I enjoy writing the rhymes for my picture books. I believe the flow of the language enhances the reading experience. Besides, rhyming makes science more fun. My illustrators create incredible images to complete the package. Recently, I was selecting poems for an anthology. I couldn’t use the text from an entire picture book, so I was selecting stanzas that could stand alone.
In one of the craft workshops, I learned about positioning
the words to enhance the poem’s content.
For my poem about the X-shape of roadrunners’ feet, I decided to try to paint an image with the words.
What do you think? Does this make the rhyming more fun?
Elaine A. Powers is the author of science-based children’s books. The “Don’t” Series includes Don’t Make Me Fly, about the Roadrunner, a favorite siting of those residing in the American Southwest.
I inherited my mother’s house, which is in an RV Resort in
Ft. Myers, FL. Every year, I travel there at Christmastime to perform in each
year’s original Cantata, composed by a very talented woman, Ruth Rodgers, and
her husband, Dr. Ted Rodgers. I directed the orchestra, sang, played the
trumpet and thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. Sadly, 2017 was the final
That meant, however, that this past Christmas, I could fully participate in the park’s holiday potluck dinner. A gift exchange takes place every year—you know, the kind where everyone gets a number and as each number is called, that person selects a gift. The fun part is, they may keep the gift they chose or trade for one another person has already selected. Some gifts are traded (grabbed!) repeatedly until the numbers finally run out.
I decided to take the collection of my “Don’t” series books (Don’t Call Me Turtle, Don’t Make Me Fly, and Don’t Make Me Rattle) as my gift. I also took along some Southwestern-themed wrapping paper and tape since I didn’t know what supplies were in the house. I brought some yummy Tortuga rum cakes from my travels to the Cayman Islands. I was ready.
Cold feet struck that afternoon. Was bringing my own books the right thing to do? Geez, maybe I should have brought something more
appropriate. I searched the house for something I could substitute, but
there was nothing. Fate determined the “Don’t” series books would be my gift.
One of my neighbors greeted me at the door that evening . “Is
this one of the books you’ve written?”
I confessed it was.
His reply? “I know what gift I’m choosing.”
Sure enough, his number was called and he selected my gift. I was honored and delighted that he wanted my books.
His number was called early, but his possession of the books was short lived. A few numbers later, a woman took the books from him. Then a few more numbers, and another woman selected the books—and so on!
My books were one of the most desired gifts of the evening. It was both engaging and rewarding to know that my efforts to make science education fun are working. I hope to inspire many future scientists by creating books written in rhyme, filled with scientific facts, that children and their parents truly enjoy reading.
My book business started with the publication of Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers. In this story, a Curly-tail lizard named Curtis travels from his home island of Warderick Wells to the big city of Nassau to see where the tourists come from. When he gets homesick, Curtis must figure out how to get home. Not to worry—Curtis is a smart Curly-tail lizard and he would be bored if life didn’t get exciting from time to time.
Then—and how fun for me!—several people in the Cayman Islands requested their own Curly-tail adventures, and the Lime Lizard Lads, Gene and Bony, were born. The first book in their series, The Dragon of Nani Cave, explores the animals, plants and sites on Cayman Brac, as the two adventure off to find the island’s dragon for themselves.
But, “One is not enough,” the people said. I was asked if could I adapt one of the Bahamas books for the Cayman Islands. Yes, I thought. I can adapt Ship of Sneakers fairly easily. Ha! It turned out I had to rewrite the entire story, but it was worth it. In The Lime Lizard Lads and the Ship of Sneakers, Gene and Bony leave their home on Cayman Brac, one of the Sister Islands, and travel to the tourist sites on Grand Cayman. And since the only way in or out is by airplane, they have quite the adventure!
Living on a Caribbean island can be wonderful, but it is also rather isolating. Just as we humans enjoy having visitors, Curtis Curly-tail enjoyed seeing people come ashore from their boats. When he watched them leave again, Curtis wondered where they had come from and where they were going.
One day the curious and courageous little guy decided to find out for himself. He crept into a sneaker and traveled to the big city, delighting in the many sights and sounds a small cay doesn’t have. Eventually, though, Curtis wanted to go home. It didn’t take him long to realize that getting onto a tourist boat from his beach was much easier than catching a ride home would be. He would have to get on the right boat and he had no idea how he would cross the water between the boat and his beach.
The inspiration for writing and creating the Hayley Cat Book series for children came back to me one day as I thought of my time living on Oahu, Hawaii. My husband and I wanted to fill our home with more love, and that included adding pets to our life. We anxiously searched for that special cat at the local Humane Society. It was Hayley who stood out from the rest. We could tell he had a curious nature in him. Our hunch was right because he gave us so many things to laugh about every day.
I really wanted to give something back, something in writing. I hoped to promote the importance of friendship, literacy, interest in animals and the islands of Hawaii, in addition to the bonding that happens between parent and child when reading together. Life is always better with a bedtime adventure to create fond and lasting memories.
My quest was set into motion and Book One of The Adventures of Hayley Cat was published. I used Oahu, Hawaii as the backdrop because that is where Hayley was born and adopted by us. The first friend that Hayley encounters in Book One is Emerine, a playful dolphin. I have a great fondness for dolphins and the ocean. One of my favorite memories is swimming with Spinner Dolphins off the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. It was a magical feeling. My love of animals and island life inspired me to create an endearing story of the Aloha Spirit and friendship.
I hope to touch hearts with the Hayley Cat Adventure books. Thank you for visiting Lyric Power Publishing and reading here about our books.
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Learn about our latest science-based children’s books and workbooks. Read here about reptiles, birds, cats in a variety of locations. Read the blog to learn how the books come to be, what inspires an author to write, and many more interesting aspects of the publishing business.
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