Community Collection 23: THE LIBRARY with Lee Bennett Hopkins

Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!
Remember: The Community Collections are open indefinitely, so you can visit each post at your leisure to add your poem!

Today’s Guest…

is not only a much-celebrated poet and anthologist with more than 200 anthologies to his name, but is also a mythical (and tireless) mentor and advocate for children’s poetry and the poets who write it. Please welcome Poetry with a capital P’s best friend …




(Click to enlarge.)

from SCHOOL PEOPLE edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Wordsong 2018)


Think about what the library meant to you as a child. What are your thoughts, feelings about that very special place?



1. Paste it into the comment section below. I will gather the poems and add them to this post. OR
2. Email it to me at and I will add it to this post (graphics welcome)!




Lee Bennett Hopkins has written and edited numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials. He has taught elementary school and served as a consultant to school systems throughout the country.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Hopkins graduated Kean University, Bank Street College of Education, and holds a Professional Diploma in Educational Supervision and Administration from Hunter College. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Kean University.

In 1989 he received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “outstanding contributions to the field of children’s literature” in recognition of his work; 2009 brought him the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry for Children, recognizing his aggregate body of work. In 2010 he received the Florida Libraries’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, he was honored as Chancellor of the Florida State Poets Association. He is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s most prolific anthologist of poetry for children.”

In addition to his anthologies, Lee’s own works include Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life (Boyds Mills Press), an autobiographical book of poetry that received the prestigious Christopher Medal and a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Golden Kite Honor Award; AlphathoughtsAlphabet Poems; City I Love (Abrams, 2009), illustrated by jazz musician Marcellus Hall; Full Moon and Star (Abrams, 2011), also illustrated by Hall; Mama: A Novel (Boyds Mills Press); Mama & Her Boys: A Novel (Boyds Mills Pess).

His creativity is the result of his passion for poetry and his unflagging belief that poetry is a necessity for children, at home and in the classroom.

Lee’s award winning series of American History through poetry for children and young adults includes: Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore; My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States; America At War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn (all Simon & Schuster/McElderry Books).

To encourage the recognition of poetry, he has established three major awards: the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented annually by Penn State University for a single volume of poetry; and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Literacy Association Promising Poet Award, presented every three years by ILA; and the SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented every three years by SCBWI.

One of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on the subject of children’s literature, Lee lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

Discover more about the author and his books at


Fifteen poems selected by acclaimed poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins celebrate all of the grown-ups that children encounter during the course of a school day.

Welcome to school, a building of brick “full of soul and heart,” eager for students and staff to fill its halls with sounds. This anthology of fifteen poems celebrates the grown-up people that children encounter throughout the course of their school day: the school bus driver with her morning smile, the teacher who inspires imagination, the rarely seen, yet caring custodian, and the nurse who heals hurts, big and small. There’s even a poem about the school building. Award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins has compiled this marvelous collection featuring a variety of brand-new works by well-known poets and beautifully imaginative artwork by illustrator Ellen Shi. (from


“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” —Leonardo da Vinci

Based on this simple statement by Leonardo, eighteen poets have written new poems inspired by some of the most popular works in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum. The collection represents a wide range of poets and artists, including acclaimed children’s poets Marilyn Singer, Alma Flor Alda, and Carole Boston Weatherford and popular artists such as Mary Cassatt, Fernando Botero, Winslow Homer, and Utagawa Hiroshige.

Accompanying the artwork and specially commissioned poems is an introduction, biographies of each poet and artist, and an index. (from

Selected by noted anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins, this collection of all-new poems is written from the points of view of personality-filled punctuation marks, and is a memorable introduction to grammar for children ages 7-12.

In this land of punctuation, the exclamation mark is a superhero who tells a story chock-full of bops and bams, the comma lets you pause to enjoy the weather, and the period is where you must come to a full stop–or else the Grammar Police will get you. With humor and imagination, A Bunch of Punctuation makes it easy to remember the jobs of the various punctuation marks. Award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins has compiled a unique collection of poems featuring brand-new works by well-known poets, accompanied by inventive artwork by illustrator Serge Bloch. (from

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Check out the poetry video library!
“Librarian” and prompt copyright © by Lee Bennett Hopkins.
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Photo: Brentwood Children’s Library

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  1. Yay for Lee and yay for libraries! I love this poem, Lee! I was allowed to get an adult library card early and I used to read the adult books just for the language, not really understanding the plots. And, oh, the language…!!

  2. I don’t remember when I fell in love with libraries, but I do love this poem of yours. I can’t remember going to the library when I was young, though there were never a lack of books in my home. My poem is drawn more from my teenage years when I began going to the library on my own and also worked there as a page. I remember fondly a young college student who was my director at the time assigning me many times to the art section for she knew I loved art–perhaps another poem will come from this. Thanks for your prompt and your flowing river of poems and anthologies! Thanks Renée for inviting Lee to challenge us with a prompt and visit!

  3. Thank you so very much for being here Lee Bennett Hopkins (Yes, that’s how your name will always be for me), First, Happy Special Birthday to you! And, many congratulations on your newest anthology. It looks scrumptious. I so appreciate today’s poem from School People. I’m a middle school librarian and I love to see a love of the library in kids.It’s such a treat.
    I have fallen in love with the “skinny.” I had never heard of it until Laura Shovan’s February celebration and now, it’s my go to form for drafting. I love it. My poem above is from the point of view of a Librarian who loves to see the kids come in.

  4. Thank you, Lee, for being here, and for reminding me of my first trip to the library! I wrote my poem from that point of view and relived the moment–however faint now! I look forward to reading your latest publications and I so admire your body of work. Thanks for making poetry matter for so many.

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