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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
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“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.

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