Go Forth, Write Singing Poetry and Change Lives! Friday

Go Forth, Write Singing Poetry and Change Lives! Friday     Day 34



Where did April Go?

I can’t believe we are here, at the end of this lovely month of learning and sharing…it has been a joy to meet all of you!  I do plan to continue blogging once a week so please come back and visit. I will share this certificate again in case you missed it yesterday…please post this on your website and blogs as a token of your hard work and dedication to writing rhyming picture books! I would appreciate if you would link it back to my blog at Angiekarcher.wordpress.com   Congrats for a well-deserved diploma!

RhyPiBoMo Graduate Badge


There was a survey posted earlier and I want to thank each of you that took the time to fill it out!

There is one more question that I need a more specific answer to…Please name specific authors, editors and agents that you want to see as guest bloggers for next year…

Thank you for all your support and friendship throughout this month!


Today’s guest blogger is a friend who has been telling stories to kids forever! She is energetic, full of gumption and sass!  Hold on to your hats because you never know what you are going to hear when Mary Jo is around! LOL


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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Mary Jo Huff!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Mary Jo Huff 1


My name is Mary Jo Huff and I come from a different world then many of the bloggers and maybe even the readers. My life has been dedicated to, “lighting a fire in children’s imaginations.” Rhyming comes natural to me because I have worked with hundreds of children making up rhymes, moving from one spot to another with a fun rhyme and I have written many rhymes.


My rhymes are not published in picture books but in resource books for librarians, teachers and the world of Early Childhood. Rhymes never get old as they are repeated over and over by children and adults. Experiences with rhymes provide a solid foundation for early literacy.

“During the first years and months of life, a child’s experiences with language and literacy begin to form a basis for their later reading success. Research consistently demonstrates that the more children know about language and literacy before they arrive at school, the better equipped they are to succeed in reading.” (Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Reading Success, National Research Council, 1999).

Mary Jo Huff 5
Rhymes are throughout my new book “STORY PLAY: Building Language and Literacy One Story at a Time. I am grateful for being invited by Dianne De Las Casas to be involved with the original Picture Book Month blogs. This experience has led me on a new path. I plan to be published in the picture book market and of course there would be a rhyming picture book.


Mary Jo Huff 6


GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT – Mem Fox, Judy Horacek
HERE’S A LITTLE POEM – Jane Yolen & Andrew Fusek Peters, Polly dunbar
MICE – Rose Fyleman, Lois Ehlert
ON THE FARM – David Elliott, Holly Meade
THIS LITTLE PIGGY – Jane Yolen, Will Hillenbrand



Mary Jo is an author, storyteller and puppeteer who creates books, CDs and DVDs filled with original stories, songs, and finger plays. She has visited 46 states and presented to thousands of children and adults. Mary Jo is an Early Childhood teaching artist, past director of a center with 115 children, and is an onsite consultant for Early Childhood centers, schools, 4C, Head Start and Family Childcare. Mary Jo has written for the Frog Street’s Pre-K Curriculum and Gryphon House, Monday Morning Publishing, SECA and many publications for Early Childhood educators. She works with children in school settings via SKYPE and in person. Her information and experiences are presented in a humorous, enthusiastic style with practical ideas that create new early literacy activities that can be implemented immediately. Mary Jo shares passionately, in an interactive, hands-on, participatory atmosphere. Plan to snap, clap, wiggle and giggle as you learn new ways to connect with children and parents.


Mary Jo Huff 4

Storytelling for Kids! – Creative Child Magazine CD of the Year 2009
NAPPA – Gold 2008
Dove – 2009


Thank you Mary Jo Huff!


RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Friday, May 2
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 34


Does Your Poetry Sing?

As we have studied poetry techniques, poetic forms and how poetry enhances our writing, we have become word musicians. We compose short musicals of words matched with pictures and the result is a rhyming picture book. The written words in a picture book are meant to be read aloud to express the musicality of the language, so carefully composed by the author. We all know that the meter, the rhythm and the rhyme create that magical flow that urges the reader to continue and keeps the listener asking for more.

As a writer, we want our work to move people, to make them think, to give a new experience. We write because we are story tellers. We write for children because our words can take them on journeys they might not otherwise experience.

Teachers use songs in the classroom to help kids remember and reinforce the important skills being taught. Try singing your poems out loud! Find or make up a tune that fits the poem and sing it!

Yes, I am talking about actual singing! You know the reference to poetic singing, and how it should flow musically, with rhythm and lyrically in the language…well songs are just poems that have been set to music…

I can’t think of a better complement for a writer than to have their work set to music.

Many, many folk tales were set to music to help people remember the words but more importantly the story being told. This song, She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain is actually about a religious belief of the returning of Christ to the world. I had no idea that’s where this originated. This is a timeless song that has made its way from the early 1800’s to today with very few changes. The way it is expressed musically varies but the message remains the same. That is the kind of poetry/picture books we must write…universal themes and timeless messages.


Here are the lyrics to this American folk tale:
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain
When she comes,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain
When she comes,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain,
When she comes

Other verses:
She’ll be drivin’ six white horses
Oh, we’ll all go out to greet her
We will kill the old red rooster,
Oh, we’ll all have chicken and dumplings,
She will wear her red pajamas,
She will have to sleep with Grandma


Here are a few different versions of this wonderful poem put to music!

She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Radio Broadcast Version
Played by Ramblin’ Tommy Scott


She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Hollywood Dance Orchestra
Played on a Victrola from the 1930’s


She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Sesame Street Version
By Big Bird and Elmo


She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Choral Version
by The Dale Warland Singers


She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Funk Version
by Funkadelic 2009


Today, we think of this as a kid’s song but actually, it was a common song sung by adults for hundreds of years. The point is, it is still being sung today in many different forms by many different people…it is timeless.

Poetry set to music can even become part of motion pictures. This version of The Colors of the Wind gives me actual goose bumps! It is beautiful to listen to musically but the words are so powerful. This is what we need to be writing!


The Colors of the Wind by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz
From the Disney movie Pocahontas



“We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains and we need to paint with all the colors of the wind”



I’m not at all saying that our writing should be preachy or teach lessons specifically but it should be inspiring in some way. It should inspire a child to laugh, to share the story with a friend, to grow and learn more about the world around him…singing poetry can do that!

Our poetry should touch children in the whole world…here is The Colors of the Wind in Spanish. Write your poetry and picture books for all children in the world!


The Colors of the Wind – Spanish Version
By Vanessa Williams


I leave you this poem to music. It saved thousands of lives when a group of musicians and the world came together to help starving African children. We are the World is one of my favorite songs. I can barely listen to it without crying because it is so powerful, yet so, so simple…


We are the world, we are the children,
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving.
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives,
It’s true we make a better day, just you and me!


Think of this in terms of your writing.


Now go forth, write singing poetry and change lives!



We Are the World

USA for Africa – We Are The World ( Original Music Video 1985 )




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.


60 thoughts on “Go Forth, Write Singing Poetry and Change Lives! Friday

  1. We’ll be joining RhyPiBoMo when it comes, We’ll be joining RhyPiBoMo when it comes,
    We’ll be joining RhyPiBoMo, We’ll be joining RhyPiBoMo,
    We’ll be joining RhyPiBoMo when it comes:)

  2. Angie thank you for all your hard work through sickness and sleet and snow. Oh wait. You’re not the mail person, you’re even better than that. Mary Jo I cannot wait to read Story Play. Thank you for taking time to come and help us all. What a month. Rhyme on everyone!

  3. Ange,
    I had a book recommended to me and when I read it, I recalled a tune that fits. I’ve never heard it said that it is written to this tune, but in my mind it is. Good question for the author!

  4. This has been a month of poetic inspiration. I hope to touch hearts with the songs that I sing. Thanks Angie!

  5. Thank you Thank you Thank you Angie for a wonderful month of rhyming. You have made sense of so many things that eluded my understanding and made me feel so much better about my own ability to rhyme. HUGE HUGS thank you to all your guests for their words of wisdom but mostly thank you to you for doing this fabulous challenge I shall miss my daily dose of poetry.

  6. Thank you, Mary Jo, for your words here and for your work with children! Thank you, Angie, for an amazing month! I will refer to this month’s posts over and over. I hope to see many RhyPiBoMo names on books in stores and libraries in the future!

  7. Pingback: I Graduated! A Salute to Angie Karcher, and Balancing Writing Challenges | Sensibility and Sense

  8. Tra-.la-la…yes, I am going forth…singing AND dancing. 🙂 🙂
    Thank you so much, Angie…it’s been an incredible month!
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for your insights.
    And thanks to all the other Golden Quill guest posters…we appreciate your words of wisdom. 🙂

  9. The Colors of the Wind always gives me chills.
    “You think the only people who are people,
    Are the people who look and think like you…”
    Great message in this song.

  10. Thank-you Angie, and guest bloggers, for such a wonderful rhyme. I hope to hear more good things from you Angie. Thank-you, again.

  11. Thank you, Mary Jo, for your inspiration. You are a beautiful soul.

    Angie, you brought tears to my eyes with The Color of the Wind-so beautiful. I can only aspire to write something as meaningful. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn and grow with you. You have guided us down a path to better understanding of how language can make a difference for our children. Lead on and we will follow 🙂

  12. Thank you, Angie, for a wonderful month! What a great and fearless leader you’ve been! Now, go put your feet up and breathe…

  13. Thx for such kind remarks about this experience! I feel exactly the same way about you guys! Please don’t forget we have one more guest blogger tomorrow…Marsha Diane Arnold will be here for our last day tomorrow and then on Sunday I’ll post this week’s daily prize winners…so make sure to comment on each day this week to be eligible to win a prize. I hope to announce the poetry contest winners on Sunday…I’m waiting for the results to come back from all my judges (40 poems is a lot to judge) so please check back often! If you signed up to get emails when my blog posts go up, you will certainly continue to get them! Thx to you for showing up and learning with me! I hope I can meet you all some day! May your rhyme be brilliant and your poetry sing! Hugs all around ~ Angie

  14. The Colors of the Wind is so beautiful! I find that I sing my poems without even realizing it – it seems to help!

  15. It has been a great month thank you for your time, ideas and inspiration. I learned so much and am enjoying practicing poetry using the tips. Will definitely check back in with your blog.

  16. As an educator of preschoolers, my students and I enjoy singing and rhyming, which teach so many lessons and reminders to do our best and make smart choices. Sometimes I even make up songs of rhyme, as the kids note, “Oh, Mrs. Sue, you sang a new song! I like that one, too!” I can not say it enough, you are Amazing Angie! Thank you, Mary Jo. May we all carry a story, a poem, or even a song in our pocket. ~Suzy Leopold

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