Janet Lee Carey-Library Lions Roar Library Lions Roar Janet Lee Carey Award-winning author of novels for children and young adults


Library Lions Roar for the newest addition to The Poetry Friday Anthology series. Please join us in wishing a happy “book birthday” to The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations with an interview of Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell,

creators of this popular series (used in over 1000 school districts as the primary method of poetry instruction).

We’re Roaring for this new edition with our own Book Birthday Giveaway! See details below!

LL: How is this new book different from the other books in the series?
JW: There are two huge differences between this book and our other books. First, the subject matter: 156 holidays. Second: it’s bilingual! The 156 English poems all appear with Spanish versions alongside them.

SV: There’s another big difference. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations highlights picture books alongside the poetry. Each of 156 holiday poems (in English and Spanish) has a picture book pairing in Tip #4 of the Take 5! section. In our previous books, Tip #4 highlights a skill or standard, giving teachers an easy way to meet the requirements of the Common Core or state standards such as the Texas TEKS. This book contains matrixes in the back matter that highlight the various standards and skills, but we wanted also to focus here, in this book, on extending learning through picture books, making cross-genre connections between poetry and fiction and offering a pre-selected book ready for story-time or a lesson plan. Here’s an example of the Take 5! tips for Robert Schechter’s poem “Fables” in the Teacher/Librarian Edition, which you can use to celebrate World Folktales and Fables Week (March 16-22 this year). Note: Click on page below to enlarge and read type clearly.


• Tip #1: This tip provides an easy suggestion for how to make the poem come alive as you read it aloud by pairing the poem with a prop, adding gestures or movement, trying specific dramatic reading techniques, adding visuals or sound effects, and so on.
• Tip #2: This tip suggests how to engage children in reading the poem aloud with you. For example, with echo reading you ask children to repeat certain words or lines after you. Or you might invite children to join in on repeated words or phrases.
• Tip #3: You’ll find a fun discussion topic or quick oral activity here, tailored to fit the poem. Encourage diversity in responses!
• Tip #4: We designed this tip to pair the poem with a popular picture book and offer suggestions for how to explore them further.
• Tip #5: In this tip we share related poem titles and poetry book titles that connect well with the featured poem. You can find additional poetry resources and transmedia connections at PoetryCelebrations.com.

And here’s an example of the same poem from the illustrated Student Edition, without the Take 5! tips. Note: the illustrations are in black and white in the paperback, but will be in color in the e-book (coming later this year). Note: Click on page below to enlarge and read type clearly.


LL: Diversity is a topic that we’ve heard a lot about lately; does this book make a contribution to diversity? If so, how?
JW: This is one of the most diverse children’s books you’ll find. To give you an idea, here are just a fraction of the topics covered:

–Linda Sue Park writing about the lunar new year and the Korean baby’s first birthday;
–Debbie Reese writing about making bread in Pueblo cultures;
–Nancy Bo Flood and Rose Ann Tahe writing about the Navajo baby’s First Laughter ceremony;
–Ibtisam Barakat writing on Palestinian Tree Day and Ramadan;
–Uma Krishnaswami writing about Diwali;
–Lesléa Newman with a Gay Pride Day poem and a Chanukah poem;
–Joseph Bruchac on counting winters;
–Nikki Grimes on MLK, Jr. Day;
–Charles Waters on Juneteenth and Black History Month;
–Francisco Alarcón on Carnival;
–René Saldaña, Jr. on Día de los muertos;
–Carmen Bernier-Grand on Three Kings Day;
–Jorge Argueta on International Dance Day;
–Pat Mora on Día de los niños, Día de los libros;
–Jeannine Atkins on Women’s History Month;
–Georgia Heard on Citizenship Day;
–Renée M. LaTulippe on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities;
–Steven Withrow on National Braille Reading Month;
–Andrea Cheng on a multicultural (Chinese and Hungarian) birthday;
–Grace Lin on the Moon Festival;
–Buffy Silverman on Passover;
–April Halprin Wayland on Tashlich;
–Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy on bilingualism;
–Joyce Sidman on thinking of yourself as the gift you give to others;
–Margarita Engle on a piñata party;
–Jane Yolen on an adoption anniversary;
–J. Patrick Lewis on Guinness World Records Day;
–Marilyn Singer on celebrating each day;
and much more–there are 115 poets and 156 poems in this book!

SV: But we don’t think you need to celebrate all 156 occasions—that may be celebration overkill! Instead, you can pick and choose the celebrations that are most meaningful to you and your community. We hope you’ll find your childhood favorite holidays in this book along with fresh and fun ways to celebrate them. And we think that you’ll discover some new favorites to consider, too. A poem on an unfamiliar celebration is a thirty-second look out the window at what brings meaning to another group of human beings. We can think of no better way to introduce our youngest readers to diversity than through the many varied celebrations of life.

LL: Thank you, Janet and Sylvia for the terrific post! And Happy Book Birthday to you both! Librarians and teachers across the US have been waiting for this newest edition of the Poetry Friday Anthology. We’re excited to announce (drum roll please!)

The Book Birthday Giveaway!
Win a copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations!

To enter the drawing:
Tweet this page and put @JanetLeeCarey in tweet. The twitter winner will receive a Student Edition
Post this page to Facebook and be sure to tag Janet Lee Carey so we see your post. FB winner will win a Teacher/Librarian Edition

This special giveaway ends March 31. Winners will be contacted by April 3rd

LL: Learn more about The Poetry Friday Anthology series at http://PomeloBooks.com

Get a copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations for your library or classroom.

Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library.  Email Janet on the Contact page on this website for an interview.

Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet.


  1. Wonderful! I work in a middle school that has a large ELL population. We love diversity and have a hard time finding books for middle school that are bilingual. I’m always on the look out! Great post today. And, giveaways for Teacher Librarians ALWAYS put books into the hands of kids who need and want them. Thank you for that too!.

  2. Thanks Maria. One of my favorite picture book authors, Nancy White Carlstrom, is also in the Celebrations edition.

  3. Thank you SO much for this lovely book! I enter lots of contests on my journeys around social media but this was one I really, really wanted to win! Feeling Happy!
    = )

  4. I’m so impressed by all the Poetry Friday Anthologies. Having taught school for 26 years, I know what a gift they are to teachers. I have a poem in this one 🙂 I’m going to talk to some 5th graders about poetry in a couple of weeks and the Celebrations edition will be right by my side!
    Yay Janet and Sylvia!!!!

  5. Sounds fantastic, Penny. And Congratulations for having a poem in the Celebrations edition!

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