No Foolin’ Around! Let’s Write Rhyming Picture Books!

Welcome to Tuesday’s post!

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I’m afraid to even say it out loud but

“Everything seems to be running smoothly…”

I say while knocking on my wooden desk!

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Our Facebook critique groups are signed up and submissions for this week have begun.  We continue to grow daily in numbers of those registering and those requesting to join the Facebook group. We have over 150 people registered as of last night!

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Please check out the Facebook Group as we have a wonderful group of generous members who are sharing lots and lots of resources that aren’t listed on this blog. I want to also say welcome to several of our guest bloggers who have joined the group. Thank you SO much for your support of RhyPiBoMo!

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Before we get going today, I want to say thank you to my friend Gayle Wing O’Donnell, a very talented artist and friend who created the logo for this event. I held a small contest last November and she won the opportunity to create the logo with her lovely parchment background and Willy S. boldly proclaiming “The rhyme’s the thing wherein we speak the words and let them sing”

Thank you so much Gayle!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Corey Rosen Schwartz

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Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge                 Corey R Schwartz 1

Primed for Rhyme

I used to think that there were two types of books: plot-driven and character driven. Then, I met Simone Kaplan at an SCBWI conference and was told that my manuscripts actually fall into a third category: language-driven.

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I love words.

Big words.

BOLD WORDS.

Swirly words.

STOUT words.

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I am much better at stringing together a lovely lyrical line of words than I am at creating a quirky character or compelling plot.

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Sometimes my writing partner will say to me, “Maybe we should write this PB in prose?” And my response is always, “And maybe Derek Jeter should play for the Jets?”
Rhyme is what I do best. Why would I abandon the best weapon in my arsenal?
Here’s how you know you should be a rhymer.

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1

Do you adore alliteration?
Inside a cramped and crowded coop,
a busy brood was packing.
Folding, cramming, suitcase-jamming,
sorting, stuffing, stacking.
Repeat consonant sounds to tickle the tongue.

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Do you worship word play?
He scrambled up the window blinds
he nibble-nipped the seats.
he dangled from the chandeliers
and swiss-cheesed Sherlock’s sheets.

Mouse with Cheese

 Play with parts of speech to stretch the imagination.
As night approached, his comic heroes
set his thoughts a-tickin’.
“Batgoose wouldn’t duck and hide.
I’m small, but I’m no chicken!”

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Corey R Schwartz 3

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Play with puns to add some fun.

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Does gibberish make you squibberish?
One blustery, gustery,
dustery day,
a hippo named Grace
gazed out at the gray.
There are 988, 968 in the English language. But why let that hold you back? If you find that there is a gap in the lexicon, fill it in yourself!
Sprinkle in some gibberish to make your story stand out.

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If you answered “yes” to these questions, then your

mind may be primed for rhyme

So, cherish that talent and run with it.

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Bio:
Corey Rosen Schwartz is the author of The Three Ninja Pigs, Goldi Rocks & The Three Bears and the forthcoming Ninja Red Riding Hood. Her singing is extremely pitchy, but she does hold Family Idol and X Factor events in her living room.

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Some of Corey’s awesome books:

 

Corey R Schwartz 2                 Ninja Red Riding Hood

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HOP! PLOP! (Walker, 2006)
THE THREE NINJA PIGS (Putnam, 2012)
GOLDI ROCKS & THE THREE BEARS (Putnam, Feb 2014)
NINJA RED RIDING HOOD (Putnam, July 2014)

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? (Atheneum, 2015)


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Please visit:

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Website: http://www.coreyrosenschwartz.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoreyPBNinja

Twitter: @coreypbninja


 

Thank you Corey Rosen Schwartz!

 

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 RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Tuesday April 1st

By Angie Karcher © 2014

Lesson 3

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Why Do You Write in Rhyme?

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You created a list on Sunday of why you write in rhyme. It is very important that you think about this question! Many of you have been told like I have that rhyme is hard to publish. Many editors don’t accept rhyme. Don’t write in rhyme. Yet, we are all here, together, with this wonderful group of hard-headed people who are fighting for our rhyme! I am very passionate about this subject. I guess you are too.

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Psssss….When an editor says they don’t accept submissions in rhyme…many times that is code for we don’t publish stinky rhyme! Not always, but often, that is the case.

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They have legitimate reasons for being hesitant about rhyme. It is difficult to do well and they are INUNDATED with terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rhyme! It is difficult to sell internationally as it doesn’t translate as a book in prose does.
But…when an editor who doesn’t accept rhyme comes across a sparkling manuscript, glowing with brilliant rhyme and singing, poetic stanzas with a rainbow arc of hook, line and sinker…he/she tears up, bites the hook and then publishes it right away!
So what do we do? Decide if we are passionate enough to do it right. To type until our fingers bleed the good stuff that rhyme offers. Are you dedicated to this really difficult path to publication? Why do you write in rhyme?

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I write in rhyme because:
It’s fun to write.
It’s fun to read.
It’s challenging, like doing a crossword puzzle.
It’s such a great feeling when you find that gem of a word that says exactly what you want to say…and it rhymes in the perfect spot.
Kids love to read and listen to a rhyming story.
I can use silly, word play to make the words visual and entertaining to the ears.
I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books and fell in love
I like writing humorous poetry and when it rhymes, it adds to the humor.
It seems innately natural for my brain to lean towards rhyme.
Rhyme is very beneficial for kids in many ways.

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As a former kindergarten teacher and developmental therapist, I know the importance of rhyme. Children should be introduced to rhyme at an early age as it helps them develop an ear for oral language.

 

 Balloons

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1) First of all, rhyme is just plain fun! Kids enjoy filling in the rhyming words at the end of a sentence when prompted. The book becomes a game of sorts. Young children are so limited in their attention span, so reading rhyming books becomes play. Disguising learning as play is the golden ticket to teaching young children. Kids will stay engaged longer and interact more with a rhyming book because it grabs their attention and draws them in until the very last rhyming word is read.

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2) Rhyme helps them learn because it is easier to remember. Rhyme allows two words to form a bond, to connect as a pair with similar sounds. Each word is a clue as to what the other word is…throw in a few context clues from other words and you have a full-blown, rhyming mystery on your hands.

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Spider

For Example:

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The eensy-weensy spider ran up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

And the eensy-weensy spider ran up the spout again.

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 Most young children wouldn’t normally know what a “spout” is but words like “water” and “rain” help define the meaning. These are context clues.

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Read this poem to children a few times and then begin to leave off the last word, allowing them to guess the word…
They will immediately remember the ending words because they remember the sound of the rhyming words. This teaches children how to predict words with similar sounds and helps them see and hear a pattern in language.

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Add in a few hand motions to go along with this poem and it gets even better because now they have visual clues to go along with the oral clues. It’s all about memory and helping children find joy in learning language…and they feel successful which encourages them to try again.

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This one little poem teaches rhyme, directions Up/DOWN, weather, size, word meanings, science of evaporation, science of water force, perseverance and more.

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It’s one poem, but in the world of teaching young children this poem is the beginning of learning about life around us and how early language skills affect all aspects of learning.

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Soapbox

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Boy…did I jump right on my kindergarten teacher soap box there, or what?

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3) Reading rhyme and singing songs with young children help them to learn about rhythm in language. We don’t speak in a monotone way when we communicate and we don’t read that way either. We are expressive in how we pronounce a word, how we stress one syllable more than another, how we pronounce a word differently than someone else and how we pause in certain spots. This is not something that we know when we are born. We learned all these things as a young child through poetry, songs and rhyming text. Children should hear it, so as they grow older, they can read it and then learn to write it.

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Rhyme is essential in the foundation of learning to read.

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Rhyme is essential in the foundation of learning to read.

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Rhyme is essential in the foundation of learning to read.

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I am a very passionate person and I know that together, children’s authors, agents and editors can make a difference in the reading skills of children today. The quality and quantity of children’s poetry books has dwindled greatly over the last 15-20 years.

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We must not give up when someone

tells us it won’t sell or that’s not the trend in literature today.

Poetry and rhyme has been the trend for children for hundreds of years! Where’s that soap box?

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Soapbox

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And…did I say that Rhyme is essential in the foundation of learning to read? That’s pretty important!

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We NEED to continue writing quality rhyme!

                                  ~Angie

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Seuss Poem Get Better

 

 

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Why Nursery Rhymes
http://www.dannyandkim.com/WhyNurseryRhymes.html

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Rhymers are Readers
http://www.kbyutv.org/kidsandfamily/readytolearn/file.axd?file=2011%2F3%2F2+Rhymers+are+Readers-Why+Important.pdf

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Rhyme with Reason
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/issue/183/childrens-books/articles/other-articles/rhyme-with-reason-why-nursery-rhymes-matter

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The Importance of Rhyming in Learning to Read
http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/readingstrategies/a/The-Importance-Of-Rhyming-In-Learning-To-Read.htm

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Why is Rhyming Important?
http://www.themeasuredmom.com/why-is-rhyming-important/

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Rhyming -Why is it Important?
http://fun-a-day.com/teaching-rhyming-part-1/

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The Benefit of Rhymes
http://www.bookstart.org.uk/professionals/about-bookstart-and-the-packs/research/reviews-and-resources/the-benefit-of-rhymes/

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April Poem

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Writing Prompts:

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Pull out your list of why you write in rhyme and revise it!
Write your own April Fool’s Day Poem

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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104 thoughts on “No Foolin’ Around! Let’s Write Rhyming Picture Books!

  1. Love the soapbox speech Angie! Took me back to the 1970’s and teacher training. You are right about rhyme being a major factor in children’s language development.
    I’m working on my April fool’s poem…does it count after midday?
    Well done to Corey…you really got me going now! Gibberish suits me…I speak it most of the time.

  2. I use rhyme at home with my children I find they listen to me more if i speak in rhyme and it is fun. Especially if I use their name my daughters name rhymes with banana how cool is that. Now to write my April fools poem. In Perth today the teacher’s went on strike for smaller class sizes extra support hey hang on a minute I hope that wasn’t an April Fools joke 🙂

  3. As a preschool teacher in New Mexico, I attended a High/Scope training in Michigan on the cutting edge practices for teaching phonemic awareness. I worried that they would stress some new, high-tech methods, but instead they said the most effective tool was–nursery rhymes! These have been around for centuries for a reason–they work, just like the Itsy Bitsy Spider in your post, to boost those early pre-reading skills.

  4. For April Fool’s–here’s a New Mexican version of a familiar rhyme: The hairy, big tarantula climbed up the school’s brick wall. It basked in the sun, and bit no one at all. Down went the sun, and the spider went away. But the hairy, big tarantula came back another day.

  5. (May I borrow your soapbox for a minute?) As a primary school teacher, I wholeheartedly agree! Children learn through rhyme. Not only are nursery rhymes a way to learn language, but they are a part of classic knowledge that is being forgotten – because they are not read to children anymore. Kids don’t know “Simple Simon” or “Jack and Jill.” They can’t write poetry because they haven’t heard it. They might be able to rhyme, but they don’t know how create rhythm and music with their words. I’m determined to keep rhyming in children’s literature. (Okay, you can have your box back.)

  6. I love this post! I had never thought about a story being word driven – but I like the idea. I love the quote from the Lorax – I just used that quote in my April column for a magazine I write for. I think I’m going to have a lot of fun learning about rhyming this month.

  7. When I taught 3rd grade a few years ago, I was so disheartened when they told me they didn’t know nursery rhymes like Little Miss Muffet and Humpty Dumpty. THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF THEM! You can imagine my shock! You can bet I remedied that situation real quick! Thanks for your thoughts, Corey. Love your books!

  8. I do not write in rhyme. But whenever I am tutoring, I seek out books that are written in rhyme. I am a huge fan of Verla Kay. I love her books and I love how she can tell a story in 191 words.( Yeah, I counted!) Whenever I had to teach a history topic, I try to see if she wrote a book about that topic. When you are reading her books to seventh graders, they like beating on the desk to create a rhythm for the text. That is why I want to write in rhyme. I want children to learn and not know that they are learning. They like her books, because it allows them to be creative and have fun. That is the impact I would love to have. That power!

  9. Ready to have some fun this April one….thanks for doing this, Angie.
    I’m eager to have a word fest today.

  10. Don’t worry ’bout your soapbox speech
    A teacher can’t not teach.
    I know I’ll learn a lot this month.
    You’re message’s within reach.
    Thanks for all this great information!

  11. an amazing day for April fooling
    with all these rhymes to boot
    I read and read and get some schooling
    so rhyme and I can get to tooling
    poems rich in visual learning
    imaginations sparkly stirring
    ’cause rhyming is a hoot

  12. Thanks to Corey Rosen Schwartz for sharing her fun thoughts with us. And to Angie for reminding us of our audience. I taught ESL, and my kids ate up rhyming books!

  13. Wow, so many lessons in that itsy bitsy spider rhyme! Thanks to Corey Rosen Schwartz for her language driven (neat concept!) post and to Angie for getting on her soapbox. (Oh, and I’m an April non fool too…)

  14. Thanks, Corey – you inspired my poem today for sure 🙂 Great post/exercise/food for thought. Learning so much already – and we’re only on day three! 🙂 Thanks, Angie!

  15. We love Corey’s THE THREE NINJA PIGS; she’s a rhyming wonder! And thanks, Angie, for reminding us of the great educational value of rhyme. I enjoyed the April Fool’s prompt: here’s my poem:
    Apparently, I packed a lunch
    Without a trace of care
    For in that lunch I placed an egg
    That made my child despair.

    She cracked it hard upon a bowl
    To break the shell apart.
    It should have been hard boiled, but
    It dripped like Polluck’s art.

    • I’ve just got to add another verse to this poem, which was inspired by events of this morning when I dropped my daughter off at school:
      APRIL FOOL’S
      Apparently, I packed a lunch
      Without a trace of care
      For in that lunch I placed an egg
      That made my child despair.

      She cracked it hard upon a bowl
      To break the shell apart.
      It should have been hard boiled, but
      It dripped like Polluck’s art.

      Or so her teacher said to me
      But could it be a joke?
      For it is April Fool’s today
      And that was one great yolk.

  16. I am so happy to be part of this group. Like so many children’s writers, I had put my rhyming hat in a box (because I was told that prose goes). Now I’ve rummaged through that closet, found the box, dusted off a few prosey cobwebs and am ready to try that hat on again.

  17. It makes sense that writing in rhyme helps children read, makes it fun, and is easier for them to learn. I tend to fight writing in rhyme. It may be that I don’t want to write “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rhyme!” I’m working on it!

  18. I am over-awed. Each lesson is more incredible than the last. Now, I’m off to rhyme April Fool’s Day into a poem before the next prank strikes. Let’s see if I can fight the crime with rhyme.

  19. I completely agree with your soapbox here as a fellow former kindergarten teacher. I’m now working in other languages than English and am so curious that there is NO rhyme! Does anyone know why this is? Are other languages as rhyme-driven as English so that it is foundational in learning to read?

  20. Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m primed… fueled and fired up… prepped to paint some poetic pictures… ready to gush forth with some gibberish gobbledegook. Thanks Corey for your words of inspiration.

  21. Fantastic post! I agree that rhyming is incredibly beneficial, not to mention fun! I’ve taught in schools where I was getting nowhere with a particular subject, but when we turned the lesson into rhyme, the students perked up and couldn’t get enough! Thanks so much Angie and Corey!

  22. GREAT LESSON! Never thought that “word driven” was a thing. I love it, since that is what I love about children’s books most. I love the word play and gibberish words like Dr. Suess always used!

  23. Wonderful post filled with great information. I have a Kindergartner and she LOVES rhyme. Being able to identify words by their sounds is such a confidence builder. She feels so empowered when she is able to identify the rhyming words that are coming next in her books. So, Angie, I’m right there with you. Step on your soap box as much as you like. 🙂 Hugs. T.

  24. Angie, your reasons to and for Rhyme are spot-on. As a teacher and librarian, I know the K-3 group loved poetry! Yes, it is a primer for understanding and enjoying reading. Like Corey, I am a punster and love language, so maybe rhyme is my thing!

  25. Great post! Great reassurance that rhyme is essential! (I knew that!)
    As for today’s short contribution, here goes…
    The meadow is covered with inches of snow.
    I hear the wild wind howl and blow.
    Is this a joke for April 1st?
    Oh wait I see a spring time burst…
    A clump of pussy willows.

  26. Lessons always go down easier with rhyme. Enjoyed your thoughts about the importance of rhyming and how it promotes learning.

  27. Is it customary to write with a writing partner? Or is this just what Corey does. Thanks for sharing this post. It is a lot of information here.

  28. Sorry if this appears twice. Possible internet snaffoo.
    My list of reasons for wring in rhyme is very similar to Angie’s. Don’t have a soapbox though. (yet)

    • Sorry, this is terrible, and probably not appropriate, but I’ve written it now…

      April Fool, Sir!

      As I came into class
      I was handed a glass
      And a little dark chocolatey bar.
      I should not have indulged!
      (How my insides now bulged!)
      That sweet child was my poetry star!

      My innards are trotting,
      I’m hop, hop, hop, hopping
      To get myself out to the loo!
      When I now realise,
      Or at least can surmise,
      That my trousers are stuck down with glue.

      So using great care
      I get hold of the chair,
      And we both wiggle out of the door;
      But the corridor’s long
      And my “urge to rush” strong
      So I soon trip and land on the floor!

      I feel naught but despair
      When the Head finds me there,
      As he speaks, he tries hard not to smile.
      “I shall go and have words
      With those cruel Upper Thirds,
      Though they’ve not caught me out in a while!”

  29. Corey-thank you for your inspiration about language driven rhyme. You have made me think in another direction regarding rhyme.

    Angie, loved your soap box session on rhyme and its importance in early childhood learning. I aspire to write quality rhyme. Thank you for the excellent resources.

  30. I was bursting out with baby,
    Mid April it was due.
    On Mom’s side was all brothers,
    All boys on Dad’s side too.

    All thought that it would be a boy,
    When baby came quite early.
    But our April first delivery,
    Was a gorgeous, baby girly!

    And so to everyone we say,
    With gladness we give thanks.
    For the pure and unexpected joy,
    Of April Fool’s Day pranks!

    To some who think this isn’t true,
    Would I ever lie to you?

    Happy Birthday to our daughter, Elizabeth, on her 28th birthday!

    *Loved Corey’s poems! Such fun!

  31. This post was informative and a bit humorous. Thanks!
    Yes, as a former elementary school teacher I can attest to the value of rhyme in the classroom. I’ve even used it with adult ESL classes.

  32. Thank you, Corey! I am Primed for Rhyme! Love to see how others are passionate like me. And Angie, you’re going to need a larger soapbox ‘cuz I think a lot of us are going to want to stand up there with you. Look out world, here we come!

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