April is national poetry month!
Most of you are probably aware of my career as a mother of two, and might even be aware that I’m the CEO of Handersen Publishing. But I also write children’s poetry.
My first collection of poetry was released in 2015. “When I was a Grown-up and Other Poems” was inspired by my two kids, and what it’s like to grow up. It includes poems about everything from parents who are too busy to play, leftovers that sing karaoke in the fridge at night, and dust bunnies that might carry you away.
To celebrate poetry month, I want to give you a sneak peek – every week – into my new book, and also share some of my favorite poetry books from my childhood.
My biggest inspiration growing up was (and still is) Shel Silverstein. “Where the Sidewalk Ends” is the first book that I remember getting as a gift. Although we had lots of books in our house, this book was SO magical that I wrote my name in it…with a multi-colored pen. (You know the pen I’m talking about!)
Lazy Jane was a stand out, and I remember thinking, “This can be poetry? I want to write poetry like this! I want my poetry to be fun!”
I still feel this way, and hope that I can bring even a quarter of the whimsy and creativity that Shel Silverstein brought to his work. I want kids (and adults, too) to want to write poetry and know that it doesn’t have to be complicated or pretentious. Poetry can be approachable. It can be relatable. It can meet you where you are.
That is what inspired “Bumble Bee Sneeze,” my upcoming collection of children’s poetry. Once again my very talented husband, Tevin Hansen has done the illustrations. This book will be a little different than the last. Each poem is still about growing up, and many of them still have silly elements, but sometimes growing up isn’t always funny. Some things are a little bit tricky to navigate, and this book has a few of those poems, too.
But today’s poem is all about smiles. This is the title poem, “Bumble Bee Sneeze”. Everything from the short length of the poem, to the cute little guy in the illustration, hints at the fun of the book.
Thanks for checking in, all! I will be back next week with more great poems from my past, and another sneak peek at the upcoming book!
I also have an awkward high school poem reveal planned, but you’ll have to keep following along to see when that gem makes its appearance!