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. Stephanie Salkin
    Very fun way to do your presentation! I felt like I was a kid myself, anticipating your end rhymes as yu shared your experience.

  2. Deborah Allmand
    Susan what a fabulous blog post. Rhyme is a special way for children and teenagers to express themselves. They hunger for the pattern and structure. Lovely thoughts about editors wanting GOOD rhyme. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. Joy Main-
    Thank you Susan, that was lots of fun! Specially loved the bit about rhyming through history, and college kids still rhyming with rap.

  4. Mona Pease
    Thank you, Susan for your rhyming post. You bring us sweet rolls, I bring burnt toast! I’ve just put My Mama Earth on my list of must reads.

  5. Chris M. Regier
    What a wonderful post! I got so caught up in writing a rhyming story lately that when I took a reading break, (a non-rhyming novel) my brain kept trying to come up with rhymes while I read. I honestly can’t NOT rhyme some of the stories I write.
    Thanks for your support of this form.

  6. Linda Hofke

    This post all in rhyme, I must admit, is a clever idea full of wit. It’s full of advice so we won’t quit. We’ll revise and revise and then submit ’til our stories find publishers who are perfect fits. So off I go to write, lickety-split, to weaves words in rhyme like a knitter knits.

  7. Cathy Lentes
    Not only informative, but a fantastic way to show us how to use rhyme and rhythm well. Nothing forced, great use of simple and more complex rhyme, and a cadence pleasing to the ear. Thank you!

  8. MaryLee Flannigan – thank you Susan. I loved reading your Blog in rhyme! Wonderful advice – much appreciated!

  9. Amy Murrell. This was a joy to read. I will look for Mama Earth. I’ve just finished my first rhyming picture book and it is about a forest. Thank you, Susan, for modeling clever unforced rhythm and rhyme.

  10. Melinda Kinsman –
    A WHOLE post in rhyme! I’m most impressed.
    You must now need a well-earned rest!
    “Don’t write in rhyme” we always hear,
    And yet your words speak loud and clear.

    Thank you for a fun post, Susan. 😊❤️

  11. Judy Sobanski – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on rhyming picture books. It was a fun post to read and most informative too!

  12. Well, that was impressive, Susan Katz! Makes me want to run out and…well, rhyme, if I could think of something that worked here. (Maybe I’ll just run out and get your books instead. Thanks!)

  13. What a fun post. I am so happy to hear messages like this. I am also a teacher, and I couldn’t agree more – children need rhyme! Thank you! – Alexia Andoni

  14. What fun! Rhyme cleverly disguised as an educational blog post! Are you sure that Cat wasn’t looking over your shoulder, tapping keys with his long-hand extender? Thanks, Susan for sharing your thoughts in a most appropriate fashion.

  15. Susan,
    Thank you for a great post! Rhyming has always been in my heart and as you stated – good rhyming books you want to read over and over. I look forward to getting your books!

  16. Victims of Verse…oh my dear Susan…I love that!
    Thank you for re-energizing me…it’s true that because rhyme is not encouraged, I’ve been writing a lot less of it…but because of your post, I’m going to go back to a couple of my old manuscripts, dust them off, and see if I can make them sing. Vivian Kirkfield

  17. Jen Garthe — Wonderful post, Susan! Loved the lesson in verse. 🙂 And you are so right that rhyming engages the brain and keeps the listener anticipating. I’m so glad that talented writers are still putting out stories in verse!

  18. Sarah Harroff – I never knew there was a word for the action of anticipating and guessing the next word in a rhyming read aloud. I’m so glad to have learned this. Thank you, Susan. And way to challenge yourself writing your entire post in rhyme!

  19. My six year old loves rhymes for the very reasons you mentioned, and as you say, rhyme is so important for children’s language development. Thanks for your post, Susan!

  20. Sara Gentry – Thank you for your post. I like that you pointed out how rhyming is helpful in nurturing a child’s language development.

  21. Pamela Courtney
    Bowing to post written entirely in rhyme. I’m glad I read this post. Having a good story is foremost in writing and to be reminded of not forcing a rhyme for the sake of rhyme is too important to forget. Good, no wonderful post.

  22. Anita Jones
    I really enjoyed ready this text! I love that there are so many that believe that “rhyme will stand the test of time!” I also love and agree that rhyme gives kids a sense of success…and I learned about a “cloze!”
    Thanks Susan for your words and inspiration!

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