Calling all poets! TIME For Kids has a challenge for you: Write a funny, rhyming poem. It must be an original poem that does not copy another poet’s work. Enter it in the TIME For Kids Poetry Contest. The grand-prize winner will receive an online class visit from Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt. The grand-prize winner and three finalists will each get a signed copy of Nesbitt’s newest book of poetry, Bigfoot Is Missing!, and their poems will be published at timeforkids.com.
WHAT: Write a funny, rhyming poem and enter it in the TFK Poetry Contest. Poet Kenn Nesbitt will look for originality, creativity, humor and rhyme in the style of his own poetry. To read some of Nesbitt’s poems, go to poetry4kids.com.
HOW: Enter your original poem in the online entry form at www.timeforkids.com/2016poetrycontest. Be sure to include your first name only, your e-mail address and your parents’ e-mail address. Contest is open to students who are 8 to 13 years old.
This is fun. Andy Mason has done a terrific job of setting my poem “Sam, Only Ate Jam” to music and creating a new video for it. If you like this song, you’ll find more of Andy’s music on his YouTube channel, here. And you can find this poem and more like it in my book The Biggest Burp Ever.
Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster is of two brothers’ Halloween adventure, and my first rhyming picture book. The older brother finds a monster and brings it home, along with many, many other creepy-crawly creatures, including spiders, rats, toads, black cats, ravens, and more.
It happened just last Halloween, the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen: My brother went out after dark and found a monster in the park.
He led it home and snuck it in which gave me goose bumps on my skin to see a monster standing there. Those giant claws! That shaggy hair!
I had to struggle not to shout. I hope our parents don’t find out.
With each creature the brother brings home, the mayhem in his room only increases, much to the dismay of the younger brother. What will happen when the parents finally discover what these boys have been up to? Without giving away the ending, let’s just say it’s a joyful surprise with a satisfying twist.
Here are links to a few reviews of Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster:
If you are writing a poem, especially a list poem, that includes games or sports, you may find it useful to have a list of names of sports and games that rhyme. Here are a few that I have collected. These include sports, board games, card games, party games, and video games.
baton twirling / curling / hurling
bench press / chess
biking / hiking
blackjack / hacky sack / track / You Don’t Know Jack
Blockade / Old Maid
Candyland / marching band
canoeing / crewing / snowshoeing
capture the flag / tag
cheering / mountaineering / orienteering
Civilization / Operation / recreation
Clue / Taboo
dancing / lancing
decathlon / marathon / pentathlon / Pokémon / Settlers of Catan / triathlon
diving / driving
Donkey Kong / mahjong
gliding / riding / sliding
Go / hammer throw / javelin throw / kenpo / Pokémon Go / taekwondo
Today is the birthday of my newest book, Bigfoot Is Missing!, co-authored with former Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis. Pat and I had a terrific time researching cryptids (creatures whose existence has not yet been proven) from around the world and writing the poems for this collection. And we were thrilled at the selection of Minalima Design to illustrate the book.
Minalima, the design team of Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, are perhaps most well-known for creating the graphic props — such as posters, newspapers, maps, etc. — for the Harry Potter films, making them a perfect choice for this “mischievous and slighly edgy” collection of poems about the creatures of shadowy myth and fearsome legend.
Bigfoot, the Mongolian Death Worm, and the Loch Ness Monster are among the many creatures you will find within the pages of this large picture book. Don’t be surprised if you have to look twice—the poems in this book are disguised as street signs, newspaper headlines, graffiti, milk cartons, and more!
Publisher’s Weekly gives Bigfoot Is Missing! a starred review, saying, “These brief, playful poems will whet readers’ appetites to learn more about bunyips, luscas, and Mongolian death worms. Luckily, endpages supply legends and details about these and other creatures, including where they can—or rather can’t—be found.”
Here are links to a few of the rave reviews for Bigfoot Is Missing!
Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 TIME for Kids Poetry Contest! There were over 1700 entries this year! I had fun reading them all and selecting the winners, plus a few “honorable mentions.”
The grand-prize winning poem this year was “Once Upon a Milk Dud” by Braelyn Daily. Her prizes include a free autographed copy of my book The Biggest Burp Ever, and a free online author visit for her class.
In addition to Braelyn’s wonderfully funny poem, the finalists were “Upside Down” by Catherine Lee Haynie, “My Mother Bought a Robot” by Ceilidh Birkhahn, and “Silly Puppy” by Beatrix Kim.
A big congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions, and to all of the kids who took the time to write a poem and submit it. I loved reading all of your submissions, and you are all winners in my eyes.
How to Write a Traditional “Mother Goose” Nursery Rhyme
Some of the best known children’s poetry in the English language are the “nursery rhymes” of Mother Goose. Though no one knows for certain if Mother Goose was a real person, her rhymes have been popular with young children since the 1600’s. Some of the most popular Mother Goose rhymes include “Humpty Dumpty,” “Hey, Diddle Diddle,” “Little Bo Peep,” “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater,” and many others. In fact, Mother Goose is credited with writing several hundred nursery rhymes.
But did you know that Mother Goose isn’t the only writer of nursery rhymes? “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” was written by an English woman named Jane Taylor. Many of the short nonsense poems of Edward Lear would qualify as nursery rhymes. And some, such as “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” are “traditional,” meaning we don’t know who wrote them.