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How a Poem Happens

by Loris Lesynski
illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Top Ten Canadian Children’s Books List, Ontario Library Association Our Choice List, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Silver Birch Award nomination Red Cedar Book Award nomination

“[Loris Lesynski] will be joining the ranks of Lee, Prelutsky, and Silverstein.” —Sam Sebesta, author and Professor Emeritus, Children’s Literature,University of Washington

Got a passion for poetry? Are you primed to rhyme? Word whiz Loris Lesynski shows you how it’s done in this unique collection that blends “best of” with “how to”. Inside you’ll find over 30 Lesynski favorites alongside advice for kids on creating poems.

In nine snappy sections, Lesynski features different ways a poem can take shape. Rhymes like “Dirty Dog Boogie” came from a catchy beat. Other ideas emerged from playing with words, as in “Mozza Mozza”.

Further sections include:
• Preparing for Poems — warm-ups for the mouth and the brain
• Me Me Me Me — rhymes that start with you
• What I’d Like to Know — poems that pose questions
• How Illustrations Happen — providing pictures for poems
• Writning Bolts — further activities for aspiring rhymers

Bursting with Michael Martchenko’s vivid illustrations and packed with over 20 pages of all-new material by Lesynski, “I Did It Because …” is a playground of poetry where readers are invited to play along.


“Good advice abounds for picking poem topics, making interesting word and sound choices, and reading poems aloud. Teachers of poetry will want this dual-purpose collection for their classrooms because Lesynski shows that poem writing can and should be fun with an irresistible selection of contagiously rhythmic poems.”
—Quill & Quire, *starred review, 09/06

“Lesynski is a rhyme-maker whose own high-energy, rat-tat-tat-dum-de-dum creations provides all the proof that the ingredients she advocates and the hints she offers—from picking a topic to finding rhymes—make a very fine pudding indeed.”
—The Globe and Mail, 09/10/06

“The real value of the [poetry writing] tips is the emphasis on having fun with language. The author clearly believes that poetry should be fun for children, and I believe that the tone of the book neatly fits that objective . . . all of the tips will serve as fodder for thought and exploration. Lesynski’s poetic style includes a generous dose of playful fun and frolic with the English language. Early and middle years teachers will do well to add this book to their classroom library . . . many children will enjoy flicking through the book’s pages and experimenting with some of Lesynski’s suggestions . . . teachers will find many of the playful poems are suitable for sharing as classroom read alouds.”
—CM Reviews, 10/06

“The rollicking poems are full of energy and opportunities for participation.”
—School Library Journaln


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Loris Lesynski

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Michael Martchenko