Posted by: nancyisanders | July 23, 2011

Summer Reads: Children’s Poetry

I’m having fun learning about poetry and exploring writing poetry this summer.

I finished the beginning chapters of THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO WRITING POETRY.

Now I’m heading into the section that teaches about imagery and how to write it.

Before I try my hand at writing imagery, however, I wanted to just start writing some sample poems as the book suggests.

But I was drawing a blank.

So I started reading children’s poetry by Jack Prelusky. And I put on a children’s CD of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems set to music.

Then I tried my hand on a poem after reading Prelusky’s hilarious poem, “My Neighbor’s Dog is Purple.” It’s all about his neighbor’s dog, but ends with the explanation that before his neighbor painted his pet purple, it was actually an alligator. So here’s my poem:

My uncle owns an aardvark.
My aunt has a kangaroo.
My cousins have three elephants
and even a zebra, too.

They have a cage for the aardvark.
Their zebra stays in the shed.
The kangaroo leaps all over their yard,
but the elephants sleep in their bed!

They let me play with the aardvark
and ride the elephants, too.
But when I go to their house,
I feel like I’m at the zoo.


  1. very nice.

  2. The poem flows nicely. Each verse has an active verb except for the last one. Maybe punch it up a notch by using an active verb there, too?
    My all-time favorite poetry writing book–In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop. I never get tired of rereading it because it gives lots of examples of poems and haiku by some of the great poets in the world.
    I can “see” this poem in a picture book!

    • Wow, Anne, thanks for your feedback! And for sharing the book title, too. Now I gotta go find your favorite book, too!

  3. Very cute, Nancy!

  4. I was looking for your challenge on magazine targeting. Quite a while ago you posted it. Know when by any chance?

    • Hi Marlene, I actually have an entire section on targeting a magazine in my book for writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.

      Here’s a link to one post I made about magazines. If it’s not what you’re looking for, search “target magazines” in my search box here on my blog and see what comes up:

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