The Silliness of Kenn Nesbitt
Many folks will read a post about kid’s poetry and think that Kenn Nesbitt is too silly to be taken seriously. His topics are too mundane and his poems all rhyme and are just not literary enough. But I know from trying to write for children, that writing something kid’s will relate to and laugh at is not easy at all. There is a certain skill to the poetry of kid’s poets – Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and the like – that when you look at each line you realize is pure genius.
Kenn Nesbitt was named Children’s Poet Laureate on June 11, 2013. His collections of poems have names like My Hippo has the Hiccups, The Armpit of Doom, and The Revenge of the Lunch Ladies. His poems are accessible and fun for kids and adults alike and are sure to make the little people in your life hoot.
When he isn’t writing poetry, he is visiting schools and performing poetry, and giving workshops to kids.
Some of my favorites…
My Mom’s Spaghetti
My mom makes disgusting spaghetti
with horseradish sauce and sardines.
She tops it with pickles and mustard,
Bananas and barbecued beans.
She serves it for supper on Sunday.
On Monday we have it for lunch.
It’s breakfast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
By Thursday, you guessed it, it’s brunch.
I don’t like to hurt my mom’s feelings.
I said that I loved it. (I lied.)
I always gave mine to our doggy.
And that’s why our poor doggy died.
So next time you serve us spaghetti,
dear Mother, don’t make it like that.
Please serve it with red sauce and meatballs,
and that way it won’t kill the cat.
Our Teacher’s Not a Zombie
Our teacher’s not a zombie.
He’s not the living dead,
Although he’s looking ragged
and his eyes are rather red.
He shuffles to the classroom.
He slowly drags his feet.
He shambles to the whiteboard
looking broken-down and beat.
We listen to his plaintive moans.
We see the way he strains.
We hear him mumble mournfully
about the students’ brains.
But we know not to worry.
We never get upset.
He’s always like this when he
hasn’t had his coffee yet.
This next poem was put to music and appeared in the 2010 film, Life As We Know It.
The Tale of the Sun and the Moon
The Sun was in his bathing suit. The Moon in her pajamas.
They played all day until the two were called in by their mamas.
The Sun went home and climbed in bed. His mama sang a tune.
And soon the Sun was fast asleep and dreaming of the Moon.
The Moon decided not to go. Instead she stayed outside.
She danced and played and laughed and sang,
’til she was sleepy-eyed.
When morning came, the Sun arose and went outside to play.
But could not find his friend, the Moon, who slept inside all day.
So now these two are best of friends apart by dark and light.
The Sun turns in at evenfall. The Moon comes out at night.
The shining Moon sees no sunlight. The Sun sees no moonbeams.
But when they both are fast asleep, they’re in each other’s dreams.
And, one last one that I can totally relate to since I often had my mom as a substitute teacher growing up! 🙂
My Teacher Calls Me Sweetie Cakes
My teacher calls me sweetie cakes.
My classmates think it’s funny
to hear her call me angel face
or pookie bear or honey.
She calls me precious baby doll.
She calls me pumpkin pie
or doodle bug or honey bunch
or darling butterfly.
My class is so embarrassing
I need to find another;
just any class at all
in which the teacher’s not my mother.
No matter your age, it is always a great escape to pick up a book solely written for children. Put your feet up and let the wisdom and rhyme fill your head for a bit. Take yourself to a little escape and visit his site for children’s poetry.