The 2015 Best in Rhyme Award Winner!
Last year the RhyPiBoMo Group decided to honor one rhyming picture book as the Best in Rhyme and several honor books. The RhyPiBoMo Facebook Group nominated books that fit the criteria discussed in this post, The Best in Rhyme Committee narrowed the list to the Top 20 RPBs and then voted. This idea bloomed into a book award ceremony and RPB Revolution Conference in New York City last December. Thanks to many people in the group who volunteered many hours to make this happen. Stay tuned for nominations for the 2016 Best in Rhyme Awards!
Here is a link to the award ceremony with more thanks to Julie Gribble of KidLitTV who hosted us, recorded the conference and made it available for us to sell. This recording made it possible for us to have the conference and will help us prepare funding for future conferences. Please check it out! It’s only $49.99 for over 4 hours of video! You get to submit to the presenting agents and editors included with your purchase! Here’s more information about the conference recording.
Today I am honored to introduce our winner of this esteemed award. Her book THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT is exactly what we should all aspire to write. It includes a brilliant story, lots of tension, a surprising ending and has wagon loads full of poetic techniques that make it a true winner.
I’m pleased to introduce
Author Penny Parker Klostermann
Author Penny Parker Klostermann
You Are the Band: The RPB Best in Rhyme
A whole month devoted the rhyming picture books! Yes! Great rhyming picture books are pure entertainment.
I know. I know. We’ve all read rhyming picture books that aren’t pure entertainment. But notice I said “great” rhyming picture books. These are the ones that bring it all. That means that the author has done their homework and has paid attention to all elements that belong in a rhyming picture book. This is not an easy feat. As I was thinking about this, it reminded me of a one-man band. Think of one person playing all those instruments and producing music that entertains. Every note . . . every beat . . . must be just right or the audience will lose interest.
That’s why the committee for the Rhyming Picture Book Revolution Conference created a comprehensive rubric to score the books that were nominated for the Best of Rhyme Award. They wanted to make sure the books they chose to receive an award were hitting every note . . . every beat.
Take a look at the elements on the rubric.
Story/Plot/Structure – Clear arc with beginning/middle/end. Incorporates conflict and satisfying resolution that ties back to beginning
Character – Well-developed, active character(s) with distinctive traits and flaws, and a clear want or problem.
Rhyme – Consistently clever rhyme (not predictable) including the use of several multi-syllabic rhyming words. No slant, inversions, or forced rhyme.
Rhyming Pattern – Consistent.
Meter – Consistent meter. No variation, except intended variation for emphasis.
Appeal – Universal kid appeal and includes something for the adult reader
Verbs – Filled with action-packed verbs.
Concept/Theme (Message or Take Away) – Completely original concept or fresh take on old concept. Subtle message kids can grasp, universally relatable. Excellent use of showing versus telling.
Language – Uses 3 or more different poetic techniques with multiple occurrences of the following: alliteration, assonance, consonance,, onomatopoeia, Internal rhyme, metaphor, simile, personification, and has original and clever use of words/phrases, beyond poetic techniques – wordplay, puns, & phrases including those adults will appreciate/enjoy.
Sentence Fluency – Highly effective sentence length variation or intentional yet highly effective non-variation (by design). Sentence structure enhances the rhythm. Use of repetition is highly effective and purposeful. Overall, word choice results in consistent rhythm. Economical use of words.
To view the entire rubric with scoring criteria click here.
Notice that seven of the ten elements on the rubric have nothing to do with rhyme or meter. Rhyming picture books have to include all the elements in a non-rhyming picture book, plus perfect rhyme and meter. Wordsmith-ing alone will not cut it. Rhyme and meter may get some toes tapping, but it won’t bring readers back to your book if there isn’t a story.
Therein is the challenge. If you decide to take the challenge and write your story in rhyme, remember you are the band. You have to hit every beat, every note. You have to bring every element in the rubric to your story. Yes, it’s challenging. Yes, it’s hard. But in the end, if you hit every note . . . every beat, the music you make will draw readers from all around to hear your story. You will be the band!
Penny Parker Klostermann is the author of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2015) and the upcoming, A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale, (Random House, 2017). There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight is one of fifteen books on the 2015-2016 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Jr. List and was also named Best in Rhyme 2015 in conjunction with the Rhyming Picture Book Revolution Conference.
Penny loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. She has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too.
Thank You Penny!
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The drawings will be done daily and announced on Saturday of each week.
210 thoughts on “RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 2 Author Penny Parker Klostermann”
Thank you Penny for the wonderful post and sharing the rubric.
Great post, Penny! And more and more success on your wonderful book. The rubric is a lot to consider and contemplate. But I know all these elements are necessary for GREAT rhyming picture book products. So much to learn, but it can be done. You’re the role model to follow, Penny. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Pam!
I’ll be re-reading your comments Penny for the next day or longer! What a wealth of information you provided! I loved your analogy of “One Man Band” and how we have to learn to play all the instruments! Brilliant! Need to hang some of your slogans…”Hit Every Note, Every Beat!”, etc., and I love your quote, ” Rhyme and meter may get some toes tapping, but it won’t bring readers back to your book if there isn’t a story!”…..Now I have to figure out if I can be a One Woman Band!? I think I can!!!!
Glad this was helpful, Anita! You can! I know you can!
Wise words! Yes, it is challenging and hard, but the end result is SO worth it!
Agreed, Rebecca! And you’re proof!
Thanks for sharing the rubric, so much information. And I love the old dragon!
Thanks for loving the old dragon, Daryl!
Thank you, Penny!
Writing rhyme always reminds me of playing Sudoku. It doesn’t work unless every single piece is in the right place. And you, my dear, are a master at putting the pieces in the right place.
And Sudoku is good analogy! When I do school visits I tell the kids how writing is like a puzzle! We have to fit all those elements in the write place for it to make sense!
Kathy Mazurowski – Helpful information for all PB writers. Thank you!
You’re welcome 🙂
Great rubric. Thanks! And congrats!
Thanks for the congrats!
This is a great rubric and a wonderful tool for writers to use in progress! I will share it with my critique group.
Glad it’s helpful!
Thank you Penny! Your book is awesome. My daughter loves reading it over and over again (even at 10!). I love the rubric. It’s a great guidebook on how to write a great rhyming story. 🙂
Hi Zainab! It makes me so happy that your 10 year-old daughter reads Dragon over and over again! Yay!
Awesome info, Penny! Thank You…must print! And I love your dragon story!
Sarah Harroff – I think a one-man-band is a great way to view the challenge of writing great rhyming picture books. Thank you for sharing from the committee’s rubric, Penny. Quite a lot to live up to! Congratulations on your distinction. 🙂
Thank you so much! And I’m glad the one-man band made sense to you. It helps me to keep images like that in mind as I write.
Feeling so lucky for having you Penny here, the Committee’s rubric is the best thing to have! That’s precious, indded!Every Note, makes that Beat special! Love it! Congrats to you , Penny!
Thanks! I appreciate that!
Lynn Alpert. WOW! That’s a lot of stuff to consider! Thanks for sharing, Penny!z
P.S. I love hugging books, too!
Thanks, fellow book-hugger!
Natalie Lynn Tanner: Hi Penny! Thank you for posting the list of essential elements ALL picture books should include. I know just reading your post today and applying your suggestions will help take my writing to another level! THANK YOU!!!! And YEA to all book huggers!!!!
You’re welcome. The committee did such a great job with the comprehensive rubric. It sounds like many are using it for reference.
Yes! Yea to all book huggers!
DebbieLubbert – Thank you for the rubric!
You’re welcome. The committee was great to share it with me and I was happy to share it as part of my post.
Lori Laniewski–Thank you for the rubric, Penny!
You’re welcome. It’s such a great tool!
Jill Proctor – Thank you, Penny. Love the rubric. And I love your book!!
I love the rubric, too. They did a great job with it. So happy you love Dragon 😀
Janet Smart – Great post. Thanks for the elements for writing a great picture book.
I love your book Penny! The rubric is a great way to make sure everything fits together and is a great reminder!
Thank you so much, Deirdre! It makes my day when people tell me they love Dragon. My day has been made many times while reading these comments!
Thanks Penny for your helpful comments. I really appreciated it!
Hey Penny…I was blown away by your rhyming ability the first time I saw it in a Susanna Hill contest years ago. You are a master!
And I love the rubric…when I held the 50 Precious Words Contest, I wish I had had it…I will definitely fashion one for next year’s contest and will use your example as a mentor rubric. 😉 Thank you for sharing it with us. 😉 Vivian Kirkfield
I didn’t come up with the rubric. That was all the Rhyming Picture Book Revolution committee. I just love to share it!
Thank you for clarifying, Penny…thank you for sharing it and thank you, RPBR committee…job well done!!!!!!
Sherry Howard I just enjoyed hearing Penny read her story. I’ve enjoyed learning about her process and seeing her success!
Thanks for listening, Sherry 😀
Thanks Penny (and Angie!) for great tips – the rubric is so helpful. I’ve just started the draft for my third PB and this comes in handy! Can’t wait to check out your book – looks charming! xoxo Susan Schaefer Bernardo
Good luck with applying the rubric as you work on your draft!
Wow! Thank you, Penny for this share! 😀
You’re welcome, Lori 😀
Thanks for sharing the rubric, Penny. It was so helpful in being able to find subtle differences between so many wonderful rhyming picture books. Glad that Old Dragon was the winner! Patricia Toht
Thanks, Patricia. It was so great to get to know you in NYC. And I’ll never forget what a wonderful conference it was due to the hard work of Angie and the committee. Thanks so much for this memory 🙂
Penny, thank you so much for sharing this breakdown of critical components for rhyming picture books! What a great list to evaluate our work!
You’re welcome, Susie! Happy writing!
MaryLee Flannigan – thank you Oenny for sharing!!! I appreciate your time & advice.
Great post! Good information. Thanks for sharing this.
Glad it was helpful!
MaryLee Flannigan – oops!!! Thank you Penny not Oenny 😅.
Congrats on the win! What a wonderful analogy for rhyming picture books but also non-rhyming picture books to a one man band. I love it; symbols on my knees, drum on my back, harmonica above the guitar mounted on a wire and ptactice, practice, practice!
Thanks for the congrats! You sound like you’re ready to take on a PB manuscript!
Very informative, Penny. I’m looking forward to studying the rubric more closely. And congratulations on the award!
Can you explain what is meant by “slant” and “inversion” under they rhyme element?
Thanks for the congrats, Debbie.
Slant rhymes, also called near rhymes, imperfect rhymes, etc., are rhymes that are close but not perfect. Sometimes slant rhymes work in a story but they should be used sparingly. And a perfect rhyme is better.
Inversion is forcing words into unnatural positions to get to a rhyme. Our sentences should reflect the way we speak or else the rhyme sounds forced.
The mouse let out a giggle-squeak
as funny lines she did speak.
I have inverted the second line to find the rhyme because I would normally say, “She spoke funny lines.”
Hope that helps.
Yes, thanks so much for the information and the examples.
Thanks for the post! You’ve given us a lot to strive towards.
You’re welcome. Here’s to successful striving!
Judy Cooper – Thank you, Penny, for this informative post.
You’re welcome, Judy!
Great rubric! Thank you for sharing.
Yes…it’s a great tool! Happy writing!
Linda Hofke –
Thanks, Penny, for the thorough list of elements. It will be a great check-list for my manuscripts. And congrats on the success of your book.
Thanks for the congrats and good luck as you use the rubric!
Ann Magee Thanks for bringing all the elements of a successful rhyming PB to the surface for us to examine and try out over and over again . . . until maybe we can make it work, too!
I have 49 saved revisions of Dragon so I know all about over and over 😉
Sydney O’Neill – Reading good rhyme is so important for learning to write it. Thank you, Tricia, for the excellent example.
Sydney, I think you meant for this comment to be on April 5th’s post that Tricia wrote. Just letting you know so you can qualify for prizes!
Thanks for commenting 😀
Thank you Penny! I love your book. The One Man Band analogy is a great one. Often when rhyming we get so hung up on finding the perfect rhyme when in fact we have many other things we need to focus on as well. I’m realizing that it’s a bit of a high wire act and we need ALL the elements to keep us balanced and put on a good show!
Exactly! It’s easy to lose track of the story when we are focusing on the perfect rhyme! By the way, I just had a vision of a one-man band on a high wire and it’s making me laugh 😀
Thanks for your comment!
That rubric is certainly helpful, so thanks for sharing. Also – I just watched the YouTube video of you reading your book. Very fun!
Sara Gentry – Just realized I forgot to write my name in the previous comment.
Thanks for watching the reading, Sara! I had so much fun recording it 🙂
I LOVE this rubric! I hits all the nails on the head!
And you know your nails, Wendi! I LOVE your work!
Great post! I actually showed a bunch of eighth graders the rubric today. Thanks, Penny and Angie! (Penny, see you in a few weeks! Can’t wait!)
Wonderful. I hope the eighth graders can apply it to their writing.
Yes! see you soon 😀
Ellen Leventhal. OK, I was so excited about posting a comment, I forgot to write my name first. Anyway, I STILL want to say that I shared the rubric with some eighth graders today. Sorry about the double post!
Wow! Thank you for the rubric. It’s so helpful to see it all listed in one place. Thanks for sharing!
I agree! The rubric is amazing!
I loved watching your presentation on the online version of the Rhyming Picture Book Conference! Thanks for sharing so much about your writing process! Thanks for sharing the rubric too! Love your book!
Thanks, Debbie! I love seeing what revisions other writers make to polish manuscripts so I was hoping sharing some of my revisions at the conference would be interesting and not boring. I had a great response so I think all of us writers think alike!
So glad you love Dragon!
The rubric will be a great tool for us as we evaluate our own work before submitting! Thank you for sharing it.
Yes, a nice checklist to make sure our manuscripts are ready to go.
Pam Phillips, I love this story. I think my favorite part is the Clippity, clippity, clippity, clop! And I love the frog looking at the shady lady, after he drinks the moat. That illustration cracks me up every time.
I’m so glad you noticed the frog. Wasn’t that a brilliant addition by Ben Mantle. It cracks me up, too. There’s a revision story behind the Clippity, clippity, clippity, clop! I love that line and at first I had it in the text. But the repetition started feeling “heavy.” So I moved it to an art note. I felt that was the best of both worlds. The steed still got to be annoying but the repetition worked better without the Clippity, clippity, clippity, clop! directly in text.
Great article Penny! Printed it! Thanks!
Hi, Debbie! Glad this was helpful 🙂
Penny’s book is outstanding and scores so on the rubric.
Thanks so much!
David McMullin. So much to think about. So much to make your head spin. Thank you Penny!
My head spins a lot, David! LOL