Iza Trapani and Stepson, Gabe

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 (except this 2nd Friday). 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 share a delightful collaboration by  . . .

Gabe and Iza-Great Stepson and Grateful StepmomIza and stepson

When Penny asked me to participate in this wonderful series, I immediately thought of my stepson, Gabe, who came into my life when he was sixteen and is now a thirty-five year old doctor of physics. He’s always had a brilliant mathematical mind coupled with a strong creative side. The art of origami was a good fit for him and as a child he quickly took to it and became quite accomplished, participating even in a national competition when he was nine. Not only did he have to come up with an original design (a dragon), he also had to do them from memory. He made a ground beetle which had something like 300 folds and 50 steps to memorize!

Here are a few of his creations (not original designs):

origami designs

Origami by Gabe

I thought a haiku would be appropriate to complement the origami, though I rarely write haikus. I’m more of a rhyming fool :-). Of course, as soon as I wrote the lines (beginning of March,) I started tweaking each word. In the following days, I badgered my patient husband to listen to the different versions-usually it was a change of one or maybe two words. Then I told him, “There’s really no hurry on this. Penny doesn’t need it until mid June.” To which he exclaimed, “Oh, God! Send it!” And so I did. (Iza sent this April 17 🙂 )

Iza’s Haiku

Slide1Gabe’s Crane

paper crane

Crane by Gabe

Thank you so much for inviting me , Penny!

You’re so welcome, Iza. Your haiku and Gabe’s origami add a very special episode to the series. Thanks for being a part.


Meet Iza: When Iza Trapani immigrated to America from Poland when she was seven, her relatives gave her a Mother Goose collection. Little did she know, as she was learning English through the rhymes, that someday she would be retelling them in picture books. Iza is the author and illustrator of a best- selling series of nursery rhyme extensions, in which she starts with the traditional verse then adds additional stanzas to create a story. Among her titles are The Itsy Bitsy Spider (which was featured on PBS Storytime), Row Row Row Your Boat, Froggie Went A-Courtin’, The Bear Went Over the Mountain and many more. Her books have received the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Awards, Bank Street Best Books of the Year, ABA Pick of the Lists and the Oppenheim Toy Portolio Gold Book Awards. Most importantly, her books are widely used in schools and libraries to help children learn to read. Iza’s 24th book, Old King Cole, will be released on August 4th, 2015 and she has two more titles in the works for 2016 and 2017 publication.
Learn more about Iza here:
Iza’s Website
Blog:In and Out of My Studio
Facebook: Iza Trapani Author/Illustrator
Twitter @IzaTrapani


Katie at The Logonauts has the Poetry Friday Roundup. poetry friday button

49 thoughts on “Iza Trapani and Stepson, Gabe

  1. Iza, your haiku matches Gabe’s origami perfectly. Perhaps you should write more haiku, BBF. 🙂 Thanks for having them, Penny.

    Iza’s creasing and crimping haiku
    matches Gabe’s gathering crinkles
    See!
    Magnifico delight.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I, and my granddaughters, love Iza’s books, & now this collaboration is lovely. Origami is not something I’ve done very much, but I’ve had students who adored it. Will keep the poem to share. Thanks, Iza, Gabe and Penny!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Iza’s haiku and Gabe’s origami pop with rhythm and color and add a new dimension to A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt :). What a lovely collaboration!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree–the haiku compliments the origami perfectly! A brilliant collaboration and as a fellow nursery rhyme-lover, I look forward to checking out your books, Iza!

    Liked by 2 people

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