Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Read a Rhyme - Write a Review

I'm very busy, with other writing and other son, so I asked my older son
to write this review for me:
Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme had 10 poemstarts.
“Poemstart” means just the start of the poem.
Prelutsky puts in poemstarts to encourage kids to finish the poem. This has never
happened in my house. I guess I may have to assign one just for fun .  .  .
There was a picture for the poem “Eating Blueberries”.
There was a poem about a dog named Mutterly.
There is a poem about a person’s best friends who did something bad to the person.
There is a poem about a person who met a mayfly at the beginning of April.
The person also met a junebug near the end of July.
Okay, perhaps this is not the most informative review ever. But now you
know what one boy with autism remembered from the book. 
The book combines poems and ideas for writing poems in a bigger,
more inviting format than Prelutsky's Pizza, Pigs and Poetry 
that I featured earlier this month.
Read it and compare your impressions to my son's. 
Or get your kid to send me a review. Really. 

Storied Saturday ahead in Nashville!
Special Story Time 10:30 at Madison Branch!
Garden Tales with Rachel Sumner 10:30
at Cheekwood!
Leo Kennedy's book launch for Devin and the 
Greedy Ferret!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Read Aloud Rhymes

Endless homework assigned, and my boy on his bedroom floor 
reading Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young.
"Homework time."
"I'm busy reading."
"That book is too young for you. See, 'the very young.'
You're twelve."
"I'm reading the acknowledgments."
That response bought him ten more minutes.
Of course when I came back he was reading
the poems again.
There's a new edition. Published by Scholastic I think.
Edited by Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky.
What poems does your child love?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Talent Tuesday - My Boy's Poems

In between studying for the standardized state test,
the Language Arts teacher asked the kids to write
an ode and an elegy. With prompts and leading
questions, this is what my boy wrote.  I am proud of
him. All Rights Reserved. You want to quote his
work somewhere, ask me and I'll ask him.

Ode to the Stream

The stream feels watery,
watery, watery.
Usually the water feels cold as popsicles.
I put my feet in when it’s warm 
in the Summertime.
It’s warm as my comfy blanket.

The algae feels slippery,
slippery, slippery.
The rocks are hard and bumpy.
In the summertime, I feel them on my feet.
Rrsssh, rrsssh goes the water in the stream.
The tall green trees stand still and watch me play.

The stream is my special place.
I like to go there to make a rock go down. I balance on it with my feet.
Its where I like to go and do some special things,
like thinking, thinking, thinking. 

- Spectrum Son


My grandad died.
I was sad.
I was sad as grey skies.

He used to call me rascal, and he used to say, “yes sir.”
One day he said, “Run like a deer.”
He was Mr. Wonderful.

When he was in his bedroom, he hugged the bed.
The way it looked made you like the way it felt.

He had a yard. 
A yard of green grass and brown dirt.
His yard had a stream. 

When the stream was all dry I walked through it and came to someone else’s yard.
I couldn’t get back to Grandad’s yard without going through trees. I felt a little scared.
I called to Dad. I wanted to go back to Grandad’s yard and into Grandad’s house. 
And so I did.

When he died his house got torn apart. 
We went to his funeral.
When he was buried his grave was near Aunt Carol’s house.

I think of his body under the ground.
White hair, white hair and how pink he was.
I’m hearing those teardrops, bloop, bloop, bloop.

When is the next time we’ll go to Aunt Carol’s house?

- Spectrum Son

Does your kid with autism write poems 
(with or without prompting)?
Want to share them? Send them to me and I'll do a Talent
Tuesday post. 
- Spectrum Mom
autismreads at gmail dot com

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Falling Up

April is busy, but I'll never lack for topics during Poetry month.*
Yesterday my son mentioned the Toy Eater.
"Where's that from?"
"Shel Silverstein."
"Which book?"
"Falling Up."
Many and various are the questions to which he answers,
"I don't know," but he can always identify the source of his
quotes. And how happy I am when he quotes a book rather
than a television show. And if he quotes from a book,
he's usually quoting a poem.
Many kids adore the nonsense of Shel Silverstein.
It strikes an amazingly strong chord with my son.
I don't remember Falling Up, but my son does.
As well as "The Toy Eater," he told me about
"Piggy's Treat" (he rides people-back)
and recited lines from a poem about a monkey
(called, fittingly enough, "The Monkey")
that uses numbers as words. 
"1 little monkey
Was goin’ 2 the store
When he saw a banana 3
He’d never climbed be4.
By 5 o’clock that evenin’
He was 6 with a stomach ache
‘Cause 7 green bananas
Was what that monkey 8 . . ."

You may recall my post on Wumbers,
a recent picture book based on that idea.
Now go out and rhyme, or read, or read
and rhyme, depending on your time.
-Spectrum Mom

You may also enjoy this post I did about poetry
*Just the time to write about them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry

April is not just Autism Awareness and Acceptance month, 
April is Poetry month.
Appropriately, because I think the way poetry structures
language particularly appeals to people looking for predictability.
Not to mention those who love words, weird noises, and
alliteration, a group which definitely includes my son.
Pizza, Pigs and Poetry by Jack Prelutsky tries to tap a liking
for rhythm, rhyme and nonsense and make mini poets out
of kids.
Prelutsky starts each section with a lively introduction,
followed by a poem of his own and finishes with a writing
tip to get kids started on a poem of their own.
So far my son has not written anything based on the book,
though he's fond of "Forty Performing Bananas"
in bright yellow slippery skins,
our features are rather appealing,
though we've neither shoulders nor chins,"
- Prelutsky
"It's like a sign," says my son.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Talent Tuesday - Leo B. Kennedy

Leo B. Kennedy has a unique voice among children’s book authors.  Parents have written about the travails of raising a child with autism, adults have written memoirs about their personal experiences on the spectrum, and recent novels have been written from the supposed perspective of a person with autism.  But where are the children’s fiction books written by a person who actually has autism?
Devin and the Greedy Ferret is the first of its kind.  Leo writes a fast-paced, compelling story with characters that are quirky but credible. Their sometimes absurd reasoning and outspoken motivations will entertain and resonate with middle grade readers, whether they have autism or not. 
“I wanted characters that were daring, courageous, and funny,” says the author.  “I also required that none of them walk on four legs.” 
The Story:  Devin and his friends think it will be cool to kidnap the school mascot, but when they try to hide from the police, a run-in with Frederick Ferret causes new problems.  Now only Devin can save his friends from . . .    
to find out more about Devin and his friends, click here

Leo was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.  With the support of inspiring teachers and community members who recognized his strengths and potential, he is reaching well beyond the dismal future forecast by naysayers encountered along the way.
If you’re in Nashville, come to the launch party! 
Sign up at the website to get on the mailing list 
for updates and party information.

(Many thanks to the Kennedys for writing today's post. Go Leo!
-Spectrum Mom)