While at the sofa factory
I nearly broke my spleen
when I accidentally fell in
an upholstery machine.
I almost died that fateful day
but I survived somehow.
And I'm looking even better, too,
since I'm recovered now.
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:
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.
Ted Scheu (pronounced “shy”), also known as “That Poetry Guy,” has been writing funny poetry for kids for a dozen years now. His poems have appeared in many anthologies in the US and the UK, and he has published four collections of humorous children’s poetry.
I was nine years old when my family went water-skiing every day for an entire summer. We’d get up early, fix enough sandwiches to fill the cooler, and head for the lake in our midnight blue 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, ski-boat in tow. On the best days, we would arrive before the wind had kicked up, when the lake was still a glassy calm.
Somehow, my dad’s job with a heating and air conditioning company allowed him to work mainly in the spring and fall. With summers free, my parents took us to the lake every day; me and my two brothers, Hap and Danny, and our friend Jimmy. Hap was the one with the crew-cut. Danny looked just like me, only more devious. We were all skinny, tanned, and a little too wild.
This was 1971, and the car had only an AM radio. No FM, no 8-track player, and certainly no DVDs or video games. A trip to the lake meant over an hour in the car each way, along winding mountain roads where the AM radio was useless, there weren’t enough other cars to play “slug bug,” and thumb wrestling got old in a hurry. Eventually–as four boys will do when stuck in the back seat of a car for an hour or two–we would begin to fight. It always started innocently enough with a “Quit touching me,” or a “Hey, that’s mine,” but would quickly erupt into a full-blown wrestling match on the floor of the car. Did I mention we also didn’t have seat belts?
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.
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.