THINGS WE DO- a playful A to Z book of poems for children!

It’s publication day for a very special poetry anthology for young children. THINGS WE DO is an alphabetic book of playful poems bursting with children in action– from Ask to Zoom! Each spread in this book features a vivid photo of a child doing something active, accompanied by a poem such as Invent, Kick, Jump, and Clap. Published by Pomelo Books, THINGS WE DO is now available by ordering from QEP Books, and will soon be available on Amazon. It’s perfect for PreK through first grade.

Many poets contributed to this A-Z collection, including some very well-known poets! My poem, “Type,” is inspired by my work as a K-2 Literacy Coach. Each day I get to see children making letters, then their names, then words… it’s a magical process that made its way into my poem. I can’t wait to share it with the first graders I work with each morning!

Poet Janet Wong and poetry expert Sylvia Vardell assembled this anthology, and they are a joy to work with. It was a revelation to be part of their Anthologies 101 and 201 classes and to watch how they encourage and guide poets in the creative process. Vardell and Wong are donating all the profits from THINGS WE DO to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. You can see their fun video about the book here (and you can also see why they are a delight to work with!).

THINGS WE DO has been selected as “Hot Off the Press” books for October by the Children’s Book Council! (along with Janet Wong’s  brand-new book Good Luck Gold & MORE)

THINGS WE DO is a beautiful and playful book of poems, perfect for the young child or teacher in your life. Be sure to add it to your holiday shopping list!

On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share resources about children’s poetry. This week, Jama Rattigan hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at her blog Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Check out the celebration of poetry there today!



  1. Denise Krebs says:

    Mary, what a wonderful poem about TYPING. I’m sure it will be a delight to share with first graders. I love that TYPE is one of the verbs in this book of Things We Do–empowering. I can just see the little ones trying to type their brother’s name.

    • Thank you, Denise, for your words about my poem! That is one of the things I love about this book– it shows all the different ways that children have agency. The whole book is empowering!

  2. Mary, thanks so much for helping us spread the word about THINGS WE DO and for joining us on this poetry adventure! Love your poem “TYPE” and how you capture the voice of the young child and echo the tip tap of typing in the rhythm of your poem!

  3. Janet Wong says:

    There are so many things to L-O-V-E about this poem. I remember reading it for the first time and being struck by how natural the poem was—both in terms of ideas and language. It felt like I was sitting right there with a child who was talking about learning to type. OF COURSE children would want to type their names first, right? I don’t remember doing that when I learned to type in high school; they should’ve had us just typing our names and addresses over and over. When I look at the poem credits in THINGS WE DO, I think, “These are the poets who will be filling the 811 shelves in the next few years.” In your case, Mary, I think you’re going to need a whole SHELF!!!

  4. lindabaie says:

    They will love that you wrote about them and what they ‘do’, Mary! A while ago, I got out my old college typewriter & got a new ribbon for it. The granddaughters are loving typing with it. They’re both so used to the laptops’ easiness. We laughed & talked about finger muscles! I love your poem, just perfect for the young readers! And it ‘sounds’ so good!

  5. Janet F. says:

    Hi Mary,
    Your idea worked! So…. TYPE is terrific and I know two littles who understand typing on the computer and will enjoy this poem a lot. I bet they will love the entire book. It is one that will appeal to kids who are young and a little older. I am glad I’ve gotten to see a few of the pages on the blog tour today. I am enjoying them all. Do you know Tim Rasinski’s work on fluency using poems and song lyrics? I can see this book being very useful for teachers and kids, too. As a primary reading coach I am sure you have many ways of helping kids. I tutored and always looked to individualize my teaching as well as in the classroom. I am currently working with my eager beaver granddaughter in Kdg who is beginning to read a little on her own. (She is a perfectionist and therefore does not like the idea of errors! We are working on multiple fronts.) Next I am giving her the text of Stopping by Woods since she knows it so well, I am hoping she will use it to figure out the words…I saw that “system” make a huge difference for 3rd graders when I was still teaching. Anyhow I am thrilled that THINGS WE DO’s profits will go to IBBY’s Children in Crisis Fund. It is such a win win for all.
    Janet Clare F.

  6. What a fun poem you created Mary, I love the “Clickety tap” I can just hear it, and it reminds me of an old manual typewriter. This new anthology of Sylvia’s and Janet’s looks wonderful, thanks for sharing all!

  7. Elisabeth says:

    I love how your poem captures the rhythm of learning to type! Congratulations on the anthology – I’m sure this will be delighting young readers for many years to come.

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