It’s not a Crime to Rhyme. However…

Guest Post by Rob Broder, Publisher, Ripple Grove Press

You sit in your chair

in all its glory:

grab paper and pen

for your wonderful story.

The idea is there,

the characters are fun;

who wouldn’t like this

when it’s all done?

It’s funny, it’s sweet,

it’s current and fresh.

You read it to your kids

and they scream YES!

 

While you sit

in your favorite nook

you smile over

this best new book.

It has its charm

like Mother Goose;

 

and all the charisma of

Dr. Seuss:

You see sir,

there is no crime.

You just want

your story to rhyme.

It’s about a Pig,

whose name is Fig.

and coincidentally likes to dig.

His friend is Duck

who drives a truck

that’s stuck in the muck.

And Fig saves the day

with time left to play

and then heads back in his sty,

leaving Publisher (me) to wonder why—

 

Why did it rhyme?

WHY DID THIS RHYME?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some words felt forced.

Some lines didn’t match.

I’m sighing inside,

will I be able to catch . . . on?

I was liking the plot,

the characters too.

But Rhyme is still rhyme,

there’s not much I can do.

I scratch my head

and try and edit.

But I must move on

and, sadly, forget it.

There are too many syllables

to read in each line,

so your words seem absurd

when they’re trying to rhyme.

 

It’s not you,

It’s me.

I’m looking for something

with originality.

I do like rhyming

I really do….

when everything matches

and lines flow on cue.

Where nothing feels off,

the rhymes rhyme well,

And the words glide naturally

not leaving me in a . . .(let me think) well.

 

I enjoy rhymes on a boat

and with a goat

and in the rain

and on a train.

But I must be honest:

Some drive me insane.

 

So if your stories

must be in rhyme,

take a step back

and give it some time.

Make sure it’s balanced

and ripe like a plum.

Not leaving me twirling

in a rhyming conundrum.

 

Rob Broder is Publisher of Ripple Grove Press, an independent, family-run children’s book publisher. He and his wife started Ripple Grove Press because they have a passion for well-told and beautifully illustrated stories for children. Their mission is to bring together great writers and talented illustrators to make the most wonderful books possible.  We hope our books find their way to the cozy spot in your home. RGP accepts picture book submissions (nonrhyming and really well rhymed) at www.ripplegrovepress.com/submissions/. They are currently looking for that next story.  Please follow their guidelines.

Rob also offers a Storybook Consulting Service where he helps writers and illustrators hone in on their story.  If you have an idea, a concept, a book dummy, or a full picture book manuscript that needs guidance and structure, please visit RobertBroder.com or email RobbieBroder (at) gmail.com for further questions. 

Suggested rhyming books Rob Broder enjoys reading:
The Piggy in the Puddle by Charlotte Pomerantz, illustrated by James Marshall
Evermore Dragon by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Randy Cecil
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sheri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
The Gentleman Bat by Abraham Schroeder, illustrated by Piotr Parda

Related Posts on this blog:
When Is It Time for  Rhyme? by Alli Brydon
How (Not) to Write a Rhyming Picture Book by Josh Funk
Writing in Rhyme by Liz LeSavoy

7 comments

  1. This is a clever way to illustrate the pitfalls of a form that seems to be perfect for childrne’s books because it can be so lyrical. The problem is that sometimes the music is atonal. Your article is an excellent way to “show” rather than “tell” the core dilemma of writing in verse.

    Like

  2. A fun blog indeed to get your point across, Rob! How do editors feel about partial rhyming picture books? Or rhyme dispersed carefully throughout the manuscript/ Thank you very much.

    Like

    1. if there’s normal dialogue and then there is rhyming… I would prefer not to see it. It works in Winnie the Pooh books, and maybe Bear in Love by Daniel Pinkwater… But I feel is alters the flow of the actual story.

      Liked by 1 person

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