Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have done it again! Hop to It is their latest anthology of wonderful and current children’s poetry. This is truly the book kids need right now–a third of the poems are about movement, a third are about the pandemic, and a third are about social justice.

Here’s my poem about juggling a soccer ball.


Footwork for Soccer Players Stuck Inside
(for use with a regular, mini, soft, or imaginary ball)

tip it
tap it
back and forth

trap it
stop it
on the floor

lift it
juggle it
foot to foot

send it
thigh to thigh

use your head

your touches
as you go


There are other poems sure to get you moving about baseball, baking, making music with your hands, yoga, meditation, and pretending to be a snake!

Many of the poems in the collection are especially powerful because they speak directly to the world we are living in right now. “I Smile with my Eyes” by David McMullin is about the expressions you can see when people are wearing masks. Many poems like “Staycation” by Michelle Schaub are about making the best of our time at home, but others like “Say When” by Leslie Ross-Degnan give voice to our longing for this time of distancing to end. There are also poems like “You Can Do It Right Now” by Janet Wong, “Stand Up” by Christy Mihaly, and “March!” by Suzy Levinson that point to the many ways we can speak up and demand a more just society.

As with every book edited by Sylvia and Janet, there are suggestions for how to read and enjoy the poems, things to notice about them, and additional tidbits of information about the subjects. There are also sweet little drawings by Franzi Paetzold. So…Hop to It get a copy and give a copy of this wonderful new book!


For more poetry Friday, visit Jama’s Alphabet Soup! I’m sure it will be delicious!






A World Full of Poems: Inspiring Poetry for Children, edited by Sylvia Vardell, had a birthday this week, so I thought I would celebrate by sharing some of the many things I love about this book.

The Size–I love how big it is! It is a big, fat beautiful book with a shiny green ribbon and would make a perfect birthday present or holiday gift.

The Illustrations–I love the fun, colorful illustrations! I love the little guy reading on the title page. I love the diverse loving families. I love the black cat, the kite, and the eyes peeking out of dark holes.

The Size of the print–I love that the print is big and accessible to new readers, dyslexic readers, and readers with older eyes!

The Introduction–I love Sylvia’s welcoming introduction calling on readers to explore as they like and offering such a feast of poetry that every reader can find something they find compelling.

The Sections–I love the eight sections of the book–Family and Friends, Feelings, Animals and Nature, Cities, Towns, and Travel, Fun and Games, Science and Art, Body and Health, A World of Learning–all of them meaningful, engaging, and varied, ensuring again that everyone will find something of interest.

The Poetry Activities–At the end of the book, Sylvia has included activities to encourage readers to engage with the poems and move from reading poems to writing them. Sylvia shows readers how to make poetry part of their days and their lives.

The Poems, of course!–The book includes poems by more than 100 poets from different places, backgrounds, and times. I am honored to be one of them.

I look forward to reading the book from cover to cover and to sharing it whenever I can.

For more Poetry Friday visit Bridget Magee at Wee Words for Wee Ones.

Hoping you and yours are well.