Thursday, February 14, 2019

Poetry Friday: Peekity Boo- What You Can Do Heidi Bee Roemer Interview

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week’s Round Up is hosted by Check It Out blog. Be sure to click over and enjoy all of the poetic goodness being shared. This week, I’m so honored to bring you an interview with poet/author Heidi Bee Roemer. I began writing poetry after taking a class with Heidi, and she has been someone that I admire both personally and professionally ever since. She is as sweet as she is incredibly talented. Heidi has a new rhyming picture book, PeekityBoo- What You Can Do (Henry Holt, March 2019), coming soon to a bookstore near you, and today, she is sharing a little bit about this wonderful new work.

Hello, Heidi! Welcome to the blog and thank you for joining us for Poetry Friday!

1. How did you get the idea for your latest rhyming picture book, Peekity Boo- What You Can Do?

The idea for Peekity Boo! was sparked by two things. One was sweet memories of my two little boys (long since grown) splashing in the tub, snuggling up with a book, and kissing them goodnight. The second was musing how fun it would be to experience those moments with grandchildren someday. Babies are so precious! After all, "There are ears to nuzzle. Towel to snuggle. Belly to tickle. Toesies to wiggle!"

2. What was the writing process like for this book? Did it come together quickly, or were there lots of revisions? Did it find a home right away, or did that take some time?

It was all rather miraculous. Once I stumbled upon the lovely word pattern, the story came easily, the sale was quick, and revisions were minor. I submitted the manuscript to my former editor at Henry Holt. Christy Ottaviano is the wonderful editor who snatched another manuscript of mine from the slush pile a few years ago and published my debut book in 2004, Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems.

3. This book has lots of fun language. What’s your favorite line? Any particular reason for that choice?

Blippity Blub! I'm glad you asked that question, Kim! My favorite line is "Buggity boo! Now what do we do?" which is paired with an illustration of a toddler looking crestfallen as the bubbles in his bathtub disappear down the drain.

The reason? I love playful words and silly nonsense phrases. As a toddler myself, I went wild every time I heard a song called "The Hawaiian War Chant." The lyrics were, "Whicky whicky WHACK! Whicky whacky WOO! Bugbug BOOO hoo! BOOO hoo!" My mother said she couldn't believe my reaction when she played that old 45. I would roll and flop around on the floor in a hysterical heap of giggles and wiggles. When the song ended, I begged her to play it again. And again. Until I was happily exhausted. I liked that song apparently.

4. Tell us about the illustrations. Did you include any illustration notes with the manuscript? Was there any collaboration with the illustrator, Mike Wohnoutka?

I didn't feel the need to include illustrator's notes and had no collaboration with my illustrator. Mike instinctively knew just how to capture the characters with simplicity and sweetness. His illustrations bring this little boy and his family to life with a glowing warmth and coziness. The endpapers feature smiling teddybears, bunnies, ducks and whales. Mike's artwork is delightful!

5. Who is your audience for this book? Where can we pre-order our copies?

Peekity Boo What YOU Can Do!is geared for wigglers, droolers, pint-size poopers, toddlers, crawlers and chewers and all readers ages 5 to 105. Available March 19, it can be pre-ordered through Anderson's Bookshops (,, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

6. Do you have some other books in the pipeline? What’s on the horizon for you?

Ah! I'm expecting again! New books, that is. Two board books Who Says Uh Oh? and Who Says Peekaboo? will be published this fall. Hide-and-Seek at the Construction Site: A Lift the Flap Book is a companion book to Hide-and-Seek on the Farm (2018). Lastly, The ABC's of Kindness will be available in 2020. All are published by Highlights Press.

From the moment Heidi hatched from her chrysalis, she was an itty bitty bookworm who devoured books. Heidi fell in love with children's books for a second time when she began reading to her two little boys. In 1992, Heidi sprouted her wings, joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, plugged in her shiny new word processor and began writing for children in earnest. She has since sold over 400 children's poems and stories to dozens of children's magazines and anthologies and has several picture books to her credit including Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems, What Kinds of Seeds are These? and Whose Nest is This?. She is a former instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature and a writer-in-residence for Chicago Public schools. "Heidi Bee" has given hundreds of presentations at schools, libraries and other literary venues. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 7, 2019

[Poetry Friday] Magazine Markets: Poetry Written For Children

Happy Poetry Friday to you all! This week's round up is hosted by Laura Purdie Salas at her Writing the World for Kids blog.  Laura is asking us to write Equation Poems for her padlet. Once you've finished up here, be sure to click over to enjoy all of this week's Equation Poems and poetically inspiring posts.

I recently presented a short poetry workshop to my local SCBWI writer's group. During the course of putting my talk together, I updated my list of magazines that consider poetry specifically written for children. I'm sharing that list here. I'll be adding it as a linked page on the side bar next week. If you know of any oter markets that consider poetry written for children, please share those links in the comments. I would like to keep an up-to-date comprehensive list. 

BALLOONS Literary Journal publishes material for readers age 8-10. Submission Guidelines.

The Caterpillar is a literary journal for kids ages 8-11. Submission Guidelines.

Cricket Media publishes the following magazines for different age groups: Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, Cricket, Cicada, Click, Ask, Muse, Cobblestone, Dig, and Faces. Submission Guidelines.

Ember is a semi-annual journal written for readers age 10-18. Submission Guidelines.

FrostFire Worlds publishes poems with fantasy and sci-fi themes. Submission Guidelines

Fun For Kidz is a magazine created for children ages 6-13. Submission Guidelines.

Golden Gleece Press publishes two magazines- Wee Tales -(ages 7-12) and Refractions (13+). Submission Guidelines.

Guardian Angel Kids publishes material for children ages 2-12. Submission Guidelines.

Highlights for Children publishes Highlights, High Five, and Hello magazines. Submission Guidelines

Hunger Mountain is an annual print journal. Submission Guidelines.

Spaceports & Spidersilk is an online magazine for ages 8-17. Submission Guidelines.

U.S. Kids publishes two magazines- Humpty Dumpty (ages 2-6) and Jack and Jill (ages 6-12). Submission Guidelines.

YARN Literary Journal publishes material for ages 14+. Submission Guidelines.

As always, thanks for stopping by and Happy Poem Making!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Poetry Friday: Poem Under Deconstruction

When I look through my notebooks, it's obvious to me that I love to write poems about weather. I live in the midwest, and we get our fair share of all four seasons, and I seem to be obssessed with the weather that accompanies each one. Today, I'm sharing another weather poem, though not one of my own. I came across, "Weather is Full of the Nicest Sounds" by  Aileen Fisher, in the Arrow Book of Poetry, selected by Ann McGovern.

Weather is full 
of the nicest sounds: 
it sings 
and rustles 
and pings 
and pounds 
and hums 
and tinkles 
and strums 
and twangs 
and whishes  
and sprinkles 
and splishes 
and bangs 
and mumbles 
and grumbles 
and rumbles 
and flashes 
I wonder 
if thunder 
frightens a bee, 
a mouse in her house, 
a bird in a tree, 
a bear 
or a hare 
or a fish in the sea? 
Not me

In my ongoing journey as a writer, I like to deconstruct and study the work of other writers. I sometimes do this exercise at school visits, as well. This week, I decided to dissect this poem.
1. The first thing I notice is that it is written with quite a bit of rhyme. I worked through the rhyme scheme. You'll notice how the scheme changes about half-way through. I also noticed some internal rhyme added- mouse in her house.
2. Next, I looked for poetic tools/literary devices that the poet may have used. Onomatopoeia is definitely queen of this poem. Sound words are so much fun to immitate and to listen to. These sounds help to create images of different kinds of weather in my mind. They help me to hear it and to see it vivdly.
3. Consonance. The repetitive sh sound in crashes, flashes, splishes, whishes. 
4. Assonance. The repetitive ee sound in bee, tree, sea, and me. Repetitive sounds are FUN!
5. Most of the poem consists of this fun list of sounds, but then we are given some questions to ponder. Sometimes weather sounds can be frightening, but the author turns this theory upside down, and says, no, I'm not afraid, but what about bears, hares, fish, bees, and mice? It's a perfect poetic twist. Do you like to write about weather? Do you enjoy deconstructing poetry? Was there anything that you particularly liked/disliked about this poem?

This week's Poetry Friday is hosted by Going To Walden blog. Be sure to stop by and check out all of this week's inspiring posts.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and Happy Poem-Making!

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Welcome to Poetry Friday! Robin Hood Black is hosting this week. Be sure to stop by her blog and check out all of this week's inspiring poetry posts.

I must ask a favor this week. I am scheduled to host the round up on October 19th. My day job is changing and becoming more time-consuming for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to host. If you haven't already volunteered, or you're willing to pick up an extra round up, please let me know in the comments. I would truly appreciate it.

My sweet granddaughter is becoming more skilled with her sippy cup, and her perseverance at the task inspired this week's poem.


Tipsy, topsy
With your cup.

Dripsy, dropsy
Don't give up!

Tipsy, topsy
To your lip.

Nice and slow...
Sip, sip, sip.

Copyright 2018 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Have a great week, and as always, Happy Poem Making!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Poetry Friday GREAT MORNING! and Back-To-School

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Wondering and Wandering blog. When you're finished up here, please click over to enjoy all of this week's inspiring poetry posts.

A few weeks ago, I entered a giveaway on Catherine Flynn's Reading to the Core blog. I was the very lucky winner of a copy of Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud, a poetry anthology by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

If you are a teacher, you need to have a copy of this book! It's brimming with fun poems whose subjects are related to the natural calendar/rhythm of a school year. Each topic begins with a small bit of background information followed by that day's featured poem. The chapter ends with some short follow-up questions/ideas/advice to think about and discuss. There is a topic for every week of the school year.

That would be enough reason to own this book, but there's more! The second half of the book includes poetry performance tips, guidance on turning each pom into a mini-lesson, oodles of poetry resources, and useful tips for nurturing young writers and helping them to find publishing opportunities for their own masterpieces.

There are so many great poems featured in this anthology, and it is difficult to choose just a few to share, but here is a tasting of some of what is included.

This first poem takes me back to first grade. A friend and I wanted to create some outside art during recess. We thought crayon would be just as easy to wash off of a sidewalk as chalk. Needless to say, we spent several days of recesses scrubbing the school sidewalk clean.

by Avis Harley

Some play soccer,
some run races.
Others read
in quiet places.

Some find leaves
or draw with chalk.
Some play tag,
while others talk.

A few play chess.
Lots play ball.
And some just like
to watch it all.

I believe this next poem should be heard by every child. To me it exemplifies welcoming and kindness and how very little effort it takes to offer it to others.

by Jane Heitman Healy

You start by saying Hi there,
Hello, Aloha, Ciao--
If someone answers back to you,
Smile and nod and bow.

You might try saying Hola,
Salut, Goddag, Shalom.
If someone answers back to you,
They might be far from home.

A friend begins by greeting
Those they meet along the way
To make them feel welcome
At home, at school, at play.

Inspired by the subject matter and memories of my first day at a new school, I played around with some verse, too.

by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Tummy rumble,
New shoes stumble,
Book bag fumble,
First day grumble!

Will the teacher like me?
Are my clothes on trend?
Will I like Pre-Algebra?
Will I make good friends?

Will my locker open?
Will the food taste vile?
Will I find my homeroom?
Will anybody smile?

All so unfamiliar-
new building and mates.
Hello to all the new
adventures that await!

That's it for today. Happy Poem-Making!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Poetry Friday: My Blanket Buddy

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's poem was inspired by my granddaughter. Like Linus from the "Peanut's Gang," she likes to drag her blankie everywhere. While observing her, I realized that to her, it was so much more than just a piece of cotton fabric meant to keep her warm.

My Blanket Buddy

My blanket is my buddy.
I love it in many ways.

It's a tablecloth for a picnic.
A cape to save the day!

It's a cover for my fort.
A trampoline for my ball.

It's a curtain for my stage.
A coat for my doll.

My blanket is my buddy.
A treasure I will keep.

It snuggles me and warms me
and helps me fall to sleep.

Copyright Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Children have the best imaginations. I think I'm a better storyteller and poet when I try to recapture my own childhood imagination.

Reading to the Core blog is hosting this week's round up. Be sure to stop by and read all of the wonderful contributions. Have a great week, and happy rhyming!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Poetry Friday: Bayou Song Blog Tour and a Giveaway

Welcome to Poetry Friday! The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting this week's round up. When you're finished here, be sure to click over to read all of the wonderful posts.

Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape
Illustrated by Anna Cantrell
Photography by Henry Cancienne
University of Louisiana at Lafayette (June 18, 2018)
ISBN: 978-1946160232

Poem by poem, Margaret Simon introduces readers to the plants and animals that inhabit Louisiana's Bayou Teche. Each subject is treated to a brief explanation and then honored with a beautiful poem. Margaret pairs each poem with a short description/lesson on the poetry form or tool used and art and writing prompts for further creative exploration.

Since many of my poetry Friday posts focus on specific poetry forms/tools, I asked Margaret to share two forms from this collection that she especially enjoyed and to give us a little background lesson for each.

The first poem Margaret chose to talk about was also the first poem featured in the book, I am a Beckoning Brown Bayou. It's the perfect invitation and left me wanting to take this bayou journey with her. Take it way, Margaret!


I am a beckoning brown bayou.
I wonder where my water runs.
I echo egret, heron, and ibis.
I watch waving leaves of cypress trees.
I call your name.

I am a beckoning brown bayou.
I twist and turn like a water snake.
I touch fur and scales and fins.
I nurture nutria, raccoons, and gators.
I want you to come in.

I am a beckoning brown bayou.
I remember tales of Acadians and explorers.
I say courage lives here.
I reveal my secrets at twilight.
I hope you'll stay awhile.

MS: This poem came from a prompt from Allan Wolf's website. The writer decides the topic for his/her poem and uses alliteration for the first line. Each line following begins with an I and an action word. 

A more challenging form is the clogyrnach. When I am teaching during National Poetry Month, I like to challenge my students to write a poem each day. I researched forms for each letter of the alphabet. This one was unique and new to me. Working with such a strict form makes you focus carefully on word choice.

welsh poetry form, clogyrnach

Line 1: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 2: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 3: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 4: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 5: 3 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 6: 3 syllables with an a rhyme

Weeping Wisteria is a model for this form. I had a wisteria vine in my backyard, and it would bloom like crazy every spring. One of the photos of wisteria in the book is mine. Wisteria tends to take over, and it grew over our decking, rotting the wood, so my husband has trimmed it down. I miss the beautiful blooms. It was always covered in bees.


Lavender locks spill from the sky.
In bloom, wisteria curls cry.
Sweet nectar tears fall.
Purple peapods sprawl.
Bright bees crawl,
lick them dry.

Thank you, Margaret. I look forward to trying my hand at both of these forms of poetry. Weeping Wisteria just happens to be one of my personal favorites. Whether you're a poet, a teacher, and/or someone who can just appreciate a beautiful book of poetry, this collection would make a quality addition to your bookshelf. My thanks to Margaret for sharing her book with me and for allowing me to share in its celebration.

Margaret is graciously allowing me to give away a copy of this book to one lucky blog reader. Because of postage costs, the winner has to live within the continental U.S. Just leave a comment to be entered. On Tuesday, July 10, 2018 I will randomly choose and notify the lucky winner.

Other Stops On Margaret's Bayou Song Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town
Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 
Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy
Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters
As always, Happy Poem-Making!