Children’s Poetry

Your local library is a lovely place to find these books of poems for children. Please pay them a visit.


Cracks in the Sidewalk by Crystal Bowman

A Spider Bought a Bicycle chosen by Michael Rosen

Lemonade Sun by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

In the Spin of Things by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Thanksgiving Day at Our House by Nancy White Carlstrom

Silly Street by Jeff Foxworthy

A Humble Life by Linda Oatman High

Thinker My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield

In the Middle of the Night by Laura Purdie Salas

Pony Poems for Little Pony Lovers by Cari Meister

The Day the Universe Exploded My Head by AllanWolf

Underneath My Bed List Poems by Brian P. Cleary

Bark in the Park Poems for Dog Lovers by Avery Corman

BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! Animal Poems for Two or More Voices by Georgia Heard

The Big Beyond by James Carter

Trees by Verlie Hutchens

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems by Paul B. Janeczko

New Blog Look

I think we’re ready to celebrate my redesigned website! Break out the balloons and noise-makers!

I’ve been prayerfully redesigning and repurposing my website. I hope you like it.

How about the banner? It was created by Kim Sponaugle of Picture Kitchen Studio. She captured my vision perfectly.

Please check out the Menu Tabs, too. I’ve reorganized some information for writers.  I’ve added some fun pages for kids. As it becomes available I’ll be adding other stuff for teachers and conference leaders.

And my blog “Writing Encouraging Words” is still up and running. I hope to post a variety of things:

  • Information about my writing, books, school visits, etc.
  • Articles of interest to writers
  • Articles to encourage parents
  • An occasional original poem
  • Articles to celebrate holidays
  • Introductions to new books by my writing buddies

I’ll post every Wednesday.

girl-balloons2I hope you’ll help me celebrate by leaving comments and sharing my website with others. I’m headed for FB and Twitter to post it. Will you leave a comment there, too?

Thanks, dear friends.

Picture Books – Family

Jean Matthew Hall has reviewed about 200 picture books over the past two years. The next few blog posts will list these picture books by theme and/or category for your easy reference. The titles are linked to the reviews.

If I Didn’t Have You
The Manic Panic
Love Is Kind
Ocean Meets Sky
Papa’s Mechanical Fish
How to Grow a Dinosaur
Snow Dance
Daddy Depot
A Piece of Home
Still a Family
Josie Jo’s Got to Know

Picture Books – Friendship

Jean Matthew Hall has reviewed about 200 picture books over the past two years. The next few blog posts will list these picture books by theme and/or category for your easy reference. The titles are linked to the reviews.

The following picture books are about FRIENDSHIP. Enjoy!

Badger’s Perfect Garden
Possum and the Summer Storm
If the S in Moose Comes Loose
Hedge Hog
Kitten and the Night Watchman
Sleepover Duck!
Anything Is Possible
Blue Ethel
Bear & Hare
The Princess and the Frogs
Mr. Particular
What James Said
You Nest Here with Me
Up and Down

Picture Books-Individuality

Titles link to Jean’s reviews of the books

Violet the Pilot
Blue Ethel
Mary Had a Little Glam


Bully was written and illustrated by Jennifer Sattler. Sleeping Bear Press published it in 2018.

Bully is a frog in a pond full of lilies.

Bully wants all the lilies all to himself

The story traces Bully’s rude, selfish treatment of other creatures in the pond. Until one day the snails, the bees, the dragonflies and the flies have had enough. They chase Bully away to another pond—one without beautiful lilies.

The illustrations in Bully are cute and funny. But the story falls flat for me. There isn’t enough arc. And truthfully, I like stories where the main character changes. In Bully the main character stays stagnant. All of the other characters change, but Bully continues in his selfish ways.

This book would be a good conversation starter for discussing how to handle bullies. But not for encouraging change from a negative behavior like bullying to a positive change in behavior.

Picture Books-Cooperation & Community

Jean Matthew Hall has reviewed about 200 picture books over the past two years. The next few blog posts will list these picture books by theme and/or category for your easy reference.

These titles are linked to Jean’s reviews.

The Inventor’s Secret
Anything Is Possible
Around Our Way on Neighbor’s Day
Bear & Hare

Picture Books-Women

Mary Shelley
Lizard Lady
Jane Austen

Jane Austen for Kids by Nancy I. Sanders


IMG_0811Welcome to Jean Matthew Hall’s home on the web.

By clicking on the Menu tabs above I hope you’ll find bushels of useful information.

Whether you are a fellow writer, a fellow parent or grandparent, or a fellow teacher there’s something here for you. Please let me know if you would like to see other information here. Take a tour, please.

My blog will keep you updated about

  • My Bountiful Blessings picture book series published by Little Lamb Books.
  • Writing friends (old and new) and writing conferences
  • School and Homeschool visits
  • Publication news
  • Stuff for writers

The Blessings of Fall (the first book) is scheduled for release in September, 2019.littlelamb_final_logo1-e1437675387523 I’m scheduling school visits and book signings at this time. If you would like for me to share with your school or store (near Louisville, KY or Charlotte, NC) please email me. Just click on the CONTACT tab above.

I relish your input so, please, leave comments on my blog posts or email me.

Rich blessings to you all!

Be A Good Dragon

Be a Good Dragon was written and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus, and published in 2018 by Sleeping Bear Press.

Poor Enzo the Dragon! He has a terrible cold and is sneezing without control. But Enzo isn’t the only one suffering. Each sneeze spews flames and cinders all over the mountain, the village and the villagers.

Enzo finally makes his way to the royal magician who prescribes drinking plenty of water and getting lots of rest. But Enzo won’t agree. He wants a magical solution.

So, Abracadabra and kalamazoo! Let the magic begin.

The book ends with a child having a cold and getting the same prescription. It seems to me that the entire purpose of the book is to reiterate to children that they need to drink and rest whenever they get a cold.

Sounds great so far, but then the story takes a turn that I don’t like. The magic solution seems to be to trick Enzo into drinking plenty of water and getting lots of rest.

Another thing that really bothers me is that the book is filled with dialogue written with the sounds of someone with a cold. For example:

            Enzo tells the magician, “Bake be all bedder!”

            Enzo gets frustrated and roars, “Id’s drivigg be duts! I CAD DAKE EDDY BORE!”

Sorry, but that kind of writing drives me nuts! I must decipher each thing that Enzo says. I believe that’s asking too much work of readers. It makes the story come to a screeching stop! I believe the book would have been more effective if the author had written the dialogue straight without the stuffed nose effect.

Yet another picture book that is not on my “favorites” list.

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