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I Did It Because

How a Poem Happens

by Loris Lesynski
illustrated by Michael Martchenko

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list price: $10.95
also available: Hardcover
published: 2006
publisher: Annick Press
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

“I Did It Because…”: How a Poem Happens

Can’t get your kids to write poetry? Read this book! In this colourful and creative how-to book, Loris Lesynski brings the writing process alive for young writers. I Did It Because... is divided into chapters on poetic rhythm, sounds and wordplay, picking a topic, inspiration and illustration. Each chapter begins with a wonderful “Join In!” activity for aspiring poets. The “Inspiration Sparks” activity challenges writers to start writing about amazing topics such as “The Twelfth Unicorn,” “Anti-Gravity School” or “Dragon Summer Camp.”

Lesynski strongly believes in the value of “showing,” not just “telling.” She fills the book with poems illustrating the points she makes about the writing process. Some of the poems have been published before, but others were written specifically for this book! In the section about inspiration, poems such as “Leaves,” “Sunpuddles” and “Faces in Places” illustrate how a simple observation can lead to a lyrical poem.

But perhaps the most appealing aspect of this book is its striking visual appeal for young readers. Michael Martchenko’s illustrations are luminous. They make you want to pick up a pen and write! He even has his very own “Join In!” section on “How Illustrations Happen.” Not only do Lesynski and Martchenko treat young writers with respect and encouragement, they make writing fun: “Rhyme feels good. It makes your ears happy, your brain work better.”

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2007. Vol.30 No.1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

H “I Did It Because...”: How a Poem Happens

Lesynski offers favourite poems and new ones, too – plus tips for writing in rhyme, illustration ideas and more. Martchenko’s energetic art adds to the fun!

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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“[Loris Lesynski] will be joining the ranks of Lee, Prelutsky, and Silverstein.” —Sam Sebesta, author and Professor Emeritus, Children’s Literature,University of Washington

Got a passion for poetry? Are you primed to rhyme? Word whiz Loris Lesynski shows you how it’s done in this unique collection that blends “best of” with “how to”. Inside you’ll find over 30 Lesynski favorites alongside advice for kids on creating poems.

In nine snappy sections, Lesynski features different ways a poem can take shape. Rhymes like “Dirty Dog Boogie” came from a catchy beat. Other ideas emerged from playing with words, as in “Mozza Mozza”.

Further sections include:
• Preparing for Poems — warm-ups for the mouth and the brain
• Me Me Me Me — rhymes that start with you
• What I’d Like to Know — poems that pose questions
• How Illustrations Happen — providing pictures for poems
• Writning Bolts — further activities for aspiring rhymers

Bursting with Michael Martchenko’s vivid illustrations and packed with over 20 pages of all-new material by Lesynski, “I Did It Because …” is a playground of poetry where readers are invited to play along.

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Editorial Reviews

“… the rollicking poems are full of energy and opportunities for participation.”—School Library Journal

“Lesynski is a rhyme-maker whose own high-energy, rat-tat-tat-dum-de-dum creations provides all the proof that the ingredients she advocates and the hints she offers—from picking a topic to finding rhymes—make a very fine pudding indeed.”—The Globe and Mail, 09/10/06

“The real value of the [poetry writing] tips is the emphasis on having fun with language. The author clearly believes that poetry should be fun for children, and I believe that the tone of the book neatly fits that objective ... all of the tips will serve as fodder for thought and exploration. Lesynski’s poetic style includes a generous dose of playful fun and frolic with the English language. Early and middle years teachers will do well to add this book to their classroom library... many children will enjoy flicking through the book’s pages and experimenting with some of Lesynski’s suggestions ... teachers will find many of the playful poems are suitable for sharing as classroom read alouds. Recommended.” —CM Magazine, 10/06

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About the Authors

Loris Lesynski

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Michael Martchenko

MICHAEL MARTCHENKO est né à Carcassonne, en France. Il s'installe au Canada avec sa famille alors qu'il a 7 ans. En 1966, il décroche son diplôme du Collège des arts de l'Ontario et devient bientôt directeur d'une agence publicitaire. C'est lors d'une exposition d'art graphique que Robert Munsch découvre le travail de Michael Martchenko. Michael a reçu le prix Libris 2006, Illustrateur de l'année.

MICHAEL MARTCHENKO has illustrated dozens of books, and is most famous for his work with Robert Munsch, including Smelly Socks, Makeup Mess and We Share Everything!. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.

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