207th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 207th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2013 Dive Into Poetry Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Check out the stops on the 2013 National Poetry Month Blog Tour and the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer, Illustrated by Ed Young (my review):

Well-Oiled (petroleum flies)

of them are born
in carrion, water,
or soil.  But not this crew. They hatch
in oil.

What do you think?

A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Ed Young

Source:  Purchased from Novel Books
Hardcover, 44 pages
I’m an Amazon Affiliate

A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer, illustrated Ed Young, is a collection of poems and illustrations about animals that live in harsh environments and have adapted to their conditions.  The poetry forms include free verse, cinquain, haiku, villanelle, sonnet, and others that give young readers a brief look at the animals in their habitats from the Humboldt penguins that live in the warmer climates of Chile and Peru to the blind cave fish that live in the dark deep.  Included in the poetry book are at times abstract looking pictures of the animals or their habitats, though the images resemble collage techniques that incorporate various mediums.  The book also includes a break down of what poems exemplify which form and end notes that give a little more information about each animal.

Dry as Dust

They can deal solo
with dryness, but give them rain
and then: toads explode.

For my little girl, who is age 2, this book was a little too old for her.  She couldn’t pay attention long enough to get through the entire book, but she loved the pages with the snow monkeys in “Think Heat.”  There are a lot more questions than answers, and kids who are older are likely to want more information about each animal and habitat.  For younger kids, there’s just enough in each poem to mirror their own wonder, including them in the wider questioning of these animals’ lives.

A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer, illustrated Ed Young, is a little too old for my little one, but if she retains her love of animals, she’ll likely enjoy this more as she gets older.  I found the poems a little too simple, and some did not have enough information about the animals or their habitats, but the end notes did offer a bit more information.  As a jumping off point, the book will spark questions from younger readers, and it could inspire a mother- or father-child exploration of these harsh habitats and adaptable animals.  Singer offers a special thanks at the beginning of the book to several people and museums, which seems to be where she obtained some of the information for her poems.

About the Poet:

Marilyn Singer was born in the Bronx (New York City) and lived most of her early life in N. Massapequa (Long Island), NY. She attended Queens College, City University of New York, and for her junior year, Reading University, England. She holds a B.A. in English from Queens and an M.A. in Communications from New York University.  Visit her Website.

About the Illustrator:

Caldecott Medalist Ed Young is the illustrator of over eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. He finds inspiration for his work in the philosophy of Chinese painting.

Young began his career as a commercial artist in advertising and found himself looking for something more expansive, expressive, and timeless. He discovered all this, and more, in children’s books.  Visit his Website.


This is my 38th book for the 2013 New Authors Challenge.



This is my 24th book for the Dive Into Poetry Challenge 2013.

Mailbox Monday #224

Mailbox Monday (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  June’s host is Dolce Bellezza.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received:

1.  The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley from Anna, who had an extra copy! Thanks!

La Côte d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinières, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent château and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt—and almost as many questions . . .

Paris, 1944: A bright, young British office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is sent undercover to Paris to be part of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during the climax of the Nazi occupation. Separated from her contacts in the Resistance, she soon stumbles into the heart of a prominent family who regularly entertain elite members of the German military even as they plot to liberate France. But in a city rife with collaborators and rebels, Constance’s most difficult decision may be determining whom to trust with her heart.

As Emilie discovers what really happened to her family during the war and finds a connection to Constance much closer than she suspects, the château itself may provide the clues that unlock the mysteries of her past, present, and future. Here is a dazzling novel of intrigue and passion from one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.

2.  Rutherford Park by Elizabeth Cooke, which came unexpectedly from the publisher.

Snow had fallen in the night, and now the great house, standing at the head of the valley, seemed like a five-hundred-year old ship sailing in a white ocean…

For the Cavendish family, Rutherford Park is much more than a place to call home. It is a way of life marked by rigid rules and lavish rewards, governed by unspoken desires…

Lady of the house Octavia Cavendish lives like a bird in a gilded cage. With her family’s fortune, her husband, William, has made significant additions to the estate, but he too feels bound—by the obligations of his title as well as his vows. Their son, Harry, is expected to follow in his footsteps, but the boy has dreams of his own, like pursuing the new adventure of aerial flight. Meanwhile, below stairs, a housemaid named Emily holds a secret that could undo the Cavendish name.

On Christmas Eve 1913, Octavia catches a glimpse of her husband in an intimate moment with his beautiful and scandalous distant cousin. She then spies the housemaid Emily out in the snow, walking toward the river, about to make her own secret known to the world. As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, an epic tale of longing and betrayal is about to unfold at Rutherford Park…

3.  A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Ed Young, which I bought for my daughter at the new Novel Books location in Clarksburg, Md.  Can’t wait to read it with her.

Under the desert’s cracked and barren skin, spadefoot toads are waiting for rain. In the endless black of the deepest caves, blind fish find their way. Even in the frozen hearts of glaciers, ice worms by the billion flourish. In this fascinating look at fourteen animals who defy the odds by thriving in Earth’s most dangerous places, renowned poet Marilyn Singer and celebrated artist Ed Young show that of all the miracles of life, it is life’s persistence that astounds the most.

What did you receive?