Category: News

A New Book for Beginning Readers – Pup and Duck: Let’s Play Ball

Pup and Duck: Let's Play Ball by Kenn Nesbitt

I’ve been keeping this under wraps for quite a while now, but I’m excited to let you know that have a brand-new book out!

Pup and Duck: Let’s Play Ball is my first book for beginning readers. It’s a story of two friends who can’t agree on which game they should play. Pup wants to play ball, while his best friend Duck would prefer a nice game of chess. Rather than let an argument ruin their friendship, Pup and Duck find a way to come together that makes them both happy.

With delightful crayon and watercolor illustrations by Rafael Domingos, this charming tale of friendship, disagreements, and problem-solving will teach young readers about the importance of communication and compromise as they are learning to read.

I am hoping this book will be the first in a series of books for new readers. After you and your young ones read it, please take a moment to let me know what you think.

Pup and Duck: Let’s Play Ball is available in a full-color paperback edition wherever books are sold, as well as a Kindle eBook edition.

Poetry4kids is 23 today!

I can hardly believe it, but today is the 23rd anniversary of the launch of Poetry4kids.com! This website has undergone a number of remodels since it launched on May 6, 1997. If you would like to see what it looked like over the years, you can view old snapshots of it on the Wayback Machine. Here is what the website looked like in late 1997.

Here’s another view from 2006, ten years later.

And here’s another update from five years after that, in 2011.

I updated the website to its current look in 2018 to make it more mobile and tablet-friendly and easier to navigate and search.

It has been a real pleasure to spend the past 23 years working on Poetry4kids.com, sharing poems and poetry-writing lessons with kids, parents, and teachers all over the world. As of today, there are 774 poems on Poetry4kids. You’ll find the newest dozen, plus the 100 most popular poems on the Poems page, and you can find all the rest either by clicking the Search button on the menu or by visiting the Poems by Subject or Poems by Grade Level pages.

Rest assured, I will continue adding poems, lessons, videos, and more to the website over the coming years. If there is anything in particular you think the site could use, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I love hearing from readers about how they are using Poetry4kids and what they are enjoying the most.

I hope you’ll read along with me for another 23 years!

GiggleVerse.com Is Now Live!

April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. and, to kick things off right, I’ve got a treat for you: a brand-new website called GiggleVerse.com!

Until a couple of years ago, there was a terrific children’s poetry website called GigglePoetry.com, with hundreds of funny poems from dozens of different kids’ poets. It was created by Meadowbrook Press and featured poems from their many anthologies, including Kids Pick the Funniest PoemsA Bad Case of the GigglesIf Kids Ruled the School, and more.

In 2018, Meadowbrook Press was purchased by a larger publisher and the website was shut down. To fill the void left by the closing of GigglePoetry, I have created GiggleVerse.com, where I am posting funny kids’ poems every weekday.

GiggleVerse will include funny poems of every sort, including both modern and classic children’s poetry from poets all over the world. The poems are organized by category, including sports, animals, food, monsters, and dozens more. You can even subscribe to get poems delivered to your email inbox five days a week for free.

I’ve been working on this for several months now, and I’m pretty happy with the result. I hope you’ll take a moment to drop by and see the my new creation.

More Poems by Email

Poems by Email

You might know that you can sign up to receive fun kids’ poems in your email from poetry4kids.com. But did you know that we have three different lists you can subscribe to?

The first list sends out a funny poem from one of my books once a week.

The second list sends out the newest poems from my website as soon as they are posted, usually once per week.

The third, and newest, list is from my other website, poetryminute.org. PoetryMinute has 180 poems—one for each day of the school year—from dozens of well-known children’s authors. If you subscribe to this list, you will receive a poem from PoetryMinute in your inbox every day for the next 180 days.

You can sign up for any or all of these email lists here. They are all completely free, and very email has an unsubscribe link at the bottom so you can unsubscribe at any time.

I hope you’ll give one or more of these email subscriptions a try. Enjoy!

List of Rhyming Interjections

Rhyming Interjections

An interjection is a word or phrase that is most often used as an exclamation, such as wow, hey, or ugh, or sometimes used just to stall for time, such as uh, and er. The following list of interjections that rhyme with one another may come in handy for your own poems.

  • achoo, boo, boo-hoo, eww, no can do, ooh, phew, pooh, shoo, wahoo, whew, whoop-de-doo, woo, woo-hoo, yahoo
  • ah, aha, aww, bah, blah, booyah, bwah-hah-hah, ha, ha-ha, hah, hurrah, huzzah, la-de-da, mwah-hah-hah, nah, pshaw, rah, ta-da, ta-ta, voila, yee-haw
  • ahoy, attaboy, boy, enjoy, oh boy, oy
  • alright, gesundheit, quite, right, sleep tight
  • bam, blam, wham
  • bravo, doh, heigh-ho, hello, ho-ho-ho, no, oh, uh-oh, whoa, yo, yo-ho-ho
  • brr, er, grr
  • bye, goodbye, hi, my, sigh, why
  • dear me, gee, hee-hee, omg, tee-hee, whee, whoopee, yippee
  • drats, rats
  • duck, yuck
  • duh, huh, uh, uh-huh, uh-uh
  • eh, gangway, hey, hurray, no way, okay, olé, say, touché, yay
  • encore, fore
  • hmm, mh-hmm, mmm
  • ho-hum, ummm, yum
  • holy cow, kapow, now now, ow, pow, wow, yow
  • meh, yeah
  • oops, whoops
  • swell, well
  • wowie, zowie

Click here for other lists of rhyming words.

New German Edition of One Minute Till Bedtime

One Minute Till Bedtime German-language edition

One Minute Till Bedtime, an anthology of more than 140 one-minute poems suitable for bedtime, is now available in a German-language edition entitled Jetzt noch ein Gedicht, und dann aus das Licht! (“Now Another Poem, and then the Light”). This collection has been translated by more than 100 German-speaking authors translators and boasts warm and whimsical illustrations by illustrator Christoph Neiman.

With new poems by many of the most beloved and well-known authors of our time, including Jack Prelutsky, Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Jon Sczieska, Jane Yolen, and many, many more, One Minute Till Bedtime is the perfect way to put your little ones to bed.

Jetzt noch ein Gedicht, und dann aus das Licht! is available from Amazon Germany, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Australia, or your local bookseller.

One Minute Till Bedtime German-language edition

From the Publisher…

Ein Fest für Sprachverdreher und Reimkünstler. Von über 100 deutschsprachigen AutorInnen übersetzt – genial illustriert von Christoph Niemann

Ein großer, prächtiger Band voller Gutenachtgedichte – ein ganz besonderes Betthupferl für Kinder und Eltern. Ob Wortspielerei, einfache Reime zum Auswendiglernen und immer wieder Aufsagen oder klassisches Kindergedicht rund um Mond, Sternenhimmel und Teddybär – diese Gedichte sind direkt in die Lebenswelt der Kinder hineingeschrieben von über 130 amerikanischen AutorInnen. Sie stecken voller Abenteuer und Lebensfreude, erzählen von Kinderbuchhelden, Märchenfiguren und Fantasiewesen und wecken die Lust an Sprache und Poesie. Ein Hausbuch für die ganze Familie mit unverwechselbaren Illustrationen von Christoph Niemann. Mit großer Leidenschaft übersetzt von namhaften deutschsprachigen AutorInnen und ÜbersetzerInnen.

Free Interactive Livestreams

Kenn Nesbitt Online Author VisitFor several years now I have been doing live, interactive webinars in conjunction with Streamable Learning, the leading provider of interactive livestreams in the K-12 market in the US and Canada. Through quality educational content and an easy-to-use platform, Streamable Learning aims to in introduce interactive livestreams as a valuable supplemental tool for classrooms and families seeking to inspire and educate their K-12 students.

During the 2019-20 school year, I will be providing 35 online webinars, including interactive poetry-writing lessons, holiday poetry sessions, and programs on famous children’s poets from Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein. Schools are invited to join any of these sessions as my guest, completely free of charge.

Streamable Learning and Zoom

If you haven’t yet used Zoom, I think you’re going to love it. Zoom is a free videoconferencing program similar to Skype, but with clearer, more reliable audio and video.

Streamable Learning offers a convenient, cost-effective, and comprehensive calendar of interactive livestreams delivered by subject matter experts and designed to supplement your existing and future lesson plans. To discover hundreds of engaging, educational programs, have a look a their Livestream Calendar.

I have been offering interactive poetry livestreams through Streamable Learning for several years now, and I hope you’ll be able to join me this year. There is no cost for this; you can register for free and participate in as many of these upcoming sessions as you like.

To register, simply click on the links in the schedule below for the sessions you would like to join.

2019-20 Livestream Schedule

September 16, 2019

October 21, 2019

October 25, 2019

November 14, 2019

November 15, 2019

December 16, 2019

December 19, 2019

January 13, 2020

January 17, 2020

February 10, 2020

February 13, 2020

February 28, 2020

March 6, 2020

April 7, 2020

April 9, 2020

May 11, 2020

May 15, 2020

If you would prefer to arrange a private interactive videoconference for your class or school only, simply click here to schedule an online author visit. I look forward to seeing your students online!

Poems by Length and Poetic Technique

Occasionally, I get an email from someone who needs longer poems or shorter poems. They may be looking for something two or three minutes long to recite in a poetry festival. Or they may want poems that are easy to memorize.

And sometimes I get requests from teachers for poems that provide examples of a given poetic technique. It might be alliteration, metaphor, repetition, or some other device.

To make it easier for you to find the types of poems you are looking for, I have added new pages to the menu: Poems by Length and Poems by Poetic Technique.

Poems by Length

The Poems by Length page lets you find poems that are short (2-12 lines), medium (13-31 lines), or long (32 lines or more).

Poems by Poetic Technique

The Poems by Poetic Technique page organizes poems into 20 different categories. If you need poems with personification or hyperbole, you will find them there. Looking for descriptive, lyric, narrative, or nonsense poems? I’ve got you covered. You’ll find examples of onomatopoeia, personification, interesting rhyme schemes, and lots more.

A Work in Progress

With more than 700 poems on this website, it will take a while to assign categories and lengths to all of my poems. So don’t be surprised if your favorite poem of mine isn’t yet in the place it belongs. I have organized about 200 poems so far, and will be working on the rest over the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, I hope you find these new features helpful. I hope you not only enjoy reading my poems, but also sharing them with your friends and family. If you are a teacher, feel free to share them with your students and use them to teach poetry in your classroom.

How to Write an Onomatopoeia Poem

Onomatopoeia Poem

In this lesson, I’ll show you an easy way to write an “onomatopoeia poem,” or what I like to call an “onomatopoem,” even though that isn’t a real word. And I’ll show you why you want to include onomatopoeia in your poems.

An onomatopoeia (pronounced on-uh-mah-tuh-pee-uh) is a word that sounds like the action it describes. For example, the word “boom” sounds like an explosion, and the word “moo” sounds like the noise a cow makes.

Using onomatopoeia in a poem can engage the reader’s senses with more vivid imagery and heightened sensory impact, without having to use additional words. If your poem contains actions, it’s a good idea to include onomatopoeia in your writing. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you were writing a poem about skiing and you said:

Skiing down the snowy hill

This describes what you are doing, and the reader can certainly visualize it. But what if, instead, you said:

Swooshing down the snowy hill

Do you see how this evokes the sense of sound? If gives the reader not just a visual image of the skier, but also the sound that their skis make on the snow, and perhaps even the side-to-side motion of the skis, all without adding extra words.

Poetry Is Condensed Language

Poetry is often described as “condensed language,” meaning that it tries to convey as much meaning and feeling as possible with few words. If you are writing prose—stories, essays, etc.—you still want to be concise; to avoid using unnecessary words. But it’s also okay to be as descriptive as possible.

In poetry, on the other hand, the more meaning or emotion you can pack into just a few words, the better. With onomatopoeia your words can do double duty, conveying both meaning and sensation. Take a look at this excerpt from my poem “What to Do with a Dinosaur” from my book Revenge of the Lunch Ladies.

This morning a dinosaur tromped into school,
ferocious, atrocious, and dripping with drool.
He had to be practically twenty feet tall,
and banged around looking something to maul.

He stomped and he snorted, he bellowed and roared.
His head hit the ceiling and busted a board.
That beast was undoubtedly ready for lunch.
He snatched up a chair in his teeth with a crunch,

I’ve underlined the onomatopoeia words in these two stanzas to make them easier to spot. As you can see, these words not only describe what the dinosaur is doing, but they evoke the sounds he is making as well. Without the onomatopoeia, it would lose a lot of its impact, as you can see below.

This morning a dinosaur came into school,
ferocious, atrocious, and covered with drool.
He had to be practically twenty feet tall,
and walked around looking something to maul.

In other words, as you write, and as you edit and revise your poems, look for opportunities to replace your verbs with ones that also evoke sounds.

An Easy Onomatopoeia Poem

If you are writing rhyming poetry, sometimes you may even want to rhyme some of your onomatopoeia words. To make this as easy as possible, I have created a list of rhyming onomatopoeia words, such as bash / crash / smash, and growl / howl / yowl.

You could even write an entire poem with almost nothing but onomatopoeia words if you like. Just look at the list of rhyming onomatopoeia words and string a few together, like this:

Grumble, mumble, rumble, crash.
Flutter, mutter, sputter, splash.
Clatter, shatter, splatter, creak.
Crinkle, tinkle, wrinkle, squeak.

You can write as many lines as you want like this. Then all you need is an ending. Here are a couple of ideas:

These are sounds I heard at home.
My house sounds just like a poem.

Or how about this one?

This is not some great idea.
It’s just onomatopoeia.

Now it’s your turn. If you can add a few more lines of onomatopoeia words to this, and maybe even come up with a different ending, you’ll have created your very own “onomatopoem.”

Learning More about Onomatopoeia in Poetry

If you want to learn even more about onomatopoeia in poems, here are some useful lessons:

List of Rhyming Onomatopoetic Words

Onomatopoeia Rhymes

An onomatopoeia is a word whose sound is similar to the action it refers to, such as “buzz” or “hiss.” Using onomatopoetic words in a poem can help increase the sensory impact of the poem, creating vivid imagery because the words themselves evoke sounds as well as meaning.

To learn more about how onomatopoeia can be used in poems, have a look at this lesson plan.

If you are writing rhyming poetry you may occasional need to include onomatopoeia rhymes in your poems. Here is a list of a few hundred onomatopoeia rhymes you can use as you write.

  • Achoo / boo / boo-hoo / choo-choo / cock-a-doodle-doo / coo / cuckoo / moo / phew
  • Bash / clash / crash / slash / smash
  • Bam / slam / wham
  • Bang / clang / twang
  • Beep / cheep
  • Blurt / spurt / squirt
  • Boink / oink
  • Bong / ding dong / gong / ping pong / pong
  • Bonk / clonk
  • Boom / vroom / zoom
  • Bow-wow / meow / pow
  • Bump / clump / thump / whump
  • Burp / chirp / slurp
  • Cackle / crackle
  • Chatter / clatter / pitter patter / shatter / splatter
  • Chomp / clomp
  • Clack / crack / hack / quack / smack / thwack / whack
  • Clap / flap / rap / slap / snap / tap / zap
  • Click / flick
  • Clink / plink
  • Clip / drip / flip / rip / snip / whip
  • Clip clop / clop / flip-flop / flop / plop / pop
  • Clomp / stomp / tromp
  • Clonk / honk
  • Cluck / pluck
  • Clunk / kerplunk / plunk
  • Crash / splash
  • Creak / shriek / squeak
  • Crinkle / tinkle / sprinkle / wrinkle
  • Crunch / munch
  • Ding / cha-ching / ping / ring / zing
  • Fizz / whiz
  • Fizzle / sizzle
  • Flush / rush / shush
  • Flutter / mutter / sputter
  • Giggle / jiggle / wiggle / wriggle
  • Groan / moan
  • Growl / howl / yowl
  • Grumble / mumble / rumble
  • Huff / puff
  • Knock / tick tock
  • Poof / woof
  • Purr / whir
  • Roar / snore
  • Squish / swish / whish
  • Sway / neigh
  • Swoop / whoop
  • Swoosh / whoosh

Click here for other lists of rhyming words.

Here are links to other websites for more information about onomatopoeia poems for kids: