Monday, December 7, 2015

Celebration and Inspiration ~ by Patricia Toht

On Friday, I invited you to come to the Kid Lit TV party for the announcement of the Best in Rhyme picture book winner. Did you tune in? I hope you did. But for those of you who couldn't make it, here are the winners!

Runner up:
by Deborah Underwood

by Corey Rosen Schwartz

And the Grand Prize went to: 

by Penny Parker Klostermann

Of course, we celebrated with cake!

And a few silly photos:
Dragon breath!

Angie Karcher isn't too happy about
being swallowed by a dragon...

Kid Lit TV provided a gracious venue for the ceremony and party. In addition, they opened their doors the next day for the RPB REVOLUTION conference. Here are some tidbits and quotes about rhyming picture books. I hope they give you some inspiration!

Penny Parker Klostermann surprised the group with the fact that her book had 29 different versions before it was picked up by Random House. She told everyone to look at every line and every word to make sure it is the best. She also encouraged everyone to give themselves time to imagine.

Agent Kendra Marcus says that a rhyming picture book needs to not only rhyme, but also to have a good story that begins right up front. If it takes to long for a reader to discover where the story is headed, they may lose interest.

Author Lori Degman took the group through exercises on whittling down a rhyming manuscript and making sure the meter and rhyme are perfect. She urges writers to pinpoint the core of what they are trying to say, and then figure out the most condensed way to say it.
"Every time there's a break in the continuity of your rhyme, you may lose your reader," she warns.

Next up were the "Rebeccas Squared" team of author Rebecca Kai Doltish and editor Rebecca Davis from Wordsong and Boyds Mills. "Often people focus so much on the end rhymes that they lose sight of what is between those end rhymes," Rebecca Dotlich said. They stressed the importance of all poetic elements - treat them with equal importance. In other words, make sure a rhyming text takes advantage of luscious word choice, alliteration, metaphor and simile, vivid imagery, personification. "Read and study picture books until the essence of them is in your bones," they said.

The team of author Karma Wilson and Justin Chanda, Publisher at Simon and Schuster, rounded out the day. "Rhyme is wonderful, but it's not EVER the heart of your story. Your story has to stand without the crutch of rhyme," they told us. "Figure out the 'spine' - the theme that lies at the heart of your story - and let all else hang off of it." Karma warned us all to never talk down to a child, their concerns are very real and very large to them.



A terrific weekend!

Unable to attend? It's not too late to purchase a recorded version of this wonderful conference. More information HERE.


  1. What a fun event! And congrats to Penny!

  2. Awesome sauce! I watched as much as I could. Bravo to everyone!

  3. Awesome sauce! I watched as much as I could. Bravo to everyone!

  4. Great event and I agree w/the top 10 and the winners. Thanks for saving us a good seat, Patty!

  5. Thanks for this overview, Kathy. Sounds like an awesome time and great advice!

  6. Sounds fabulous. Can't wait for the recording.

  7. Splendid weekend spent with some of the most amazing KidLit folk I've met yet. Great post Patty. Hugs. T

  8. I enjoyed the pics and chat on FB as you ladies heard from the experts. I can't wait for the recording :)

  9. What a party! Thanks for the pictures and updates! Excited for the recording too❤️

  10. It was an amazing weekend. I had so much fun and appreciate the time spend to make it a first class event!

  11. "Spine of the book!"
    That's one to post on my bulletin board.

    A lot of protein for picture bookers here, Patty. Thank you!
    So glad you could attend & so grateful for this nourishing report.

    Appreciations to all the speakers.
    Appreciations also to fabulous Angie & to fabulous Kid Lit TV.