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. I also have two upcoming releases this year, 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!
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!
Have you checked out Goodreads on line? We hosted a Shimmer, Songs of Night book giveaway...
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.
This is my book's, Shimmer/Songs of Night, mascot! I call it my "Shimmer Cat".
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!
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....
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 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 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!
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!