Rhyming Picture Book Cake for Everyone! Tuesday

Rhyming Picture Book Cake for Everyone! Tuesday         Day 31

RhyPiBoMo Souvenirs…so you don’t forget me! LOL

I have had quite a few people ask if I will be selling any RhyPiBoMo items. It didn’t occur to me in the beginning and then I didn’t have the time to set it all up during the event, but I’m thinking that I will look into it more next week.


Please comment if you would be interested in purchasing a coffee mug or a notebook with RhyPiBoMo on it. Or, suggest anything else you might be interested in. I did look into CafePress as an option.


I’m also going to offer some of the graphics that I created here this month for sale. I just ordered a few of them in 8×10 poster size that would be a nice visual to refer to when writing. I am doing this to offset the cost of the prizes and shipping involved for the Rhyming Parties.  I would like to continue these parties once a month but need to generate a little money to keep offering prizes…it would also make Mr. Karcher happy if I at least break even! LOL


These are the objects I’m referring to…

RhyPiBoMo Notebook      RhyPiBoMo Mug

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing

a notebook or coffee mug?



Today’s guest blogger is someone I added to my list of guest bloggers right from the beginning.  She is a wonderful writer, I’ve heard, an amazing teacher and an awesome blogger. When I asked, she mentioned that she doesn’t write everything in rhyme and wasn’t sure if this was the place for her…If you read her rhyme, you will see how modest she is…and what a great rhymer she is too! She will tell you that she likes to hang out at dessert tables so maybe she will taste a bit of our rhyming picture book cake! LOL I first found her when she was hosting a writing contest on her blog  http://susannahill.blogspot.com/

You must check it out! I am hoping to take her Making Picture Book Magic class in the fall, when life slows down a bit. Here is the link: http://www.susannahill.com/MAKING_PICTURE_BOOK_MAGIC.html   I have heard such great things about her class! You should check it out!



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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Susanna Leonard Hill!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Susanna Hill 1


Accidentally In Rhyme


Hey there!
Hill’s the name, and rhyming’s my game!
Except… uh… it’s not actually.

(No one was checking ID so I just sauntered past Angie while she was chatting with the RyPiBoMo guests who actually know what they’re talking about. I hung out by the dessert table and tried to look like I belonged. It was surprisingly easy for someone who is not normally good at subterfuge.)

dessert Table
So how am I doing? Do I blend?

Because here’s the thing: I write stories in rhyme. Some of them have won prizes. Some of them have been published! But all the while I’m carrying a guilty secret, just waiting for the moment when someone cottons on, because… *draws shaky breath in readiness for confession*… I have no idea how I do it.

I said it.
I’m a rhyming accident.
I don’t know any of the rules.
I don’t know an anapest from a dactyl from an iamb – they’re all Greek to me.
Caesura? I’m pretty sure that’s a hairstyle popularized by Julius and Augustus.
Enjambment? I think that might be a kind of raspberry sauce.
So what am I doing here? you ask.
Well, I’ll tell you.

I’m here to let you know that you don’t have to know all those poetic terms to write rhyming picture books. (Don’t tell my high school English teacher I said that.) You just have to be able to feel.
Rhyming poetry is like music. It has a rhythm – a rhythm you can feel.

Have you ever seen Footloose (the original fantastic one with Kevin Bacon, not the dreadful remake =)?

Do you remember the scene where Renn is trying to teach Willard to dance? They clap hands to the beat of the music, and bang on the dashboard, trying to get Willard to feel the rhythm.

You can do that with poetry.
Let’s try it first with something easy.
Think of childhood songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, London Bridge, The Farmer In The Dell, BINGO, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Yankee Doodle. You can learn from them.

Sing one of them. Right now. Don’t worry, you’re in a judgment-free zone. Let’s try a rousing chorus of Twinkle Twinkle. Are you singing? Feel how you naturally put more stress on some syllables than on others…

HOW i WON-der WHAT you ARE
LIKE a DIA-mond IN the SKY
HOW i WON-der WHAT you ARE

Tap it out on the table while you sing – a strong tap for the word or syllable that the song makes you want to accent (i.e. put more stress on) and a lighter tap for the softer, less-stressed syllable. Or, if you’re a get-up-and-go type, walk around the room. Take a heavy step for the accented words/syllables and a tiptoe step for the softer/unaccented ones.

Are you feeling it?

You can use songs like this, or well-known nursery rhymes, or even the rhyme structures used in the picture books of all the fabulous writers who have posted this month as models for your own rhymes. Read the song, nursery rhyme, or picture book rhyme aloud. Find the pattern of accented/unaccented. Tap it on the table or walk around the room. Feel the rhythm. Then copy the pattern with your own words.

Now let’s try it with a plain rhyme (no music). Don’t be scared. You can do it!

Susanna Hill 5

FREIGHT train’s PULL-ing FROM the YARD.
LOC-o-MOT-ive’s WORK-ing HARD.
“SAFE trip!” CALLS the STAT-ion-MAS-ter.
CHUG-ga, CHUG-ga, TRAIN rolls FAS-ter.

See? It’s not that hard.
All you have to do is pick a rhythm and stick to it!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to hide behind the dessert


Susanna Leonard Hill is the award winning author of nearly a dozen books for children, some of which accidentally rhyme. Her titles include Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice),No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep Without Sheep (a Children’s Book of The Month), and Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner.) Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, with one hopefully forthcoming in Korean. Her newest book, Alphabedtime!, (one of the accidental rhymers) is forthcoming from Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, in Fall 2015. She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.

Website: http://susannahill.com/home.html



Here are a few of Susanna’s wonderful books:

Susanna Hill 3 (2)


Susanna Hill 2


Susanna Hill 4 (2)





Thank you Susanna Leonard Hill!



RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Tuesday, April 29th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 31



Let’s see how our Picture Book Cake turned out!


Yesterday, I shared a recipe with you on how to bake a rhyming picture book cake. I baked that cake today and thought I’d share a piece with you all…

I’ve been baking this cake for years but it has never turned out quite as well as it did today. I know the reason why…Because of all the poetry that I’ve studied in April. Those poetic elements have really made my cake rise higher than ever before. It is light on words, moist with rhyme and so rich with lyrical texture that I can’t wait to serve it up to an editor or agent.

Picture Book CakeBut, of course, it will be served to my critique group first!

This is the traditional story arc with a bit of poetic/rhyming technique thrown in for

us Rhyming Picture Book Cake Bakers!

This graphic is for you RhyPiBoMoers!

Please enjoy and promise to share it with other rhymers out there!


This is the classic picture book structure that has been handed out to me year after year at conferences and workshops. It hasn’t changed from this format in my 12 years of writing for kids. I think the reason it hasn’t changed is because it works! Of course, your book doesn’t need to have each item exactly on the page where this is suggested. It is merely a guideline for you to base your work on. Unfortunately it doesn’t help us rhymers with our specific goals in writing rhyming picture book manuscripts.


Page 1:             Half Title Page
Pages 2-3:       Full Title Page
Page 4:             Dedication
Page 5:             Intro Main Character, Setting, Problem, Point of View, Voice
Pages 6-7:       Deepen Awareness of Problem and Character
Pages 8-9:       Main Character’s First Attempt to Solve Problem
Pages 10-11:    Result
Pages 12-13:    Things Get Worse!
Pages 14-15:    Main Character’s Second Attempt to Solve Problem
Pages 16-17:    Result
Page 18-19:     Things Get Worse!
Pages 20-21:   Main Character’s Third Attempt to Solve Problem
Pages 22-23:    Result
Pages 24-25     Black Moment: Things Are at Their Worst!
Pages 26-27     Main Character Understands (Inner Climax)
Pages 28-29     Main Character Acts (Outer Climax)
Pages 30-31      Solution Works!
Page 32:            End with a Surprise or Twist


The thing that is missing from this wonderful list is the rhyming aspect. That’s because this is such a specific area that we have chosen and no one has created a list for us that includes the rhyming aspect of the picture book. Not that I’m aware of anyway…and I’ve been looking.

I have created another visual that adds all these elements together so you can ensure success with the picture book guidelines and the poetic devices necessary to write a superb rhyming picture book.

RhyPiBoMo Revision Post its


This sticky note visual includes everything you need to write a rhyming picture book. The orange notes are the rhyming/poetic elements and the rest of the notes include everything you need to write a traditional picture book…add this rainbow of notes together and you have a pretty good device
to help with writing rhyming picture books!


Start at the upper left corner and move down and over to the right gradually and you will find yourself at the bottom right with everything you need. There is not a definite order of things. I prefer this flowing list rather than a definitive list because we all have different processes. When I use a revision checklist, I never follow it in the order it is written. You probably don’t either. As long as you get to the bottom right with a rhyming picture book that is ready to submit…that’s the goal.


The Rule of 3’s

The rule of three is an old writing technique that is still around today. It is believed that things that come in threes are more effectively understood, enjoyed and remembered. It is a pattern that helps us process the information. (write this down)

For example:
The 3 Pigs
The 3 Stooges
3 Billy Goats Gruff
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
The 3 Blind Mice
The 3 Muskateers


Slogans/famous quotes and phrases:
Go! Fight! Win!
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Government of the people, by the people, for the people
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Blood, sweat and tears
Location, location, location
Faith, Hope and Charity
Mind, body, spirit
Stop, Look and Listen
I came, I saw, I conquered


I say if it’s not broken…don’t fix it! So I highly suggest that you apply the rule of threes in all your writing, especially in your story arc concerning the conflict, the common use of beginning, middle and end and when you give examples.



Writing Prompt: Use the Bake a Picture Book Cake graphic and the Revise Rhyming Picture Books graphic and apply them to your work-in-progress.



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.


96 thoughts on “Rhyming Picture Book Cake for Everyone! Tuesday

  1. Oh Susanna, she is such a modest one! Knowing all the poetic terms is one thing; feeling the beat is another. Anapest, shmanapest! An intuitive sense of rhythm and a love for language are the stuff of poets. Perfect rhythm in Susanna’s verse- and it sounds just like a train rolling down the tracks.
    As always, great tips and resources, Angie!

  2. I agree with Iza – Susanna is too modest! Hurray for the refuge of the dessert table and the sweet recipe for Picture Book Cake!

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for the classic picture book story structure stuff especially, Angie! So incredibly helpful – and Susannah is always a delight. I WILL take her class at some point. I WILL! Thanks to both of you!

  4. I haven’t seen the original Footloose (or any other version for that matter), but I might need to check it out. Also, I’ve heard the rule of three’s compared to a literary breakfast, lunch and dinner, in that a book, like a person, needs to get all its nutrients to be healthy and satisfied.

  5. So glad to be catching up and find Susanna here! I’ll believe in rhyming accidents if accident is synonymous with hardworking, gifted intuition. And I like your book framework, Angie – it’s slightly different than the ones I’ve seen. (remembering to deepen awareness!). Thanks.

  6. Loved the sticky notes! And so pleased to hear that I’m not alone in not knowing all the poetic terminology and preferring to just ‘feel the rhythm’ of my poems. Thanks Angie and Susanna!

  7. Between tapping the table (.y cat loves the game.) and realigning my page set-up (Cat: Ooooh, papers to shred.), your lessons have really made my day. Thank you.

  8. Love, love, love the cake. Angie, thank you so very much. This month has been wonderful. (Wonderful, but busy.) Ha. I would love a mug if you decide to do this. Or a notebook. Hmm. Hard to decide. Okay. I did eeny meeny miney mo, catch a rhymer by the toe. If she hollers, let her go. EEny meeny miney mo! It landed on a mug. 😉

  9. Just when it seemed that your posts had covered it all, you brought in Susanna…and those great visuals to keep the juices flowing long past RhyPiBoMo, 2014! Many thanks for a great month of learning, writing, e-camaraderie, and fun! (I think I need to refresh my printer’s color cartridges to capture all your post-it brights!)

  10. Sorry I’m late today, Angie! Thanks so much for having me on your fantastic month of rhyming poetry books. I was so honored that you would want me to be here! Your dessert table is 5 Star, and I love your visuals for PB creation. It’s been a very educational month! Many thanks!

    • The thanks go to you Susanna for being here! I love dessert so it was easy to bake that cake with all you wonderful guest bloggers guiding us! I hope we all eat cake for years to come!

  11. Great post! I find when I put my hand under my chin, I can “feel” the accented syllable on MOST words because my jaw drops down.

  12. Thanks, Susanna, for reminding us that rhyming pb’s can be written by just ‘feeling the beat.’ I don’t think I have room left in my head for all the rhyming terms. And thank you, Angie, for your graphics! Such a help!

  13. A post of my favorites! Favorite picture book writing teacher: Susanna Leonard Hill (and thanks for the reference to one of my all-time favorite movies, Footloose with Kevin Bacon). Favorite challenge of the year so far: RhyPiBoMo. Favorite provider of lessons on Rhyming Picture Books and Poetry: Angie Karcher. Favorite takeaway of this challenge: the classic picture book structure list and the post-it board of important elements of a rhyming picture book (couldn’t pick just one).
    Can’t believe this is almost over, Angie…it’s been awesome!

  14. I love Susanna’s blog and all the wonderful things she offers to all of us! Angie, great visuals today!
    Thanks again for a terrific post!

  15. Susanna, I don’t want to wait for ALPHABEDTIME! I want it now! Thanks for confiding in us; it’s reassuring to know that even great rhymers don’t always feel like experts.

    Thanks, Angie, for the excellent graphics. I’m going to plug one of my stories into the classic structure right now and see how it fares.

  16. Thanks for the terrific graphics Angie. Susanna, I appreciate the freedom to feel the words and tap out the rhythm!

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill is a gift, Angie, and so are your stupendous graphics. Tell Mr. Karcher not to worry. RhyPiBoMo’s inaugural voyage bodes well for solvency by next year.:)

  18. Susanna, thank you for coming out from behind that dessert table to offer us some great advice on how to find the rhythm 🙂

    Angie, love the rest of the cake-so good! Structuring and the rule of 3’s got me going again today 🙂

    I think it’s a great idea to offer RhyPiBoMo cups and notebooks! I would like to buy a notebook, please 🙂

  19. Susanna, thanks for the encouragement to dance to our own rhythm even if we’re not up on all the terms and technical ins and outs!

    Angie, lovin’ the recipe!

    Hey fellow RhyPiBoMoers 😀 If you haven’t taken Susanna’s course Making Picture Book, what are you waiting for?! I can’t say enough things about Susanna’s awesome teaching method and material you take with for your writer’s tool box.

  20. The Sticky Note Visual and the PB cake is the best! Thank you once again, Angie for all that you continue to share. Oh, Susanna you are way too funny! Your tips for finding rhyme are making me sing and tap! Oh, and I think I just may need to bake some chocolate goodies! Ya want some? Thank you. ~Suzy Leopold

  21. Susanna I love your blog and hope to one take your course. Thanks for your post today and thank you Angie as well.

  22. Susanna, you’re so modest! If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re just naturally gifted! Angie, fantastic visuals. I’ve never seen something that I wanted to eat and read at the same time!

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