the poem that will not end blog tour: 3 course special (review + recipe + giveaway)!


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.

Bite me!

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!

Today’s Special: Poetry Potage (garnished with floral bananas and chocolate drops).

*   *   *


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*



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.

*   *   *



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.


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!

*   *   *



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)

Wednesday, Jan. 29: Double Olympic Poetry Challenge at Teaching Authors and No Water River (+ Giveaway)

Thursday, Jan. 30: The Miss Rumphius Effect (Interview with Joan + Giveaway)

Friday, Jan. 31: Jama’s Alphabet Soup (Review + Recipe + Giveaway)


poetryfriday180The 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.

56 thoughts on “the poem that will not end blog tour: 3 course special (review + recipe + giveaway)!

  1. What great fun . . . and an excuse to play with your food! I love the art–scanned collages? Bits and pieces, anyway. If it’s Three Paws Up, then it’s on my list!


  2. Mouse agrees:
    Give us cheese!

    Thank you, Jama and Joan! Happy Poetry Friday. I think rosemary was made for potatoes! xo


  3. I don’t know what’s come over me — I have the irresistible urge to talk about food in couplets!

    my favorite food
    when he was a boy, my father would avoid
    cake made of cheese, but it’s really quite goid!


  4. Congratulations, Joan, on getting “The Jama Treatment” for this book! Jama: your artistry (and spot-on choice of props) always delights me. Five French Fries for this book, yes!


    1. Hi and thanks, Janet! I was fortunate to “meet” Jama when she asked if she could post one of my poems from yours and Sylvia’s wonderful POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY (Watch for a science-themed treasure in March from this dynamic duo!). Jama truly lives her poetry and artistry.


  5. Well, Jama, I’ve followed Joan all week, writing and rhyming just like Ryan! The book even in cyber space makes me want to write! Here’s my couplet!

    My favorite food – makes me smile and sigh
    is quite a large piece of chocolate pie!

    Thanks again, Joan, for poetic play! And Jama, the potatoes look amazing!


    1. Oh, chocolate pie!! Great couplet, Linda.

      Joan made those potatoes and took the photo. I love rosemary with roasted potatoes, but haven’t tried to add Montreal steak seasoning as she’s suggested yet. I know it’ll be good. 🙂


  6. Thank you, Jama for such a fun review of the book… it made me smile! I’ll be trying Joan’s recipe this weekend!


    1. Hi Kyrsten!

      What a fabulous job you did with this book! So clever and you perfectly captured all the fun and energy of Ryan and all his poems. I imagine lots of us will be eating Joan’s potatoes this weekend. 🙂


    2. Hi, Kyrsten–so happy to be sharing a book with you! I love your recipe for art–delicious textures, delectable collage, and piquant perspectives. Love the dog’s expression on the breakfast page and the fact that he’s wearing a “hounds-tooth” jacket!


  7. Oh, I’ll have bowl of that delicois looking soup, Jama, with the pototo wedges on the side, of course! This collection looks like rollicking fun, too – great fun saying the lines you shared.


    1. Joan had me with those opening lines. I knew I’d be in for a fun ride and I wasn’t disappointed. Kids and teachers are going to love this one!


  8. I love rosemary, so I’ll need to try that recipe. Here’s my couplet (though I’m just sharing, not entering the giveaway).

    Oh cookies I love you with big chocolate chips
    Too bad when I munch you go straight to my hips!

    Thanks for posting and linking up today!


    1. I don’t know if I could ever write something in french fries — I’d be too tempted to eat them before finishing the first word. 🙂


  9. Five spoons (filled with peas, potato wedges, & bananas) for Jama and this incredible, creative three-course-special she whipped up! I am honored and grateful to have received “The Jama Treatment.” Jama, you are a culinary and linguistic marvel–thanks so much for hosting the last day of my blog tour with such panache!


    1. Happy to have such a fun book to celebrate this week. Best of luck with it, Joan. I know you’ll have lots of fun sharing it with kids and inspiring them to write great poems.


  10. I have so enjoyed reading snippets of this book on its cyber-splash this week–it’s number one on my wishlist. And what a treat to read your poetry potage post–three paws up indeed. Here’s my couplet, inspired by those paws (and the absent Mr. Cornelius.)
    My bear loves berries, ants, and flies;
    for desert he pilfers apple pies.


    1. Absent Mr. Cornelius? He’s front and center and spooning peas.

      Love the couplet, but Mr. Cornelius says he never pilfers apple pies. He nibbles on them in a civilized manner.


  11. Amazing post, Jama, and you have whet my appetite for this book! The aroma of pie must be in the air because I, too, have a pie couplet.

    Glowing globe in the sky,
    lunar dessert – Meringue Pie.


  12. Drinking up my favorite treat,
    iced tea, plenty sweet.

    I love the book. It really sounds like lots of fun.


  13. Couplets and cobbler are two of my favorite things. And even though you just shared a nibble, I can tell this book would be one of my favorite things, too! Just adorable and sooooo creative!!!

    I’m not a bird. But Oh.My.Word.
    When I see cobbler, I’m a gobbler!


  14. Open the box; aroma greets ya’.
    My favorite food, of course, is pizza!

    This collection sounds adorable, delicious and poetically fantastic! My students will LOVE it (whether I win this book, or buy my own copy)!


  15. The perfect way to start my Saturday — a delightful 3-course post from Jama and a string of clever couplets. I have Valentine’s Day on my mind, so here’s my couplet:

    Cookies, cake and pie are dandy,
    but my favorite treat’s See’s Candy!


    1. Mmmmm, I miss eating See’s. My aunt used to send us a box from California every Christmas, the nuts and chews assortment. I always went for the milk chocolate nougats first and those flat caramels. 🙂


  16. I’m writing up an order card on Monday! The reason I’m so late in getting here is that I got caught up, just like Ryan O’B, in some poetry writing, too!


  17. Thank you for another mouth-watering post, Jama! I think I’ll have to try those potato wedges this week. Your couplet challenge was just that. Too many choices!

    McIntosh, Jonathan, Northern Spy
    Fill me up with apple pie!


  18. Burgers and fries, burgers and fries,
    my favorite, big juicy, delicious surprise!

    Splish, Splash by Joan was one of the first poetry books I ever owned and used with kids! I’m definitely going to buy this one (if I don’t win it!)


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