GIFT TAG: an eBook for the Holidays

By Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
Photos by Sylvia Vardell

Why did we create GIFT TAG?

We want you to look at flowers and remember—

remember a good neighbor the way Joan Bransfield Graham does:

“Our neighbor had a greenhouse in her backyard and grew orchids. I was about four years old and wanted to buy one for my mother for Christmas. Rosalind told me to come by to choose one and this is what happened . . . ”

Gift for My Mother
by Joan Bransfield Graham
. . .
I choose an orchid
. . .
empty my pockets on her table,
“Do I have enough?”
Taking only the pennies,
she says, “It’s just right.”

We want you to look at a bottle of perfume and remember—

remember the first time you felt “grown up”:

Christmas Snapshot
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
. . .
I am ready tonight
to open that present
dad bought at the store.
. . .
he lifts a small box
and a daisy’s in bloom;
inside is a bottle
of grown up perfume.

Conga drums remind Margarita Engle of Cuba, a Cuba she knew as a child, where she received a horse from her abuelita but never got to ride it. “[S]oldiers took the family farm, but they couldn’t take away my treasured memory of my grandma’s gift.” Can you imagine being given a horse, never getting to ride it—and yet still having joyful memories of simply receiving the gift?

My Own Horse
by Margarita Engle
. . .
My grandma’s red mare
has a red colt
for me!

Have you ever received a present that you really didn’t want (at first) but later came to treasure? (Charles Waters)

Have you ever received something that seemed to swirl with magic?

“Did our goldfish fly / over trees and roofs / in Santa’s frosted sled?” (Pat Mora)

What are your favorite holiday memories? What are your simplest wishes? Amy Ludwig VanDerwater writes about snow as a gift.

May your home be filled with surprises . . . like Lorie Ann Grover’s “Christmas tree Troll” who “Curls a smile / And reaches out to me”

Merry-Merry, Everyone!

Coax your own memories.

Cynsational Notes

Read about the whole PoetryTagTime series.
(also in the iTunes bookstore)

See Guest Post: Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong on P*TAG: an eBook for Teen Read Week; Author Interview: Sylvia Vardell on Poetry Aloud Here! Sharing Poetry with Children; and Author Interview: Janet Wong on Dumpster Diver.

4 thoughts on “GIFT TAG: an eBook for the Holidays

  1. Hi, Cyn, thanks so much for the support! We're so proud of this book and feel it is the perfect antidote to holiday craziness. I didn't write the poems, so I can say that! 🙂

  2. Congratulations, Sylvia, to you and Janet on a lovely collection, and thanks so much for sharing this peek and your gorgeous photographs! You have a wonderful eye!

    Children's-YA poetry will be a major focus in 2012 here at Cynsations.

  3. I like how remembering and imagining becomes a tag here in this peek at some poems. I'm delighted to have a poem in this cool collection. Thank you for featuring this, Cyn, and I'm excited about your added focus on poetry here in 2012! You are amazing.

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