RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 4 Author Susan B. Katz

Happy Wednesday!

 Remember…Registration for RhyPiBoMo 2016 ends this Friday, April 8th so get signed up today! REGISTRATION  You must be registered by Friday at Midnight CST to be eligible for daily prizes and to participate in the rhyming critique groups that will be organized by our very own Dawn Young next week.

It’s an exciting time for rhyming folks!

RhyPiBOMo 2016 Auction Badge

A quick note about our RhyPiBoMo Auction:  I am receiving some wonderful prize donations from authors each day so we will continue to add new items throughout the month. If you are an author of a rhyming picture book and want to donate your book, I will gladly do a review of your book on my blog sometime this year. Please contact me via Facebook or use one of the comment form. Thanks to all who have donated so many wonderful items! This auction supports our efforts to continue celebrating RPBs through the Best in Rhyme Award and the RPB Revolution Conference. Date and Location coming soon!


Today’s guest blogger wins the prize for writing her entire blog post in rhyme. YES…IT’S WRITTEN IN RHYME! How’s that for setting the bar high? She is a busy lady so I can’t imagine how long this took to put together but I am very grateful for her participation and support!



I’m pleased to introduce

Author Susan B. Katz


Susan katz Headshot

  Author Susan B. Katz, NBCT


Rhyme Will Stand The Test of Time

Authors are often discouraged from writing books in verse. So, when your words spill out in rhyme—it’s both a blessing and a curse.  All four of my books are written in rhyme that PW says “never misses a beat.” But, I still feel the “no rhyme allowed unless it’s perfect” editorial heat. I remain steadfast, for I grew up reading books by the master rhymer, Dr. Seuss. I devoured Green Eggs and Ham, The Sneetches and that crazy Cat on the Loose.

Susan Katz Image 1

He’s now sold over 600 million copies, that rhythmic Dr. Seuss.  So many kids enjoy his classic books, like a modern Mother Goose.  As a teacher for 20 years, I did lots of rug read alouds. Rhyme sure does please the little listener crowds. See…rhyme gives children a feeling of success. They are able to predict words; they love to shout out a guess. That is what’s called a cloze and, yes, it’s spelled with a Z. Rhyming books with predictable patterns make clozing easy. Take for example, in My Mama Earth, my second children’s book title; students surmise the ending words; that brain engagement is vital. I simply say, “My Mama makes the hippos snore and mighty lions proudly ________.” Clozing keeps them on their toes so reading isn’t a bore.

Susan Katz Image 2

We authors are discouraged from writing in rhyme by many publishers, of course. Editors receive a lot of rhyme that is, what we call, forced. If you feel caught in this trap, best to try the story out in prose.  Be sure the plot is clear, and the rhyme’s not leading, so no editor will snuff her nose. You can also count your syllables to make sure the cadence is pure perfection.  Be open to changing out a word (or ten)—take some editorial direction!  Rhyme should make words tickle the tongue; melt meaning into your memory with a beat. But, the characters, concept and plot must stand on their own two feet. Children will always beg for books that are well written in rhyme. From Hickory, Dickory Dock to novels in verse, rhyme will stand the test of time.

Susan Katz Image 3

So much power and joy comes from the rhyming word. For a child’s language development, it is like the wings of a bird. I will continue to be a champion for writing rhyming stories. The love lasts on: college kids listen to rap (a.k.a rhyme) and read Neruda in their dormitories. For hundreds of years, it is what people have loved to hear.  From songs and nursery rhymes to Shel Silverstein and Shakespeare.

Susan katz Image 4

There is, however, an art to rhyming right that takes practice, patience (and a good App.)  But, trust me, when done right, kids will want your book read to them, repeatedly, on someone’s cozy lap. So, RHYME ON! my fellow “victims of verse.” For, writing in rhyme is a blessing (and rhyming books are selling). It is not a literary curse!



Susan B. Katz is an award-winning author of four books in rhyme. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher, keynote speaker and social media consultant for authors.  Scholastic published her most recent two titles, ALL YEAR ROUND (January, 2016) and ABC, SCHOOL’S FOR ME (June, 2015). ALL YEAR ROUND was named “Top New Book of 2016” by the Children’s Book Review. Ms. Katz’s second book, MY MAMA EARTH (Barefoot Books), won the Moonbeam Gold Award for Best Picture Book of 2012 as well as being named “Top Green Toy” by Education.com. Her first book, ABC, BABY ME! (Random House) debuted to rave reviews. As a former bilingual educator of over 20 years, Susan incorporates props, puppets and multimedia into her presentations making them interactive and engaging. Susan is also the Founder and Executive Director of ConnectingAuthors (www.connectingauthors.org), a national non-profit bringing children’s book authors and illustrators into schools and libraries as role models of literacy and the arts. Ms. Katz served as the Strategic Partner Manager for Authors at Facebook.  When she’s not writing, Susan enjoys salsa dancing and spending time at the beach. You can learn more at http://www.susankatzbooks.com

Susan Katz Image 6

  ABC School’s For Me

Susan Katz Image 8

 All Year Round


Susan’s Website



Thank You Susan!

PLEASE like our guest bloggers on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, go to their websites and express your appreciation for their time and wisdom! Many have generously donated multiple prizes and this event would not be successful without their support, so please support them! Oh…and buy their books too!!


To be eligible for today’s prize drawing by Random.org you must comment at the bottom of the page where it says “Leave A Reply” AND add your FIRST and LAST name in the comment. If I don’t have your name or how to contact you via email, you can’t win.

You must be a member of the RhyPiBoMo Facebook Group and if you haven’t officially registered, you are not eligible to win.

Please follow the pledge rules daily to get the most out of this challenge!


The drawings will be done daily and announced on Saturday of each week.




88 thoughts on “RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 4 Author Susan B. Katz

  1. Kathy Mazurowski- As a former kindergarten teacher, I know how much children love to “fill in” the rhyme.
    Thank you!

  2. Well done!! Totally enjoyed it. Chuckled at the line about everything coming out in rhyme- that’s me. It’s so encouraging to have a group dedicated it. Together we will change the perception of rhyme!:).
    Deb Vidovich

  3. Debbie Smart – What a fun post! I can’t imagine how much time that took! Thank you, Susan! Looking forward to checking out your books.

  4. Laura Renauld – Wow! What a fun post. So many of the repeaters in my house are rhyming books. They sure do stand the test of time!

  5. Shelley Kinder – I wasn’t familiar with the term “cloze,” so thank you for teaching me! I so appreciate your thoughts on rhyme…so encouraging. Amazing that you wrote the entire article in rhyme. I don’t even want to ask how long that took 🙂

  6. Lori Laniewski- Your rhyming post will be bouncing around in my mind all night. It’s wonderful how rhyme can do that. I’ve always love rhyming books…I can’t wait to check out yours! Thank you!

  7. NATALIE LYNN TANNER: Hi Susan! THANK YOU for such a fun and engaging post! You TRULY define the makings of the perfect rhyming picture book: “Rhyme should make words tickle the tongue; melt meaning into your memory with a beat. But, the characters, concept and plot must stand on their own two feet.” PERFECT!!!! Also, KUDOS to you for starting ConnectingAuthors. I just listened to a WONDERFUL interview that talked about how meeting an author can have a lasting effect on a child’s life, inspiring them to also write — inspiring them to believe in themselves to be able to accomplish what other authors have done. Here is the interview (if you’re interested): StoryMakers | SCBWI’s Stephen Mooser and Lin Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUSWDzfZXJg

    And I MUST say, listing Shel Silverstein BEFORE Shakespeare TOTALLY made my day — even if it just worked out that way in rhyme! 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!

  8. I attended a writer’s conference a few years back and heard only negative comments about writing in verse. While it did nudge me to branch out a bit, I continue to write in rhyme and believe children are drawn to it. Thanks for sharing your insights in such a fun way!

  9. Wow, a rhyming blog post! I’m highly impressed. Not sure I would even have entertained such an idea! Great job, Susan! – Tim Canny

  10. Debbie McCue
    “Clozing”–now I know what to call that technique that I enjoy and marvel over. Thank you, Susan.

  11. It is good to have such positive comments about rhyme. i have written predictable pattern books and know they are good for erly readers. One mum sent me a book of a child ‘reading’ one of my books at 3 years. of course he was remembering the rhyme. Your Earth book looks wonderful I will try to buy it, read it and give to a child I know. i felt the joy in this blog!

  12. Joana Pastro
    Rhyme giving children a feeling of success is an amazing and true statement. I can see it whenever we read rhyming books at my house. Great post. Thanks, Susan!

  13. Ingrid Boydston- I just realized I just ordered your book ABC School’s For Me! I am a HUGE fan of cloze reading and one of my favorite WIPS is a series which employs it in very intentional way. I found your post informative and encouraging. Thanks for taking the time! 🙂

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