Literacy and Me

Sometimes it is a simple matter of punctuation that turns a prose paragraph into a poem.

For example, here is a brief paragraph about my cat, Freesia:

She has a stubborn streak, this good-natured cat of mine. She plops down on the computer keyboard when she craves attention. She reclines on whatever I’m looking at, writing on, trying to read at the moment. Finally, I grab her middle, swoop her up, and deposit her firmly on the floor.

Here are the same words arranged in poetic form, thanks to a few changes in line length and punctuation marks:


She has a stubborn-streak,

My good-natured cat.

She plops down on my keyboard

When she craves my attention.

She reclines on whatever

I’m looking at,

Writing on,

Trying to read

Until I grab her “amidships,”

Then sweep her up,

And deposit her

Firmly on the floor.

I made a video for…

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School daze

bluebird of bitterness

Miss Carlson assigned her fifth graders to write an essay entitled “If I Were a Millionaire.”

All of the students began writing, except for one girl who sat at her desk with her arms folded.

“What’s the matter, Chloe?” asked the teacher. “Why aren’t you writing?”

“I’m waiting for my secretary,” said Chloe.

Miss Carlson gave her an A+.

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

My sister’s son flunked out of college. I asked her if the kid had flunked out because of a lack of brains. “Yes,” she said. “Alack and a lass.”

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

At seven o’clock in the morning, Billy’s mother called to him, “Billy, get up — it’s time to get ready for school.”  

There was no answer. Billy’s mother called again, ”Billy, get up! It’s time to get ready for school!”  

Still there was no answer. Billy’s mother went to his…

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WORLD ART DAY: April 15, 2021

Today celebrates the arts, worldwide.

Today the world celebrates Art, but until recently, I had no solid foundation as to what was classified as “Art.” ( See review on PWR of book, But Is It Art.) According to those in charge of World Art Day, art is “something that is created in visual form.” This includes painting, sculpture, music, writing, performance art, films, and many creative things.

I am celebrating “art” by listening to an audiobook about an art-restoration specialist, A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay. It is an interesting novel which gives much information about painting and art in many forms.

What are you doing to celebrate World Art Day?

THE VIOLETS OF MARCH by Sarah Jio: A Review

A fascinating page turner–her debut novel

Although I read this “out of turn–” I’d read several of Jio’s novels before reading her debut novel, this was an amazing book. It had something for everyone: lovely description, fine characterization, a stunning twisty plot, mystery and romance.

Jio’s main character, Emily Wilson, author of a best selling novel, is dumped by her husband. Stunned with this turn of events, she decides to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, with her elderly aunt, supposedly seeking material for her next novel. This one, she promises herself will be “one from the heart” not a formulaic crowd pleaser like her bestseller. When she reaches her elderly aunt’s beach home, she discovers in the drawer of her bed-side table a red velvet diary from 1943, written by an unknown woman. From here on in, Jio develops a dual story line.

Emily, during her stay, meets two love interests, one of whom is related to the mysterious senior citizen, whom her aunt carefully avoids. How the trip to the island affects her, yet heals her is the basis for Emily’s story and makes this novel a darned good read.


I have enjoyed reading poetry each day this month, finding new poems and revisiting old, beloved ones.
A lovely collection of poems and drawings.

Today’s poems are by Asmita Rajiv and are found in her collection, Unsaid.

“Being Perfect”

“I am not trying to be perfect. I gave that up a long time back. But what I am trying to be good at, is to let my uniqueness shine trough.

Now that’s an art worth perfecting.”


“The more we accept each fallen piece, the less broken we are.”

(both by Asmita Rajiv)


Blogging friend, Ritu Bhathal, author of blog, But I Smile Anyway

brings today’s poem from her first publication, Poetic Rituals

An outstanding collection of poetry I turn to time and time again

“But I Smile Anyway”

“When a cloud appears

In my sky,

I ask and wonder,

I ask God why.

Still, I smile anyway.

It all happens

For a reason, they say.

And I think

We’ll find a way.

So I smile anyway.

Negative thoughts

Then try to push through,

Trying their hardest

To make me feel blue,

But I smile anyway

Then I think about

All that is mine.

Things are great,

I’m feeling fine

And I smile anyway.”

For a fun, fun read, get Ritu’s Marriage Unarranged, her first novel. You’ll love it. I did.


Whatever plans you have for today, drop them and read instead.

Today I need a day of quiet reading, so along with many schoolchildren, homeschoolers, and individuals who celebrate this day, at some time today, I will Drop Everything and Read. The celebration of reading’s purpose is to “…encourage families to…’drop everything and read’ at home…Take at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together.”

Pick your own time, but spend at least 30 minutes of your busy day reading

What do you plan to read today? Here’s what’s on my 30 minutes agenda:

Some kind of poetry by Maya Angela in honor of National Poetry Month

my daily “devotional”

Student papers on Zinsser’s sixth chapter of On Writing Well


(This book was recommended on the cover by Jodi Picoult)

an exciting, heart-warming, sometimes humorous read

Autistic eight-year-old Max Delaney has help in coping with school, bullies, and life in general–an imaginary friend named Budo, who has existed for five years since Max imagined him to have someone to play with. Budo is the narrator of this novel, and he tells us when Max stops believing in him, Budo will disappear. Budo loves Max unconditionally, and the story deals with love, friendship, and life. The author is an elementary school teacher, and he knows his students well–even the autistic ones like Max, his creation.

School is a challenge for Max. Some of this teachers like Mrs. G like him unconditionally like his mother does. Others, like the paraprofessional, Mrs. Patterson, not only don’t understand him, but she causes a crisis in his young life that is life threatening.

Budo and a team of imaginary friends Budo met at the hospital are the only hope for Max. Because of his desire to rescue Max, Budo must choose between “Max’s happiness and his own existence.” The” heartwarming and heartbreaking conclusion” is an action-packed scene where Max’s father literally “takes out” Max’s attacker.

This novel is definitely “different,” making it a darned good read.


Just as Saturday mornings TV broadcasting used to focus on kids, this blog does the same, recommending books for kids, their parents and grandparents, their teachers, and those who read to them.

Today’s delightful book is

A funny book with excellent life lessons

The narrator, a young boy thinks Mrs. McWee, who lives down the hall in his apartment building, is a witch. But, he’s “not so sure.” He thinks she has ESP, but “he’s not so sure.” He thinks many things and uses scant evidence to back up what he thinks, but his mom has a logical explanation for it all.

Halloween comes, and the boy goes trick-or-treating at Mrs. Mc Wee’s to find something he is sure of. You’ll never guess what it is!

Schwartz, the illustrator, uses black and white drawings spiked with Halloween orange to provide a treat for young and old alike. Enough repetition and rhythm are built in to help the youngest readers read along. It’s fun for all any time of the year.