Clackety Track: Poems about Trains by Skila Brown (Author) & Jamey Christoph (Illustrator)
Genre: Children’s picture book, Poetry
Publication: March 12th 2019
Publisher: Walker Books (Candlewick imprint)
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Source: Review copy from publisher, THANK YOU.
Queue up for a whistle-stop tour of trains of all kinds, narrated in lively verse and featuring dynamic retro artwork.
Rows of grooves, cables, and bars.
Graffiti rockin’ out the cars.
A badge of rust. A proud oil stain.
There’s nothin’ plain about a train.
Trains of all shapes and sizes are coming down the track — bullet train, sleeper train, underground train, zoo train, and more. All aboard! Skila Brown’s first-class poems, as varied as the trains themselves, reflect the excitement of train travel, while Jamey Christoph’s vintage-style illustrations provide a wealth of authentic detail to pore over.
The five-year-old: Riley sat through a read through with me, and was even asking questions while I was reading the train facts at the end of the book.
Once we’d finished the first read though I asked him if he liked the book. He replied Yes, then immediately ran off and dragged out some train toys and started playing with them.
The two-year-old: Upon seeing the book for first the first time Ethan stated that it was “my Thomas, my train” and his grabby little hands snatched the book up. Ethan was wowed by the images on the pages and sat rather mesmerised in my lap through the first read thought with his brother, then a second on his own. After the second read through Ethan ran off to joined his brother playing with their trains.
I’ve had the book sitting on my desk for about a week, the time between reading it the boys for the first time and sitting down to write this review. Multiple times I’ve found Ethan sitting at my desk thumbing through the book, just looking at the pictures of the trains, waiting for someone to come along and read it to him.
The artwork is beautifully drawn and the images are eye-catching, yet soft and romantic in a way.
The words are rhythmic and flowing and a pleasure to read.
Clackety Track: Poems about Trains is a must read for any train loving littlies and train/poetry enthusiasts of all ages – so yeah, the perfect book for my boys and me. And one I can see us reading many more times, for many years to come.
I wasn’t going to share these, as i’m not sure if they will make sense if you don’t know the people the animals represent. But I love them all, so have decided I will share them :-).
I hope you enjoy, Animal Business, a series of short poem-ish tales about the relationships that shape us.
Two Tigers were on the run
just trying to have some fun
before adult responsibilities could drown them.
They visited dank wolf dens
and spend nights in sheep pens
before finding bridges blocked with barbwire fences.
That time is now lost
but it was well worth the cost
and together again in old age they will be.
The Tiger & The Sheep
The Tiger & The Sheep no longer reap
even though The Hunter did not find them.
The Shepherd ruined the day
& drove The Sheep away
to the greener pastures behind him.
The Tiger & The Hunter
The Tiger did try to run
but The Hunter he had a gun
& back down to earth she was shot.
Cubs were born
on a diet of new dawn
& The Tiger well worn
settled into life beside them.
When The Dog was a pup
he used to hide in the grass
and watch the wolves swagger past
wishing he’d grow up just like them.
Grow up he soon did,
howling & fit,
in with the wolves around him.
To her younger self
The Tiger was mean
and into a slumber she went.
The Tiger no longer sleeps
thanks in part to The Sheep.
She no longer hides in herds.
She finds truth & solace in words.
The Tiger & The Dog
When The Tiger & The Dog did meet
He sat at her feet.
Astray as he was
she tried to mind him.
More time has now passed
and this meeting won’t be the last.
Savage friends you will always find them.
the only thing that holds me together
You are my breaking point
and my glue.
For you the world must seem so shiny,
At only two
you still have your whole life
in front of you.
As for me
I am about thirty eight percent through.
But Here’s hoping
for a million more days with you.
My littlest baby turned two yesterday. And I am just sitting here stunned wondering where the last two years have gone. Ethan has turned into an adventurous, hyperactive, tantrum throwing, food loving, wonder inducing little boy.
The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot
Genre: Young Adult, Poetry, Fiction
Publication: July 1st, 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review Copy – THANK YOU
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does.
And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her.
The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.
The Art of Taxidermy has been marketed as “for fans of Steven Herrick (The Simple Gift) and Diana Sweeney (The Minniow)”. I’m a big Herrick fan, and I’m inclined to agree with this statement. I haven’t read any Sweeney, but I do intend to rectify this.
Australian born Lottie is the daughter of two German migrants. After the loss of her mother, Lottie’s aunt takes over the maternal role. Lottie is trying to preserve the beauty of life with her taxidermy experiments. Trying to understand the world around her. Trying to make sense of the devastating losses she has had to face at such a young age. But her aunt doesn’t understand this, or really understand Lottie at all.
Sometimes reading MG or YA the mother/adult in me takes over and I side with the parental figure. But at times while reading this I was internally screaming at Lottie’s aunt and wanted to slap her back to last Friday.
I found the protagonist Lottie easy to connect with. I was Lottie! I think that is a sign of how well a story is told, of how good the story is, If you are so engrossed that you can’t unattach yourself from the character. That you struggle to see it any other way, other than the way the character sees it.
We (as the reader) feel the grief that drags Lottie down and together we deal with it, learn how to live again, and figure out who we are without the ones we love.
Words I would use (and am) to describe this book: beautiful, moving, engrossing, captivating, heart-breaking, heart-warming, hopeful and healing.
This #LoveOzYA verse novel by Mount Barker native Sharon Kernot is a moving testament to life and death. This is a hauntingly beautiful story that will stay with me for a long time.
Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism edited by Danielle Barnhart & Iris Mahan
Genre: Poetry, Feminism
Publication: March 13th, 2018
Publisher: OR Books
Source: Audible Audiobook
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.
Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker.
“This anthology does not have a singular purpose. It is part love letter, part manifesto, part confession, part wish and those are just the raw materials.
It is also a meditation on grief. We grieve for the woman we have lost, the violence and oppression we endure, and the children who will never make it to the terrifying and glorious world of womanhood.” –Taken from the introduction by Danielle Barnhart.
I originally received a e-arc for this poetry collection from Netgalley, but I struggled so much with the formatting on my kindle app that I couldn’t get into the poems. I couldn’t find the rhythm. So I decided to stop trying, as I was beyond frustrated. I decided to wait until the book was released and buy a paperback edition and then try that. What I ended up doing was buying an audiobook version – much better. Hearing the poems read out loud, being able to hear and feel the rhythm, muuuuuuch better!
This collection made me ache. So much anger and pain held in their words. So many wrongs against women told with their words. Some of the poems saddened me deeply. Some I found truly profound. Some spoke to my soul. And some made me want to set the world on fire.
If you are after a beautifully flowing lyrical rhythmic masterpiece – then this isn’t for you.
If you want to feel something real. If you want to know you are not alone in the shit you have been dealt. If you want to embrace your fellow womenkind and experience some of their journeys. If you want to feel empowered by the strength of women – this is for you.
NOTE: This anthology is trigger central. It touches on everything that is Woman. Everything that is life for a woman. The beauty and the danger and the rotten core of it all. Touching on everything from physical abuse, sexual assault, racism, sexism, abortion, marriage, motherhood and menstruation.
Hunter Writers Centre invites any Australian poet (living here or overseas) to submit a poem up to 200 lines. The competition will close on 30 June 2017.
The Newcastle Poetry Prize is one of the most prestigious in the country with a total prize pool over $22,000. First prize is $15,000 – for one poem. Second prize is $5000, third prize is $1000. There are also awards given to a poet who resides in the Hunter Region (the Local Award), and The Harri Jones Memorial Prize award ($250) for the best poem by a poet under the age of 35.
The Newcastle Poetry Prize is unique among Australian poetry prizes for producing an accompanying anthology that provides a rare opportunity for poets to be published outside of the literary journals and internet magazines.
The Newcastle Poetry Prize has been coordinated by the Hunter Writers Centre since 2002 and is proudly sponsored by the University of Newcastle, which provides the prize money.
Past winners have included John Watson, Brook Emery, Dorothy Hewett, Anthony Lawrence, David Musgrave, Patricia Sykes and Mark Tredinnick.
The 2017 competition will be judged by Professor Kevin Brophy and Eileen Chong. Kevin Brophy is the author of fifteen books of poetry, fiction, and essays. His latest books are Misericordia (2016) and This is What Gives Us Time (2016). Eileen Chong’s books are Burning Rice (2012), Peony (2014) and Painting Red Orchids (2016). Her work has been shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the Peter Porter Poetry Prize, the Newcastle Poetry Prize, and most recently, for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Full entry details can be found on HWC’s website: http://www.hunterwriterscentre.org/newcastle-poetry-prize.html
The Hunter Writers Centre was established in 1995 and is a leading writers centre in Australia now offering three major contests with more than $35,000 in prize monies. It administers the prestigious Newcastle Poetry Prize, the Newcastle Short Story Award and the Grieve Writing Competition. The centre also provides access to professional development through workshops, writing groups and seminars.
I sit in this chair and ponder the nothingness as it consumes the land that surrounds me.
I sit in this chair and as my earthy energies wane the emptiness compounds on me.
That a world so full of life could be dissolved into nothing but a crust astounds me.
Why before now hasn’t a hero come and found me.
Maybe I am supposed to be the hero and fight the nothingness from within. This thought it empowers me.
I sit in this slowly dissolving chair and read a book from the library of fight and suddenly the nothingness clears.
Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image.
This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz
For more information, CLICK HERE to see Rochelle’s website.
Or CLICK HERE to view the other Friday Fictioneers stories for this week.
by Aurelia Fray, Catherine Stovall, Lily Luchesi, Emma Michaels, Michael Cross, Iskra Ryder, Patrick Tumblety, Libby Bishop, Charlotte Ondac, Jenn Nixon, Jaclyn Osborn, Jen L. Joyal, Victoria Kinnaird, Olivia Harper
DEATH LOVE LUST.
Death is definite. Love is infinite. Lust is eternal.
In the end, death always wins. And what of the threads that remain? Love? Lust? The desire to feel both? The desire to return to the living and feel again? Because, despite death, the heart will forever pine for the love that once was; the love that was once tangible but now is reflected back only in memories and photographs. Both love and lust are stronger than death and will always linger long after life is pulled from us. Because of this we will always remain definite, infinite, and eternal.
Published February 4th 2016 by Hot Ink Press.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ My Thoughts ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I received an ARC of this book in an exchange for an honest review, THANK YOU :-).
As I normally review teen appropriate YA books I better stress the fact that this anthology is for 18+ Adults Only!
I love anthology’s! I think they are great for getting a little peep at different authors ‘voices’ and finding new favorites.
The Death-Love-Lust Anthology is a collection of adult poems and short stories exploring, you guessed it, death love and lust, featuring both hetero and homosexual couples – oh and delicious demons and righteous reapers.
The poems are absolutely beautiful, I read them all multiple times.
The stories range from dark and mysterious to sexy and sinful, with beautiful deep everlasting love shining through.
Normally I’d stay away from erotica that dabbles with death, but as the lovely Lily Luchesi was a part of it and given how I really enjoy her Paranormal Detective series, I gave it a go. I was pleasantly surprised! This is a collection of well-rounded pieces connecting life, death and love. Obviously there were some stories I preferred over others, but as a whole it was a really enjoyable, engaging and entertaining read.
Christmas is over for another year
and as it goes it drains me of all my cheer
Regardless of your religion I hope you got to be with the ones you love
And found solace in whatever you believe is above
We go into the new year with the world in distress
The minority hurting the majority and making a mess
Mother nature is crying but no one hears
Because some bloody mongrels are shouting out bad ideas
Ignore these monsters
We can block them out by standing together
Forgetting our differences
and just loving each other
It is in mankind’s nature to only think of its self
Hence why the earth is disintegrating into hell
plant a tree and get to know your neighbour
recycle as much as you can and never renege on a favour
We’ve all got problems
but this world is in serious decline
I want there to be a happy healthy world in which my children can grow
Not this dark and decaying one that is starting to show
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and you got be be with the people you love. I was lucky enough to get to be with most of the people I hold dear.
Now I’m going to have some time away from the internet; bar Facebook and Instagram, as I don’t want to give up seeing everybody hanging out taking happy snaps and enjoying time with family :-).
I’ll be back on the 8th of January with a release day sneak peek for a lovely lady and her paranormal detective series. I’ll return to my regular posting schedule on the 17th with my first Bookish Babble of 2016. I’ll see you then.