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 on Spork Books, and you'll have one of the first copies by Hallow's Eve!
Scroll to the bottom of this page for the answers to my Shimmmer Facebook multiple choice about "glow-y" nature things- fun!
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
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!
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 20 -
What a great day spent at the Millbrook Literary Festival, and with the super talented best selling children's artist/author, Iza Trapani!
May 5 -
...Moving forward on my upcoming releases! We just did a cover reveal for Shimmer, Songs of Night. This is the illustration!
The editor decided to do a jacket on the book and we're adding another one of my poems (yay!) and extra illustrations (double yay!)...
I also have artwork being submitted for my poetry compilation, A Star Full of Sky (Daffydowndilly Press).
Caryn Schafer is a really talented graphic designer/illustrator/photographer who lives in NYC, so not so far from me, and she's putting together some wonderful ideas. It's fun to see her interpretations.
This book is scheduled for release toward the end of November, so I'm busy with back to back releases later this year.
Hope you're all having sunny days and starry nights!
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!
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:
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 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!
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!
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.
* 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”:
New Zealand glow worms
rain forest tree frogs
THE ANSWERS ARE:
CRYSTAL JELLYFISH AND NEW ZEALAND GLOW WORMS!
How did you do?