Hop to It!


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!





20 replies
  1. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
    Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    I love that we both have sports poems in this book, Liz—the main difference being that you know what you’re talking about and I just make stuff up! 😉 This is the kind of rhythmic poem I can see boys and girls having fun reciting out loud as they practice their moves.

  2. Janet Clare F.
    Janet Clare F. says:

    Love your soccer poem and know kids will, too. I would love to try acting this out myself and eventually will do it when I visit classrooms again. There are so many poems kids and teachers will want to do again and again. Hop To It is a great addition to anthologies by Janet and Sylvia. (PS I am excited to have a poem in it, too, and being in one with you adds to that!)

  3. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    It’s great to see another soccer poem from you, Liz. Love that rhythm that’s perfect for that soccer playing with the ball! My young neighbor’s team finally started back again & he is so happy about it.

  4. Linda
    Linda says:

    Love the rhythm of your soccer poem! There are so many wonderful poems in the anthology. It’s so much fun to read everyone’s poems and all the activities that go along with them.

  5. Carol Varsalona
    Carol Varsalona says:

    Liz, your poem is another example of a lively one that will get children to not only read it aloud but demonstrate the moves in real time. Thanks for your glimpse into the other poems in the book. This book should be a popular one in classrooms.

  6. Tabatha
    Tabatha says:

    I can juggle a lot longer with an imaginary ball than a real one! Nice that someone wrote a poem about expressions you can see when people are wearing masks… Sylvia and Janet are so open-hearted and generous with their efforts to help kids navigate new situations.


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