A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Carrie Finison with 6-year-old daughter, Mia, and 9 year-old son, Eben

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 a collaborative trio  . . .

Carrie Finison, her 6-year-old daughter, Mia, and her 9 year-old son, Eben

This from Carrie:
My collaborators were my daughter, Mia and my son, Eben.

I knew that I wanted to write about dolphins, because Eben and Mia both love them. I was thinking hard about what to write, when Mia came home from kindergarten with her own writing about dolphins. Inspiration! I knew Eben would enjoy illustrating it as he has spent months perfecting his dolphin-drawing skills. We were lucky enough to see a dolphin (briefly!) in the wild while we were on vacation in Maine last year. There’s something about them that captures people’s imaginations and I wanted to bring that spirit into this poem.

The form of this poem is called a pantoum. In this style, which originated in Malaysia, the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next stanza. In the final stanza, the third line from the first stanza is repeated as the second line, and the first line of the poem is repeated as the last line.

Thank you so much for inviting me to post, Penny! This whole project has inspired me to do more writing and art with my kids over the summer.

Mia’s Art and Writing

Dolphin by Mia2

Art by Mia

 Eben’s Art

dolphins by Eben2

Art by Eben

Carrie’s PantoumSlide1

Carrie said this project has inspired her to do more writing and art with her children over the summer. I think it’s safe to say that Carrie, Mia, and Eben have inspired all of us today with their amazing talent and creativity. Thanks to all three of you for being guests on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt 🙂


Carrie photo

Meet Carrie: Carrie Finison began her literary career at the age of seven with an idea, a box of markers, and her father’s typewriter. Although the resulting story was never published, you can find some of her poems and stories in recent issues of magazines like Babybug, Ladybug, High Five, and Highlights, and in The Poetry Friday Anthology: Celebrations (2015). She also writes picture books, which you might see on a library shelf near you someday. She loves the ocean and whenever she is there she always looks for dolphins.
Find out more:
Carrie’s Website
Carrie’s Blog


Buffy Silverman 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

73 thoughts on “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt-Guests Carrie Finison with 6-year-old daughter, Mia, and 9 year-old son, Eben

  1. I was so pleased to come across your beautiful pantoum on dolphins, while sitting no less, at my daughter’s swim team practice. Can you guess the name of her team? Yup…The Dolphins lol. I love how your children’s illustrations collaborate with your writing. Their pictures are awesome. I am inspired to try and write a pantoum myself!!

    Like

  2. Wow! Your poem literally gave me chills, Carrie. The language is beautiful and so perfectly captures the graceful movement of the waves and the dolphins. The pantoum form was the perfect choice for this poem. I love the way it comes full circle with the repeating lines. As for the artwork, Mia’s lively colors and adorable dolphin complement the poem wonderfully, and Eben’s sketch has an almost 3-D quality that makes it seem as if the dolphins are about to dive write off of the page! Kudos to all of you on such a fantastic collaborative creation!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great work Eben and Mia! I love dolphins too, and watched them frolic (just like in your illustrations) last year in Florida. Love your pantoum, Carrie, it’s a fun form and certainly mimics the waves of these fascinating dolphins’ home. Beautiful collaboration.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What beautiful writing, art, and poetry in the form of a Pantoum, Carrie, Eben, and Mia! I like to watch and listen to dolphins, too. You’ve taught me about a new poetic form and inspired me to try to draw more than stick figures in my picture book dummies. Wishing you a summer filled with words and pictures. Sounds like a lot of fun! Like being a dolphin for a day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dolphins are so incredibly intelligent and fascinating — great topic for Carrie’s poem and Mia’s and Eben’s art. Thanks for featuring another wonderful collaboration! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant and beautiful post!
    Carrie, your poem instantly transported me to those blue waves and made me feel like perhaps I could hear the ocean’s song, too.
    The children’s illustrations were perfect!
    My thanks to Penny, Carrie, Mia, and Eben for allowing me to start my day with the ocean’s song and the dolphin’s play.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Penny, this is such an incredible series…the most fun ever! You’ve been showcasing some unbelievable talent here. 🙂

    And Carrie…if I don’t see this poem as a picture book manuscript for a future critique round, I am going to be sadly disappointed. WOW! I was totally engaged…right there alongside the dolphin wanna-be. Although to be truthful, I don’t know that I would change anything in critique…it’s perfect! And you won’t need an illustrator…either of your kids are well-qualified to do the art…I am IMPRESSED!!! If an art and story project is in the cards for the summer, I know that by the end of it, you’ll have a stack of possible pbs. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Penny, thank you so much for inviting us to guest post this week! It was really fun. I can’t wait to show the kids when they get home from school, they will be so excited. And I love what you did for the formatting of the poem! What a nice way to start the day – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so welcome, Carrie. This is a delightful collaboration and I appreciate the three of you agreeing to be my guests. I’m having lots of fun formatting the poems by incorporating bits of the art. I copied this idea from Renée LaTulippe when she used bits of her twins art for background. It adds a special element.

      Like

  9. Pingback: Dolphin for a Day – Guest Posting at A Penny and her Jots | Story Patch

  10. I love this Malaysian poetic style. How did you learn about that? And your kids’ illustrations are great! And I like your kids’ names! Thanks, Penny & Carrie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tina! I had never heard of a pantoum until I read one that Renée LaTulippe wrote a couple of years ago and posted it, in our poetry crit group. I loved it, but had never tried one until now. I struggled with several different starts on the dolphin poem that didn’t feel quite right, but when I finally settled on this form it all seemed to come together.

      Like

  11. What a wonderfully talented, dolphin-happy family! Carrie, your poem is gorgeous and swims with the best of them in the pantoum ocean. Both Mia and Eben are clearly artistically precocious. Eben’s dolphins are perfectly proportioned and I love the movement. Mia’s is so playful, it inspires me to be a dolphin too!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “a secret song that people cannot know”- what I’ve always imagined, Carrie, no matter how many scientists try to decipher the sounds. Beautiful to see everyone’s art inspired by these wonderful animals. Thanks again, Penny.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love dolphins too! And I love what all three of you have come up with, Carrie! Maybe you’ll have some more family art and writing to share with us after the summer? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.