and chew.
I taste...
A cold autumn night,
Shadows of black cats,
The flutter of witches' capes,
Ghosts wailing in a graveyard...
All the spooky flavors of Halloween.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at A Wrung Sponge this week.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 Cybils Poetry Nominations & Three Poetry Book Reviews

The Cybils nomination process has ended. It is now time for the round one Cybils panelists to get to work reading. I am serving as a Round One Panelist in the Cybils Poetry category.
Check out the forty-five children's poetry books that have been nominted for a Cybils Award this year: 2010 Cybils Poetry Book Nominations

To date, I have read eighteen of the forty-five nominated poetry books.

Here are links to reviews that I wrote for three of the nominated books

Friday, October 15, 2010

Three Original Fairy Tale Poems & A Cybils Reminder

The Cybils 2010

Nominations remain open until October 15th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time

2010 Poetry Nominations

Cybils Nomination Form

One of the children’s poetry books nominated for a 2010 Cybils Award is Marilyn Singer’s Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. I think it is an ingenious and clever collection of fairy tale poems. I LOVE fairy tale poems.

Today, I thought I’d post of three of my own fairy tale poems—which I wrote many years ago. All of the poems are about Snow White’s evil stepmother and mention the magic mirror.


My magic mirror is for sale.
It’s such an awful tattletale!
It told me things about my foe
I’d really rather never know.
I MUST be fairest in the land…
Not second best! You understand?
I want to be the most divine.
My reputation’s on the line!
The seven dwarfs? Those little cretins!
They should be in the dungeon, beaten.
They foiled my plans to kill the lass.
I’ve got to sell my looking glass
And spend the cash on wrinkle cream,
A nose job, and a health regime,
Two weekends at a beauty spa.
Then I’ll look like a movie star.
I’ll be the fairest in the land!
And Snow White?
She can go pound sand!


Mirror, mirror on the wall,
You say Snow White is best of all.
She may be lovely, I’ll agree—
But she’s a moron. Can’t you see?
Thrice I fooled her she’s so trusting.
I think her brain needs readjusting.
I’ve never seen her reading books.
She only cares about her looks.
I’m not as pretty as the kid…
But she’s no smarter than a squid.
Why, I’ve earned ten advanced degrees
From seven universities!
I’ll change the question. Now I’ll be
The best in this vicinity:
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who’s the SMARTEST one of all?

Q: Who’s the nemesis of Snow White?

A: The wicked queen, with great delight,
Concocted schemes to kill the child…
But failed. The queen was driven wild
Each time her mirror told her that
Snow White survived. “That little brat
Is like a cat that has nine lives!
I’m second best while she survives.
Each trick I’ve tried has been for nought.
Now with frustration I am fraught.
Snow White the fairest? Poppycock!
Her snow white face could stop a clock.”


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Liz in Ink this week.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ONE BIG RAIN: A Poetry Book Review & Some Original Rain Poems

ONE BIG RAIN: Poems for Rainy Days
Compiled by Rita Gray
Illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
Charlesbridge, 2010
(Price: $9.95)

One Big Rain is one delightful little anthology of poems about rain that takes readers through the year. Its twenty poems are divided equally among the four seasons. Most of the poems are brief; many paint vivid images with their words.

Gray selected several fine haikus for her book—including this one by Sora:

stars on the pond—
again, a pitter-patter
of winter rain

The illustration that accompanies the poem is beautiful in its quiet simplicity.

In One Big Rain, Gray includes works by well-known poets like Lilian Moore, Eve Merriam, Robert Frost, and Carl Sandburg—as well as works by poets whose names may not be familiar to many readers( Dixie Willson and Maud E. Uschold). The book also contains two poems translated from other languages (Norwegian and Spanish): Rain by Sigbjorn and The Sower by R. Olivares Figueroa. One of the things I like best about the One Big Rain is finding a few of my favorite weather poems that I haven’t read in anthologies in a long time.
One of those “favorite” poems is Eve Merriam’s Summer Rain. Here’s an excerpt from it:

A tickle, a trickle
A million-dot freckle
Speckles the spotted rain.

Like a cinnamon
Smells the rainingest rain.

And here’s an excerpt from another “favorite”— Lilian Moore’s Weather Report:

Ice-bearing trees,
a glass

A noonwind will
harvesting the brittle crop,

Children’s poetry doesn’t get much better than that!

Ryan O’Rourke’s stylistic art—done mostly in muted shades of brown, gray, black, and green—
is a fine and unassuming complement to this compilation of poems about rain.

Click here to download a poster of the One Big Rain illustration shown above.


Reading One Big Rain inspired me to go looking through my manuscripts and previous Wild Rose Reader posts for poems that I had written about rain. Here’s what I found:

Rain Poems by Elaine Magliaro


Polka dot sidewalks.
Freckle windowpanes.
Roll off rooftops and gurgle down gutter spouts.
Patter around a porch in silver slippers.
Dimple a quiet pond.
Tickle tulips and glisten the grass.
Tiptoe over silken seas.
Look for a lost rainbow.


In March
a warm spring wind
blew by
coaxing showers
from the sky.
Silver raindrops
hurried down
tempting green up
from the brown.
They woke the sleeping
buds on trees
and tapped on hives
of honeybees.
They washed away
the winter snow
so all the waiting earth
could grow.


Softly, raindrops come to call. Can you
Hear them gently tap-tapping
On the windowpane, on the roof
With an
Even, steady beat…
Repeating the song that April loves to sing?

Summer Rain Poem

I like a quiet summer day
when clouds above are oyster gray
and rain falls softer than a sigh.
I stand out in the melting sky
cool water washing over me.
I’m a pearl all shimmery,
rough shell unhinged and opened wide
letting all the sea inside.

It’s Raining

It’s raining…
Raining all around.
It’s raining puddles
On the ground.
It’s raining
On my booted feet.
It’s raining
Rivers in the street.
It’s raining cats.
It’s raining dogs.
It’s raining ponds
For polliwogs.
It’s raining
Drop by drop by drop…
A billion trillion—
It won’t stop!
It’s raining buckets
From the sky.
Don’t think the earth
Will EVER dry.


I’m in the middle of a puddle…
in the middle…
in a muddle.
The puddle’s much too deep.
It spilled
into my boots.
Now they’re filled
with muddy water
to the brim.
I hope my feet
know how to swim!


I’m stomping in a puddle,
Making drops of water fly.
Splashing them
Splashing them
Splashing them SO high.
I’m sending the raindrops
Back into the sky!

Note: I wrote the following poem about Grace Lin’s Small Graces painting that is pictured below:

Standing on the sidewalk
Listening to raindrops patter
On my polka-dotted umbrella.
The falling sky tap dances above me
in silvery shoes.
I hear the steady beat…
feel the rhythm of the rain.
My yellow-booted feet
Want to waltz me down the street

Sleet tap-dances on
my roof, clicks its icy heels
on my windowpane

Sleet splinters
a winter day, pierces the air
with icy shards

Soft rain falls on
Our maple tree, its leaves bow
To the giving sky


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Carol’s Corner this week.

Friday, October 1, 2010

COTTON CANDY: An Original Poem

I know I haven’t been posting as often as I used to—or writing many book reviews lately. I’ve had lots of things on my mind and some family matters to attend to in recent months. My creative juices are bit low at the moment and my ability to focus on things of a literary nature is not at an optimum level. I do hope things will return to normal soon.

Today, I selected a poem that I wrote for an unpublished collection called Sweet Dreams. As this is the season of county fairs around my neck of the woods, I think there will be lots of kids eating cotton candy…as well as candied apples, fried dough, and other low-calorie foods.

by Elaine Magliaro

Fairy floss,
pink puff of spun sugar,
cumulus confection,
sunset cloud
floating on a cardboard cone.

At Blue Rose Girls I have a video of The Crocodile's Toothache--performed by its author Shel Silverstein.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is over at Bibliophile this week.