Today is an extraordinary day, because it's a BOOK BIRTHDAY for our friend, Patricia Thomas and her new book, GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! Her publisher, Dawn Publications, www.dawnpub.com is generously donating 3 copies of the book for the birthday giveaway and Pat will autograph and personalize for the winners. Thank you, Dawn Pub and thank you, Pat! (Details for the giveaway at end of the post!)
I really love this book! It's a perfect read for spring fever. I've already purchased the book and a packet of seeds to start my own garden of GREEN BEANS!
Author: Patricia Thomas
Illustrator: Trina L. Hunner
A freckled-faced young gardener opens a packet of seeds. And the magic begins! Crisp verses take the reader through the growing season—from a sprout peeking out, to a curlicue catching dew, to a vine twining on a line, until finally . . . GREEN BEANS! It’s time to harvest a full season of garden knowledge and experience. Along the way the young gardener discovers a nook to read a book in the shade of growing beans. Trina’s watercolors match the mood of a garden, and in the backmatter Patricia provides life cycle science and related vocabulary, instructions on growing your own green beans, and a variety of fun things for children to do. This book is sure to encourage young gardeners to put their toes in the soil and perhaps even read a book in a garden nook.
Educators: Download free activities based on this book!
Writing from the Inside Out. . . Author Patricia Thomas shares insights about her writing process, influences, and inspirations. . .
Two topics that will always catch and hold my attention are the beauty of poetry and the wonder of nature’s marvelous life cycle. At first glance, it would seem these subjects are at wide ranging ends of conversational topics, but actually they are uniquely related. Especially for me.
My strongest connection is uniquely personal. That connection is my father, who lovingly taught me, among many things, an appreciation for poetry along with an appreciation for nature. He was a teacher…and a farmer. It has always seemed to me that growing up on a farm, with the guidance of a farmer who was also a teacher was about as good as it could get.
When I rode to school with Dad, he delighted in teaching me works of poets he loved: Longfellow, Emerson, Whittier, Burns, Riley, and so many more. I grew up with a love of words (especially words that rhyme) and appreciation for the majesty of language.
Every day on the farm brought Dad more teaching opportunities, and he never let the chance pass to teach as we went…names of plants, flowers, trees…ways we depended on them…relationships of one to another…the amazing circle of life contained in a single seed.
The more I thought about it, the more the connection between poetry and nature that had originally centered around my father expanded for me. I came to realize that not only is poetry the best medium for expressing and understanding feelings about the natural world and our place in it, it is also the best medium for encouraging a love of nature in new generations.
Children who grow up with poetry…who listen to the music of the language and may be enchanted by the word pictures learn to observe their own world more closely. At first, it may be the rhyme of the words that intrigues them, because rhyme, after all, is fun. But later, gradually, they will listen for the rhythm and look for the fresh ideas and word images. When you come right down to it, poetry and nature simply go hand in hand.
In Green Bean! Green Bean! I played with the fun of rhyme:
Freckles and speckles/soon a root and a shoot
A root and a shoot/and a sprout peeking out…
In Firefly Mountain, I painted pictures with beautiful words to share the unforgettable firefly magic. You could only see the black mountain touching the black sky/and all of it/all of it/all of it Lit from top to bottom/with blinking, winking, twinkling fireflies….
I realize I’ve taken the long way around in explaining what inspired me to write my book about a single speckled bean…and why I chose to write it as a poem. Like Jack of fairytale fame, I knew that little bean had the power to become something spectacular. I also knew that as the seed progressed through its life cycle, one stage would lead to the next, building on the stage before it. So the poetic form I chose to tell the story was cumulative rhyme, which builds story elements one on the other. (Think The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Gingerbread Man, etc.)
Full disclosure here: to make Green Bean! Green Bean! more readable and avoid too much repetition, I opted for a sort of abbreviated cumulative style, repeating an element only once before proceeding to the next adventure in the plant’s life.
|A bunch comes for lunch? No way they can stay!/ No way they can stay. Now a hoe to help grow.|
Education today often regards poetry and literature as frivolous, choosing, rather, to focus on science/technology/math. Not that there’s anything wrong with that STEM emphasis, but we need to remember that while it took science to get us to the moon, it is poetry that will help us understand why we went there.
|Author Patricia Thomas|
Meet the illustrator: Trina Hunner
|Illustrator Trina Hunner|
I can't wait to start my green bean garden! In the back of the book are instructions on just how to do that. If you can't wait for the winners to be announced next Tuesday, March 22, order a copy now from Dawn Publications: www.dawnpub.com On Sale Now at 25% Off!
If you're like me, you'll want several to put in Easter Baskets for your budding gardeners!
Thank you, dear friends, for stopping by to celebrate Patricia Thomas's BOOK BIRTHDAY for GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! Thank you, Patricia Thomas for sharing your wonderful knowledge about nature and poetry with all of us!
Here's how to enter the drawing for a chance to win: All you have to do to enter is leave a comment about the post. Tweet and you'll get an extra chance. Join my blog and you'll get two more chances in the random.org drawing!