Thursday, April 12, 2018

Poetry Friday & NPM 2018: A Happy Birthday Poem!

Head over to Life on the Deckle Edge,
Robyn Hood Black's blog, for this week's
round-up of birthday posts in honor of
 an extraordinary poet, Lee Bennett Hopkins. 

Today is Lee Bennett Hopkins 80th birthday and we're celebrating him and his poetry for Poetry Friday. I knew that I wanted to pay tribute to some of my favorite books and anthologies by Lee. When I started listing my favorites, I first thought about a book spine poem, but then I realized that there were several of my favorites that I don't own (I may need to remedy that). So I decided to arrange the book titles into a poem. First, I tried to arrange them in order of preference, but that was too hard (like trying to pick a favorite child). I had fun organizing the titles into mostly two line phrases and by the number of words in the title. When I realized that the 13th is Lee's birthday, I added one more book to the poem so that it has 13 books (a baker's dozen) in honor of the day of the month that this remarkable poet was born.

Happy Birthday, Lee Bennett Hopkins!

Sky Magic.

Amazing Places,
My America, 
Got Geography!

School Supplies,
Wonderful Words.

City I Love,
Sharing the Seasons.

I Am the Book
Jumping Off Library Shelves.

Good Books, Good Times,
Pass the Poetry, Please!

 - Ramona Behnke 2018

While looking up titles for this post, I ended up requesting additional LBH titles from the library for our upcoming display of poetry for Poem in Your Pocket Day. I even had to purchase an older book that my library doesn't own because I was so enticed by  its delightful title. Watch for the cover reveal later in the month when it arrives on my doorstep. And I had to request Poetry on Wheels from our library's Central Storage for my wheel-obsessed grandson. 

Pass the Poetry, Please! is a title that I purchased years ago and that guided my love for poetry as a young mother in the 80s and then when I went back to the classroom in the 90s. I purchased the 3rd edition of the book, but my earlier one is hardback and it's autographed. So I had to keep it too (just don't tell my husband)! And if you'd like to see more LBH joy, check out my post in last year's alphabetic stroll through poetry when I presented Lee Bennett Hopkins, the king of poetry. How lucky we are to have someone like you, Lee, a literary light in the world of children's poetry. Here's to a birthday filled with joy, good friends, and many poems! 
National Poetry Month 2018
"Give praise with friends near and far,
flinging words to the sky!"
- Amy Ludwig VanDerwater


  1. I love how you gathered the titles topic appropriate. So many to celebrate from Lee makes me pause and consider the gifts we are so grateful to have. Well done, Ramona.

  2. Such a warm celebration, Ramona, and I love reading about how Lee's books have influenced you over the years. I also love that you made your poem 13 lines! Thanks for joining the party today.

  3. You did such a great job with the 13 titles, Ramona. "
    I Am the Book / Jumping Off Library Shelves." is great! And I enjoyed reading the about your thinking and process. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Love the spine poem--yep, you'll have to buy or borrow a few books to make a great tall stack!

  5. Love the poem, but also love the back story behind the poem! The last four, plus School Supplies and Wonderful Words are some of my favorites too!

  6. Delightful! Pass the Poetry, please!

  7. I love the poem you created with Lee's book titles. I'm glad you shared how writing the poem led you to even more poetry books to gather!

  8. I am briefly acquainted with Lee Bennett Hopkins, but your poem and all the other tributes yesterday make me want to read more of his work.

  9. It's amazing how many poems can be created from Lee's vast body of work! Nicely celebrated, Ramona. :)

  10. Oh, how fun! And clever and joyous. Aren't birthday celebrations the best? I love celebrating birthdays. Great list poem of titles.

  11. Fun poem Ramona, I love seeing all his books stacked into a list poem!