Friday, July 3, 2009

Rhyming in Children's Books

Should you or shouldn't you? Oft-heard advice says 1- don't, unless you really are next Dr. Seuss and 2- don't ever, ever, ever say you're Seusslike in a cover letter directed to a publisher. Supposed to be a surefire way to land on the slushpile, pronto.

The latest issue of Children's Writer* is more encouraging. The article Fly High, Immersed in Verse (by Judy Bradbury) reminds us what's at stake:
"It is the poet's privilege to help man endure by lifing up his heart." --William Faulkner

Carl Sandburg sees it from a child's perspective:
"Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the sky."

Joan Hyman, Associate Editor at Wordsong, the poetry imprint at Boyds Mill Press, reminds hopeful poets to - well, write well. "Though there is always room for light, fun verse, the best poets - and the best writers - know how to push the reader to think while keeping him or her entertained," she told Bradbury.

Good advice. Here's some more: you're not the next Dr. Seuss, and you probably don't want to be. Read, write, join SCBWI, and you too just might inspire the next generation of readers (and writers)!

*if you aspire to be one, subscribe to and read Children's Writer thoroughly

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