My UBFP Newspaper Article – Rhythm and Rhyme for the Younger Set

I know I’m not supposed to be posting today, but I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press(the newspaper I write for) for the February issue! The online version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (see page 16 😉 ). I am especially happy about this column because Renèe LaTulippe of No Water River helped me out with an awesome quote for the article. Speaking of Ms. LaTulippe, be sure to check out her blog on Friday because I am going to be a guest poet on it (YAY)!

I’d like to take credit for the title of my UBFP article, but my editor came up with it (and it is much better than the one I had 😉 ). I hope you enjoy the article!

Rhythm and Rhyme for the Younger Set

Young kids usually like poetry. If you think about it, nursery rhymes, lullabies, and a lot of picture books are full of poetry. Rhymes make it easy for young kids to learn letters and words because they are easy to remember. Dr. Seuss is a favorite of many kids (and adults) and his books are full of poetry! Reading and writing poetry is good for older kids too. When reading a good poem it will make you feel what the author wants you to. Writing poetry is also a great way for kids to learn how to say what they are feeling.


“Poetry has so many benefits for kids!” says Renée LaTulippe, children’s writer and poetry blogger at “The sound, rhythm, and imagery found in poetry helps kids learn to appreciate language and even gives younger kids some of the tools they need to learn to read. Older kids learn how to capture big ideas, experiences, and emotions in very few words, which helps them become better writers. And poetry encourages kids to use their imaginations to see everyday things in new and surprising ways: a tree can be a rocket ship or a sister can be a dragon. Reading poems out loud or acting them out, especially if kids get silly with the words and sounds, is a great way to reinforce drama and speaking skills, too – not to mention that it’s a lot of fun!”

 I am a kid who always liked poetry, especially silly or funny poetry. Jack Prelutsky is one of my favorite funny poets.  He has so many great poetry books out like “It’s raining Pigs and Noodles” and “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face.” Reading silly poems like Mr. Prelutsky is what first got me into reading poetry and as Ms. LaTulippe said, writing funny poems can be a great way for kids to express themselves and it is fun to do.

 Shel Silverstein is another favorite poet of mine. His poems aren’t all funny, but they are great to read and they make you think and imagine what is going on in the poem. “Every Thing On It” is a great Shel Silverstein poetry book for kids and is one of my favorites.

 There are also great books that teach kids about different kinds of poetry and how to write it. One book that I really like is “Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing” by Karen Benke. The book has great writing activities that can inspire kids to write their own poems or stories. Jack Prelutsky also has a book called “Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write A Poem” that shows kids all different kinds of poems and gives ideas of where they can get ideas for writing from.

 There are many different kinds of poetry and all poems don’t have to rhyme. In fact, one of my favorite types of poems is a Haiku and Haiku don’t have to rhyme. A Haiku has 3 lines; the first and last have 5 syllables, and the middle has 7 syllables. Here is an example of a Haiku:

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 Speaking of Haiku, there is a great book called “Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys” by Bob Raczka. It is full of Haiku for each season and is related to things boys like to do and is a good way to get a boy reading poetry. If you look in the poetry section of your local bookstore or library, you’ll find all kinds of poetry books for boys and girls and for kids of all ages. Pick one up and encourage your kids to read (and write) some poetry!

 Renee LaTulippe is an awesome poet and children’s book author. Her website, has a ton of original poems and information about poetry.

For more book reviews, please check out my website at!

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27 replies

  1. Great article, Erik! Upper Bucks Free Press is lucky to have you writing for them. You provided wonderful examples and resources, especially the link to NoWaterRiver. Keep up the good work.

  2. Wonderful article, Erik. Poetry has never been a primary focus (in fact, the prof who encouraged me to write professionally told me “stick to fiction, you’re no poet,” lol) but I’ve always enjoyed Shel Silverstein and and the bounce of Dr. Seuss. There’s something about well done rhythm and rhyme that’s so appealing, especially for the “younger set.” (I didn’t think you came up with that phrase.:))

  3. Yay for poetry and collaboration! Great article Erik, I will be passing this along to a teacher friend who has a group of young writers she is working with! I liked Guyku a lot too – including the illustrations.

  4. Great article Erik! Makes me want to go find a poetry book! I especially like the title!

  5. Great article, Erik! You are going to rock at Press Releases 😉 And I can’t wait to see/hear on No Water River yay!

  6. Erik, very professionally written. I read the newspaper article (squinting) first before I realized you posted it to your blog. Like the headline the editor selected. Captured your story well. And, nice interview with Renee.

  7. Erik! I loved it. I must tell you that Upper Bucks Free Press scored big when you decided to write for them. Great job! 🙂

  8. Great article, Erik. And I will be featuring your poem that you submitted ofr The Song Of Sahel soon on the Plum Tree Books blog. Such a great thing for kids to wrote poetry.

  9. What an excellent article, Erik. I love poems- especially fun ones. I have many of Shel Silverstein’s memorized because I read them over and over again. Thanks for sharing your writing with us. Great topic!

  10. Excellent article! Can’t wait for your NWR debut on Friday.

  11. Another wonderful article Erik. I look forward to your guest blog on Friday.

  12. We’re having a Poetry Month in GatheringReaders, my book club for young readers here in Singapore. We’re discussing Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. I am glad to read about your thoughts on poetry, Erik. So many kids nowadays think that poetry is too difficult or too ambiguous or too coded that it just doesn’t appeal to them. I am glad that my own eleven year old daughter thinks differently, as I would like to think that we live and breathe poetry in our house. I would often read aloud lines from Ray Bradbury – as I think that they are poetry in verse, and my daughter gets them – maybe, not all, but she enjoys the cadence in the writing and the imagery. 🙂 Looking forward to reading YOUR poems soon, Erik.

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