A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Randi Sonenshine and her 11-year-old son, Ethan

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)
Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a fifth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration last fall and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it is my pleasure to welcome the collaborative team . . .

Randi Sonenshine and 11-year-old son, Ethan

First of all, Randi shared some background: This poem started as an assignment for Renee La Tulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab (which I highly recommend). Originally, it was only the first stanza, but I started thinking about all of the possibilities for backyard brunchers, and it took off from there. I asked Ethan to pick his favorite stanza to illustrate, and he chose the first because he liked the idea of camouflaged caterpillars.

Randi’s Poem


Ethan’s Art

Ethan's art
Art by Ethan 2015

I never knew backyard brunches could be so much fun 🙂 Many thanks to Randi and Ethan for sharing their creative collaboration with us today!
By the way, don’t miss Ethan’s fabulous self-portrait below.

ethan's self portrait
Self Portrait by Ethan 2012


Meet Ethan: Ethan is a ukulele-playing magician who loves to read and write stories, poems, and songs. Ethan is also involved in musical theater. He has appeared in Seussical the Musical, The Little Mermaid, and several other stage productions. He will be entering middle school as a sixth-grader this fall and can’t wait to join his mom’s Book Club and Young Writer’s Society.

Randi and Ethan


 Meet Randi: Randi is a middle school literacy coach by day and a stealthy kid-lit writer and rhyme schemer by night. She lives in northwest Georgia with her husband, Marty, sons Jacob and Ethan, a very sneaky schnauzer and an immortal goldfish. Her short story, The Inside Name, will be published in Cricket magazine later this year. You can find her at her blog, The Prosey Tree or on Twitter as @rsonenshine.


Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. What exactly is Poetry Friday? Click HERE for a full explanation by the awesome Renée LaTulippe.poetry friday button

68 thoughts on “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Randi Sonenshine and her 11-year-old son, Ethan

  1. Randi and Ethan, you make a great team. Ethan, I love your caterpillar’s sated smile after nibbling that tasty green leaf. Randi, I love your title and the “crunch” you have put into your poem. From now on, I will think of caterpillars eating brunch when I see them munching! Ethan, your self-portrait is wonderful! Keep playing the ukulele and making magic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew coming into this that Randi’s poem would be a fun treat. Love all the great language, especially the verbs and onomatopoeia. But I love Ethan’s illustration too– the perspective, those chew holes, the catepillar’s sneaky, sweet smile, and the fact that he remembered to sign his work too, as all good artists should. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle, like the caterpillar, Ethan is sweet, but sneaky. I never made that connection until I read your comment. I guess it’s true (of artists AND writers) that there is something of the artist in every work! I’m glad you enjoyed our post. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am definitely going to try to stop by, Penny! I loved reading your post so much I shared it on my facebook wall. Thanks so much! 🙂


  3. I’m so impressed by this young uke-playing artiste! And Randi’s clever poem had my toe tapping too! Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all…I remember that poem, Randi…it was really cute when I saw it in Renee’s class…but oh the places you’ve taken it!!!! I love it!
    And Ethan, I am totally impressed with both your illustration…and your self-portrait. I think you have really talent…maybe you will be illustrating your mom’s picture books one day. 🙂
    Thanks, Penny…this is such a great series!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent poem! Spot on! And the caterpillar may very well be the happiest, most satisfied looking crawler I have every seen! Great detail, too- I love the way the holes on the leaf look so real and 3Dish! What a team!

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  6. I love how you developed this poem from class, Randi! And what a great illustrator you have. Wonderful camouflaged caterpillar and even wonderful-er self-portrait. (And extra props for the musical theater hobby. Ethan is clearly a boy of discerning taste and talent!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee, I will be sure he sees your comment! His latest obsessions are magic and the ukulele; we just flew to Maryland, and he entertained random strangers in the airport with both!


    2. Thanks, Renee! Ethan is indeed how you described him. He’s the one singing a Les Miserables song during an audition, while everyone else is singing Disney tunes! As for the poem, I am actually expanding it into a PB that is part verse and part non-fiction prose about the backyard habitat. I hope to have it finished before the WOW retreat in July. I’ll keep you posted!


  7. Sweet! I backyard brunched once when I was sitting outside with Mom. A butterfly flew by and I ATE IT. Mom said the word, “Oh no you didn’t!” …..but oh yes I did! I wish you were there to draw me, Ethan.

    Love and licks,

    Liked by 1 person

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