Posted in Craft, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme

Rhyming in picture books is great if the rhythm and rhymes are perfect. But forced rhymes or rhythm can spoil a story. Ann Whitford Paul says, “Rhyme without rhythm is like bread without butter.” Or maybe butter without bread! Many editors say they hate near rhyme: cat/path, box/blacks. Awkward sentence structure to force a rhyme makes for awkward reading. And the text has to make sense.

I like what editor Paula Morrow says, “Poetry is an art form requiring a lot of discipline in language. It’s two different ways of writing, and the successful rhyming story requires both: First the heat of inspiration, then the cool control of revising and refining.”

Since I don’t write rhyme, I thought I’d share some great resources.

Good Story Company founded by former literary agent Mary Kole has this post:

How to Write a Rhyming Picture Book

Picture book Author Josh Funk has a number of posts about writing picture books. Here are a few on this topic:

Don’t Write in Rhyme

Rhyming Is All About Rhythm

Picture book Author Laura Bontje has a number of helpful posts:

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Rhyming Picture Book

Taking the Stress Out of Metre and Stress

Do Rhyming Picture Books Work Like Songs?

Author and Publisher Brooke Vitale has this interesting post:

How To Write a Rhyming Children’s Book in Perfect Rhyme!

Journey to Kidlit has this post:

3 Musts When Writing Rhyming Picture Books

Poet and Author Joy Moore blogs” about poetical structure often using picture books for examples.

And finally, I thought I’d share some rhyming picture books that I’ve enjoyed:

Leo Loves Mommy

American Desi

Federico and the Wolf

A Hippy-Hoppy Toad

My Hair

What are some of your favorite rhyming texts?


Image by SarahCulture from Pixabay

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