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 and Dozy Poems, Cozy Days. So welcome to this whimsical world, and read on!
Like cookie dough?
Me, too! Beware - this site has plenty of sweet spots!
I'd be over the moon if you'd go to this link on my publisher's site to pre-order my book, "Shimmer, Songs of Night"!
It's scheduled release is 10/17/17 and you'll have one of the first copies by Hallow's Eve!
I'm so honored to also be signed as a MacLaren-Cochrane author!
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing will be releasing my rhyming picture book titled My Community, and I'm excited about the months ahead as we finalize the text pages and the artwork comes together!
Still too chilly or rainy for outdoor activity? Try some indoor gymnastics!
This poem was published in Hopscotch Magazine.
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!
April 8 -
I've spent some time in Puerto Rico just now, visiting schools and libraries with my books, and meeting the loveliest, kindest people! It's always beautiful here - temperature around 80 degrees, sunny and bright.
My first book, Dozy Poems, Cozy Days is celebrating Autism Awareness month, and we're all enjoying National Poetry month! It tends to be a fun and busy time for poets!
March 3 -
February was a creatively busy month! The exciting news is my picture poetry collection, A Cheer for the Year, will be published in 2018! I recently signed a contract and am happily anticipating the adventure!
Each poem in the collection celebrates a holiday -fun, contemplative and cheerful.
Meanwhile, I have many poems coming out in children's magazines over the next year, and it keeps my days (and nights) so wonderfully magical and preoccupied in word play and rhyme and prose. Feeling inspired, grateful, joyful!
January 17 -
The kids are slowly heading back to college after a relaxing winter break. My baking, cooking, cleaning and washing, and general loving them, is winding down. My husband took this rare shot of me working on my poetry manuscript for a book celebrating the holidays! Good thing we have I Phones now with the' notes' app because I'm constantly jotting down verse. Here's to an abundant 2017 for all of us!
January 13 -
My mother-in-law is displaying this cute sign in her house - "Don't grow up, it's a trap!" She's turning 88 years old this year and still runs her own cooking school, and on the side, has also always been a fabulous writer with a comedic slant. Ginger is one of my biggest fans, and was involved in co-authoring a Finger Lakes cookbook herself a couple of years back.
I have quite a few preliminary manuscripts/poetry compilations in the works, one of them being kids' poems about food. I have a feeling my mother-in-law will be a big inspiration for me to continue with that one!
December 5 -
Our dawn hours brought snowfall! Here in my yard, the birds spell out a word in seeds!
As the holiday season gears up, so is my poetry world picking up speed - new poetry features, writings for fantasy-themed kids' magazines, and updates regarding my new publisher and 2017 release!
CHECK OUT THIS SNEAK PEAK PRELIMINARY ILLUSTRATION FROM MY UPCOMING RELEASE, SHIMMER: SONGS OF NIGHT!
December 1 -
Gibber book release celebration!
Tonight I'm honored to spend with the award winning poet, Jo Pitkin, who's catalog includes lots of children's curriculum books as well as her latest poetry compilations, Cradle of the American Circus, and Lost Orchard....so grateful for her support and friendship!
Jo's poetry link:
Parents, caregivers and teachers:
If you're looking for class material, I have a fun, new creative teaching unit associated with Dozy Poems, Cozy Days! I hope you check it out...
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!
The following poem is titled Welcome!
It appears in the new Spaceports and Spidersilk children's magazine issue.
This poem is also part of my book, A Star Full of Sky, which has just been picked up by Daffydowndilly Press for publication! I recently signed the contract -yippee and more on this book soon....
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
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?
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!
"Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.."
- Percy B. Shelley, English poet
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.
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!
Bear by Raven Howell
I pretend I’m a bear.
I growl through my teeth,
Crawling under the quilt
To my den underneath.
Then I nap like a bear
And dream of tall trees
Where bear cubs like me
Trail sweet honeybees...
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 aSweeping shimmer of sun.