Frankly, writing poetry for children is plain old fun, and I consider myself blessed to have such a delightful career.
When I began writing, I didn’t read any other children’s poets… I didn’t want to be influenced until I’d found my own voice. Now I read them all.
We all need ways to express ourselves, and poetry is one of mine.
Poetry seems to sink into us the way prose doesn’t. I can still quote verses I learned when I was very young, but I have trouble remembering one line of a novel I just finished reading.
I write the poems first, with only a few exceptions for odd reasons, where I’m given the illustration first.
I’m working now on a collection of Shakespearean sonnets, about 100 of them, that I may publish if anyone’s interested. My take on life is a little different from the bard’s.
I’m never bored.
There’s not too much difference between writing a picture book and writing a collection of a hundred poems or so, except that the bigger books take a lot longer to do.
I invented animals and birds – I had about two dozen. After working on them for six months, I sat down and just for fun wrote two dozen poems to accompany the drawings. It was for no one to every see, but a friend sent me in to an editor.