Photos by Sylvia Vardell
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations
Why did we create GIFT TAG?
We want you to look at flowers and remember—
remember a good neighbor the way Joan Bransfield Graham does:
“Our neighbor had a greenhouse in her backyard and grew orchids. I was about four years old and wanted to buy one for my mother for Christmas. Rosalind told me to come by to choose one and this is what happened . . . ”
Gift for My Mother
by Joan Bransfield Graham
. . .
I choose an orchid
. . .
empty my pockets on her table,
“Do I have enough?”
Taking only the pennies,
she says, “It’s just right.”
We want you to look at a bottle of perfume and remember—
remember the first time you felt “grown up”:
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
. . .
I am ready tonight
to open that present
dad bought at the store.
. . .
he lifts a small box
and a daisy’s in bloom;
inside is a bottle
of grown up perfume.
Conga drums remind Margarita Engle of Cuba, a Cuba she knew as a child, where she received a horse from her abuelita but never got to ride it. “[S]oldiers took the family farm, but they couldn’t take away my treasured memory of my grandma’s gift.” Can you imagine being given a horse, never getting to ride it—and yet still having joyful memories of simply receiving the gift?
My Own Horse
by Margarita Engle
. . .
My grandma’s red mare
has a red colt
Have you ever received a present that you really didn’t want (at first) but later came to treasure? (Charles Waters)
Have you ever received something that seemed to swirl with magic?
“Did our goldfish fly / over trees and roofs / in Santa’s frosted sled?” (Pat Mora)
What are your favorite holiday memories? What are your simplest wishes? Amy Ludwig VanDerwater writes about snow as a gift.
May your home be filled with surprises . . . like Lorie Ann Grover’s “Christmas tree Troll” who “Curls a smile / And reaches out to me”
Coax your own memories.
Read about the whole PoetryTagTime series.
(also in the iTunes bookstore)
See Guest Post: Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong on P*TAG: an eBook for Teen Read Week; Author Interview: Sylvia Vardell on Poetry Aloud Here! Sharing Poetry with Children; and Author Interview: Janet Wong on Dumpster Diver.