There is some serious madness going on this month at ThinkKidThink.com. Ed DeCaria has masterminded a tournament involving 64 writers who are going head-to-head in a children’s poetry showdown. Over the next few weeks there will be several rounds of competitions that include well-known children’s poets as well as relative newcomers, all battling to see who will ultimately be crowned the champ.
So who’s the judge? You are! That’s right. Voting is open to the public. All you have to do is read each pair of poems and decide which one you like best. The poets with the most votes move on the next round and the madness continues until there is only one poet left standing.
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 poet Kenn Nesbitt. The grand-prize winner and four finalists will each get a signed copy of one of Nesbitt’s books of poetry, and their poems will be published at timeforkids.com.
It’s time once again for a new animated video. This one is of my poem “My Brother’s Not a Werewolf.” With fun, bouncy music by Sergei Stern and awesome animation by Stephan Krosecz, I hope you’ll enjoy watching this one over and over. If you like, you can even click on the “CC” (closed captioning) button to read along as you listen to the poem.
Recently, though, I’ve been telling people about Olivia Whitman, a 9-year-old girl from Michigan who survived brain cancer and went on to publish her first book, a collection of her own poems and drawings called “You Make My Face Smile.” Watch the video below to see how Olivia got her wish and had her book published.
Olivia Whitman, author of “You Make My Face Smile”
I you would like to order a copy of Olivia Whitman’s book, you can mail a check or money order for $12.00 per book (includes shipping & handling) to:
While poking around on YouTube this morning, I came across three new videos that readers had made of my poems. What struck me as most interested about these three videos is how different they all are from one another. I am always impressed at the creativity kids put into creating videos. Watch these and you’ll see what I mean.
This first one, using my poem Today I Wrote this Poem (from My Hippo Has the Hiccups), displays the poem one line at a time, while also showing lines from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to demonstrate the particular poetic technique mentioned in my poem.
There are so many different ways to create videos from poems. If you happen to create a video of one of my poems, please drop me a line and let me know about it. I would love to see what you have done.
This year, as my holiday gift to you, I have made a change to the website that I think you are going to like. Not only have I doubled the number of poems on the Poems page — giving you now over 100 funny poems for kids — but I have also brought back all of the most popular poems ever.
Even when the holidays arrive, it can be difficult to switch off the busy lifestyle that we’ve all become so used to. How do we learn to slow down, and really experience this special time of year?
I’m a firm believer in the power of poetry and prose, read aloud, to change the rhythm of our interactions with the children we teach, as well as the kids we live with. Good writing comes with its own built-in rhythm, and it just doesn’t work if you rush it. If you’re looking for a way to bring some of that holiday spirit into your world, and you’re not quite sure where to start, then look up some of these great resources. Take a few moments – heck, take a few hours! – and open up a classic holiday poem, or a short story.
Whether you’re sharing with little children who want you to repeat the funniest lines over and over again, or with older kids who can take turns being the ‘storyteller’, reading portions out loud, you’ll find your day has slowed down, and some of the magic of the holidays has come alive.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak with children’s author and poet Janet Wong about her writing, her books, and her current projects, including her new eBook project with Sylvia Vardell, the Poetry Tag Time series. The third book in the series, Gift Tag, is out just in time for the holidays, and is already one of the best-selling children’s poetry eBooks on Amazon.com.
Beginning December 1 and continuing throughout the month, right up until New Year’s Day, I will be posting a funny holiday poem or funny winter poemevery day on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter. Follow me now to read them all! Click on the Facebook or Google Plus logo on the left or the Twitter logo on the right to follow.
NOTE: You don’t need an account to follow along and read the poems. Even without an account, you can still view the Twitter feed and link to the poems. Just click on the Twitter link on the right to see my tweets, which will have links to the poems.