Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Poetry Stretch - Children's Book Inspiration

I was thinking about selecting words for a prompt today, but then decided it might be more fun if you could pick your own, within some parameters. So, here's the challenge. Head over to the New York Public Library and check out the titles on the list 100 Great Children's Books: 100 Years, or try the Cybils nominations for 2014. Pick a title with at least three words. Write the words in the title down the page and use these words as the first lines in your new poem. 

For example, if I chose IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN, my poem starter would look like this.


And the starter for MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS would look like this.


Easy-peasy, right? I hope you'll join me in writing a poem that starts with a children's book title. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. What a cool idea! I've written two:


    At night when the moon shines on
    the snow I think of the
    same moon shining on monks in winter or a midnight
    moment when mammoths tromped
    around in the moonlight, also seeing snow.
    The moonlit moments in this
    world aren’t always for lovers.


    The crow crosses the
    graveyard, looking for a stone
    book. He finds the moon.

    —Kate Coombs, 2015
    all rights reserved

  2. Yes, what a fun idea, and what a great list of books.
    Kate, I like your monks and mammoths in the moonlight.

    Two for Tea

    Bread and jam
    for Francis.
    Bread and jam
    for me.
    Two cubes of sugar,
    two trickles of cream,
    and two china cups
    of tea.

    Liz Steinglass

  3. Nice idea, Tricia--and so many to choose from! I appreciated this link and will share with my kindergarten families.

    Uncle Grump

    and butter,
    and honey,
    he mutters.

    "What I like's
    brown bread
    and jam.
    I do not like
    green eggs
    and ham.
    When will
    he ever
    that pushy,

  4. How funny that Liz and I both chose Frances! Can Uncle Grump join you for tea? Kate, I'm intrigued by your stone book in a graveyard...

  5. Go, Frances! I'm tempted to write more of these… :)

  6. Uncle Grump is quite welcome. He'll just need to bring a third cup.

  7. I I randomly chose book number 26 in the top 100 list, and it was entitled 'Dont let the pigeon dive the bus, this is my effort, I hope I've understood the concept!.

    DON'T , they said, whatever you do,
    LET him drive that bus,
    THE silly bird doesn't have a clue
    he's sure to cause a fuss.

    PIGEON would not listen though
    he got behind the wheel,
    I took the seat behind him
    prepared for an ordeal.

    DRIVE, he shouted angrily
    we need to get to school,
    then he turned to look at me
    and said, 'I'm such a fool'!

    I thought that I could drive this bus
    THE way that humans do,
    but I'm a bird, blessed with wings
    I guess it's time I flew.

    BUS, car, motorbike
    these things are not for me
    let me pass my driving test
    then perhaps we'll see.

    1. Time Like Lava

      The time of our lives means little in a
      graveyard, but it also means little in a
      book, for time expands and contracts
      with each reader, each reading,
      like lava flowing, cooling
      until the coiled rock of it,
      like graveyard monuments
      lets us read our own lives.

      ©2015 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

    2. Very nice. I also adore The Graveyard Book.

  8. Who is Miss Sally?

    Bread baking warms the room
    And brings the children round
    Jam sweetens so the spoon
    For us to spread around

    Francis, don’t you dally,
    Come soon and bring Miss Sally!

  9. oops, Frances/ not Francis!

  10. I love this idea, and all the poems people have shared! It's been a pretty hectic week, but I'm looking forward to playing around with it this weekend. Thanks for sharing, Tricia!

  11. The Westing Game . . .

    The wild west wind is
    westing over the plains.
    game roam wild,
    across the westing plains.

    When You Reach Me . . .

    When is just whenever
    you can make it here
    reach me now or later
    me and you, my dear.

  12. Thanks, Kate--I loved yours, too!

  13. ONE SHOT

    Don’t underestimate my talent Mr. Buchman,
    Let me sing for our school assembly, please.
    The time has arrived; believe in me, I don’t sound like
    Pigeons have a coughing fit anymore, sir. You said my
    Drive to improve myself has been noted by my classmates.
    The auditorium is filling up, don’t let me sit in back of the
    Bus this time, let me be the driver, I’ll get us to our destination
    Safer than infants being snuggled by their mothers.

    (c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

    1. Hello Charles, would you mind reading my poem, as I used the same book title as you did 'Don't let the pigeon drive the bus', but I don't know if I've understood the concept!.

    2. Hello Maria. The way the form works, I think, is you take the title and write it down the the page so each word of the title is the first word in your next line. After you complete that, if the poems needs to continue you can add your own word, which is what I did. Does that make sense? Wish I could explain it better. Enjoy!