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Pirates and Spooks, Beware!
written by Susan Weiner
illustrated by Bobbie Kogok
Shiver me timbers! Pirates and parrots, mummies and mermaids—get ready for these fun and funky creatures to tickle your funny bone and send a chill down your spine! Between the lines of these eerie poems, a lady pirate fights her battles in stolen ball gowns, a cannibal decides to become a vegetarian, and a ghost hitches a ride in the family car. You’d better get started: it’s all hands on deck!
PRAISE FOR PIRATES AND SPOOKS, BEWARE!
“Pirates and Spooks, Beware! is a collection of refreshingly fun, funny, and sometimes rascally poems, sure to delight elementary and middle school readers (and their teachers)! This entertaining collection of works from clever and talented poet Susan Weiner lends itself to enjoyable reading and a deeper study of poetic conventions, all the while providing subtle vocabulary, geography, history, and even meteorology lessons. Each poem reads equally well both silently and aloud, and could also provide a wonderful ‘old school’ memorization activity at the end of the unit of study. (Slam poetry, anyone?!) These rhyming poems appeal to the reader while telling a story in the most charming way. The lovely illustrations make them come alive, and thanks to Ms. Weiner’s incredible imagination, we walk away smiling, thinking surely, ‘Why, pirates (and spooks) are just like us!’ Arghhh, matey . . . ENJOY!”
~ Pat Talbert Smith, former Head of St. Francis Episcopal Day School and former Lower School Head/Assistant Head of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD
“Many areas of study have been lost or seriously curtailed in the push to include the latest technology into classrooms across the country. One of these areas is poetry. Children do not read, study, or memorize much poetry as they have in past generations. Susan Weiner is doing her part in trying to alleviate this gap through this little volume of pirate poetry. Most kids go through a ‘pirate phase’ in their lives, and these poems capture the essence of the pirate lore quite fancifully. The fact that they also employ rhythm and rhyme are icing on the cake and serve to provide instruction in one of the basic skills of early literacy. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the drama and intrigue of pirates!”
~ Carol Parent, learning specialist and former school administrator and classroom teacher
Before the Foundation of the World
written by Susan Weiner
Before the Foundation of the World examines the nature of good and evil in God’s creation. Using poetry and song lyrics, this collection offers a celebration of joy in response to God’s covenant with man. From Christmas poems to simple lullabies, the author paints a vivid picture of the incredible experience of wonder in a world of God’s design. An extended exchange in Appendix I with “The Father of Lies”(“Pater Mendaciorum”) and the promises of Christian faith reflects our reconciliation with God and explores the redemption of mankind in the face of radical evil. Journeying from the psychology of evil to the good news of the spirit, Before the Foundation of the World speaks to the ways of God, embodying gratitude and love as the foundation for mature Christian belief.
PRAISE FOR BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD:
“Before the Foundation of the World is poetry of the highest sort. It is a wonderful fusion of artistry and truth. It takes the reader to places where prose cannot go, into the mystery of the spirit where good and evil reside. Susan Weiner has created an enduring Christian testament that speaks to both believer and unbeliever. It is a triumph for her. I feel myself drawn back into her poetry again and again.”
—Curtis J. Young, senior pastor, Church of the Atonement, Silver Spring, MD
“Poetry challenges us to see things in a different way. Susan Weiner’s lovely poems lead us to meditate on God’s love and greatness, His Son’s birth and ultimate sacrifice, and of His mysterious workings in our lives and in the world around us. In these verses, biblical events come alive, urging us to see the stars and the stable, hear the thunder of the stormy seas, feel the sand beneath our feet, smell the spices, taste the honey—and marvel at what God has done for us.”
—Anne Morse, author (with Charles Colson) of Burden of Truth and (with Congressman Frank R. Wolf ) of Prisoner of Conscience
“Like fine cuisine, Susan Weiner’s Before the Foundation of the World is rich food for the soul not to be devoured hastily, but savored slowly and deliberately. Powerful images engage all the senses, transporting the reader back to biblical times, bringing to life the realities of good and evil and the ultimate victory God has given us in Christ. This is poetry for our time—a beautiful declaration of God's glory and His unfathomable love for His people.”
—Joanne Hamilton, former president, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Women’s Ministries
More About Susan Weiner
Though Susan has always loved writing and studying early modern western civilization, she did not anticipate that these passions would come together as an affinity for crafting children’s literature. Susan revealed that she spends a great deal of time researching the history behind each of her poems, and yet she loves the creative freedom entailed in writing for kids. “Anything can happen in a child's world,” she said. “Facts can be upside-down and backwards. Pirates can steal noble titles instead of gold. Monsters can eat your dirty laundry. Cannibals can turn vegetarian. Little pretty girls can have the hearts of monsters.”
Likewise, Susan values her opportunity to pass on the art of poetry to a new generation. “I want to make poems that will hopefully delight children and encourage them to write their own material or to pursue poetry and other poets,” Susan said. “I don't want poetry to be a lost and forgotten art.”
On top of her love for history, Susan has an inborn taste for whimsy and spooky stories. She loves monster movies and detective novels—her favorite series is Sherlock Holmes. Susan would like to write a detective novel of her own one day, but, for the time being, she is content to satisfy her appetite for mystery by treating herself to weekend getaways at a hotel, where she orders room service, enjoys a nice view, and works through a stack of mystery books!
Susan lives next to a horse farm and enjoys watching the deer grazing in the pasture as she works. She has recently completed a book of Christian poetry and continues to study history at her leisure.