A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, Guests-Matt Forrest Esenwine With Daughter and Son

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 sixth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 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 share two creative collaborations . . .

Matt Forrest Esenwine With His Daughter and Then With His Son

Yes! We’re lucky enough to have two collaborations. Both kid drew pictures and Matt wrote two poems. So twice the fun!

First up is Matt’s collaboration with his 2 year-old daughter.

From Matt: My daughter drew this when she was just 3 months past her second birthday. She’s very specific when she draws – rather than scribble large lines all over a page, she makes very deliberate marks and is always concentrating on what she’s doing. When she completed this picture, I asked her what the circles on the left were; she said they were rocks. I asked her what the large, vertical lines in the center were and she said it was a hand. Thinking this may have been simply a 2-year-old responding with some random answer, I asked her again, 5 days later. “What are those circles in the corner?” “Rocks,” she said. “And these lines here in the middle? What are they?” “That’s a hand.” Well now, I guess she knew what she was drawing!

The PicturePhoebe art copy

 Matt’s PoemSlide2

Next up is Matt’s collaboration with his 5-year old son.
From Matt: My son, who loves-loves-LOVES dinosaurs, just turned 6 at the end of December, so he’s still too young to see any of the “Jurassic” movies…but that hasn’t stopped him from living a ‘Jurassic life’! He takes out every dinosaur book he can find at the library, asks me to help him identify the species he doesn’t already know (and he can identify DOZENS), and he has even developed a talent for drawing, which he never liked doing before. In fact, his drawings today are significantly better than the one he drew just a month ago, for this post. An agent recently told a friend and fellow writer that dinosaurs only appeal to the 3-5-year-old demo…but I’m not buying it!

The Picturegreypicturejurassic 001 copy

Matt’s Poem

Many thanks to Matt and his kids for sharing their talents with us. This collaboration was a double delight!

Matt Headshot 2015 crop copyMeet Matt: A voiceover artist and commercial copy writer, Matt Forrest Esenwine has had several adult poems published in various independent collections around the country, including the Tall Grass Writers Guild’sSeasons of Change, Trigger Warning: Poetry Saved My Life, and The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly, among others. In 2012 his poem, “Apple-Stealing,” was nominated by the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) for a Pushcart Prize.

Matt’s children’s poetry can be found in Lee Bennett Hopkins’ anthology, Lullaby and Kisses Sweet(Abrams Appleseed, 2015), J. Patrick Lewis’ The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015), and “Highlights for Kids” magazine, among others. Matt lives in New Hampshire and is currently working on several children’s book manuscripts.

You can find Matt in all of these places.
www.MattForrest.Wordpress.com (blog)
http://Soundcloud.com/MattForrestVoiceWorks (demos/samples)

Thanks to Catherine for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup at Reading to the Core. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.poetry friday button

59 thoughts on “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, Guests-Matt Forrest Esenwine With Daughter and Son

  1. What terrifically talented young creators! (And Dad isn’t bad himself…) I’m so impressed with those rocks. And love the dinosaurs – trying to wrap my head around the sizes of the bones found a year or two ago in Patagonia… that should intrigue folks of ALL ages.

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  2. I think it’s funny that some people think dinosaurs are only interesting to 3-5 year olds. When I taught high school, I always had students who were interested in dinosaurs. Heck, I will be 70 next month and I am still fascinated. Love the drawings and the poems. Thanks for the post.


  3. We may not know, but I think kids do know what they’re drawing (reference the two year old and scribbles). They do look like rocks and a hand! And the poem is just a wonderful response. The dinosaur craze lasts and lasts, love that line “sickles on their feet”, and those dinosaur drawings are great. Your son might like “Born To Be Giants” by Lita Judge-Awesome book about baby dinosaurs! Thanks for another great post, Penny.

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  4. Wonderful to see Matt and his children here today. Love the poems, drawings and backstories — anybody can see those are rocks and a hand :). Especially love the dinosaur poem, and I disagree about dinosaurs only appealing to 3-5 year-olds.

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  5. This is such special time for you and children! These early collaborations will inspire them more than you know! They are lucky to have a dad who is so gifted with words and supportive of creative measures! I miss those early days with my kids and cherish the times when they still desire to draw or write with me. Please tell your daughter that she “rocks” and your son that he is “roaring” with talent! Great collaboration!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie, I appreciate that. I’m very happy that my son is already noticing rhyming words, and at night before bed we make up silly songs about dinosaurs…”Stegosaurus had bony plates, Velociraptor had a sickle, T-Rex liked to eat lots of meat, but he never ate a pickle…!

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