On a Gold-Blooming Day: Finding Fall Treasures

Somedays you just get lucky. I had one of those days not too long ago. Buffy Silverman noticed that I had mentioned on someone’s blog that I was going to be teaching second grade this coming year. Since Pre K-2 is her target audience, she immediately sent me an e-mail with a preview copy of her soon-to-be-published picture book, “On a Gold-Blooming Day: Finding Fall Treasures”.

Back in December of 2019 I reviewed Buffy’s book, “On a Snow-Melting Day.” (here) Having thoroughly enjoyed that book, I couldn’t wait to check this one out, but then, for no particular reason, I did. It sat in my e-mail box, unread, for two or three weeks, pushed to the side by summer to-do lists, travel and outdoor activities. Yesterday, as the temperature soared once again into the 90’s, and I was actively avoiding chores and those same outdoor activities, it suddenly seemed like the perfect time to dive into some fall-inspired text. I’m so glad I did!

Over and over again, this book wowed me. Buffy is a master at combining poetic craft, photography and science. Her rhymes are natural, original and engaging and the text interacts beautifully with the book’s photographs, many of which are Buffy’s own. Like her previous book, this book is an invitation to children (and adults) to notice the everyday wonders that surround them and to play with putting words to them. It’s crafted beautifully from beginning to end, with compelling and creative word choices and first-rate photography. There’s also interesting and accessible back matter.

Take a peek at one of my favorite spreads:

Stunning, right?

Now check out some of the associated back matter:

Notice how this text not only adds a layer of science, but also provides context for understanding the word “rumble.” Each entry is constructed this way. So, the back matter not only provides extra scientific information for those who want to dig deeper, it also simultaneously builds vocabulary. Win-win!

“On a Gold-Blooming Day: Finding Fall Treasures” is a celebration of all things autumnal and a treasure in and of itself. It’s sure to be a hit with the Pre-K – 2 audience and would be a fabulous addition to any classroom library. Be sure to check it out!

Wordle Poems

Are you playing Wordle, the game flavor of the month?

Over the last couple of weeks, as my Facebook page blossomed with shared grids documenting others’ Wordle game outcomes, I had to investigate. I mean, I’m always up for a good word game. So, I went to the site, tried it and was immediately hooked. I love the simple concept, but also the fact that there’s no way it can become a time suck. (With only one new game per day, you can’t go wrong!) Also, since everyone is trying to guess the same word, you can get a competition going with family and friends.

Then, the brilliant Buffy Silverman suggested using Wordle word guesses to create a poem. Count me in! She didn’t impose any other parameters (though she suggested that it should be “vaguely coherent”), but for some reason I decided I needed to use my words in the order I guessed them. I am now having way too much fun doing this and it’s brought a whole new level to my Wordle enjoyment. Here are a few of my efforts:

Word guesses: mouse, stare, spire, shire

Winter in the Night Garden or Whose garden is this anyway?

As I watch through the window
a wee mouse
scales hummocks of snow
stops to stare at me
with unblinking eyes
then turns to wend its way
through the tangled spires
of faded stalks and blossoms
foraging for seed
within its garden shire.

©Molly Hogan

Word guesses: windy, harpy, prosy, proxy

Beware

On these windy days
the air spirals
into harpy mode
keening, crying
clawing at my skin.
No prosy commentary
on the value
of rest and winter retreat,
this is a full-on assault.
Wind as Mother Nature’s proxy.

©Molly Hogan

Word guesses: pared, plums, pinch, point

After the Argument

With one eye on me
she pared down the mound of fruit 
ruthlessly discarding dented apples
rejecting dusky plums
giving the lone kiwi
a sharp-fingered pinch
tossing each
with a decisive thud
into the heaping compost bin

I got the point

©Molly Hogan

Here’s a recent round of guesses. Is there a poem lurking within them? Feel free to get inspired!

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference.