Thoughts on Rhyming Books…

While rhyming text seems to fall in and out of favor, I’ve illustrated several rhyming books: I Promise I’ll Find You, Lightning Bug Thunder, and I Love You Too, I Love You Three. And they were all fun and a delight to work on.

Illustration from the rhyming book I Promise I’ll Find You, Heather Ward, Firefly Books.

Over the last few years, I’ve found that whenever I write a story for children, it may start out as non-rhyming prose but soon becomes rhyming. I love the playfulness and wordplay in rhymes. I believe rhymes are good for little kids for several reasons.

There’s articulation and pronunciation… Rhymes concentrate the reader’s effort to enunciate in order to keep cadence and the rhyming intact. I find it fascinating that while actors, in a quest for verisimilitude, are mumbling their way through movies and TV shows, while I can understand every single (provocative) word that Cardi B utters in her rap song WAP or the profanity Ludacris raps in Get Back.

Memory… The rhythm, repetition, similarity, and framework of rhyming prose wakes up the reader’s memory and makes remembering the words easier.

Creativity… This excerpt from a new book I’m working on demonstrates the wordplay inherent in rhyming prose.

“Having all those oodles of pies, we’d share them by the boatload,
by the planeload and truckload, we’d send pies to every zip code.
Those pies would get piled so high that we’d realize pretty soon,
we don’t need a rocket ship when we can climb up pies to the moon.”

Illustration from Of Love and Pies by Sheila McGraw
Illustration from the book Of Love and Pies, written and illustrated by Sheila McGraw.

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Hi! I'm Sheila McGraw. Welcome, and thank you for visiting. I began my career toiling in the “sequin-mines” of advertising and fashion houses as an illustrator and copywriter. Then, in 1986, Firefly Books approached me to illustrate a little book titled, Love You Forever.

Welcome hyper-typers and paint-slingers to my blog about writing, illustrating, and publishing books for kids and adults; art, crafting, and whatever else tickles my fancy.