In this charming picture book allegory of the creative writing process, happenstance and weather events symbolize the emotional ebb and flow of writing a poem.
I had a poem in my pocket, but my pocket got a rip. Rhymes tumbled down my leg and trickled from my hip.
Thus begins the journey of a young poet's words out into the world, where they join randomly with other words to form funny riffs and puns all over a busy city street. The child scrambles to capture the loose words and arrange them back into poem form, only to lose them again as a storm swoops in on a rushing wind. Eventually, the words plant themselves in the muddy ground, where they grow into something that might be even better than the original poem: a Poet-Tree.
Not only a fanciful rhyming adventure tale, Chris Tougas's picture book is also a delightful allegory for the creative writing process. Perfect for classroom discussions about the emotional ups and downs of writing, this highly innovative book celebrating poetry and creativity is an excellent choice for National Poetry Month. It also showcases the magic of language and how much fun words can be. High-energy artwork by Josée Bisaillon is so full of words in flight and at play that children can pore over it again and again, and in the final spread, readers can search for rhyming pairs. An afterword discusses National Poetry Month and Poem in Your Pocket Day. This is a book that adult writers will also appreciate.
Chris Tougas is a writer and illustrator whose picture books include Mechanimals and Dojo Daycare. Chris lives in Victoria, British Columbia.