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2016-17 School Author Visits

Kenn Nesbitt Presenting

I hope you had a wonderful summer and are settling into the new school year nicely. With the 2016-17 school year underway, I’m now booking school author visits, both in-person and online.

If your school is looking for a way to inspire your kids to want to read and write, my high-energy poetry writing programs are just the ticket. You don’t need to take my word for it, though. Click here to see what other schools have said about my visits.

Upcoming Visits

You don’t need to wait for me to be in your area to book a visit. I cap my travel expenses, regardless of what it costs me to get there, so it won’t cost you extra if you are the first school in your area to book a visit.

However, here are some of the places I’m already scheduled to be this school year. I still have dates available each of these weeks.

  • WA, Bellingham – September 26-30, 2016
  • ID, Bonner’s Ferry – October 10-14, 2016
  • OR, Portland – October 24-26, 2016
  • TX, Odessa/Andrews – February 13-17, 2017
  • TX, San Antonio – March 27-31, 2017
  • CA, Porterville – April 3-7, 2017

You can view my full event calendar here. Any dates not otherwise marked are probably available for a visit to your school.

More Information

For more information about my programs and fees, simply fill out this form and I will contact you with further details. I look forward to hearing from you!

Poetry Rising at Spokane Northtown Barnes & Noble

Next Wednesday, September 21, 2016, I will be performing live at the Barnes & Noble in the Northtown Mall in Spokane, Washington at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. If you are in the area, please join me, along with musician Carlton Oakes and poet Merideth Jeffries for a fun evening of poetry and music.

I will be reading from several of my books, including The Biggest Burp Ever, Revenge of the Lunch Ladies, and my forthcoming anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime. Books will be available for purchase, and I will be signing them after the performances.

This program is produced by Stephen Pitters, host of the Spokane Open Poetry Program on KYRS 92.3 FM, Thin Air Commuity Radio.

Poetry Rising - Sept 21, 2016

New Poem Category – Songs!

Poem Songs for Kids

Poetry4kids has had “Poems by Category” for a few years now, but I recently added a brand new category: Songs. If you like poems that are intended to be sung to popular tunes such as “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” or “Frere Jacques,” — what my friend Alan Katz calls “Silly-Dilly Songs” — you’ll want to check out this new section on Poetry4kids.com to find them all in one place.

And, of course, you can see all of the categories, including sports poems, monster poems, school poems, and even funny love poems on the Poems by Topic page.

Kindle Instant Preview – The Biggest Burp Ever

Psst! Want to read a funny book? You can preview the Kindle edition of my book The Biggest Burp Ever by clicking on Preview button below. Happy reading!

2016 TIME for Kids Poetry Contest

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.

DEADLINE: February 15, 2016

Read the official rules here and a Q&A about the contest here.

Sam, Who Only Ate Jam

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.

New Book: Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster

Believe it or Not My Brother Has a Monster

I’m so excited to finally be able to announce the release of my newest book, Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster, published by Scholastic and illustrated by the incomparable David Slonim, the illustrator of such gems as He Came with the Couch, I Loathe You, and How to Teach a Slug to Read.

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.

Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster Interior

Here are links to a few reviews of Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster:


How to Write a Tongue Twister

Tongue twisters are one of the most fun forms of wordplay for kids. The more challenging they are to speak, the more fun they can be. Most tongue twisters take one of three forms:

  1. Phrases that are hard to repeat several times in a row, such as “toy boat” or “unique New York.”
  2. Phrases or sentences that are hard to say, such as “she sells sea shells by the seashore” or “rubber baby buggy bumpers.”
  3. Poems like “Betty Botter” by Carolyn Wells.

You can create your own tongue twisters too. All you need is a pencil and paper, and a little imagination. Let me show you how.

Sports and Games that Rhyme

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
  • hockey / jockey
  • judo / Ludo
  • kickball / stickball
  • kick the can / Pac-Man
  • lacrosse / motocross / ring toss
  • polo / flying solo
  • rafting / crafting
  • race / steeplechase
  • rings / swings
  • rowing / throwing
  • skis / trapeze
  • sledding / shredding
  • t-ball / skeeball
  • truth or dare / WarioWare / We Dare

Click here for other lists of rhyming words.

New Book: Bigfoot Is Missing!

Bigfoot Is Missing! by J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt

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.”

Loch Ness Monster

Here are links to a few of the rave reviews for Bigfoot Is Missing!

Also, the publisher, Chronicle Books, has a Poetry Picture Book Teacher Guide here with Common Core connections for Bigfoot Is Missing! and several other poetry books.