In a way, this poem is like a movie I saw when I was young. It was called, “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” and it was about a college student who became a genius after an accident involving his school’s computer. Of course, this could never really happen, so please don’t eat your brother’s phone. Instead, just enjoy the poem and maybe a few more while you’re at it!
Here’s a video of me reciting the title poem from my book, My Cat Knows Karate. This new book has a number of poems about pets, animals, and sports, and this poem brings all three ideas together into a single poem.
I’m very excited to announce the publication of my newest book, My Cat Knows Karate. This collection includes seventy new poems about goofy gadgets, kooky characters, funny families, absurd situations. Beautifully illustrated by Rafael Domingos, My Cat Knows Karate is chock-full of the ridiculous rhymes, wacky wordplay, preposterous punchlines, and guaranteed giggles that kids love to read.
Sometimes when you’re writing a rhyming poem, you may want to include a word or phrase that rhymes with itself, such as itsy-bitsy or super-duper. Also called “close rhymes,” these are what are known as “reduplicated” words or phrases. “Reduplication” is the term for words or phrases that are created by repeating sounds. Here is a list of rhyming reduplicated words and phrases that may come in handy to you sometime.
fight or flight
high and dry
huffing and puffing
hustle and bustle
lean and mean
low and slow
make or break
might makes right
out and about
pedal to the metal
pie in the sky
pump and dump
quite a sight
rough and tough
shake and bake
steak ‘n shake
stop and shop
wear and tear
without a doubt
Non-Rhyming Reduplicated Words and Phrases
Some reduplicated words and phrases don’t quite rhyme because they contain different vowel sounds, such as ping-pong or zigzag. Technically, these are known as “ablaut reduplications.” Here is a list of reduplicated words and phrases that don’t rhyme.
On September 21, 2016, I did a poetry reading for a small group at Barnes & Noble in Spokane, Washington as part of a local program called “Poetry Rising.” I read a poem from each of my books, including my new anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime.
The folks at Poetry Rising were kind enough to send me this video of the event.
“Your presentation was the best we have ever had.”
“You by far surpassed our expectations.”
“Our students are still buzzing about it! The enthusiasm you generated is phenomonal!”
These are just a few comments from schools who have had me visit with their students. If you are considering having an author visit your school, I would love the opportunity to get your students excited about reading and writing.
My school visit calendar is filling up for the spring, but I still have dates available for an author visit to your school, whether in-person or online.
I will be visiting the following cities this spring and still have open days:
January 9-13 – Spokane, WA
February 13-17 – West Texas
February 20-24 – Portland, OR
March 13-17 – Baltimore, MD & Washington, DC
March 27-31 – San Antonio, TX
April 3-7 – Central California
April 17-21 – Connecticut
April 24-27 – Eastern Oregon
May 8-12 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City & Davenport, IA
The beautiful hardcover book is whimsically illustrated by the incomparable Christoph Niemann, whose witty, minimalist drawings compliment and enhance the poems, giving readers even more to ponder as they get ready to dream.
One Minute Till Bedtime is now available in the US wherever books are sold, including:
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.
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.