Monday, December 12, 2011

GIFT TAG: an eBook for the Holidays

By Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
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”:

Christmas Snapshot
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
for me!

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”

Merry-Merry, Everyone!

Coax your own memories.

Cynsational Notes

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.


Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Cyn, thanks so much for the support! We're so proud of this book and feel it is the perfect antidote to holiday craziness. I didn't write the poems, so I can say that! :-)

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Congratulations, Sylvia, to you and Janet on a lovely collection, and thanks so much for sharing this peek and your gorgeous photographs! You have a wonderful eye!

Children's-YA poetry will be a major focus in 2012 here at Cynsations.

Jeannine Atkins said...

I like how remembering and imagining becomes a tag here in this peek at some poems. I'm delighted to have a poem in this cool collection. Thank you for featuring this, Cyn, and I'm excited about your added focus on poetry here in 2012! You are amazing.

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Me, too, Jeannine! How wonderful that your voice is included in this terrific project! And it's my pleasure! Poetry deserves the love.