RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 12 Author Henry Herz

Happy Friday!

I hope you have time to stop by the Rhyming Party tonight at 8:00 CST in our Facebook group! We will be there having fun with trivia about this week’s blog posts

while typing ONLY in rhyme!

RhyPiBoMo Rhyming Party 

I had the good fortune of meeting today’s guest blogger at the LA SCBWI Conference last summer. It is such a thrill to meet our Facebook author friends because we have so much in common and it feels like we’ve known each other for years. He has been a busy guy because he has 3 picture books coming out this year!

Today he will share examples of 5 poetic techniques that will spice up your writing. And…he wrote these in rhyme! We have such talented guest bloggers!

These tips will improve your rhyme and prose!

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 I’m pleased to introduce

Author Henry Herz

Herz Henry Headshot

Author Henry Herz

 

Spice Up Your Rhyme With Poetic Techniques!

By Henry Herz

 

It’s a labor of love to write a compelling story in rhyme. But authors seeking even greater challenge can leverage poetic techniques to spice up their writing and demonstrate mastery of their craft. Let’s take a look at five such devices to up your rhyming game. My meter isn’t perfect, but you’ll get the idea. Letters that demonstrate the technique are capitalized.

 

Assonance is technique number one.

ThOse who use it have bOatlOads of fun.

REpEating vowels (or dipthongs) Is how It Is done.

RObert FrOst’s Snowy Evening used this a ton.

 

“He gIves hIs harnEss bElls a shake

To ask If there Is some mistake.

The onlY other sound’s the swEEp

Of easY wind and downY flake.

The woods are lovelY, dar and dEEp.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to gO befOre I sleep.”

 

Consonance offers technique number two,

A helpful approach you shouldn’t eschew.

By using Consonants in Close suCcession,

Shel’s The Acrobats makes a strong impression.

 

I’LL swing by my ankles.

She’LL cling to your knees.

As you Hang by your nose,

From a High-up traPeZe.

But just one THing, Please,

As we float THrough the breeZe,

Don’t sneeZe.

 

Alliteration is technique number three.

You’ll use it without trouble, I can foresee.

It’s consonance on syllable number one.

Mother Goose below shows how rhymes can be spun.

 

“Betty Botter Bought some Butter.

But, she said, the Butter’s Bitter.

If I put it in my Batter it will make my Batter Bitter,

But a Bit of Better Butter will make my Batter Better.”

 

Repetition is technique number four.

Write words twice; more if you’re hardcore.

It’s very straightforward; you simply repeat,

This adds some emphasis in one easy feat.

 

“Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
So early in the morning.”

 

Onomatopoeia is technique five.

It’s the buzz of bees surrounding their hive.

It is words that seem to spell out a sound,

Like a cow’s moo, or the bark of a hound.

 

“It went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped,

And whirr when it stood still.

I never knew just what it was, and I guess I never will.”

 

Now, get your assonance in gear, and write some spicy rhyme!

 

Bio:

Henry Herz writes fantasy and science fiction for children. He has five picture books published or under contract: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Pelican, 2015), When You Give an Imp a Penny (Pelican, 2016), Little Red Cuttlefish (Pelican, 2016), Mabel and the Queen of Dreams (Schiffer, 2016), and Dinosaur Pirates (Sterling, 2017).

Henry and his sons have also indie-published four children’s books, including Nimpentoad (early chapter book), which reached #1 in Kindle Best Sellers large print sci-fi & fantasy, and was featured in Young Entrepreneur, Wired GeekDad, and CNN; and Beyond the Pale (young adult anthology), with short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed, Peter S. Beagle, Heather Brewer, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder & Jane Yolen.

Henry is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Society of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. He writes articles about children’s literature for TheWriteLife.com, and maintains a popular blog on KidLit, fantasy, and science fiction at www.henryherz.com. At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, he moderated a speculative fiction author panel of Brandon Sanderson, Maggie Stiefvater, Kami Garcia, Heather (Zac) Brewer, and Jonathan Maberry. At the 2016 WonderCon, he moderated a KidLit author panel of Dan Santat, Jon Klassen, Laura Numeroff, Bruce Hale and Antoinette Portis. Henry created KidLit Creature Week (www.birchtreepub.com/kcw), an annual online gallery of monsters, creatures, and other imaginary beasts from children’s books. Henry reviews children’s books for the San Francisco Book Review and San Diego Book Review.

 

Monster Goose image

MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES

When you give an imp a penny

WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY

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Twitter: @Nimpentoad

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Thank You Henry!

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!!

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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!

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

 

 

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RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 11 Author Rob Sanders

Happy Wednesday!

Have you visited our RhyPiBoMo Auction? We appreciate your support of the generous donations of so many authors, agents and editors to support rhyming picture books! This is a non-profit effort!

Thank you to all who have made purchases so far!

RhyPiBOMo 2016 Auction Badge

Please support RPBs by making a purchase today!

daisy

 Today’s author mentions many titles from one of my favorite authors of rhyme Lisa Wheeler. Have you read her books? If not, you MUST read them all to see what a true quality RPB entails.

I am so happy to have this very talented teacher/writer with us today! Look for more of his books coming soon!

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 I’m pleased to introduce

Author Rob Sanders

Rob Sanders Headshot

Author Rob Sanders

 

Parade image

Finding Your Rhythm in Meter

By Rob Sanders

I love parades—have since I was a kid. I distinctly remember the Christmas parade back in Springfield, Missouri. Our entire family would bundle up and stand in front of the county court house waiting for the floats, bands, and, eventually, Santa. The drumline of each band would get my pulse racing. It was almost like I could feel the bass drum beats ricocheting off my chest. The syncopated rhythms always got the crowd cheering and clapping along.

Meter can do the same thing in rhyming picture books. Meter can quicken the pulse of the reader, provide the rhythm that drives the story forward, and cause the reader to cheer, “Read it again!”

A few years ago I was leading in-service training for teachers in my school district. Many of our Title I schools had been given sets of books to use as mentor texts to teach writing craft during writers’ workshop lessons. I was familiar with the books that filled the tub each school received because I’d spent several days reading all the books and creating a master list of the writing crafts in each book, the page numbers where examples could be found, and how each craft might be taught in a lesson.

During the training, small groups of teachers read through texts, used post-its to mark what they found, and then shared out their discoveries. One group read a passage from a picture book and started listing the writing crafts they had identified. “We found vivid verbs, and a simile.” I nodded my head in agreement, and then the teacher continued, “We also found rhyme and meter.”  I must have given the women a funny look because she added, “Really, we did!”

I asked her to read the passage aloud again, and sure enough there was rhyme and meter. As many times as I had read that passage, I hadn’t heard it. Why? Because the rhymes were so perfect and the meter so fluid that the text flowed seamlessly. “What a great writer!” I gushed upon the discovery.

I’ve never had that experience again, but I have begun to discover something that most masters of rhyme do. They choose their meter specifically to fit the text they are writing. They find the rhythm that suits the story.

For instance, in AVALANCHE ANNIE, Lisa Wheeler (a true master rhymer) uses her meter to drive the forward momentum of the story, leaving us speeding forward with Annie as she outpaces an avalanche.

            That avalanche was angry—

an awesome icy beast!

That wicked wonder wouldn’t stop

its power had increased.

 

As Yoohoos scurried downward,

their snowshoes lost their grip.

SNAP! That brute, in close pursuit,

cracked at them like a whip!

In MAMMOTHS ON THE MOVE, Lisa uses the same meter, but adds an additional foot. The pace slows, and I feel like I’m traveling side-by-side with these plodding, pre-historic pachyderms.

            The oldest mother led the way

            across the steppes both night and day.

            The females followed in her tracks,

            majestic glaciers at their backs.

            Rivers ran across their path

But mammoths didn’t mind a bath.

They raised their snorkel-trunks up high

And swam with noses to the sky.

 

I know Lisa Wheeler, and I’ve heard her speak at boot camps and conferences. She has professionally critiqued many of my manuscripts, and I’ve adopted her as one of my mentors. I don’t think the meter she used in each of these books happened by accident. I think Lisa intentionally chose the meter she would use in each book so it would contribute to the overall impact of the story she was telling.

Another strategy for choosing the meter that will create the rhythm in the story you are writing is to look to existing and familiar metric schemes. Examples include ONCE UPON A TWICE by Denise Doyen which uses the same meter as “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, and THE SOLDIERS’ NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Trish Holland and Christine Ford which is based on the Christmas classic THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Since I seem to be leading us through an author study of Lisa Wheeler’s rhyming picture books, let’s examine an excerpt from her SPINSTER GOOSE: TWISTED RHYMES FOR NAUGHTY CHILDREN which uses the rhyming structure and meter of many well-known nursery rhymes as inspiration.

 The Menu

Peas porridge hot.

          (I hate this food a lot.)

Peas porridge cold.

          (All moldy, green, and old.)

Peas porridge thin.

          (In slimy gelatin.)

Peas porridge thick.

          (I think I’m feeling sick.)

A strong meter anchors the reader in the story. Meter also serves as a road sign to readers—a road sign that directs them on their reading journey. Meter can dictate the pace at which a story is read, what words are emphasized, and what feeling is created. In all fairness, meter is not the only road sign that readers use on their reading journeys. Other road signs that dictate how a reader reads a piece of literature include punctuation, vocabulary, the use of all caps, onomatopoeias, line breaks, placement of words on a page, intentional interruption in the flow/meter, and, of course, the rhyme choices themselves. The importance of meter, however, cannot be over emphasized.

My challenge to you, my fellow rhyming picture book writer, is to create the road signs that will take your readers on a successful and marvelous journey. Find the rhythm or meter that will dictate how a reader will travel through your story. Don’t leave your meter to chance; don’t let it be half-done, awkward, or inconsistent; don’t settle for a metric pattern just because it seems comfortable or familiar. Find your rhythm and make it work for, and contribute to your writing. In the end, your readers will be cheering, “Read it again!”

Want to Dig In Deeper?

  • Do you want to study more about meter? Head straight to rhymeweaver.com where author, friend, and fellow Florida SCBWI member, Lane Frederickson, will enlighten, entertain, and inform you.

  • There are many forms of meter and many poets challenge themselves to try out various metric patterns in their writing. If you want to see a master poet at work, subscribe to Jane Yolen’s “Poem A Day.” Jane often challenges herself (and her readers) with new, different, or unfamiliar metric schemes.

  • Do you know about the Poetry Foundation? You should check it out so you can get a crash course on various forms of meter!

Bio:

Rob Sanders does not work as a telephone sales rep, a loading dock worker, a trophy engraver, or an editor. But he used to. Rob is not a cowboy, a ballerina, an alien, or a temper-tantrum-throwing toddler. But he writes about them. Rob is a picture book author and a writing teacher. He worked for fifteen years in religious educational publishing as a writer, editor, editorial manager, and product designer. These days he teaches elementary kids about books, and writes books for those same kids.

Since focusing on picture book writing eight years ago, Rob has sold six picture books to three major publishing houses. His first picture book, COWBOY CHRISTMAS, was released by Golden Books/Random House in 2012. OUTER SPACE BEDTIME RACE (listed among the top twenty rhyming picture books of 2015) was released by Random House Children’s Books in January 2015. RUBY ROSE—OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES (the first in a two-book deal with HarperCollins) releases in 2016. Other titles coming soon include: RUBY ROSE—BIG BRAVOS (HarperCollins 2017), RODZILLA (Simon & Schuster, 2017), and A FLAG FOR HARVEY (Random House Children’s Books, 2018). Rob also coordinates the Rising Kite Writing Contest for SCBWI Florida, organizes meetings for SCBWI Florida members in the Tampa Bay area, and coaches and critiques other picture book writers.

Outer Space Bedtime Race Cover

OUTER SPACE BEDTIME RACE

Ruby Rose Cover

Pre-Order for June 2016

RUBY ROSE OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES

 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Thank You Rob!

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!!

image

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!

image

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

 

 

RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 10 Literary Agent Sally Apokedak

 RhyPiBoMo Rhyming Party
This Friday, 8:00 CST sharp! It is one hour of crazy, rhyming trivia!!!
Study this week’s blog posts for the answers! 
Congratulations to Lynn Alpert who won a rhyming picture book manuscript critique! Did you missed our Rhyming Party last week?  Well, here are a few funny comments posted from last Friday’s mania…
“Debbie Smart  – I made it in the nick of time … to Angie’s party to get on my rhyme!”
“Pj McIlvaine  – Should be working on my book, but here I am, procrastinating and on the lam.”
“Mona Pease – Illustrator you say. Don’t look at me or I’ll run away!”
“Karen Affholter  – Hello to all my rhyming friends, I’m checking in while nursing. I’ve got a newborn on my lap so keep it clean, no cursing!”
“Vivian Kirkfield  – Oh Karen needs a special prize, for rhyming makes a baby wise. “
 “Linda Staszak A glass of wine makes rhyming fine!”
So you get the idea…silly rhyming fun! There was no cursing, but I am certain the wine was flowing and the beer was cold. Cheers to all who played last week! I’ll see ya Friday!

daisy

Rhyming Critique Groups

Due to huge numbers of folks interested in our Rhyming Critique Groups, the last day to register in our Facebook Group is today, Wednesday, April 13th at Midnight CST. You will be placed in a group only if your name is on the Master Registration List.

Thank you for understanding as we manage almost 10 groups.

daisy

I had the opportunity to meet today’s guest blogger last summer at a writing retreat. She is such a nice person and would be a dream agent for anyone who likes to work hard and write beautiful, clever, one-of-a-kind rhyme! I feel blessed that we are friends and I appreciate her words of wisdom today.

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 I’m pleased to introduce

Literary Agent Sally Apokedak

Sally Apokedak headshot

Literary Agent Sally Apokedak

 

Move My Soul to Dance

Sally Apokedak image 1

Angie, delightful editor that she is, assigned me a topic for this post:

Why multi-syllabic ending rhyming words are gems.

Well, then.

Well, well.

Isn’t that a mouthful?

I have no one but myself to blame.

I have said on my website that if you are writing rhyming picture books, and you are employing end rhymes, and all the rhyming words are one-syllable, then the work is probably not for me.

Sally Apokedak image 2

WOULD A WORM GO ON A WALK? 
by Hannah C. Hall Illustrated by Bill Bolton

And I get a lot of questions about this. Why do I rep Hannah C. Hall, who uses single-syllable words as end rhymes? What about all the books on the shelves that do the same? What about Dr. Seuss, for pity’s sakes?

So here’s what I mean when I say single-syllable end rhymes are not for me: if you want to sell me on your rhyming picture book, you’re going to have to be better than 99% of the people who submit to me. And most people can rhyme single-syllable words pretty easily.

It’s not hard to say,

The cat sat on the mat.

Then he ate the rat.

And he got really fat.

It’s not even hard to say,

I love to walk beneath the trees,

to wander in their shade.

I love to feel the gentle breeze

and rest in mountain glade.

It took me under two minutes to write those two little rhymes. Those were not hard to do.

So my saying that you have to have more than single-syllable end rhymes is kind of shorthand for, “You have to stand out with your rhymes if you want me to love your rhyming books.”

It’s not really about single-syllable rhyming words. It’s about not sending me plodding little ditties that don’t move my soul to dance.

You need so much more than multi-syllabic words, though.

For one thing you need to never use the word syllabic in a work you send me. Isn’t that a horrid word? Fill your poems with words that are fun. Syllabic sounds slimy to me or like something a cat would cough up. I guess you could use it if you were being funny:

Send only multi-syllabic rhymes,

Full of saliva and phlegm,

Do not wail or send hate mail,

Just give me a rhyming gem.

But really what you need to do is delight the ear and stir the soul if you want to break in with your picture books.

Let’s look at a stanza of poetry that uses some single-syllable end rhymes.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

 

Do you see how many figures of speech John Masefield employs?

 

More Information on Figures of speech

 

He’s got alliteration, assonance, consonance, personification, and anaphora. He’s creating a mood with his words. He’s calling to our souls, filling us with longing. All in four short lines.

Alright, you’re writing a picture book, not poetry. But that’s my point:

Picture books, even the simplest ones for the smallest children, ought to be more poetry and less advertising jingle.

 

Bio:

Sally Apokedak is an associate agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency.

She’s been studying, reviewing, and marketing children’s books, as well as giving writing instruction for 15 years. As the manager of the Kidz Book Buzz blog tour she was privileged to work with best-selling and award-winning authors such as Jeanne DuPrau, Ingrid Law, and Shannon Hale. She is currently working with her own best-selling and award-winning clients: Hannah Hall, Taryn Souders, Mark S. Waxman, to name a few. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the United States as well as teaching writing, online, to students in over 90 countries through her Udemy courses.

Sally is interested in children’s books written from a Christian worldview, but aimed at the general market. She loves picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels.

Find out more at

Submit to Sally at submissions@sally-apokedak.com

What Sally is looking for . . . in her own words 😉

Picture Books:  I’m looking for quirky, fun, characters and delightful language, with lines that roll and rhymes that rock. Conflict and growth for characters always helps.

Middle Grade Books:  I’d love some funny boy books. Boy scientists and boy geniuses are great. I love fantasies, and I’d really some sci-fi, but really want anything with a strong voice.

YA Books:  Fantasy is my favorite, and if there’s romance, I love it even more. I’m a huge contemporary fan. I do like sci-fi and mystery.

What Sally is not looking for

Any picture books that rhyme where all the rhyming words are one or two syllables, are not going to be right for me, I’m pretty sure.

I am also not a huge fan of issue books and preachy stories. Supernatural books, with angels, demons, or any mix thereof, will probably not catch my fancy. I’m not salivating for werewolves, vampires, ghosts, fairies, or zombies. I’m not into dark and angsty books. I like endings that are full of hope.

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Novel Writing Course

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 Thank You Sally!

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!!

image

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!

image

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

 

 

RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 9 Author Rebecca J. Gomez

Happy Tuesday!

Rhyming Critique Groups will be organized this week!

Thank you Dawn Young for organizing our rhyming critique groups again this year! Dawn posted a sign up on our Facebook page so please sign up there if you want to join a rhyming critique group! You MUST be on the RhyPiBoMo Official Registration List to participate this year as we have so many people to accommodate. This is a great opportunity to find other rhymers, as it’s tough to find a rhyming crit group.

Rebecca 2

I am so pleased to have today’s guest blogger. She is a partner in crime with the rhyming guru Corey Rosen Schwartz. Together they wrote the Best in Rhyme Honor Book WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?  If you haven’t read it, find it! It is a delightful read and a perfect example of how rhyme enhances a story.

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I’m pleased to introduce

Author Rebecca J. Gomez

Rebecca head shot

Author Rebecca J. Gomez

 

Avoiding Disaster: Consistency in

Rhyme and Meter

When someone picks up a rhyming book, they want it to shine. They want the rhymes to be true and the meter to flow smoothly. Anything less can mean disaster for your story.

Do you want to avoid disaster in your rhyming manuscripts? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Syllables aren’t everything.

More important than the number of syllables is a word’s natural rhythm. Consider the word “coincidence.” Four distinct syllables in a clear, established, natural rhythm—co-IN-ci-dence.

Others don’t have such consistent rhythm. Consider wild, fowl, and rumbling. The rhythm in each of these words depends on the speaker.

Wild and fowl technically have one syllable each. But many people, like me, pronounce them as two. Wi-ld. Fow-l.

Rumbling may seem like an obvious three-syllable word. But not so fast! Sure, rumble is two, so adding “ing” to the end would make it three. Right? Not necessarily. Some people skip over that middle syllable and pronounce the word as two. Rumb-ling.

Alternate pronunciations can also affect a word’s natural rhythm. Consider the word “harassment,” for example. Is the stress on the first or second syllable? It depends on the speaker.

  1. Does it REALLY rhyme?

When my co-author, Corey Rosen Schwartz, and I are working on a rhyming manuscript, one of us will inevitably say, “Those words don’t rhyme.” I’m in the Midwest. She’s on the east coast. We talk differently. For me, the words not and thought rhyme perfectly. For her, they don’t.

Working these things out together has helped us write rhyming stories with consistent, easy-to-read rhyme and meter.

  1. Names and verbs often compete for the stressed beat.

Consider this sentence: Jack ran down the street. Now say it out loud. Did you emphasize Jack or ran? I tend to emphasize a name when it is the first word in a line, but others will emphasize the verb. If I came across a section of verse like the example below, I might need to pause and correct myself.

Jack ran down the street

with no shoes on his feet,

feeling anxious to meet

his best friend.

This won’t be an issue for every reader, but it’s your responsibility to be aware of even the slightest potential for meter trouble and take steps to address it.

  1. If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it.

Don’t arrange a line in such a way as to force an emphasis onto a different part of a word. This is a big NO-NO and I doubt your readers will forgive you for it (assuming a mistake like this makes it past an editor…which, sadly, does occasionally happen).

Don’t use a word solely for its rhyme. Just because a word is listed on thesaurus.com as a synonym – and it’s just the rhyme you need! – doesn’t mean you should use it. Would you use that word if you were writing in prose? Does it truly make sense in the context of your story? Readers love interesting language, but if it a word feels out of place, it will annoy rather than amaze.

Because of the differences in the way people talk, the way they read, and even their penchant (or lack thereof) for rhyme, consistency in rhyme and meter is difficult to attain. However, if you put in the effort and are more patient than you ever thought possible, then your story’s “meter issues” will be blips rather than disasters.

 

Bio:

Rebecca J. Gomez loves to write rhyming stories and poems because they are her favorite to read aloud. When she’s not writing or test-reading her rhyming manuscripts on her family, she likes to bake, crochet, hike in the woods, watch movies, and read books from her ever growing to-read pile. She lives in Nebraska with her husband, three kids, two poodles, and one parrotlet.

Twitter: @gomezwrites

Facebook: Rebecca J. Gomez — Children’s Author

Rebecca’s website

 Thank You Rebecca!

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!!

image

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!

image

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

 

 

RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 8 Author Anika Denise

Congrats Week 1 Daily Prize Winners!

trumpets

Did you read and comment on all the blog posts last week?

These folks did!!

There were many people whose names I drew that didn’t comment on that day’s blog post, so they didn’t win a prize. We have 242 people registered for RhyPiBoMo 2016. I use Random.org to choose a winner. Then I check to see if that person on my Master Registration list commented on a post for a certain day. LOTS of people lost the chance to win a prize so don’t forget to read and comment daily!

Day 1  Maria Gianferrari  

Autographed Copy of DR. SEUSS BIOGRAPHY by Author Tanya Anderson

Day 2  Patricia Toht     

Autographed Copy of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT by Best in Rhyme Award Winner Penny Parker Klostermann

Day 3  Sara Gentry      

Copy of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS (Student Edition) from Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

Day 4  Mona Pease    

Autographed Copy of ALL YEAR ROUND by Susan Katz

Day 5    Jill Proctor      

Autographed Copy of MONSTER TROUBLE By Lane Fredrickson

Day 6  Helen Zax 

RPB Revolution Conference Recording ($50.00 value)

 Prize winners, please email (Angie.karcher@yahoo.com) or message me with your contact information. Typically, the books will be mailed directly from the author, so please allow a few weeks. If you haven’t received your prize by the end of April, please let me know. 

 

Shake it off Parody image

 I want to extend a huge thanks to KidLitTV‘s Katya Szewczuk, Laurel Nakai and Julie Gribble for the latest RhyPiBoMo “SHAKE IT OFF” Parody! Please extend your appreciation to them for such a fun way to celebrate RPBs! Thank you KidLitTV!

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Rhyming Critique Groups will be organized this week!

Thank you Dawn Young for organizing our rhyming critique groups again this year! Dawn will post a sign up on our Facebook page so please sign up there if you want to join a rhyming critique group! You MUST be on the RhyPiBoMo Official Registration List to participate this year as we have so many people to accommodate. This is a great opportunity to find other rhymers, as it’s tough to find a rhyming crit group.

 

So now without further ado, I give you today’s guest blogger!

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 I’m pleased to introduce

Author Anika Denise

Anika head shot

Author Anika Denise

 

“Do You Want Hot Sauce With That?”

How Rhyme Can Spice-up A Story

Anika 1

Imagine your manuscript is a burrito.

A strong story arc is your hardy whole wheat tortilla. Lyrical language, flawless meter, a delicious sprinkling of assonance and alliteration. . . they’re the beans, rice and cheese. But without your story tortilla to wrap them up and hold them together, all you have is heap of ingredients plopped on a plate.

In other words, rhyme should always serve story. It should show up carrying a tray and say, “Do you want hot sauce with that?”

I’m often asked at school visits how I decide whether to write in rhyme or prose. The answer I give (the one that really impresses teachers) is, “Um, I don’t know.”

Because to be honest, it’s a gut thing. Some stories simply feel right for rhyme.

I chose to write my first picture book PIGS LOVE POTATOES in rhyme because it’s a counting book for very young readers, and rhyming and counting are a natural fit.  For BAKING DAY AT GRANDMA’S, the words poured out like a recipe: “flour, sugar, butter, eggs./ Stand on chairs with tippy legs… One hot cocoa at each place./ Frosty window, smiley face.”

When the idea for my forthcoming picture book, MONSTER TRUCKS, came to me, I wasn’t immediately sure it would rhyme, but I had a strong hunch. What, with all the screeching and howling, thrashing and crashing—and the opportunity to write a perky blue VW bus who putt-putts and toot-toots her way into readers’ hearts? I couldn’t resist.

Anika 2

Illustration © 2016 Nate Wragg

If you’re contemplating writing in verse, I’d start there. Ask yourself, does rhyme feel right for this idea?  If it’s a yes, then ask why. Being able to articulate why rhyme suits a story not only underscores it as the best choice, but helps you effectively use poetic techniques to spice things up.

Here are THREE WAYS you can use rhyme to spice up your story.

  1. To build tension.

Rhyme, rhythm and repetition can build tension beautifully in a picture book, especially when designed around the all-important page turn.

One of my favorite examples is Ammi-Joan Paquette’s GHOST IN THE HOUSE. Her words read like a bump in the night. They are expertly paced, and serve to heighten suspense as each new creature enters the scene.

Anika 3

Illustration ©2015 Adam Record

There’s a ghost in the house,

In the creepy haunted house,

On this dark, spooky night, all alone.

 

And he goes slip-slide

With a swoop and a glide

Until suddenly he hears. . .

A GROAN!

 

And a mummy makes two in the house,

In the creepy haunted house,

On this dark, spooky night, on the prowl.

 

And they shuffle around

Without even a sound

Until suddenly they hear…

A GROWL!

 

  1. To bring the funny.

Rollicking rhymes with a touch of silly can really bring the funny. Add in a little irreverence, and you’ve got ‘em rolling in the aisles!

My favorite irreverently hilarious rhyming picture book is Penny Parker Klostermann’s award-winning THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT.

Anika 4

Illustration © 2015 Ben Mantle

Seriously, the clippity, clippity, clippity clop line made me snort coffee out of my nose the first time I read it.

Another fabulous mentor text is Josh Funk’s pun-filled LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST.

Anika 5

Illustration © 2015 Brendan Kearney

Josh’s rhyming tale of two breakfast foods in a race to the syrup is a veritable smorgasbord of clever wordplay and saucy retorts.

  1. To create emotional resonance.

In other words, heart. To be clear, I’m not talking heart strings—although lyrical verse in a beautifully crafted story can tug them in the very best way—I mean using rhyme to evoke emotion, any emotion, authentically.

Beth Ferry’s STICK AND STONE does this so incredibly well, I want to show it to every writer learning the craft of picture books. With the sparest of rhyming text , Beth delivers an emotionally resonant tale about loneliness, courage and friendship.

Anika 7

Anika 8

Anika 9

Illustration ©2015 Tom Lichtenheld

Not to mention a perfect story arc complete with conflict, tension, a successful quest and a satisfying resolution.

So start with the tortilla, make sure there are no holes or thin bits, then add all your favorite rhyming ingredients, dab on some hot sauce, and dig in.

Bio:

Anika Denise is a children’s book author and poet. When not writing stories about piggies and elephants and bears (oh my!) she’s either cooking, baking, reading or attempting to do all three at the same time. Her published picture books include Pigs Love Potatoes, Bella and Stella Come Home and Baking Day at Grandma’s (Philomel). She has several more coming soon, including a rhyming tale of vroom and doom titled Monster Trucks, illustrated by Nate Wragg (HarperCollins 2016), Starring Carmen, illustrated by Lorena Alvarez (Abrams 2017), and The Best Part of Middle, illustrated by her husband Christopher Denise (Christy Ottaviano Books 2018)Anika and Chris live in Rhode Island with their three kids, overgrown vegetable gardens, pesky squirrels and a slew of imaginary friends.

Visit Anika online at anikadenise.com and on Twitter @AnikaDenise.

Anika Baking_Day

Baking Day at Grandma’s

 

Anika Bella_and_ Stella

Bella and Stella Come Home

 

Anika Monster Trucks

Monster Trucks

 

Anika Pigs_love_potatoes

Pigs Love Potatoes

 

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

YouTube 

 Thank You Anika!

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!!

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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!

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

 

 

RhyPiBOMo 2016 Day 7 “SHAKE IT OFF” Parody by KidLitTV’s Katya Szewczuk and Laurel Nakai

 Happy Saturday!

Yes, It’s Saturday and I’m knocking on your screen door with a RhyPiBoMo Surprise!

       Today you are in for a treat!

Last year my good friend Dawn Young set the bar high with her #RhyPiBoMo Parody IT”S ALL ABOUT THAT RHYME! which is a certain earworm and a tough one to follow…So this year, I wrote the lyrics and partnered with KidLitTV’s Katya Szewczuk, Laurel Nakai and  KidLitTV Founder Julie Gribble who put together

THIS…SICK..BEAT!

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 Welcome KidLitTV Founder Julie Gribble and

Musician Laurel Nakai, Artist Katya  Szewczuk

performing the #RhyPiBoMo “SHAKE IT OFF” Parody!

 Julie Gribble Headshot with scarf   KidLit TV logo - new

Founder of KIDLITTV Julie Gribble

Katya-Szewczuk headshot

Laurel Nakai Headshot

 I give you the “SHAKE IT OFF” Parody

originally sung and performed by the amazing Taylor Swift and

re-performed by Laurel, Kat and Junior KidLitTV Reviewer Rosie Ciuba!

The “SHAKE-IT-OFF” Parody

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Thank You Laurel, Katya, Rosie, Julie

and KidLitTV!

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!!

image

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!

image

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

 

 

RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 6 Lane Fredrickson

Happy Friday!

Are you officially registered for RhyPiBoMo?

Registration ends tonight at Midnight CST!

 If not, click here and register so you will be eligible for daily prizes and can join one of our rhyming critique groups. These will be organized next week. Registration ends at Midnight tonight CST.

If you’re not sure whether you registered or not, click here for the Master Registration List. These are the folks who are officially registered for RhyPiBoMo 2016.

Lane Frederickson Rhymeweaver

 Today’s guest blogger is someone I met personally at the RPB Revolution Conference last December and now we are friends. I was thrilled to connect in person because I love her website! I suggest that my students study her site! Now I’m suggesting that you study her website too. The topic of rhyme pales in comparison to the topic of meter and word stress when it comes to writing rhyming picture books. If you don’t understand what a stressed syllable is, then you MUST learn more about it.

Rhymeweaver.com is the best place to begin!

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  I’m pleased to introduce

Author Lane Fredrickson

Lane Frederickson headshot

Author Lane Fredrickson

and her amazing website RhymeWeaver!

 

 

RhymeWeaver.com: For Writing

Better Rhyme and Meter

Lane Frederickson Rhymeweaver

Some people can touch their tongue to their nose.

Lane Image 2

Some people can’t.  And these are mutually exclusive categories (meaning you must be EITHER a nose-tongue-toucher or a NON-nose-tongue-toucher, you cannot be both).  So, where am I going with this? Rhyme.

We’re talking about rhyme.

Stay with me.

The presence of this ability is called Gorlin’s sign and no matter how hard you try, if you don’t have it, you simply cannot touch your tongue to your nose (short of self-mutilation, that is).

Lane Image 3

And here’s my point: some people think the ability to rhyme is like the Gorlin Sign- you either have it, or you don’t.

But here’s the good news: This is a myth. Just like yodeling or ice-skating, making great rhymes is an art, and it CAN be learned.  Even naturally good rhymers can become better rhymers.

But there’s some bad news.

Because it’s hard.  It takes a lot of effort to really understand rhyme and meter and consistently write it well.  This genre is not for the slacker.  For me, the hardest thing about understanding rhyme and meter was that I always had to work backwards.  I had to look at a finished poem that was revered for its excellence and superior craftsmanship and figure out why it was amazing.  Then I had to look at a few hundred more of these masterworks and see what was common among them, etc., etc.  I can assure you that this method, while ultimately effective, is really, really boring and tedious and aggravating and potentially suicide-inducing.

I don’t recommend it.

That is where RhymeWeaver.com comes in.  The beauty of RhymeWeaver.com (a.k.a. WritingRhymeAndMeter.com) is that you don’t have to start from the final result and work backwards. Every teacher knows that people learn best when they study concepts from the bottom up.  No one learns long division before addition.  It’s a math law.

There should be a RhyPiBoMo law that says:  Thou shalt master stressed syllables before thou shalt tackle hypercatalyctic anapestic tetrameter.

Lane Image 4

RhymeWeaver.com starts from the most basic concepts and progresses to the really complex using graphics and examples to illustrate points.   And it’s broken down into small segments so you can do a few a day.  You can skip sections you already understand and you can go back to sections you found difficult. You can learn to be a master rhymer (even if you can’t touch your tongue to your nose), but mastery takes time.  RhymeWeaver.com will save you time.  A lot of it.

Lane Image 5

Bio:

Lane Fredrickson was born in Montana, an awfully cold place.  Now she lives in Florida, a very warm place.  While it may seem like this was a plan, it was really more of an adventure.  Becoming a children’s book author was not a plan, either.  And it is always an adventure.  Lane’s first degree was in experimental psychology, but she got a second degree in English out of sheer boredom, when her two kids went to school.  Again, not a plan.  After dabbling at writing picture books for many years, she became fascinated with medieval and renaissance literature in college.  The intricacies of rhyme and meter became rules and deviations instead of pure unadulterated mysteries.  This unraveling of the rhyme and meter conundrum lead to the publications of Watch Your Tongue, Cecily Beasley in 2012, and Monster Trouble! in 2015.

Lane’s website, Rhymeweaver.com was born more as a challenge in writing a website than creating a resource for writers, but it was definitely a plan.  There was so much planning in writing Rhymeweaver.com that Lane almost lost her “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-kinda-gal” nature.  This is probably a good thing, however, as Lane Fredrickson is, after all, a grownup.

Lane Image 1

Watch Your Tongue Cecily Beasley

Lane Monster Trouble image

Monster Trouble

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Thank You Lane!

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!!

image

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!

image

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

 

 

RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 5 Author Sylvia Vardell

Happy Thursday!

RhyPiBoMo Rhyming Party

So, Whatcha doin’ Friday night?

How about spending an hour with some whacky rhymers in a little trivia game about this week’s blog posts? It all takes place in our Facebook group. I type in questions and the first to answer correctly gets a point. The one with the most points wins a prize.

Oh, and did I mention that you MUST type in rhyme? Well that’s the fun of it all. You may see things like, “I forgot, her name is Susan, Now I’m really, really Losin'” or “That answer was mine, now I must drink some wine!” or “I can’t type fast enough, this game is really tough!” or “Monday’s blogger was Penny Parker Kloster-MANN, I am her biggest rhyming FAN!” (notice i forced the stress on the last syllable…terrible meter, terrible…) See what I mean? Crazy, silly, laugh-out-loud fun. And band width is your friend!

What are the prizes you ask?

Well, I have a few rhyming picture books to give away, a critique or two, a scholarship for my Writing in Rhyme Class and an awesome digital graphic organizer of what needs to be in a good RPB.

See you this Friday, April 8th at 8:00 PM CST (Chicago Time) 

Be there or be square!

Antique Truck

Hold on to your rhyming hats folks because today’s guest blogger

brings an Antique Chevy Truck full of friends with her!

Not to say the guests are antiques, but their works are certainly

treasured heirlooms of words!  We are blessed to have

the wisdom of so many talented writers,

so enjoy and take notes!

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 I’m pleased to introduce

Author Sylvia Vardell

Sylvia Vardell photo

Author Sylvia Vardell

Rhyme Scheme: Stick with It

By Sylvia Vardell plus 8 Poets

 

Sylvia Vardell Image 5

As I considered the power of rhyme scheme in the appeal of rhyming picture books, I decided to ask poets themselves for advice and input. I invited eight poets who create rhyming picture books: Charles Ghigna, Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Kenn Nesbitt, Eric Ode, Marilyn Singer, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, and Jane Yolen. I asked them to offer insight in three key areas:

  1. Any nugget of advice about writing in rhyme

  2. Pet peeve about (violations of) rhyme scheme

  3. A favorite rhyming picture book or favorite writer of rhyming picture books

I found their responses really interesting, enlightening, and entertaining and I think you will too!

ADVICE ABOUT RHYME

From Kenn Nesbitt: A) Learn about meter. Rhyme without solid meter isn’t as pleasurable to read. www.writingrhymeandmeter.com is a great resource for beginners. B) Avoid forced rhymes. If you aren’t sure what forced rhymes are, I’ve written an article about them here: http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/news/forced-rhymes-and-how-to-avoid-them/

 

From Eric Ode: Understand and get comfortable with meter and rhythm. When a rhyming text doesn’t scan well and sort of hiccups along, it’s often because the writer doesn’t have a good sense of meter. Inversely, when those blocks of stressed and unstressed syllables are well-polished, the text is so much more satisfying to the reader.

 

From Jane Yolen: If you begin with a rhyme scheme, stick with it. Don’t swap in midstream. It confuses the reader. Or remember my caution this way:

Begin with a rhyme–

Stick to it.

Or else you will find–

You rue it.

Don’t suddenly add a lot of other stuff because you think it works.

You’ll screw it.

Be sure to read your lines out loud. Over. Over. Over again.

 

From Charles Ghigna: I like to think of rhymes as the ebb and flow of the poem, the melodic waves that pull the reader and listener into the poem by the ear and carry the meaning and narrative along like a gentle flowing river.  As a rule of thumb, I like rhymes that are original and unexpected, yet so just-right they go unnoticed as simply a part of the flow.

I also like rhymes whose spellings do not look like they rhyme when you see them, but offer a subtle little ah-ha moment when you say them. An example of that kind of rhyme are the words “trees” and “please” and the words “one” and “begun” as I used in my poem “A Poem is a Little Path.”

 

From Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: Rhyme and meter often go together, so I often count out syllables, writing the number of syllables in each line at the beginning of each line. This allows me to see patterns and to see where things hold together and where they fall apart. I find it helpful to tap the side of my face or a table, feeling the rhythms in my body. Too, my rhyming dictionary is a reliable pal.

 

From Marilyn Singer: Don’t get stuck on a particular rhyme–on trying to make a certain word rhyme.  If it isn’t working, look for synonyms or another way to phrase what you’re trying to say. You may have better luck that way!

 

From Nikki Grimes: The single most important thing I advise is to remember to tell a story. Novice writers often get so caught up in rhyming that they forget to paint a picture, or to tell a story, which is the whole point. Unless a poem is about something, it doesn’t matter whether or not it rhymes.

 

From J. Patrick Lewis: Advice about children writing in rhyme? Don’t. Good rhymes are too difficult for children, who lack the vocabulary and the time. They will invariably choose the easy (contrived) rhyme. If children are trying to write poetry, encourage them to write free verse.

 

PET PEEVES (about writing in rhyme)

  1. Every new rhymster thinks that since Dr. Seuss made up words to rhyme, that gives him/her license to do the same. This is NOT poetic license. It is sloppy writing. Dr. Seuss was sui generis. That doesn’t mean he was generous with his words. It means he was one of a kind. You are not. I am not. We are not Dr. Seuss. (Jane Yolen)

  2. When you establish a rhyme scheme, you give the reader an expectation. If you then break the rhyme scheme, you upset that expectation. That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t do it, but if you’re going to break your rhyme scheme you should be doing it intentionally, with the awareness that it may be a bit of a speed bump for the reader. (Kenn Nesbitt)

  3. Pet peeve? Rhymes that aren’t. I don’t cotton to half-rhymes as end rhymes–unless you’re Emily Dickinson (“Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul, /And sings the tune without the words, /And never stops at all.”) or unless you lived at a time when words were pronounced differently (Shakespeare’s, for example). And some rap poets can get away with it, too, but I don’t think the rest of us can or should. (Marilyn Singer)

  4. As long as the meter is tight, I don’t mind a few liberties being taken with the rhyme scheme. In fact, sometimes this seems to help break up the sing-song nature of some rhyming texts. I recently wrapped up a rhyming picture book text where the lion’s share of the stanzas were a typical A-B-C-B pattern. But I included a couple of A-B-C-B-D-B stanzas just to break things up a bit. (Eric Ode)

  5. I think my only pet peeve is to read poems whose rhymes are obvious and whose end rhymes sound like the bell of an old typewriter coming to the end of its carriage. (You’re probably too young to remember that sound.) (Charles Ghigna)

  6. Readers should not be distracted by rhyme. Strong rhyme and meter should require nothing extra from a reader: no work to figure out the rhythm, no strange pronunciations of words to make the rhyme or meter work.  Rather, a reader should be internally delighted by both meaning and sound as they sing a story or book along. (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

  7.  Though they rarely rhyme, diamantes do not deserve to be called a verse form. They are devices for listing adjectives, a bad habit for any poet. (J. Patrick Lewis)

  8. My pet peeve? When writers treat rhyme as if it were synonymous with poetry. Rhyme is not poetry. It is simply one element of some forms of poetry. (Nikki Grimes)

FAVORITE RHYMING PICTURE BOOKS or RHYMING POETS

  • A Children’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (Charles Ghigna)

  • Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka, a “perfect evocation of jazz” (Marilyn Singer)

  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen (Eric Ode noted, “The language of that story is nothing but a word-party and an absolute joy to read” and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater admitted she loves “its rollicking playfulness and hope(s) to one day write something with such a joyful sound and spirit.”)

  • Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas, Lullaby Raft by Naomi Shihab Nye (a “loving and whimsical lullaby book), and Laura Purdie Salas’s “… Can Be” books (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

  • My Little Sister Ate One Hare and My Little Sister Hugged an Ape, both by Bill Grossman (Kenn Nesbitt)

  • Alice Schertle and Mary Ann Hoberman are “tops” with Jane Yolen

  • Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, Elinor Wylie, Sara Teasdale, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Myra Cohn Livingston, and Rachel Field are other favorite rhyming poets chosen by Charles Ghigna

  • Edward Lear and X.J. Kennedy are favorite rhyming writers of J. Patrick Lewis

  • Jane Yolen and Jack Prelutsky are “all-time best for rhyme” in the opinion of Nikki Grimes

Thank you to these poets for their tips and insights. Be sure to check out their stellar rhymes and other works too:

 

Charles Ghigna 

A Carnival of Cats (Orca, 2015)

A Parade of Puppies (Orca, 2016)

 Sylvia Vardell Ghigna

Nikki Grimes  

Meet Danitra Brown (HarperCollins, 1994) and all the Danitra Brown books

Come Sunday (Eerdmans, 1996)

C is For City (Boyds Mills Press, 2002)

Sylvia Vardell Grimes

Patrick Lewis 

Big is Big (Holiday House, 2007)

Tulip at the Bat (Little, Brown, 2007)

 Sylvia Vardell Lewis

Kenn Nesbitt 

More Bears! (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2010)

Sylvia Vardell Nesbitt

Eric Ode 

Dan, the Taxi Man (Kane Miller Books, 2012)

Too Many Tomatoes (Kane Miller Books, 2016)

Sylvia Vardell Ode

Marilyn Singer 

What Is Your Dog Doing? (Atheneum, 2011)

I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes (Abrams, 2014)

What’s an Apple? (Abrams, 2016)

What’s a Banana? (Abrams, 2016)

Sylvia Vardell Singer

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater  

Every Day Birds (Orchard, 2016)

 Sylvia Vardell Vanderwater

Jane Yolen

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Friends? (Scholastic, 2016)

On Bird Hill (Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2016)

What to Do with a Box (Creative Editions, 2016)

Sylvia Vardell Image Yolen

Bio:

Sylvia Vardell is Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University and teaches courses in literature for children and young adults. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 published articles, more than 25 book chapters and given more than 150 presentations at national and international conferences. Sheauthored Children’s Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide, Poetry Aloud Here!, The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists,and co-edited The Poetry Friday Anthology series (with Janet Wong) and maintains the PoetryForChildren blog and poetry column for Book Links magazine.

My blog: http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com

Facebook

Twitter: @SylviaVardell

Thank You Sylvia,

Jane, Kenn, Pat, Marilyn,

Amy, Eric, Nikki and Charles!

 

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!!

image

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!

image

The drawings will be done daily and announced on Saturday or Sunday

of each week.

 

 

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!

daisy

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!

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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!

 

Bio:

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

Facebook

Twitter 

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!!

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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!

image

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

 

 

RhyPiBoMo 2016 Day 3 Agent Tricia Lawrence

We have an agent in the house!

Erin Murphy Lit Ag logo

        Today, we are fortunate enough to have an agent’s perspective on rhyme. Raise your hand if you’ve heard, “We don’t accept rhyming manuscripts.” or “We don’t publish rhyme.”

We all know that’s not true. Brilliant, singing rhyme is published every day and the children who listen to it love it. So why do they say not to write in rhyme?

Answer: shhhhhh….listen carefully…

“It’s a trick so that unprofessional writers won’t send stinky rhyming manuscripts.”

 Only the good stuff gets through, is published and blesses the laps of parents everywhere. Today’s guest blogger is here to share why this winning title is one such book.

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 I’m pleased to introduce

Agent Tricia Lawrence with

Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Tricia Lawrence

Agent Tricia Lawrence

Rhyme From Acquisition to Award

It’s the quintessential children’s book ideal. A sweet, rhyming story, sold in bookstores everywhere, something children adore and fall asleep to, quietly, orderly, and did I mention, quietly?

I hate to burst the bubble, but kids today, while still hankering for stories to fall asleep to every night, really want toe-tapping, dancing and singing, RHYME.

Enter Penny Parker Klostermann. Her words tip-tap-toe off the page and dance in your head. You can’t not nod along as you read her rhyming picture books, especially THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT.

Penny Parker Klostermann Image 3

We all find ourselves nodding along to music and poetry and the cadence of a really great public speaker. It moves us, inspires us, and it looks SO EASY.

It’s SO NOT.

With Penny, what got my attention was her craft focus on the art of writing a picture book. She was always reading, reading, reading a ton of picture books. And she didn’t force her rhyme onto every single manuscript.

Very few writers START with rhyme. They start with a story, an idea, something that can propel a child to continue to turn the pages, to yell “Again!” when the parent turns the final page. And that’s when the decision to rhyme comes in: Does the story need rhyme? Does it rollick and jump off the page when rhyme is added or does the prose work?

Rhyme has to sing. It has to make you dance. Penny’s THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON makes you feel the rhythm in your head all the way down to your toes. Rhyme added another amazing layer to DRAGON, so much so that it gleamed! Penny set it to song and sang it, over and over and over to herself, and then she sanded off any slow edges and tightened up any laborious stanzas.

Penny wasn’t just a picture book writer; she was also a poet. She inhaled poetry books. She listened to poetry, especially to cadence and stanza length.

And when Penny’s editor, Maria, saw her manuscript, she knew right away. She could feel the craft work in Penny’s manuscript. The melding of two incredible skill sets: the art of a picture book, the story world, the motivating idea and the world of poetry, the beautiful sound and feel of words and language.

Every time I read THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON, I’m tapping my foot all over again.

Bio:

Tricia is the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 20 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist.

As agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.

Tricia loves hiking, camping out in the woods, and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves. You can find Tricia’s writing about blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media topics (for authors and the publishing industry at large) here and here.

Thank You Tricia!

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!!

image

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!

image

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