Rhyming Picture Book Month Starts Today!!!!

Rhyming Picture Book Month Starts Today!     Day 1




Can you believe it’s time for RhyPiBoMo? I Can’t!


I am SO glad you are here! Thank you for all the support over the past few months! You guys rocked the Facebook Group with nearly 180 members as of today!


You BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN with the Critique Groups as we have 9 groups with 8 people in each!  That’s a lot of rhyme and poetry being perfected! Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting people into the critique groups on Facebook as Dawn and I need to focus now on the event.


If you are still looking for a critique group please click the tab above that says “Need a Critique Group.” Follow the directions and then you can add your name and email address to the comment section there. Hopefully, you will find a critique group or partner there.


Unfortunately, we can not help facilitate those groups as we are running the ones on Facebook and with the event starting, it would be too overwhelming and time consuming.


As of today we have 148 writers registered for RhyPiBoMo. Don’t forget…if you are not registered go to:




and register right now! Registration closes at midnight on April 16th. You will not be eligible for daily prizes or the poetry contest if you are not registered for the event.


But, mostly I want to thank you for your dedication to writing rhyming picture books and poetry for children. They are the ones who will benefit from April 2014!


I will caution you in advance…I am a new blogger, only 3 months old  in blogger years, so that’s like a 3 month old baby. I will do my best to keep all this running smoothly!


Please bear with me and I apologize in advance for typos, strange things appearing on the blog and mostly for the spacing of my text. If my internet shuts down I promise to find the nearest wifi friendly hangout and post asap! I don’t have a clue how to write code so if my paragraphs are spaced by these cute little asterisks * it’s because my spacing is being weird and I don’t have time to figure it out.  It’s not why we are here…It’s really not my thing! Rhyme and poetry are my thing! Thank you in advance for your understanding!


So, without further ado, I’m honored to present

our first

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Kevan Atteberry!


Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge           Kevan Atteberry 1

In honor of Kevan’s adorable bunny ears and spring-like attire, I am writing his post in purple!

Kevan graciously agreed to participate after I saw his awesome cartoon on Facebook about writing in rhyme. I am thrilled to tell you that Kevan is working on several manuscripts, some in rhyme and some not, but he does have a 2 book deal coming out in January called BUNNIES!!! from Katherine Tegan Books.

Kevan Atteberry 4


He is illustrating both books and the second book that is currently untitled will come out in January of 2016.  I fell in love with Kevan’s Monsters and I am thrilled to have him here!


Kevan Atteberry 6

Here is his hilarious cartoon that I can totally relate to…



Kevan Atteberry 2

To be terse,
being versed in verse
is a curse.


My tendency towards rhyme and alliteration when I write is, I’m certain, the number one obstacle between me and the bestsellers list. No matter how I try when writing, my mind wants to rhyme things and repeat sounds. Sometimes (most of the time) they are quick ditties, 4 lines, 8 lines, quick, fun to say, fun to repeat vignettes. Occasionally, one of those will stretch out to a book length story. When they do, no matter how much I love it, an inner voice—or an outer voice, I’m not sure—will chastise me for torturing a fun little rhyme into something arduous. Even if it is not arduous. The voice will insist that I try rewriting it as prose. No matter how I try, I nearly always like the rhyming version better. Which should be okay, right? I mean, I write picture books for crying out loud. And no matter how often they warn us that editors do not want to see rhyming stories, all you have to do is go into any children’s section of a bookstore and take note of all the face out or featured picture books and you’ll see that is a myth. So. Screw it. I’m gonna do it.




Kevan is an illustrator/writer living in the Seattle area. He has been drawing since he was knee-high to a crayon. He has designed and illustrated many things including award-winning children’s books. His biggest claim to fame is creating Clippy the paperclip helper in Microsoft Office which still annoys millions of people every day.

Kevan Atteberry 3   We all know who Clippy is and he is totally not annoying!


More amazing images of Kevan’s…

Kevan Atteberry 5*

Kevan Atteberry 7Please visit:


Thank you Kevan Atteberry!






RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson:Sunday March 30th

By Angie Karcher © 2014

Lesson 1



These daily lessons are broken up into different categories of poetry at first and then later in the month we will venture over into picture book writing. Remember, everything you must do to write a picture book in prose must now be done while following lots of rhyme and poetry rules. We will go step by step through the various parts of poetry explaining each in detail. As this is my first time writing these lessons, I am learning what works and what will work better for next year. I already have a list of things I will change. Please keep a list of suggestions and I will ask for these at the end of the event! We learn best from our mistakes! = )

Here we go!



Are You a Versifier?

Definition of versifier:
noun: a writer who composes rhymes; a maker of poor verses
(usually used as terms of contempt for minor or inferior poets) (Rhymezone.com)


Versifier circle


A versifier is someone who writes the stinky poetry that editors hate. Versifiers give rhyme a bad name. RhyPiBoMo is about being brutally honest about what works and what doesn’t. This is like Rhyming Picture Book Boot Camp! Grrr… Professional writers for children know that writing a successful picture book takes years of dedication to the process. Get your B.I.C “Butt in chair,” as our wonder-poet Jane Yolen says.

Butt in Chair

If you want to be a successful children’s picture book author, first, be a successful student of writing. You must master punctuation, sentence structure, elimination of passive voice, writing drafts, revising, re-writing, hook, story arc, voice, characters, plot, and, and, and…
Basically, you MUST be a prolific picture book writer before you ever think about writing in rhyme!

This is a book I found very helpful when learning how to write picture books!





This was a blog I came across in my research and found it very helpful and easily understood. It is a post written on the Writetodone Blog by Tara Lazar called 6 Tips on Writing Picture Books.

Please read her words of wisdom now.

Writetodone.com Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor: writetodone




This was the comment I added at the end of that blog post.

My comment:
“Tara, Thanks for sharing how most folks think writing for kids is a breeze! Many of these same jovial people think that writing in rhyme is equally breezy! The breezy part is really how quickly the rejection letters fly into the mailboxes of those blissful writers.
Being a wonderful, professional, well-read writer must come first. And then…if you can stand on one foot, rub your tummy, pat your head and whistle Dixie backwards…only then should you consider writing in rhyme. Because a rhyming picture book, when well written, is done with hours of dedication to rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, scansion, and magic…all after the PERFECT story arc is complete.”
So, first follow Tara’s tips 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6. Then, if you are confident in your balancing ability on one foot…go for the rhyme and make it sing!

RhyPiBoMo Willy Image

So…here is the RhyPiBoMo Challenge!

If you are ready to work incredibly hard, read HUNDREDS of rhyming picture books, study poetry, take classes in writing poetry and rhyme, join a rhyme/poetry critique group, read and write poetry every day then you are ready for RhyPiBoMo.

Are you a Versifier?

Let’s find out if you are a Versifier!



Thanks to Mandy Yates from Mondays with Mandy and Mira for sharing this brilliant insight with us on whether you are ready to write in rhyme.



Take the following quiz to find out!

1. If you take the rhyme away, do you still have a good story? (With multidimensional characters, a structured plot, good pacing, and a satisfying resolution?)


2. Do your sentences follow normal sentence structure (and not sentence structure used by Old King Cole or Yoda?)


3. Have you avoided forced rhymes or near rhymes?


4. Have you avoided common, one-syllable, predictable rhyme schemes? (cat/hat/rat.)


5. Do you know the following terms: scansion, meter, stressed, unstressed, anapest, iamb, trochee, and

dactyl? (And no…this is not a dinosaur!)


6. Have you read and studied hundreds of rhyming picture books?


7. Can you identify the types of rhythms in picture books?


8. Are you in a critique group? Or have you had a professional critique from someone well versed in poetry?


9. Do you practice writing in rhyme consistently?


10. Have you taken a course in poetry/rhyming picture books that will help you answer yes to all of the above?



If you can answer YES to all of the above, then go for it! You are ready to write your picture book in rhyme.


If you answered NO to any of the following, then take the RhyPiBoMo Pledge and together we will learn to write brilliant rhyme and singing poetry.


Quote Walt Whitman


Today’s Writing Prompt: Make a list of the reasons why you want to write in rhyme!  We will refer to this list later this week.



Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!


RhyPiBoMo Pledge

Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize!

Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week.

To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and
comment after each days lessons.


Wasn’t this fun! I’ll see you tomorrow!

                      ~ Angie


103 thoughts on “Rhyming Picture Book Month Starts Today!!!!

  1. Thanks Angie for lesson number 1 it all sounds very exciting and a little daunting I didn’t answer yes to all the quiz questions but I am committed to learning and the RhyPiBoMo off to read one of my favourite rhyming picture books to my son The Gruffalo.

  2. I really think I can write a rhyming story, but I wish I knew what to put in my letter to get an editor to take a look. Would it matter that I’ve had poems published in magazines, or that I’ve made it to the 2nd round in March Madness?

    • I could retire rich if I could answer that one! LOL I think it definitely matters that you were successful in MM Poetry Contest! I think we have to grab them with everything we have in the first few lines…we must keep them reading long enough to know that it’s not crap…excuse my language. It takes just the right story with just the right editor and I think it must be very sellable…when those stars align then it is truly a gift from the writing fairies!

  3. If I said yes,
    I’d have to guess.
    Oh, all the fun
    Of lesson one.
    Just goes to show how much I need your prompts andd lessons. 🙂

  4. Kevan’s drawings are a delight… and yes, odd is good. The Versifier quiz is a great place to start… I look forward to learning to write rhymes that sing and sparkle. It was good to go back and review Tara Lazar’s 6 tips on Writing PBs too. Thanks for all the great resources and info. Write on everyone!

  5. Hi, I’m Nat and I’m a versifier I’m afraid. But that’s why I’m here!! I attempted to read a Hairy Maclary board book to my little boy, but it spent most of the time in his mouth! Great lesson today –I am now going to google the rhyming terms..

  6. Rhyming picture book month has started,
    my journey of learning has just begun.
    I’m not a verser but not quite rhymer
    according to details of lesson one.

    Meter, stressed, and unstressed
    are terms that I already know.
    I’ve written villanelles and kyrielles
    and penned my words in rondeau.

    But are my rhyme schemes perfect?
    Do they never miss a beat?
    This is something that I doubt
    so this April challenge I’ll complete.

    Iamb, anapest and dactyl–
    these terms also ring a bell,
    but ask me to define them
    and my brain’s a dried up well.

    So I’ll drink up your knowledge.
    I’ll soak up every drop of advice.
    I’ll learn trochee and scansion
    and try my best to be precise.

    I’ll practice, practice, practice,
    to perfect picture-perfect poetics
    because this rhyming thing, well,
    we all know, isn’t related to genetics.

    (okay…that was an example of how far I am and how far I have to go. In any case, I am ready to learn, learn, learn.)

    Linda Hofke

  7. I also answered no to the questions. That is why I am here. I want to learn. I am also taking Susanna’s class so I hope that I am able to mash together what I learn from both of these challenges.

  8. Very helpful quiz! Wonderful kick-off post Angie.
    I’m off to re-read and study one of my new favorite rhyming books: If It’s Snowy and You Know It Clap Your Paws!

  9. I was anxious before I read Kevan’s contribution and your lesson because I had no concept of where to start. Lesson 1 helped settle me down a bit. I’m taking notes, responded to the writing prompt in my notebook, and will write a poem after I’ve read my picture book. I’ve now I’ve added a goal of reading 500 books which was a great suggestion. I also appreciate the quiz (even though I flunked it!) and I like that you ended with the daily checklist reminder. Thanks. 🙂

  10. Hi Angie – Great to have resources embedded in the lesson post – even though I’ve read them before, doing so again this context refreshed them. I’ve decided to borrow a lesson from Susannah Leonard Hills’s Making Picture Book Magic course and am typing the rhyming books I read each day…hoping it helps me see the words in new ways!

  11. I answered NO to THREE questions. But I’ve taken THE pledge! I’m so excited. YaY YAHOOO! Love Kevan’s post and his illustrations too. Makes me wish I could draw. My daughter can though. And one of our son’s. So I guess I’m a half baked illustrator. *wink* Thanks Angie. I’m raring to go. Gotta get a draft done for my RhyPiBoMo crit group for the second week in April.

  12. Thought myself competent.
    Oh, what a joke!
    But I’m buoyed and excited
    By all those who spoke.

    Angie the “angel”
    Zooms high on my list
    Of folks so darn helpful
    They deserve to be kissed!

  13. Boy, I did have to say no to several of the questions. It was exciting to see that I was able to add several yes answers as well, though. Bottom line is that I definitely am a rhyme newbie. Also, having never written any kind of poetry before will most likely make my initial attempts fizzle down the gurgler. But one has to start somewhere, right? Thank you Angie for all your hard work. Hugs. T.

  14. I can’t believe it’s that time! With butterflies in my belly, I am ready to rhyme! I love Kevan’s illustrations…but, there’s no doubt about it…I have a mountain to climb! Thanks, Angie and Kevan!

  15. Great post. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but nobody (at least fellow writers) said writing a good picture book in rhyme was going to be easy. I hope to graduate with a head full of good ideas and better writing skills.

  16. Thank you, Angie, for this terrific start on our first day. Kevan’s humorous interview and quirky art put a smile on my face. I admit I am a versifier and I appreciate the Tara Lazar resource tips for writing picture books. I’m off to read my rhyming picture book for the day and to put my efforts into writing brilliant rhyme and singing poetry.

  17. I remember Clippy! I have to admit, I was one of those people who hid Clippy as soon as he popped up. But what a treat to learn about his creator. Thanks for Mandy’s post too, Angie. It makes me realize how much I really need this challenge. Ready to learn!

  18. I have some “No” answers, but I am willing to learn. Thank you for the 6 tips and some new vocabulary in question #6!!! About Kevan… Is he Clippy’s daddy?!?!?!? Seriously?!?!?!? LOL
    I love his drawings. An the one about giving up sounds soooo familiar…
    Think you Angie!!!
    Can’t wait for more. Off to read!!!!

  19. This was just the inspirational stories I needed to get going! Thanks, Angie. There is hope for this newbie poet:)

  20. I could say yes to a (small) handful of those questions, but hope to be able to add to my yesses before April is through! I LOVED Clippy – so very cute! I did all my pledge stuff (including writing a poem my daughter said was “more than weird” – and I’m inclined to agree LOL), and am looking forward to the fun of the next month plus 🙂 Thanks!

  21. I think I answered no to two of the questions… knowing all the fancy words and taking a course. Hopefully this can count as the course and will teach me the fancy words!! lol I wrote a rhyme – or improvised one on the spot to make my son laugh and break him out of his snot. (Sorry – the rhyming there was accidental!) And have read a rhyming picture book about pirates underpants at least 5 times today. Now off to revise the picture book I’m going to submit as a manuscript when it’s my turn. Day one, done. 🙂

  22. I like how Kevin writes his rhymes even though there are so many people who say not to. I guess with so many versifiers running wild it’s hard to tell where you and your work place. The quiz is helpful in finding where you are, but I since I tend to write free verse poetry (with rhymes) I had to answer “no” to a lot of questions involving the brass tacks of poetry. Needless to say, I this month feels like it will even more daunting than I thought. But we are all here to learn and that is how work becomes good work, good work becomes great work, and great work becomes ‘Hey, is this by Dr. Seuss?’

  23. And – weee’re- OFF! Tickled pink that L.L.L.also requires me to refer to stacks of rhyming books, so I made sure to secure enough for this challenge.. I’m off to read Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson/Jane Chapman. ;0)

  24. thank you kevan! I love his work-am excited to read his first book that he wrote and illustrated. thank you for making me think, I must confess to being a somewhat versifier-they just seem to tumble out that way. onward-thanks again

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