Reviews

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Books For Children

Reviews listed alphabetically by title

"THE ALPHABET PARADE.  Colorful illustrations grab the reader immediately with the cover.  In picture book format, his rhyming ABC board book has a collection of circus/parade characters, but also includes animals that will be new to young readers.  A few examples that quickly come to mind -- jackal, kinkajou, and unicorn.  I love the illustrations and recommend this title for any school or public library with a board book collection.  It will also be a nice book for toddlers to add to their home libraries.  This book is part of a four book series MY LITTLE SCHOOL HOUSE (Library editions) and THE LEARNING PARADE (Trade editions).   The other three titles in this series are THE WONDERS OF THE COLOR WHEEL,  SHAPES ARE EVERYWHERE and NUMBERS IN THE PARK."  --The Texas Library Lady

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"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. A collection of silly short poems about wild and domestic animals, this collection will amuse young readers with their jaunty, catchy tone." --Horn Book

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. Charles Ghigna (Father Goose) has written another terrific collection of read aloud poems about animals. The play-on-words and entertaining illustrations by John Speirs make this book a winner." --Keystone To Reading Book Award

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. Silly poems about peculiar animal phrases like cash cow and loan shark make this witty book by Charles Ghigna a blast for tots." --Parents Magazine

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. For a lighter take on the environment, clever poems about an array of animals abound in Animal Tracks: Wild Poems to Read Aloud by Charles Ghigna, illus. by John Speirs, a companion to Animal Trunk: Silly Poems to Read Aloud. Zany watercolors portray such scenes as a trio of fierce four-legged fighters up against the ropes of a boxing ring with a lone human spectator, clad in a wool sweater, in 'Do Not Bully a Bull' ('Do not badger a badger./ Do not bully a bull./ Do not beep at the long-horned sheep,/ Especially while wearing wool')." --Publishers Weekly

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. Rhyming quatrains and couplets that describe pigs, hippos, penguins, turtles, butterflies, hummingbirds and dogs are mingled with punny poems ('I will always BEE yours./I will never have any EGRETS./You are my one and only GULL./OWL always love you') and nonsense rhymes. Charming watercolor-washed pencil drawings of cartoon-style children, birds, and animals add significant appeal to the collection. An appended index lists each animal mentioned in the poems." --School Library Journal

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. Full of giggles, grins and all-out fun. Animals and poetry make a dazzling combination as children will learn not to 'bully a bull' or 'badger a badger.' Full of wordplay and puns, this book is sure to have kids laughing and rhyming along." --Boston Herald

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. This attractive volume features 32 short, illustrated poems about animals. The book's clean design and varied layouts create a fine showcase for both the light verse and the eye-catching pictures. Pleasing, childlike watercolor art interprets the verse with wit and style. Many of the poems will appeal to the silly side of children's sensibilities; others make observations or draw connections between animals and people or things." --Booklist

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. With wondrous word play and clever rhymes, Charles Ghigna (sometimes called Father Goose) leads the way through a diverse collection of verse. Playful pigs, frogs on logs, and ducks that will 'quack' kids up come together in a wild symphony that will tickle the ears of young listeners." --Learning Magazine

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. What's in a camel's hump? Are mackerel really holy? Nature lovers of all ages can finally find out the answers to these and other timeless questions." --Parents Magazine (The Reading "Hit" List)

"ANIMAL TRACKS: WILD POEMS TO READ ALOUD. Not wild in the sense of ferocious, these simple read-aloud poems on animals and nature feature oddities and clever puns, i.e., titles such as 'Ducks Quack Me Up,' 'I Wouldn't Pet on It,' and 'A Batch of Beasts.' Playfully illustrated with expressive watercolors, there are 32 poems like 'Hey, big old frog / On that small log. / Now don't you cough / Or you'll fall off. / You coughed! Oh no! / I toad you so.' The nature elements are expressed at a child's curiosity level and should encourage questions. From alligator to worm, the one-page index of 108 entries isn't listed by poem titles, but by all of the animals mentioned, making it much more useful for teachers and adults. Lively and fun as promised, as the blurb says, 'EWE will love this book -- I'm not LION.'" --Kirkus Reviews

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"ANIMAL TRUNK: SILLY POEMS TO READ ALOUD. (A *starred* review from PW.) Ghigna's simple rhymes rely heavily on repetition and their chantlike meter meshes well with Gabriel's exotic visual stylings. Just when readers settle into a rhythm, a welcome aberration comes along. This lively collection will have children clamoring for repeat performances until they can read all the rhymes solo." --Publisher's Weekly

"ANIMAL TRUNK: Silly Poems to Read Aloud. (ABA 'Pick of the Lists') This wonderfully funny collection of simple poems about animals will spark every child's sense of humor. Great for reading aloud, this collection includes silly poems about chickens, bears, donkeys, cows, giraffes, crocodiles, and the like. The rhyme scheme is simple, yet clever, and the illustrations have bright, vivid appeal. A true feast for a young child." --American Bookseller

"ANIMAL TRUNK: Silly Poems to Read Aloud. (Parents' Choice Award) "With appealing, minimalist pictures in primary colors and jaunty texts on facing pages, these verses about a variety of beasts, both wild and tame, are bound to please. From "Cows like mooing,/ Cows like hay. /Cows like giving milk each day." to "Bears like honey,/ Bears like trees,/ Bears are chased by honey bees", children will respond to the simple truths simply revealed." --Parents' Choice

"ANIMAL TRUNK: SILLY POEMS TO READ ALOUD. Through rhythm and rhyme, author Charles Ghigna pens a delightful collection of captivating verse for younger children. Animal Trunk leads the reader through adventurous and inventive word play meant to tickle both the mouth and ear. It is a romp of creative language, using imaginative, fresh rhymes for young minds. The moral of the story is as plain as the trunk on an elephant's face: Language is fun and enjoyable. Gabriel's illustrations complement Ghigna's verses masterfully. The bold swashes of color and thick line drawings are enchanting echoes to the bouncing, light stanzas illuminating each page." --BookPage

"ANIMAL TRUNK: SILLY POEMS TO READ ALOUD. This collection of fifteen simple poems is enhanced by its bold illustrations set against brightly colored backgrounds. Each spread is devoted to one kind of animal (chickens, giraffes, monkeys, lambs), with a bouncy, playful poem well suited to reading aloud." --Horn Book

"There are many books available with poems about animals. One of my favorites is ANIMAL TRUNK by Charles Ghigna, which contains poems that are factual and funny. Most students can read and understand them easily. I encourage my students to use facts from these poems in their research." --Jodi Mahoney, INTRODUCING NONFICTION WRITING, Scholastic

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"CHRISTMAS IS COMING! Written in first person, each poem reflects the thoughts of one of three children. The image throughout is timeless. The verses are simple and follow very basic rhyming schemes, making them easy and fun for younger children to read aloud. The poems are useful as a starting point for classroom discussion, craft projects, or student compositions on a variety of subjects, ranging from the preparation for and celebration of Christmas to the ideas of family, generosity, and tradition. Children may wish to compare their own holiday experiences to those in the book." --Education World

"CHRISTMAS IS COMING! This collection of 27 poems reflects the familiar Christmas preparations. Most children will readily recognize the activities of the book's extended American family--hauling decorations from the attic, selecting the tree, building a snowman, writing Santa, hanging stockings, and making Christmas cookies. The poems are pleasant and offer a joyful anticipation of the season. Children will appreciate the expressive illustrations which reflect the holiday excitement." --Booklist

"CHRISTMAS IS COMING! Twenty-seven poems follow a family's preparations for and celebration of the Christmas holiday. From decorating the tree, baking cookies, and hanging stockings to feasting with extended family, playing with toys, and packing away the decorations, the rhyming verse describes familiar holiday rituals. Watercolor illustrations." --Horn Book

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"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. This collection of forty-six poems will appeal to preadolescent and adolescent boys.  The poetry of Charles Ghigna covers topics from sports and games and writer's block to "Baseball Dreams," an analogy of war and baseball that will be best understood by older students.  Boys in upper elementary and middle school will relate well to these poems."  --PSLA YA Top Forty Nonfiction Books of 2003, Sandra Krieg

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Because boys may sometimes be reluctant readers of poetry, A Fury of Motion: Poems for Boys may be part of the solution. With style and humor, author Charles Ghigna creates a world of baseball dreams, boxing lessons, beaches and even barbershop worries. Is poetry only for girls? It's not in this brief volume, which invites reading aloud and provides models for writing." --The Reading Teacher

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Although this book's initial focus on sports (e.g., baseball, football, boxing) may appeal primarily to boys, many of the later poems concern topics that will speak to both sexes (e.g., families, nature, personal identity). Mostly written in free verse, the poems offer memorable lines and images." --Horn Book

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. This cool little book of poems will capture the fancy of teenage boys as well as girls and younger children. The forty-five poems cover a variety of topics, including sports, different seasons, insects, eternity, family, death, and dreams. In a poem entitled "School/Class/Girls/New/Worlds/Sports/Stars/Fast/Cars/Grades/Tests/No/Rest" the verse is simple, yet effective. Ghigna uses poems that have a variety of rhymes, rhythms, free verse and humor. A foreword and introduction by X.J. Kennedy and Charles Ghigna tell of their experiences with poetry and encourages readers to discover poetry themselves. Readers will find this book entertaining and thought-provoking." --NJ Infolink

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. This short anthology of poetry will interest anyone wanting to read something besides love poems. Contained within 'A Fury of Motion' are poems about all manner of sports, school, and maybe a few about love. These poems might serve well to kids who do not like poetry." --Omaha Public Schools Library Media

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. With a moving foreword by well-known poet X.J. Kennedy and an introduction by the author describing his own boyhood hatred of the dull poetry force-fed him in school, this is a book every adult should give to at least one boy. The themes presented range from play to death (sometimes in one poem, as metaphors of each other), from joy to loneliness, from rules and limits to freedom, from superficial humor (the lunchroom magic of having milk come out someone's nose) to profound thoughtfulness (a boy having to confront life after causing another boy's death). With wordplay enough to cause insight as well as pleasurable groans, these poems are about the rich awareness of life, challenge and irony that poetry celebrates. And a good portion are about poems themselves and making them. For readers 10 and older." --Tampa Tribune

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Grade 6-9. Everything about this book is understated. The physical dimensions are diminutive, the pictures are tiny black-and-white silhouettes, and the type is simple and uncluttered. It is the perfect book for boys who might not want to advertise the fact that they are reading poetry (except, perhaps, to the attractive girls who sit behind them in English class). Ghigna not only has a good sense of description and metaphor, but also of sound and rhythm. In 'The Leopard of Loneliness,' 'Loneliness, the leopard,/Stalks the heart;/He captures his prey/And tears it apart.' The cadence is slow, like a stalking predator, until the last line. Ten of the 46 poems are about sports, but the rest range widely in topic from 'The Beach' to a 'Haircut.' There is a good balance of funny and serious, rhyming and free verse. The poems are targeted at teens, but are appropriate for younger children as well. A colloquial foreword by X. J. Kennedy tells of his first encounters with poetry and gives encouragement to both the uninitiated and to closet poetry readers." --School Library Journal

"FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Here Ghigna presents 46 pithy takes on sports, school, friendship, humor, art and poetry; as well as more private thoughts, epiphanies, and memorable moments. Highlighted by memorials for two athletes, one who lost his life in war, the other in a prank, the overall tone is serious, but the language play and comic verse for which Ghigna is best known wells up occasionally and is aimed at young readers who hold poetry in low regard. Despite the title, girls as well as boys will find verses here that, to use X. J. Kennedy's phrase, 'will really talk to you.' (Poetry. Ages 10-15)" --Kirkus Reviews

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Noted children's writer (and adult poet) Charles Ghigna writes about sports, school, friendship, loneliness and humor, but he is also not afraid to take on tough subjects and challenge his adolescent readers to think, to absorb and to experience. Not even death and regret are off limits. The poem 'The Bowman's Hand' was inspired by the death of a boy hit in the chest by a friend during a 'cuss game.' Ghigna then looks at the life of the friend through his hand, which will carry the memory of that deadly blow throughout his life. Too tough a subject for a boy? I think not. In fact, it's that kind of unblinking stare at reality that can draw a young reader into this book. Because it shows that Ghigna isn't thinking of him as a boy but as a reader, someone ready to experience the power of poetry to give you 'a glimpse of who you are,' as he says in the final poem, 'What's a Poem?' The real secret of this book is that it says it's for boys, but girls will like it, too. And so will men and women." --The Birmingham News

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. While the first ten poems in this nearly pocket-sized book are about sports, the remaining thirty-plus cover a variety of topics, including a haircut, a firefly, different seasons, playground showdown, ants, eternity, family, death, and dreams. Using a variety of rhymes, rhythms, free verse, descriptive words, humor and gravity, Ghigna captures where teen boys (and girls) live. The book's design -- clear font, simple black and white pictures, crisp black accent line on each page, lots of white space -- make this perfect for those who don't want to draw attention to the fact that they are reading poetry! In his introduction, Ghigna addresses his dislike of poetry as a young adult. X.J. Kennedy's conversational foreword also promotes giving poetry a try. After all, 'Just when you think/you are done with it/the poem turns on you/charges back for more, pricks you with its finer points...' While aimed at teen boys, there is much here for girls and even some for younger children." --Children's Literature

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Humorous, sad, poignant and philosophical poems. Most of the poems are short. Many are just four lines and the longest is two pages. Most of the poems rhyme to some extent and they are concrete with wonderful visual imagery. Reading "Skydiver" is the closest I ever want to come to stepping out of an airplane in flight. This book has poems for boys young and old, as well as girls of any age. An excellent introductory volume of poetry. These are accessible poems that can also be enjoyed more than once." --Decatur Daily

"A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS. Don't let the size of this little treasure fool you. Between the covers there is a variety of poetry that would be readable to the most reluctant male readers. Goofy, fun, depressing, shocking... there is a range of emotional responses for readers here that is rare for such a small volume by one author. As an educator of 33 years who is vitally concerned about the growing gender gap in boys' literacy in our schools, I am glad that I found this book. This slim volume certainly carries with it keys that can unlock a boy's mind to the possibilities of the written (and spoken) word. A "must-have" for English teachers in the 5-7th grade range, or for any parent who would like his/her son to experience really accessible poetry." --R. Collier, "The Writing Doctor"

"In A FURY OF MOTION, Charles Ghigna speaks directly to both young and adolescent boys. The voices we hear in the 46 poems in this collection speak about sports and school, relationships, nature and the self. Some of the poems are short and funny, others introspective and evocative. All resonate with the genuine voice of a boy or young man coming into his own, rich with the imagery of the world around him and of his own inner life. These poems will appeal to girls as well – either because of universal themes or as a glimpse of the world through male eyes. A FURY OF MOTION is a worthwhile addition to any poetry library." --Arlyn Miller, Poetic License

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"By turns slapstick and sophisticated, the humor of Charles Ghigna's GOOD CATS / BAD CATS and GOOD DOGS / BAD DOGS will snare adults as well as children." --Publishers Weekly

"GOOD CATS / BAD CATS and GOOD DOGS / BAD DOGS are fun -- plain and simple. And they will make you giggle. A lot." --The Birmingham News

"GOOD CATS BAD CATS and GOOD DOGS BAD DOGS. Two odd-sized books extol the positive aspects of each animal; each book is flipped upside down to list the negatives. Both are irresistibly drawn in outrageously silly Ronald Searle-like illustrations." --Horn Book

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"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. Charles Ghigna enjoys a well-deserved reputation for creating children’s poetry that is consistently entertaining, intelligent and fresh. His natural gift of cadence and timing has won him a legion of fans among both young readers and read-aloud parents (who are spared fumbling with awkward rhythm and rhyme.) In Halloween Night, Ghigna blends his wit, talents and affection for Halloween to produce a fun collection of poems honoring the hallowed eve and all its trappings." --Birmingham Parent Magazine

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS is a funny, punny collection of original poems celebrating the ghoulish holiday spirit. Written by award-winning children's poet Charles Ghigna (aka 'Father Goose') and illustrated Adam McCauley ('The Time Warp Trio,' 'The Lima Bean Monster'), the poems are genuine treats about Frankenstein, gargoyles, ghouls, witches, and werewolves. In 'What To Wear on Halloween' the protagonist weighs the options before deciding to dress as the monster kids all fear the most: the school principal. Another trick-or-treater is embarrassed by his toddler sister turning into a scaredy-cat, and still others are suspicious of their parents stealing goodies during 'The Candy Check.' It's terrific fun, and is uncommonly original in an over-saturated children's book market. Like the perennial ghost costume, this book could become a holiday staple." --Midwest Book Review

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. The sunlight's quality is just a bit eerie, and darkness always comes on so quickly. Plants go to sleep for the winter, and leaves drop, leaving naked, spindly branches that scratch at windows. Fall finds bookstores and libraries full of children's books that go nicely with that otherworldly atmosphere. For beginning and elementary-school readers who want gentler Halloween-related books - in other words, more fun than scary - there's 'Halloween Night: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems' by Charles Ghigna (Running Press). Some of the verses may evoke mild shivers, but most of them are just entertaining!" --Omaha World-Herald

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. Here's a verse from a long poem: 'I'm not afraid of all those things/ That bump or growl at night. / I'm not afraid of anything / But please leave on the light.' Orange and black are the main colors for great, goofy art paired with clever poems that are fun to read out loud." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. Get into the spirit of fall celebrations with this spirited and silly collection of poems. Ghigna knows what tickles kids' funny bones. His poem, 'What to Wear on Halloween?' will probably be a favorite, especially with this stanza: 'I've searched through stores all over town/For one old scary ghoul/But none have masks that look just like/Our principal at school.' Artist Adam McCauley's cartoons executed in pumpkin orange and slime green is perfect for Halloween." -- Detroit Free Press

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. Relish in the fun of Halloween with lighthearted rhymes reminiscent of the trick-or-treating days of yore. Topics include costumes, candy checking, werewolves, pumpkins, ghosts and everything else topic-related. Great illustrations make this a fun book for celebrating the season!" --Nashville Parent Magazine

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. This collection of seasonal poems concerns witches, werewolves, picking the right pumpkin, deciding what costume to wear on the big night, and having mom and dad sneak candy out of your goody bag. Illustrated with art that appropriately emphasizes the colors black and orange, the poems strike a good balance between Halloween humor and horror." --Horn Book

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. These poems are more fun than frightening. Reading the book, I'm reminded of what I like best about Ghigna's poems for children - the fact that I enjoy reading them, too. They are fun and funny enough for the kids and smart enough for those of us who probably should have outgrown Halloween ages ago. Besides all this, the poems are good. 'The Haunted House,' for instance, is full of music: 'They lead us to the living room, through smoky clouds of dewy doom, then down a hall where spiders spin, three giant webs to catch us in.' Readers will notice that the book is cleverly arranged in a chronological order. It starts with that important list of 'good houses.' Then there are the intricacies of choosing a costume. Some of the poems explore fears such as open closet doors, creaking steps and gurgling sinks. And finally the book ends with the consequences of too much candy." --The Birmingham News

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. These well-written poems avoid the trite and the cliched while covering real-kid issues, including which house on the street gives out the best candy ('My Secret List'), what would be the scariest creature to dress up as (the school principal), having to trick-or-treat with your scaredy-cat younger sibling ('My Sister's Afraid of Halloween'), sharing some of your haul with your parents once you get home ('The Candy Check'), picking the right pumpkin at the patch and visiting a haunted house. The final poem ('Sick or Treat') appropriately describes the unpleasant consequence of pigging out!" --The San Francisco Chronicle

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. Kids will get in the spirit of Halloween with this new collection of silly and slightly scary poems about witches, pumpkins and trick-or-treating by award-winning children's poet Charles Ghigna. 'I'm Not Afraid,' 'Witch Way' and 'What to Wear on Halloween' are just a few of the titles perfect for reading under the covers. Adam McCauley's ghoulishly fun illustrations will give everyone giggles and goose bumps." --Boston Herald

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. 'Cats and bats and witches' hats!' Ghigna's latest offering celebrates all things associated with the 'happy, haunted night.' Upbeat, bouncy rhymes describe familiar experiences -- selecting a pumpkin, telling ghost stories, taking a younger sibling on trick-or-treat rounds -- as well as more fantastical scenarios such as choosing a 'Monster Pet.' Ghigna's consistent rhythm and beat emphasizes the silly scenarios that will generate laughs, especially among young Halloween veterans!" --Booklist

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. Give your little trickster a good treat. With Ghigna's clever play on words, the reader can move smoothly through the highlights of a ghoulish night. There are poetic treats about: crazy costumes, pumpkins, monsters, gargoyles, witches and haunted houses -- and beware of Frankenstein and the Werewolf." --The Clarion-Ledger

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. These snappy rhymes cover every aspect of Halloween. In Costume Crazy, the inevitable considerations and lessons from years past surface: 'The year I dressed up as a witch/My ugly wig began to itch. The year I dressed up as a clown/ My silly nose kept falling down.' The Candy Check pokes gentle fun at Mom and Dad. 'They have to search for anything/That might be bad for you. Although they never find a thing/Despite this careful chore, It's funny how the bag comes back/Much lighter than before.' Adam McCauley catches the playful tone of the poems with his loose graphic illustrations in bold Halloween-y colors such as purple, green, orange and black." --The Florida Times-Union

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS: Beautifully illustrated, cleverly laid out, award-winning children's poet Charles Ghigna writes funny, silly poems that are fun to read and will no doubt make you giggle. Whatever your age. Here's a good line: In the poem 'What to Wear on Halloween?' Ghigna pens 'I've searched through stores all over town/For one old scary ghoul, But none have masks that look just like/Our principal at school.' For kids, ages 4-8." --Los Angeles Daily News

"HALLOWEEN NIGHT: TWENTY-ONE SPOOKTACULAR POEMS. The 'spooktacular' poems in Halloween Night will rhyme right into the ears of children who consider October 31 a major holiday. Writing from the point of view of a youngster at the height of his Halloween enthusiasm, Ghigna captures the most important issues associated with the Fright Night experience: what to wear, which neighbors give the best treats, who's the biggest scaredy-cat, and -- most crucially -- how to tackle the things that are truly terrifying. Detail and empathy prevail on every page. Through the entire collection, Ghigna seems aware of the potential for Halloween traditions to help kids face and feel empowered over their fears. Adam McCauley's whimsical illustrations assist in keeping the focus on what's fun about the holiday, providing perfect backdrops to the poems." --First Draft

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"IF YOU WERE MY VALENTINE by Charles Ghigna is a small, heart-shaped board book featuring rhymed passages. Open the book and you'll find two little bears flying a kite. One bear tells the other, 'If you were a brand-new kite and I were a ball of string, I'd hold on tight with all my might so we could fly all spring.' Rabbits, pigs, puppies, ducks, cats and mice follow, sharing similar sentiments appropriate for Valentine's Day. My favorite reads: 'If you were a choo-choo train and I were a railroad track, I'd turn myself in circles so you would come right back!' --Register-Pajaronian

"IF YOU WERE MY VALENTINE. In this hear-shaped board book the verses share the theme of a long lasting love and affection. The closing one is amusing 'If you were the pages of my book /And I were reading you,/ I'd read as slow as I could go/ So I never would get through.' The pages are packed with scenes populated by anthropomorphic animals and have enough in them to keep a parent and child engaged." --Children's Literature

 

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 "I SEE SPRING. This rhyming picture book for toddlers follows children as they admire typical spring sights such as the weather, animals, and plants.  This book is well-crafted to appeal to toddlers.  The language is in the first-person in present tense, which toddlers will be able to follow and involves daily activities and sights that will be familiar to them.  The vocabulary is simple and toddlers will know most of the words, and the rhyming text will appeal to toddlers and help increase their language skills.  Toddlers will also be drawn to the illustrations, which are drawn with simple lines and shapes and brightly colored.  This is one of four books in the "I See" series by Charles Ghigna.  Recommended.  Reviewer: Jeannie Stickle.  --Children's Literature

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"I SEE WINTER. Poet Ghigna catalogs the many sights of the winter season, from changes in the natural world to traditional outdoor pastimes to celebrations of Christmas. The simple, seven-syllable lines of gentle, lilting rhyme proceed at just the right clip for preschoolers eagerly anticipating the season’s pleasures (“I see sleds and pairs of skates. / I see icy figure eights”). Jatkowska’s bright, textured illustrations have a wide appeal, with round-faced, ruddy-cheeked figures populating wintry scenes punched up with warming reds, pinks, and greens. The subject matter is a natural choice for seasonal storytimes. The book’s smaller size and detailed artwork make this rewarding one-on-one reading, especially for those who look forward to the first snowflakes of the year. And there are three other seasons in the I SEE series by Ghigna to keep us busy until the spring thaw." --Booklist

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"I SEE WINTER. This book is well-crafted to appeal to toddlers. The language is in the first-person in present tense, which toddlers will be able to follow and involves daily activities and sights that they will be able to relate to. The vocabulary is simple and toddlers will know most of the words, and the rhyming text will help increase their language skills. Toddlers will also be drawn to the illustrations, which are drawn with simple lines and shapes and brightly colored."  --Children's Literature

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"I SEE WINTER. Beginning with beautiful endpapers of snowflakes in shades of blues and purples, this simple rhymed text by author/poet Charles Ghigna, known as Father Goose, presents an idyllic picture of winter. . . .From the cover to the pictures inside, the multicultural illustrations make this a good choice for all young audiences." --Reading Today

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"LITTLE SEEDS.  In a cheery book for toddlers--one of four titles launching the MY LITTLE PLANET series--three children welcome spring by planting a seed. "This small seed is all I need./Now some water./Now some sun./Planting seeds is so much fun!"  Every natural and inanimate object seems to come alive in Jatkowska's joyful pictures, as the trio nurtures the little plant.  The chipper verse and bright palette offer an enthusiastic endorsement of the joys and small miracles to be found outdoors.  Simultaneously available: PICK UP THE PARK, RECYCLING IS FUN, and WE NEED WATER.  Ages 2-4." --Publishers Weekly

"LITTLE SEEDS.  What a fantastic way to introduce my child to gardening. Not only is this book filled with poetry and words and phrases that will be great for early reading, but also vivid and entertaining illustrations. Then when you think you’re already greatly pleased with the book, you flip the page to find that there are directions and tot activity included as well!" --CreativeMadnessMama.com

"LITTLE SEEDS.  Learning Magazine's Teacher Choice Book Award.

"LITTLE SEEDS. The Moonbeam Childrens Book Award.

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"MICE ARE NICE. In a very simple rhyming story, a mouse tells a small girl in a pet store why mice make the best pets compared with all the other popular animals. The colorful pictures show that all the other pets do very well for themselves, even when the mouse tries to insult them. The girl grins as the puppies lick her face, but in the end the mouse fits just nicely in her pocket. With its perky voice and cuddly subject, this will appeal to first readers, as will the clear, colorful paperback design." --Booklist

"MICE ARE NICE. A mouse tries to convince a pet store customer that mice make the best pets: 'Boas squeeze. / Lizards shed. / Rabbits hide / beneath the bed.' The illustrations are greeting-card sweet but contain humorous details--the jaunty narrator plugs his nose near a litter box--and the large typeface and short, rhyming sentences make the light story appropriate for beginning readers." --Horn Book

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"OH MY, PUMPKIN PIE! Rhyming text helps beginning readers explore the colors, shapes, and uses of pumpkins: “Pumpkins striped in shades of yellow,/One looks like a large marshmallow.” Some end up in pies and other tasty foods of the season, some as jack-o’-lanterns. Bold, colorful cartoon illustrations reflect diversity among the children and aid new readers with visual information.  --School Library Journal

"OH MY, PUMPKIN PIE! Beginning readers will learn about all the shapes and sizes of pumpkins in these rhymed couplets. 'Pumpkins striped in shades of yellow. One looks like a large marshmallow!' Some go to the county fair and end up as pies, muffins and bread. Many become jack-o-lanterns on Halloween night. The text is a litany of the shapes, sizes, colors and uses of pumpkins and has a sing-song rhythm. A storyline is presented that shows happy, ethnically-diverse children visiting an Amish farm and selecting their pumpkins. Word repetition and short sentences are key parts of this 'Step into reading. Step 2' series book." --Children's Literature

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"ONE HUNDRED SHOES. A spirited centipede tries on many different types of shoes, sandals and boots in this adorable book, which communicates an age-appropriate math concept for early readers. The rhyming text and captivating illustrations will have young readers hooked as they ponder the dilemmas of every centipede: where to buy shoes, what kind to buy, where to store them and how to tell left and right shoes apart. Children learn that the centipede has 100 feet. Because shoes come in pairs, a centipede will need 50 pairs. However, a discerning centipede may choose to buy sets of shoes, such as five sets of 20 or 10 sets of 10. Children are sure to be amused when they see this centipede reclining on the beach with sandals, decked out in a cowboy hat and boots, striding with loafers and a pin striped suit, etc. What a fun way to 'Step into Reading.'" --Children's Literature

"ONE HUNDRED SHOES: A MATH READER by Charles Ghigna. This delightful story considers the predicament of a centipede shopping for appropriate footwear. The rollicking rhythmic pattern will encourage students to explore the various multiples that total 100. After the centipede spends an exhaustive day trying on various types of shoes, readers will agree that remaining barefoot is the only logical solution for a centipede!" --Children First

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"RIDDLE RHYMES is an appealing collection of 15 rhyming riddles. Written in the first person, the simple verses are drawn from children's everyday experiences. There are shadows, insects, autumn leaves, clocks, books, and mirrors. Several clues energize each poem: 'I like flowers / I like sun / I like gardens / Just for fun...' Combining a 1950s sensibility with a slick postmodern style, the full- page acrylic paintings mix basic yet bold shapes and colors." --Booklist

"In RIDDLE RHYMES, Charles Ghigna, author of TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE, has written 15 multi-stanza rhyming poems. The answer to each riddle is revealed in the last line. And because they are in verse, the riddles are especially fun to read out loud." --The New York Times

"RIDDLE RHYMES. Riddles are fun and so are rhymes. Put them together and you get a lighthearted guessing-game about everyday objects in a young child's life. Most appealing!" --School Library Journal

"RIDDLE RHYMES. Have each member of the family take a turn reading these riddle- poems about books, rainbows, mirrors, and more! --Cricket

"RIDDLE RHYMES is a fun book that coaxes listeners to identify the subject of short poems that beg for an animated reading." --Kirkus Reviews

"Charles Ghigna's RIDDLE RHYMES will have minds stirring as his rhyme-filled poems keep kids guessing what object he's describing. Guaranteed to keep a kid's mind working." --American Bookseller

"Let your child guess the answers to RIDDLE RHYMES written by Charles Ghigna. For the most fun, read the poems aloud." --BookPage

"RIDDLE RHYMES -- delightfully clever and perfect for reading aloud." --The Birmingham News

"RIDDLE RHYMES. Each of the fifteen rhymes provides clues for riddles about subjects such as the wind, the sky, or autumn leaves. The bright, flat, stylized illustrations are appealing." --Horn Book

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"SCORE! 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire. This book makes a splendid gift for those graduating from college or middle school. I can see college coaches everywhere buying this book and tearing out pages to post on bulletin boards. The aphorisms and poemlets get the point across quickly and cleverly: 'Adversity is what it takes/To see our goals ascend;/ In order for the kite to rise,/ It flies against the wind.'" --Garland Reeves, The Birmingham News

“SCORE! 50 Poems To Motivate and Inspire.  This collection of 50 poems about ambition, persistence, attitude, self-respect and integrity will find plenty of fans among parents, teachers, leaders and coaches who are working on character development, goal-setting and cooperative classrooms. This book is for those who are energized by “truth,” “kindness,” “responsibility,” “inspiration” and for those looking for a mission statement and those who need a school/class, team or family motto.  These maxims have undeniable appeal -- and they are homey, honest and blessedly brief.”  --Kirkus Reviews

“SCORE! 50 Poems To Motivate and Inspire.  Fifty poems that inspire everyone-children, parents, athletes, coaches, teachers, and graduates from middle, high school, or college.  This book is a good companion to that favorite classic Dr. Seuss book Oh the Places You’ll Go! And like Dr. Seuss this children’s book of poems transcends that genre to reach readers of all ages. Ghigna, known as Father Goose, believes in the power of positive thinking. SCORE! builds a sense of self-confidence in one’s abilities with style, catchy rhymes, humor, and passion. It also inspires character traits. The poems are only four lines long, just right to memorize and carry around in your head.”  --Linda A. McQueen, First Draft

“SCORE! 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire by Charles Ghigna.  How do you "get victory to greet you"? "Never let failure defeat you." This is but one of the nuggets of wisdom to be found in this collection of 50 clever poems about the key to success, often centered on sports and games, but also involving music practice, study habits, and life lessons. Take, for instance, the poem "Good Measure": "Success is often measured best/ Not by how high or far,/ But what you had to sacrifice/ To get to where you are." Next to it, a small in-set illustration shows a girl practicing her clarinet while her untended doll lies under a nearby chair. "Remember to Forget" pictures a boy before and after his plunge from a high dive: "Achievements often come when we forget our fears and try, for that's when we accomplish what we're most remembered by." A wonderful collection for reading alone or sharing with friends. Whether striving to make the team, make the grade, or make it to Carnegie Hall, your young readers will be inspired by the smart advice offered in these 50 poems. Great as a graduation or commencement gift.”  --Books of Wonder

"SCORE! 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire by Charles Ghigna.  Character Education lessons on every page.  Perfect for family discussions."  --Michael Clark, Hackley Book Fair 2009 

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"SEE THE YAK YAK. Beginning readers will have fun with the humorous homonyms (words that sound and look alike but have different meanings) in this early 'Step into Reading' paperback. See a bat bat and a swallow swallow a baseball with the comically expressive illustrations. Animals and insects perform riddle-rhymes on very page. Have you ever seen a fish fish before? Large type, repetition, and a simple rhythm make this a good choice for preschoolers and kindergartners just learning to decode. The illustrations are sure to get a few laughs while complementing the simple text. --Children's Literature

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“SNOW WONDER.  Rhyming sentences celebrate the joys of winter, from sledding, skating and building snowmen to baking cookies, sipping cocoa and reading by the fire.  Woolf's flat, sharp-edged digital illustrations depict a happy family engaging in all these activities.  The vocabulary is entirely appropriate to the level (Step into Reading 2).”  --Kirkus Reviews

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"TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE is a bright and colorful collection of poems from the gifted pen of Charles Ghigna, aptly dubbed 'Father Goose'." --The Washington Post

"Charles Ghigna's lively, joyous, and quite imaginative poems of TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE invite young readers to snuggle in and savor each page." --American Bookseller

"Like Robert Louis Stevenson's A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES so popular a generation ago, TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE, by nationally acclaimed poet Charles Ghigna, features delightful, story-telling rhymes. They are told simply, with the kind of charming detail that makes them instantly memorable." --Birmingham Post-Herald

"TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE. A collection of thirty poems covers such everyday subjects as naptime, bubbles, 'Little Daddy Longlegs,' and many images of nature. The pastel illustrations add humor to the collection." --Horn Book

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"A brilliant performance. Ghigna graces the poetry platform with dynamic wit, vision, and verve. Strong, original poems exquisitely performed with a commentary laced with humor befitting a seasoned poet/professor." --The Miami Herald

"Charles Ghigna is not only a serious poet, but also a playful light verse writer and one of the most popular writer's of imaginative verse for children today." --Richard Armour

"Poet Charles Ghigna (aka 'Father Goose') is now on the cusp of becoming a major force in children's literature." --Associated Press

"It is fun to read work by a poet who you can imagine had as much fun writing as you have reading. Charles Ghigna's light verse reads so smoothly that it often tricks me into believing writing light verse is easy." --Writer's Digest

"Charles Ghigna is a writer whose imagination, perception, verbal adroitness and wit enable him to fly rings around those of us who even have the gall to pick up a pen, much less call ourselves writers." --Saturday Evening Post

"Ghigna's worth seeing (even planning for) because he makes quite an impression on the little ones. When he reads to them, he has a definite air of fun about him." --The Birmingham News

"Ghigna captures perfectly the wonder -- the sheer joy -- of being a child." --Humpty Dumpty

 

 

Books For Adults

 

"PLASTIC SOUP:DREAM POEMS. Ghigna is versatile and ambitious, and has sharp eyes and ears. He doesn't just crystalize his own nightmares and dreams, he imagines himself inside other people's. To sample his freshness, power, and economy, try 'No Hunting Signs' or 'Xenophobia.' For a taste of his outrageous humor, see 'Making Love to the Statue of Liberty' or 'Pitcher Perfect,' this last a double-entendre poem far superior to E. E. Cummings' famous comparison of a woman to a new car. In such triumphant moments, Ghigna writes better than just about any other poet I know." -- X. J. Kennedy (Poet & Editor)

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"RETURNING TO EARTH. Charles Ghigna is quite possibly one of the three or four best poets of his generation. He is certainly the most enjoyable to read. His themes and subjects are the product of a sensibility that is at once intensely emotional but strictly controlled. Again and again the individual poems exhibit a rare and unusual mastery of his craft." -- Charles Henley (Director, Livingston University Press)

"RETURNING TO EARTH. Charles Ghigna's work is impressive for its perceptiveness, its verbal felicities, its craftsmanship. He has a feeling for language, a sense of form, and he makes the experience he writes about matter to himself and the reader." -- Robert Hayden (Poet & Editor)

"RETURNING TO EARTH. Charles Ghigna is the finest new poet that I or anybody else has read in a long time." -- James Dickey (Poet & Novelist)

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"SPEAKING IN TONGUES: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1974-1994. Charles Ghigna, in my opinion, belongs with the best of contemporary American poets. He writes about a broad range of subjects (love, nature, family, religion, time, and sport, to name only a few) and he treats each one with imagination, insight, occasional humor, and wisdom. He is particularly adept at showing the extraordinary significance and meaning that lie, like the prize bass in one of his poems, just beneath the surface of common, everyday experiences and events. A Ghigna poem is always a revelation, a poignant reminder of the pathos and beauty of the human condition." -- Robert Hamblin (Poet & Editor)

"SPEAKING IN TONGUES: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1974-1994. Charles Ghigna creates a masterful collection of poetic strength and clarity of vision." -- Paul Ruffin (Texas Review)

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You can reach Father Goose at PaGoose@aol.com