Charles Ghigna (Father Goose) is an award-winning poet, children’s author, speaker, and nationally syndicated feature writer who helps promote the love of poetry and children’s literature throughout the world. He is the author of more than 5,000 poems and 40 books from Random House, Harry N. Abrams, Knopf, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Running Press, Boyds Mills and other publishers. His books have been featured on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” PBS and NPR, selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club and received the Parents’ Choice Book Award. His poems for children and adults have appeared in numerous textbooks and anthologies and in magazines ranging from Highlights, Ranger Rick and Cricket to Harper’s and The New Yorker. His poems also appear in the national SAT and ACT student testing materials. Charles has served as poetry editor of The English Journal for the National Council of Teachers of English and has presented his poetry programs at the Library of Congress, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Library in Paris, the International Schools of South America and at hundreds of other schools, colleges, conferences, libraries, book fairs, and literary events throughout the U.S. and overseas.
A young brother and sister wake up to a glorious snowy day. They watch the snowflakes float down and then after dressing in warm coats, hats, boots, and mittens, they head out to play. The world is a wonderland of white and kids are pulling sleds and getting ready for speedy rides down the hill. Next it looks like a snowball fight. After all that exercise on such a cold day, it is a treat to go inside and help Grandma bake some cookies and listen to a story read by Grandpa. Later everyone heads back outside to build a snowman and then to skate on the lake (no mention is made of clearing the snow so the ice is ready for skating). The day ends with a moonlit walk back home, and on the closing page the two kids are tucked into their warm beds. There are two pages of stickers that come with the book, but there is no indication if they are meant to be pasted in the book or used on artwork that kids might create. A Step 2 book in the “Step into Reading” series. 2008, Random House, $3.99. Ages 3 to 5. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot (Children’s Literature).
A Fury of Motion: Poems for Boys
While the first ten poems in this nearly pocket-sized book are about sports, the remaining thirty-plus cover a variety of topics, including a haircut, a firefly, different seasons, playground showdown, ants, eternity, family, death, and dreams. Using a variety of rhymes, rhythms, free verse, descriptive words, humor and gravity, Ghigna captures where teen boys (and girls) live. The book’s design–clear font, simple black and white pictures, crisp black accent line on each page, lots of white space–make this perfect for those who don’t want to draw attention to the fact that they are reading poetry! In his introduction, Ghigna addresses his dislike of poetry as a young adult. X.J. Kennedy’s conversational foreword also promotes giving poetry a try. After all, “Just when you think/you are done with it/the poem turns on you/charges back for more, pricks you with its finer points…” While aimed at teen boys, there is much here for girls and even some for younger children. 2003, Wordsong/Boyds Mills, $16.95 and $6.95. Ages 12 to 16. Reviewer: Peg Glisson (Children’s Literature).
The Poems & Pranks of Father Goose:
A high-energy poetry performance that includes inter-active choral readings with the students, lively recitations, readings and story-telling that demonstrate where to get ideas and how to get started, as well as question and answer sessions for students and teachers.
Each presentation is 45-min. to an hour and includes lively recitations and commentaries by the author. Programs are for students, teachers, and librarians in grades K-2 and 3-5.
Fees: $1,500 per day (2 presentations and autographing session) plus travel expenses. An evening program for the entire community can be added to the day’s agenda for $600.
To learn more about Charles Ghigna and his publications please visit www.fathergoose.com.