RhyPiBoMo dances a poetic jig across the month of April!

RhyPiBoMo dances a poetic jig across the month of April!        Day 22




Happy Sunday!


Deborah Underwood 3

And how can I not mention Deborah Underwood’s adorable book


If you haven’t read it, grab a copy quick!

Please enjoy your family time today!



The Winners of the Daily Prizes for last week:


 Sunday’s Winner – Helen Kemp Zax wins Freight Train Trip donated by Susanna L. Hill

Monday’s winner – Sarah Harroff wins a Book Choice donated by Debbie Diesen

Tuesday’s winner  – Holly Sigismondi wins Bad Bye, Good Bye donated by Deborah Underwood

Wednesday’s winner – Monica Gudlewski wins I Hatched donated by Jill Esbaum

Thursday’s winner  – Laurie Gray wins Step Gently Out donated by Helen Frost

Friday’s winner – Doris Stone wins a critique by Correy Rosen Schwartz

Saturday’s winner –  Kenda Henthorn wins Pet Project donated by Lisa Wheeler


Winners…please email me at Angie.karcher@yahoo.com as soon as possible with your address!

Congratulations and thanks for participating!


Today’s guest blogger was once described to me by another author who is friends with her as “Saucy” as well as a being “talented, gifted, amazing and powerful with her writing and her storytelling.”

She wears many different hats and they all involve working with and educating children. She was recently named the Intenational Reading Association LEADER 2014 Poet Laureate. I hope one day we will meet as I am a huge fan of her books!


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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Dianne de Las Casas!

        Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge    Dianne de Las Casas 1


Using Picture Books to Teach Figurative Language

By Dianne de Las Casas


I love picture books. I love them for their beautiful illustrations and their poetic rhythm. This seemingly simplistic form of literature is full of rich language and literary devices. It’s a perfect way to teach students the elements of figurative language. The examples of the various types of figurative language are underlined.

dianne 1

The repetition of the same sounds at the beginning of words in a phrase or sentence is known as alliteration. For example, in Matthew Gollub’s book, The Jazz Fly:

“Willie the Worm inched
up and down his bass:


The alliteration comes from Bs of Willie strumming the bass.

dianne 2

A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. It is used to add color and humor to a fiction story, often bordering on monumental and ridiculous. In Tara Lazar’s book, The Monstore, about a boy who tries to buy monsters to control his little sister, Tara has a great example of hyperbole in a passage about a tiara.


“Zack was tempted to leave that glitzy, glittery thing right there, but Gracie was right. It was pretty hideous. That monstrosity had more spikes than crab-leg casserole. Slowly and carefully, Zack rid the room of the tiara terror.”


The fact that a tiara is scarier than a roomful of mangy monsters is pretty funny and ironic.

dianne 3

A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares one unrelated subject to another to show that they are similar. In Carmen Agra Deedy’s book, Return of the Library Dragon, the sequel to The Library Dragon, Ms. Lotta Scales is dismayed that the IT guy, Mike Krochip, took away all the books and turned the library into a “cybrary.” Here is an example of a metaphor in the book:

“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you!” he cried. “That librarian’s a REAL dragon!

dianne 4

Onomatopoeia is the formation of a word that is created from the sound that is made. Superhero comics are full of them with words like “BAM!” “POP!” and “POW!” In Candace Fleming’s book about naughty bunnies, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, even the title is an example of onomatopoeia.

“And the sun went down. And the moon came up. And-



dianne 5

Personification is the act of assigning human characteristics or qualities to an inanimate object. Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s book, Spoon, is a shining example of the clever use of personification.

“At bedtime, Spoon likes to hear the story about his adventurous great-grandmother, who fell in love with a dish and ran off to a distant land.”

A simile compares words in a sentence, usually using the words “as” or “like.” In Eric Kimmel’s book, Little Red Hot, a spicy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red Hot makes a pepper pie for grandma. In the end, she feeds it to Señor Lobo (Mr. Wolf). Here is a terrific example of simile from the book:

He shot straight up like a rocket, right through the ceiling of Grandma’s bedroom, trailing fire and smoke as he went.”

dianne 6

A portmanteau is a combination of two or more words and their definitions into one new word.
In my picture book, Cinderellaphant, “Cinderella” and “Elephant” were combined. The story is a remix of the classic “furry tale” featuring a pachyderm princess.

Dianne DeLas Casas 2

Another great example of a portmanteau is The Snatchabook by Helen and Thomas Docherty. The Snatchabook (snatch a book) is a little creature who steals all the books.

Rhythm, rhyme, and repetition in a picture book can be greatly enhanced through the use of figurative language. Try it! It’s as easy as pie.

Dianne DeLas Casas 3

Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, and founder of Picture Book Month. Her performances, dubbed “revved-up storytelling” are full of energetic audience participation. The author of 23 books, Dianne is the International Reading Association LEADER 2014 Poet Laureate, and the 2014 recipient of the Ann Martin Book Mark award. Her children’s titles include The Cajun Cornbread Boy, There’s a Dragon in the Library, The Little “Read” Hen, The House That Santa Built, and Cinderellaphant. Visit her website at diannedelascasas.com. Visit Picture Book Month at PictureBookMonth.com. Twitter: @AuthorDianneDLC Facebook: fanofdianne


Dianne is also the mom and manager of the very talented and famous

Kid Chef Eliana!

dianne 7


Thank you Dianne de Las Casas!


RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Sunday, April 20th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 22



Personification – is a figurative language technique where an object or idea is given human characteristics or qualities. In other words, using our language, we make an object or idea do something that usually is only done by people.(write this down)


Personification gives a deeper meaning to writing. It adds interest and expression as we view the world from a human eye. Writers and poets rely on personification to bring inanimate things to life, so that their nature and actions are understood in a better way. It is often easier for readers to relate to something that is human or that possesses human traits. Its use encourages us to develop a new creative perspective.


For example:
The subject is underlined and the personification is italicized.


The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.
The run down house appeared depressed.
The first rays of morning tiptoed through the meadow.
She did not realize that opportunity was knocking at her door.
The bees played hide and seek with the flowers as they buzzed from one to another.
The wind howled its mighty objection.
The snow swaddled the earth like a mother would her infant child.
Time flew and before we knew it, it was time for me to go home.


Now try it on your own…underline the subject and circle the word or phrase that is personified.
The door protested as it opened slowly.

The evil tree was lurking in the shadows.

The tree branch moaned as I swung from it.

Time marches to the beat of its own drum.

The storm attacked the town with great rage.

My life came screeching to a halt.

The baseball screamed all the way into the outfield.

The blizzard swallowed the town.



An example in literature:
Nancy Willard’s poem  “Two Sunflowers Move in a Yellow Room” from A Visit to William Blake’s Inn, personifies Sunflowers.


“Two Sunflowers
Move in the Yellow Room.


‘Ah, William, we’re weary of weather,
said the sunflowers, shining with dew.
Our traveling habits have tired us.
Can you give us a room with a view?”


The flowers are depicting a human characteristic of weariness caused by the weather. In a human way, they make a request to the poet to put them in a room with a window with plenty of sunshine.



There is more information here!

Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22971225

Thank you Thomas Pitchford for helping to clarify the information for this poem!



While in the neighborhood of talking objects, I thought we should discuss talking animals…



Anthropomorphism – is a form of personification that gives human characteristics to non-humans or objects, especially animals. It has some major benefits, such as helping to get complex ideas across. This is very common and controversial in children’s literature.(write this down)


My favorite anthropomorphic children’s book is Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White


Here is a list of popular anthropomorphic children’s books:


While researching anthropomorphism, I came across this interesting paper written by Elizabeth A. Dunn called Talking Animals: A Literature Review of Anthropomorphism in Children’s Books.

A Master’s Paper for the M.S. in L.S. degree. May, 2011 Very interesting!



In the above mentioned Master’s Paper, the Elizabeth A. Dunn mentioned the Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature (www.dawcl.com), an extensive database created by librarian Lisa Bartle. Also very interesting!

Here’s the link: http://www.dawcl.com/



I also came across a Prezi by Loretta Holmberg titled Anthropomorphism in Children’s Literature. Very thorough!


These are some suggestions in the Prezi above by Loretta Holmberg of anthropomorphic children’s books:
WOLF by Becky Bloom (2009)
The World Around Us by Rosemary Wells (2001)
Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute (Anymore) by Stan & Jan Berenstain (1991)
Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie (1997)
Days with Frog & Toad by Arnold Lobel (1979)
Koala Lou by Mem Fox (1988)
Julius The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes (1990)
Olivia by Ian Falconer (2000)
Arthur’s Perfect Christmas by Marc Brown (2000)
Angelina Ice Skates by Katharine Holabird (2000)



The controversy over talking animals seems to have eased these past few years but here is an article that addresses this very subject titled “Straight Talk About Talking Animals” by Laura Backes, Publisher of Children’s Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children’s Writers



CBI logo


This is the link to the Children’s Book Insider website. There is also a link on the sidebar of my blog…excellent resources!






Hyperbole – is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated to create an impact and are not supposed to be interpreted literally. They are commonly used in prose as well as poetry. Hyperbole is an obvious and intentional exaggeration, an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally. An overstatement.(write this down)


Why use Hyperbole?

There are about a gazillion reasons to use hyperbole, but I’m not going to exaggerate for comical, ironic or dramatic effect. I would jump off a cliff before I’d ever use hyperbole myself!

Did you grin?

Hyperbole is used to evoke a laugh…to bring humor to your writing!


For example:
Christmas will never come.
Everyone knows that.
He is as big as an elephant!
He is as skinny as a toothpick.
He is older than the hills.
He is the fastest thing on two feet.
He was thirsty enough to drink a river dry.
He’s 900 years old.
He’s got a truckload of money.
He’s got tons of money.
Her smile was a mile wide.
I am so hungry I could eat a horse.
I am so tired I could sleep for a year.
I ate the whole cow.
I can smell pizza from a mile away.
I can’t do anything right.




A few more examples of hyperbole…
For example in a speech:John Kennedy on Thomas Jefferson
“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of human talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House–with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
(President John F. Kennedy at a White House dinner honoring 49 Nobel Prize winners, April 29, 1962)



For example in literature: Paul Bunyan’s Winter
“Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before.”
(opening of the American folktale [or “fakelore,” as it’s sometimes called] “Babe the Blue Ox”)



For example in literature: From “The Adventures of Pinocchio” written by C. Colloid
“He cried all night, and dawn found him still there, though his tears had dried and only hard, dry sobs shook his wooden frame. But these were so loud that they could be heard by the faraway hills…”



For example in poetry:Auden on Endless Love
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,


I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
(W.H. Auden, “As I Walked Out One Evening,” 1935)



It is important not to confuse hyperbole with simile and metaphor. It does make a comparison but unlike simile and metaphor, hyperbole has a humorous effect created by an overstatement.(write this down)



Writing Prompt: Make a list of all the hyperbole you use in your daily vocabulary and/or in your writing. Listen closely to your family and people around you to see if they use hyperbole in daily conversation.



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

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo 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.


69 thoughts on “RhyPiBoMo dances a poetic jig across the month of April!

  1. I enjoy using these techniques in my writing! It’s fun to give non-human things human characteristics. I also enjoy metaphor, but I must say, Portmanteaus is completely new to me so I look forward to playing with this technique too.


  2. Of course we never use hyperbole in our house, not in a million years would you ever find us exaggerating. We are the perfect family without a doubt and no one ever used such clear diction, edifying enunciation or riveting rhetoric as our family.

    thanks Angie and Dianne de Las Casas 🙂

  3. Dianne de Las Casas has created a delightful recipe for writing stories in her book The Little “Read” Hen. I highly recommend it. It’s not a rhyming picture book per se, but it does have a rhyming refrain:
    “Not I,” said the Dog.
    “Not I, said the Cat.
    “Not I,” said the Pig.
    And that was that.

    Thank you to both you and Dianne de Las Casas for starting to make it clearer how best we should try to add flavour to our rhyming manuscripts using figurative speech tricks.
    Another great lesson! ❤️

  5. Dianne’s post was really informative – thanks! And thanks for covering some of my favorites, Angie – especially hyperboles!

  6. Happy Easter everyone!

    Thanks, Dianne and Angie for discussing fun ways to ramp up story appeal with all these over the moon awesome literary devices! Who would have thought word mashing had a technical name . . . portmanteau.

  7. HI, Angie. Happy Easter. I am so excited to have a won a prize. I haven’t won a prize since I was sixteen—and I am old (old as the hills, old as God!) My address is 4511 28th Street, NW Washington, DC 20008

    Thank you again for creating this wonderful platform for us to study and write poetry this month. It has been a joyous experience so far.

    Cheers, Helen

  8. When I present new topics, especially in history, picture books are my go-to resource. Although teachers wonder why, once they see young adults respond to the picture books, they ask for picture books for the next visits. Add rhyme, give the story a beat (meter), and we have magic.

  9. We use hyperbole in our family a million times a day! In fact, we even coined a phrase named for my brother, Bob: “Oh, she’s Bobbing it up again!”

  10. Dianne’s THE LIBRARY DRAGON is already one of my favorites! What a motivating post from both of you, Ladies!

    Several new writers’ vocabulary words introduced today remind me that there’s so much more out there to learn every day… Many thanks!

  11. These are all really fun devices to use in children’s writing. Glad to hear there isn’t quite as much distaste for anthropomorphism on the part of publishers these days. Thanks to Dianne and you for another useful post.

  12. Happy Easter to all! We just finished an awesome treasure hunt with the clues hidden in eggs. Jeremy had a ball! But my daughter has strep throat (went to the walk-in clinic this morning).:(
    Thanks so much, Angie…great lesson! And thanks also to Dianne…what a special lady you are!
    And I love the Kennedy quote as well!

  13. Happy Easter! Enjoyed the connection with literary devices within a sentences, and in PB’s. Again how to make language more flowery, but flow it nicely.

  14. Happy Easter! Love the Easter Cat-LOL

    Congratulations to last week’s winners!

    Thank you Dianne and Angie for the lesson about using figurative language. I have enjoyed hearing and reading it over my lifetime. It does bring humor and chuckles into the day. Since my allergies are attacking me I’ve resorted to wearing a bucket under my nose to catch the drip 🙂 By the way, enjoy the day!

  15. I enjoyed learning about figures of speech today, many of which I have used but never knew they had a name. Congratulations to my critique group leader Sarah H. for winning a book!

  16. I love “Cinderellaphant” and her cousin at Jack Prelutsky’s house, the “Umbrellaphant”! Thanks for a post more fun than jellybeans or chocolate bunnies!

  17. Dianne, it was helpful to see examples of different types of figurative language in picture books – thanks for taking the time to dig those up for us! Angie, thanks for tying this lesson and guest blogger in so nicely to your previous lesson.

  18. Thanks Dianne. Picture books have so much to offer, long after readers have moved on to chapter books and beyond.
    Thanks Angie – Figurative language is so much fun. When it’s done well, there’s nothing quite like it!

  19. Happy Easter, Angie and Dianne! Thanks for teaching us about figurative language. Portmanteau is a new word for me. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s