Another cup of disappointment
In the forecast
— Marilyn Gehant, Chicago
Children in Champaign County are invited to join millions of their peers across the country in celebration of the area's 14th annual National Education Association Read Across America Day.
The theme of the local celebration this year is "Sink Your Teeth into a Good Book!"
CHAMPAIGN — Brazilian author J.P. Cuenca and his English language translator, Elizabeth Lowe, director of the University of Illinois Center for Translation Studies, will present a reading from Cuenca's book "The Only Happy Ending for a Love Story Is an Accident" from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday at the Author's Corner at the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 S. Wright St.
One of the founders of modernist poetry, Ezra Pound, advised poets and artists to "make it new." I've never before seen a poem about helping a tree shake the snow from itself, and I like this one by Thomas Reiter, who lives in New Jersey.
Releasing a Tree
Softly pummeled overnight, the lower
limbs of our Norway spruce
flexed and the deepening snow held them.
Each week, The News-Gazette offers a selection of events provided by area libraries:
Champaign Public Library
Main library, 200 W. Green St.
Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.
Don't let the title of comedian Jim Gaffigan's funny memoir on parenting scare you off. "Dad is Fat" is a title he chose after his son drew a picture of dad with a round middle and wrote the sentence: "Dad is fat."
Actually, Gaffigan has written a rather endearing tribute to his family and raves about his wife, Jeannie, who has given birth to five children in the last eight years.
I'm dressed warmly, in a heated building, and I'm cold. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the indoor temperature but more to do with my impatience with the frozen tundra in which we live. Thundersnow? An inch of ice on my windshield?
Looking for stories worthy of review for middle grades reminds me of hunting mushrooms. I go to a likely place (a forest or a library), walk slowly and keep my eyes open. Often, just when I am ready to give up, there the little beauties are nestled on the forest floor — or the library shelf.
From the moment readers open "Inside These Walls" by Rebecca Coleman, they are transported to the world of a women's prison and introduced to Clara Mattingly, who is serving a life sentence for murder. Coleman's writing is superb, and Clara is instantly a likeable and sympathetic character, whom readers will cheer for in spite the fact that she's also a cold-blooded killer.
We human beings think we're pretty special when compared to the "lower" forms of life, but now and then, nature puts us in our place. Here's an untitled short poem by Jonathan Greene, who lives in the outer bluegrass region of Kentucky.
the butterfly lights
on my shoulder.
a rotting log.