Monday, November 9, 2015

Best in Rhyme Award: Selecting a Winner of a Picture Book ~ by Patricia Toht

I've been a lucky girl this autumn. 

Two years ago, I joined a community of rhymers called RhyPiBoMo. RhyPiBoMo was founded by Angie Karcher and challenges its members to write a rhyming picture book manuscript in the month of April. I blogged about it here.

Rhyme is not always looked upon favorably in picture book submissions. "We don't accept rhyming texts," is a phrase frequently expressed by editors and agents. There's a good reason for that -- rhyme is difficult to do well, and many don't take the time to learn the craft and brutally hone their manuscripts.

Artwork by the talented
Tanja Bauerle.

One step in learning the craft is to study terrific examples of rhyming picture books. Unfortunately, beyond Dr. Seuss, it's difficult to know who the great rhyming authors are. And so Angie had a second idea. Why not establish an award that recognizes the rhyming picture book? The "Best in Rhyme" award was born.

So, why am I lucky? Because I'm on the committee to select the award winner! 

From April to October this year, members of RhyPiBoMo submitted titles to be considered. Poetry collections and concept books were eliminated, as this year's focus is on books that tell a story. Tallying the popular titles led to the Top 20. (Here's the list!). From that list, the committee sat down to read and analyze.
75% of the reading pile

Here are a few of the elements we considered:
• Does the book tell a story, with an arc and clear plot?
• Are characters developed?
• How is the meter and rhyme in the book?
• What poetic devices are used? 
• Do word choices enhance the book?

I had a little help with my reading.

Committee members finished their reviews by November 1, and Angie Karcher announced the Final 10 (in rhyme, of course):

Would you like to know the winner?

So would I!

The winner will be announced in a live, red carpet ceremony at the KidLitTV Studio on December 4th. The gala kicks off the RPB (Rhyming Picture Book) Revolution Weekend. I'll be heading to New York for the weekend, and you can join me -- spaces are still available for the RPB Revolution Conference. For more information, visit rpbrevolution, here.  Fellow GROGger Suzy Leopold will be telling you a bit more about the RPB Revolution in a post next week (November 18).

Hooray for rhyming picture books! Who will be the winner?????


  1. I am following this announcement with great excitement. Rhyme rules and rocks and rolls off the tongue.

    1. Well said, Sherri! (And alliteratively, too.) :)

  2. Love this post...some of my favorite titles are in your pile...can't wait to hear the winners!

    1. Me, too, Darlene. I hope it's one of my Top Three!

  3. Thanks for all of your hard work!

  4. Great rhyming announcement! Can't wait to see who gets top rhyme! It's got to be a tough, tough, tough decision.

  5. Fun post, Patty.

    WE readers are THE winners, too.
    Because with your link -
    we have the plenty twenty.
    And with this Group Blog Piece + Angie Karcher video -
    we have the groovy den of ten.

    (For list makers, like me & you.)

    It's fun to anticipate the red carpet time.
    I'll be watching it via KIDLit TV channel/stream/vid or whatever is sent out to the world.

  6. Rhyming picture books add so much and kids love them! It's nice to see them garnering attention. :)

  7. Thanks for your comments, everyone. We'll know the winner on Dec 4!

  8. The KidLit TV team is looking forward to meeting the RhyPiBoMo team this Friday, Dec 4th! If you can't be in NYC, you can watch the RhyPiBoMo Awards LIVE here: