It started with a rhythm,
a rhythm and a rhyme.
It wouldn’t let me stop,
it ate up all my time.
Holy poetic peas and potatoes!
Though we’re very happy to be celebrating the official release this week of THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices by Joan Bransfield Graham and Kyrsten Brooker (Two Lions, 2014), there is one teensy problem.
We can’t stop reading it!
Innocently opened this book about a rhyming maniac called Ryan O’Brian who cannot cannot cannot stop writing poetry. All day long and even into the night, he’s scribbling and doodling and tapping and clapping, making poems everywhere with everything – on the sidewalk with chalk, on the soccer field with mud, in the bathroom with toothpaste, with marker on his toes! Yes, yes, very impressive to be sure, but what we really love is what he does at the kitchen table —
I tried to eat my breakfast
but didn’t hesitate
to scribble on the napkins
and doodle cross my plate.
and at school:
Then in the cafeteria –
with just two tasty fries –
between my lunch and Aimee’s,
I wrote two lines with fries.
And if that wasn’t enough, look what rhymin’ Ryan does at dinner:
Dinner was no different,
I had . . . I had to S-N-E-E-Z-E.
I looked up at the kitchen wall
and saw three lines in . . . peas.
Now, that’s what we call talent!
You can see why we’re hooked on this rollicking, manic, high-octane poetry celebration. The pairing of Joan’s zany story poem + 22 of Ryan’s poems embedded in Kyrsten’s inventive crazy-cool illustrations = feast of metric magic. Oh, BTW, there is one surprising thing that does makes Ryan stop, but you’ll have to read the story to find out what it is.
Back matter includes a Guide to Poetic Forms (15, including acrostic, limerick, free verse, sonnet, haiku) and Voices (narrative, lyrical, mask, apostrophe, conversational), that cite examples from the story. Just the stuff needed to help spark great ideas and inspire kids to write poems of their own.
Three paws up for the unending fun contained in The Poem That Will Not End! We predict a run on toothpaste and pick-up-sticks, with an unprecedented consumption of peas. The book is great for reading aloud and acting out. Did I mention the Alpha Bites cereal and bananas?
Thank you for this faboo book, Joan and Kyrsten! Congratulations!
* * *
♥ POETIC POTATOES ♥
No surprise that Joan is a poetry writing maniac herself, but we convinced her to stop spinning verses just long enough to whip up something edible just for us. Reading Ryan’s “Couplet for French Fries” made us hungry for potatoes. You’ll definitely want to try this recipe, a good reason to fire up the oven on a chilly winter’s day. Yum! *licks chops*
SPICY ROASTED ROSEMARY POTATO WEDGES
makes 2-4 servings
- about 6 medium Russet potatoes
- 7 or 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary (hold at top and pull two fingers down to strip off “leaves”
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon, or more, of minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes; cut each lengthwise into 8 wedges.
Toss potato wedges with rosemary, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Montreal steak seasoning to coat well.
Place on cookie sheet, one cut side down. Bake 50 minutes, turning wedges onto other side halfway through cooking time.
Great with salmon and roasted brussels sprouts, which can be cooked at the same temperature.
* * *
♥ SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY! ♥
THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices
written by Joan Bransfield Graham
illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker
published by Two Lions/Amazon, January 2014
Poetry for ages 6+, 32 pp.
COUPLET FOR FRENCH FRIES
by Ryan O’Brian
Two lines are not enough to express
How much I adore your potato-ness.
I have to lick my lips every time I read that!
For a chance to win your very own author signed copy, write a couplet about your favorite food and leave it in the comments below no later than midnight (EST), Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Joan will pick the winner, whose name will be announced next Friday, February 7. GOOD LUCK!
* * *
♥ BLOG TOUR STOPS ♥
Monday, Jan. 27: Poetry for Children (A behind-the-scenes look by Joan)
Tuesday, Jan. 28: Tales from the Rushmore Kid (Interview with editor Melanie Kroupa + Giveaway)
Thursday, Jan. 30: The Miss Rumphius Effect (Interview with Joan + Giveaway)
Friday, Jan. 31: Jama’s Alphabet Soup (Review + Recipe + Giveaway)
The beautiful and talented Tricia Stohr-Hunt is hosting this week’s Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Nibble on a few potato wedges and check out the full platter of poetic offerings on today’s menu. Have fun this weekend and stay warm!
*Spreads from The Poem That Will Not End posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright © 2014 Joan Bransfield Graham, illustrations © 2014 Kyrsten Brooker, published by Two Lions/Amazon. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.