Saturday, February 11, 2012

Celebrate A Prolific Writer and A Prolific Inventor

"Your worth consists in what you are 
and not in what you have."
-- Thomas A. Edison 
Thomas Edison 1847-1931
Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors of all times. He held the world record of patents 1,093. Edison developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world including phonograph, motion picture camera and light bulb. In addition he is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and telecommunication. 
Edison had very little formal education, but was always a curious child. His parents took him out of school at an early age since his persistent questioning and seemingly self-centered behavior caused a lot of problems for him in the classroom. At age 11 his parents trying to keep up with voracious appetite for knowledge taught him how to use the resources of the library. Edison  taught himself much by reading. This belief of self-improvement remained throughout his life. 
Jane Yolen is a prolific writer with over 300 books to her credit. She is a popular children's author. Owl Moon one of her first books is a picture book with thought-provoking prose that makes it an outstanding teaching device plus a fun read. The storyline is based on Yolen's  daughter Heidi's owl hunting experiences with her father. 
Yolen's Commander Toad series is quite popular with early grade students. Her most recent book Things to Say To A Dead Man. (2011) is a series of poems she wrote during her husband's last years battling cancer. 
Yolen's simplistic poem on crayons provokes a lot of imagery. Remember your first days of the school year having a box of crayons and their new smells?
Crayons: A Rainbow Poem
This box contains the wash of the blue sky
Spikes of green spring
A circle of yellow sun,
Triangle flames of orange and red.

It has the lime caterpillar 
Inching on a brown branch.
The shadows black in the center
of a grove of trees.

It holds my pink and your chocolate
And her burnt sienna
And his ivory skin.

In it are all the colors of the world.

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