hotTEAs of Children’s Poetry: Marilyn Singer

Marilyn Singer is the author of more than 100 books in many genres, but poetry is her favorite thing to write. Winner of the 2015 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry, she co-hosts the ALA Poetry Blast at the annual conference. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, CT with her husband and pets. (Photo by Steve Aronson)


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Tea, tea, tea, especially Yunnan and various oolongs.  I love the fact that I can take my time and drink a cup slowly, while chatting, watching TV, reading, writing, or just ruminating.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My most recent book is Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths (Dial, 2016), illustrated by Josee Masse. Coming this fall are several books that mention or deal with food:  Miss Muffet, Or What Came After (Clarion, September 2016), illustrated by David Litchfield; and What’s an Apple? and What’s a Banana? (Abrams, August 2016), illustrated by Greg Pizzoli.

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: I adored Sydney Taylor’s All-of-A-Kind Family books, in part because of the yummy descriptions of Jewish food in them: pickles, sweet potatoes, hot chick peas, chicken soup, rye bread, etc.  Here’s a blog that delves into the food in the series:

☕ Visit Marilyn Singer’s Official Website.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: A poem from The Superheroes Employment Agency (Clarion, 2012), illustrated by Noah Z. Jones!



From up in space to down in Hades,

there are villains who are ladies.

They wear white gloves and fancy hats.

They like to knit.  They’re fond of cats.

They’re always planning something sinister

against a monarch or prime minister

over cake and cups of tea.

But then they have to deal with me,

a welcome guest, one of their ilk,

spooning sugar, pouring milk,

until my powers spoil their plot.

I raise a storm in their teapot.

Before they even utter, “Darn,”

I wrap them tightly in their yarn.

Then, whoosh, I blow each one away,

still sopping wet from their Earl Grey.

~ Copyright  © 2012 Marilyn Singer. All rights reserved.


☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Marilyn is the April Spotlight Author at Today’s Little Ditty. Read her wonderful interview with Michelle Barnes and then take this month’s challenge by writing your own poem(s).

☕☕☕☕  STILL THIRSTY: Marilyn is also Chicago Public Library’s Author of the Month. Enjoy this short video where she explains what a reverso is and reads a poem from Echo Echo. There’s also a written interview at the CPL site.


☕☕☕☕☕ JUST ONE LAST SIP FOR THE ROAD: Check out Marilyn’s post about writing reverso poetry at Brightly!


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “hotTEAs of Children’s Poetry: Marilyn Singer

  1. LOVE Marilyn’s work, especially her reversos! She’s definitely a Poetry Hot-TEA. And she gets extra points for being a tea lover drinking out of a bird cup–the bird nerd in me is thrilled 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This month’s poetry hotTEAs have the best mugs! It’s fun to see them, as they reveal a bit about their personal tastes and personalities. 🙂


  2. (I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants everyone’s tea-ware.)
    I think the reverso is one of the most BRILLIANT poetic forms out there, so mugs up to this hotTEA – I read MIRROR, MIRROR over and over again, just kind of gawping, and am excited that she’s continued to write these reversos, which I someday aim to try… someday. Until then! Cheers to Ms. Marilyn!


    1. Really don’t know how she does it — reversos look very challenging, and to think she invented the form. How many poets can attest to that? I’m coveting her birdie mug too :).


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