Lee Bennett Hopkins is an award-winning children’s author, poet, anthologist, and editor, and a lifelong promoter of poetry for children. I had the honor of speaking with him recently about his career, his books, and his thoughts about children’s poetry. You can listen to the interview here on the Poetry4kids Podcast.
Our teacher sings The Beatles.
She must know every song.
We ask her please to stop
but she just sings, “It Won’t Be Long.”
And then she croons like Elvis.
She clearly thinks it’s cool.
And if we beg her not to
she just belts out, “Don’t be Cruel.”
She then does Michael Jackson.
It drives us nearly mad.
We have to cover up our ears
because she’s singing, “Bad.”
She winds up with The Wiggles
or else a Barney song,
and, even worse, she tells us all
that we should sing along.
It’s all my fault she does this.
I feel like such a fool.
I wish I’d never brought
my karaoke box to school.
To some it’s known as “Halloween,”
or else “All Hallows Eve.”
To some it’s simply “Dress Up Day,”
a time for make believe.
And some folks call it “Trick or Treat,”
when ghosts and witches play.
To others it’s the night before
the day called “All Saints Day.”
It’s got so many different names,
but this is what I say:
To me October thirty-first
is called “Free Candy Day.”
Children’s author Alan Katz has a brand new collection of funny poetry for kids called Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking. I had the pleasure of speaking to Alan about his new book. You can listen to the interview here on the Poetry4kids Podcast.
The dragons run the fire department
down in Monster Town.
when there’s a building burning down.
They carry ropes and hoses.
They have buckets full of sand,
which, every afternoon, they practice
passing hand to hand.
They’ve got a truck and ladder,
and a siren they can blare.
They’ve even got protective hats
and boots and underwear.
But every time that there’s a fire
they stand around and pout.
Unfortunately, dragons stink
at putting fires OUT.
Melvin the mummy, who lived near the Nile,
had worked as a mummy for more than a while,
for mummies can go their entire careers
without a vacation for thousands of years.
He guarded the pyramids day after day
to frighten the burglars and bandits away,
which meant, as he stood watching over the pharaohs,
he often got shot at with bullets and arrows.
His job was so stressful, the pay was so poor,
but, still, Melvin stayed and protected the door.
Until he got sick of his sad situation
and knew that he needed to take a vacation.
His crypt was so dark and so cold and so clammy,
he packed up his swimsuit and flew to Miami.
He thought he would stay there for just a few days,
enjoying the beach and absorbing some rays.
But, sadly, poor Melvin would never return,
and this is a lesson all mummies should learn:
Don’t take any trips or, like Melvin, you’ll find
vacations make mummies relax and unwind.
My brother’s not a werewolf
though it often looks that way.
He has to shave his whiskers
almost every single day.
His feet are getting furry
and his hands are sprouting hair.
His voice is deep and growling
like a grumpy grizzly bear.
He often sleeps throughout the day
and stays up half the night.
And if you saw the way he eats
you’d surely scream in fright.
His clothes are ripped and dirty
like the stuff a werewolf wears.
His socks and shirts are shredded
and his pants have countless tears.
If you should ever meet him
you’ll discover what I mean.
My brother’s not a werewolf;
he’s just turning seventeen.
— Kenn Nesbitt
Copyright © 2011 Kenn Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with J. Patrick Lewis about his career, his books, and his new position as Children’s Poet Laureate of the United States. Pat was charming as he shared stories and even read a brand new poem.
Click the play button below to listen to the interview or click here to subscribe to the Poetry4kids.com podcast for more funny poems and interviews with well-known children’s poets.
I’m Boney Mahoney,
the Skeleton Singer.
I’m known for harmonious tones.
I’ll croon to the tune of
a jaw harp or hand drum.
I’ll trill to the sound of trombones.
To have me start humming
just tickle the ivories.
I’ll sing if you finger a bell.
I’ll rap if you slap at
a washboard or rattle.
I’m hip to the nose flute as well.
If you’re a musician
in search of a singer
just give me a telebone call.
But find someone else if
you only play organ;
I don’t sing with organs at all.
“My brother is still in his bedroom.
No doubt he’ll be getting up soon.
But last night he stayed up till midnight,
so maybe he’ll sleep until noon.
“I haven’t gone into his bedroom.
Whenever I do he gets mad.
If anyone woke him this morning,
I’m guessing it must have been dad.
“It’s probably best not to bug him.
I try to stay out of his way.”
Yes, that’s what I said when mom asked me
if I woke up grumpy today.