Children's Poetry

Original children's poetry and artwork, and tips for writing poetry.

Welcome to my poetry site where you'll find lots to laugh and smile about! 

I'm a children's author, writing poetry and illustrating for magazines and books, and am thrilled to share poetry, pictures, writing advice and other good stuff from my picture books, Gibber/Animal Acrostics, Spinning Circles: Action Poems, Dozy Poems, Cozy Days, and two new releases, Shimmer/Songs of Night and A Star Full of Sky. So welcome to this whimsical world, and read on!



Like cookie dough? 


Me, too! Beware - this site has plenty of sweet spots!




CELEBRATING THE RELEASE OF MY NEW CHILDREN'S POETRY BOOK ON DAFFYDOWNDILLY PRESS, A STAR FULL OF SKY!


An illustration from A Star Full of Sky by Caryn Schafer.


I'd be over the moon if you'd visit my publisher's site to pre-order my book, "Shimmer, Songs of Night"! 


It's release is 10/17/17 on Spork Books, and you'll have one of the first copies by Hallow's Eve!


https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/coming-soon/shimmer/




A peek at a page from the upcoming book, Shimmer, Songs of Night...

KIRKUS REVIEW FOR SHIMMER, Songs of Night

KIRKUS REVIEW

A prolific children’s poet offers an eclectic collection of nighttime pieces.

Opossums, space creatures, the Sandman, dream catchers, and Halloween trick-or-treaters—this inviting book of poems for ages 6 to 12 celebrates dusk to dawn as a world of possibility where nature and flights of fancy coexist. Using different forms (haiku, free verse, couplets, quatrains, and more), Howell (Gibber, 2016, etc.) shapes her rhythms and rhymes with a keen appreciation for the subjects and wordplay most likely to engage her target audience. They are matched on every page by debut illustrator Povarchik’s fluid watercolor-and-ink images (of wildlife, imaginary beasts, and white siblings), employing a bright, varied palette. The poet’s lyrical universe is a place where back-to-back haiku (“5 P.M.” and “5 A.M.”contrast whispered secrets as “the wind scrambles by” with the view of “tall and patient” sunflowers anticipating the coming day; where fireflies “skitter” and “flitter” and the Sandman “slippers into the night”; where “Beehives of buildings /…Glow honey-yellow,” where dusk can be “as thick / As chocolate cake”; and where, when bats fly, “The silver of moon / Glistens a bit / On the black on black, / On the flitter and flit.” From a child’s thoughts about the cosmos and fairy rings to campfire ponderings, shooting stars, and pillow fights, Howell’s witty and wise visions of night flow along until “The skillet sky / Warms up / To a pale buttery yellow.”


This verbal and visual treat portrays the evening as a lively and thought-provoking place of wonder.


Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-946101-31-0
Page count: 58pp
Publisher: Spork
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: July 13th, 2017


I'm a children's author with MacLaren-Cochrane, and they will be releasing my rhyming picture book titled My Community I'm excited about the months ahead -the artwork is coming together, and I'm involved with The Highlights Foundation in this book's promotion. Release date is scheduled for 2018.


From the Society of Children's Writer's newsletter May 2017


Visit my Facebook & twitter pages by clicking the links at the top of the page!

MY SOCIAL PAGES ARE FUN, LIGHT, INFORMATIVE, AND SOMETIMES I INCLUDE ACTIVITIES.


This Facebook link will take you to my "Book FB page"! A must see if you like mystery photos, picture books, new info coming in on parenting, poetry, teaching, reading, loving and caring for kids!

*SEPTEMBER JOURNAL*


September 26th -


My children's poetry book, A Star Full of Sky, is released! Wow - the editor moved up the release date and I've been playing catch up with lots of promo and marketing. And, the big news is that the book cover, by illustrator Caryn Schafer is in the final four for Best Children's Book Cover! Results are announced first day of October. How exciting! Fingers crossed!

*AUGUST JOURNAL*


August 30th -


I had the incredible opportunity to meet and speak with Bruce Degen who is the author and illustrator of so many best selling children's books, like Jamberry (a top favorite picture book of mine), the Jessie Bear series, and Magic School Bus books. He was randomly making up characters and images, and drawing them with total ease - truly amazing talent! I will not forget this day any time soon....

What a lovely creative soul - Bruce Degen signs his Jamberry book for me and tells a funny story. 

August 13 -


I had a fruitful and creative week at the beach with my family. It was a good time to write and finish edits for my book release this fall, A Star Full of Sky. I also did some interviews, and my youngest son spotted this crazy colored frog hugging the wall by the front door of our shore house! A hoppy poem here for sure! 




August 8 -


So much going on this month - a fun-filled yet working August for me! I got the final draft before printing of my book, A Star Full of Sky, and I received an awesome 1/2 page ad in the August issue of Kid Lit Magazine for Shimmer, Songs of Night!


*JULY JOURNAL*


July 16 -


Had a wonderful vacation week, but surprisingly busy summer month with writing and upcoming poetry picture book releases. I'm still pinching myself, being absolutely thrilled with the glowing Kirkus review for Shimmer, Songs of Night! I recorded a quick two page flipper video for the book plus did a live poetry reading on Facebook...oh, yeah - also finished up a 30 day social media/writing challenge set by my editor at Spork - fun!

*JUNE JOURNAL*


June 23 -


Got the new Shimmer, Songs of Night book promo tee-shirts, and they look fabulous! I have them in lots of different colors and they'll be perfect for our book launch this autumn, free with the purchase of a book!


Meanwhile, looking forward to some time on the beach this summer and wrapping up a x-mas themed manuscript I'm in the middle of working on.


*MAY JOURNAL*


May 20 -


What a great day spent at the Millbrook Literary Festival, and with the super talented best selling children's artist/author, Iza Trapani! 

Poetry workshops...




WHAT




 IT'S 




ALL 




ABOUT

Here I'm teaching poetry in a classroom visit. I like to get everyone involved including the teachers, much to their surprise! I'm on the left, and the school teacher is by my side in the bright colored blouse as we read a 'poem in two voices'. Fun! The kids get a kick out of their teacher's involvement!

Our cat, Lilac, loves Carina Povarchik's art sample from a book page in my upcoming release, Shimmer on CF Publishing's Spork imprint...



I'm not afraid of bats or crows,

I'm happy for the eel that glows,

I relish when a strong wind blows,

and gladly welcome UFO's!

 

- copyright 2017 Raven Howell


MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME!

 

 Explore the pages of my website to see more of my poetry and artwork, and have fun with my writing tips and activities for home or for the elementary classroom. Here you'll find a place for the reader, the writer, student, teacher, parent, and friend. There are plenty of updates, diverse information, poems, and a little inspiration! 

A little Limerick trivia:


The poem, Hickory Dickory Dock showed up in "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Songbook" back in 1744. The famed tale of the clock-dwelling mouse was published with “Bah Bah, Blacksheep” and “Lady Bird, Lady Bird,” among others. Although no one knows for certain who wrote the book, it was one of the world’s first attempts to entertain children with literature, an early limerick...


“Hickory dickory dock.

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one,

And down he run.

Hickory dickory dock.”




EACH CHILD IS BORN A POET AND EVERY POET IS A CHILD.


- Piri Thomas 






"Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words."


- Edgar Allan Poe




Eve Merriam said, "A good poem contains both meaning and music." 


What do you think she meant by that? How is poetry a bit like music to your ears?

        
THE GIFT OF POETRY

What do you see on a breezy autumn morning? What do you hear on a busy city street? How does ice cream taste on a hot summer afternoon? What does the scent of freshly sharpened pencils remind you of? How do you feel when you sip hot chocolate?

Ideas are everywhere, and poetry can be found in anything - ordinary and extraordinary.  Poems can send messages, help you understand someone else, get you thinking, cause wonder, and bring a smile to your face!



A POETRY WRITER'S FIRST TIP!


Robert Frost was a famous poet who didn't always write his poetry in rhyme, but he always wrote with some kind of technical challenge. 


On writing free verse (poetry that isn't rhyming), he once said, "I'd just as soon play tennis with the net down!". 


So, if poetry seems like a big challenge for you, or you just lack confidence in trying your hand at it - "play" poetry, write poetry with the "net down" - don't worry about trying to rhyme or make it perfect, just begin without setting up limits for yourself.




One way a poet can please the eye of the reader is to use shape poetry, sometimes called concrete poetry. There are many different forms of it. 


Here's my baseball poem.  I have a variety of examples of this type of poetry on other pages.

 

Step up

To the plate

The pitcher throws the ball

I swing – and smack! I make contact!

My teammates shout and call.

First, second, then third base

At last the game is done.

I’m home! I’m home! I hope my ball

Made it to the sun!



"The Baseball Poem"
copyright 2017 Raven Howell
from the upcoming release, "A Star Full of Sky"/Kelsay Books - Daffydowndilly Press


                     










CHICKS from my book, Gibber


Could it be a

Hundred hatched, or am

I in this yellow

Corner of the barn up to my

Knees in a

Sweeping shimmer of sun. 

My upcoming book, Shimmer/Songs of Night will be available this fall! Lots of things in nature glow and shimmer at night. Guess which two out of these four are true night time “shimmerers”:


Brazilian caterpillars

crystal jellyfish

New Zealand glow worms

rain forest tree frogs


THE ANSWERS ARE: 

CRYSTAL JELLYFISH AND NEW ZEALAND GLOW WORMS!


Welcome!

Where You'll Find What

To learn about my writing and poetry background, go to About Me.  

For my published work, poetry and art samples and books, go to the Gallery.

Teachers looking for guidance, go to the Lounge area.

Kids, if you're a beginning or independent reader, go to your Locker.

If you're younger, there are lots of surprises in your Cubby! This is a great place for parents and grandparents. 

A couple of my books have their own pages with fun stuff! Click on "more" for those.


Friends and Members