A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and Penny and a Whole Slew of Greats!

poetry friday buttonThanks to Irene at LIve Your Poem for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! 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 (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. 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 I have an especially GREAT treat! I’ve written a poem . . . as usual. And Landon has an illustration to go along with the poem . . . as usual. And that is GREAT!!! 😀

But I also asked all of my other GREAT nieces and GREAT nephews to add their GREAT art to this post! Isn’t that especially GREAT?

So GREAT nephew Landon has drawn the illustration for my poem and I have art from another FIFTEEN GREAT artists who’ve contributed GREAT jack-o’-lanterns of all types!

Let’s get started with all of this GREATNESS!

GREAT Aunt Penny’s Poem

GREAT Nephew Landon’s Art

Don’t forget to look fir Landon’s hidden object! Need a hint? Look HERE.

And now the GREAT Gallery of GREAT Jack-o’-lanterns —
with every kind of jack-o’-lantern you can imagine.

GREAT Neph-Pup Louie’s Art

The artist admiring or possibly eating his art.

GREAT Nephew Ethan’s Art

GREAT Nephew Charlie’s Art

GREAT Nephew Corbin’s Art

GREAT Niece Lorelai’s Art

GREAT Niece Penny’s Art

GREAT Niece Madison’s Art

GREAT Niece Jessica’s Art

GREAT Niece Taylor’s Art

GREAT Niece Hailey’s Art

GREAT Nephew Preston’s Art

GREAT Niece Kennedy’s Art

GREAT Niece Kallie’s Art

GREAT Niece Klaire’s Art

GREAT Nephew Liam’s Art

Wasn’t that GREAT????

Thanks to all of my GREATS for sharing their talents! And thanks to all of the GREAT readers who join me on Fridays for these especially GREAT collaborations featuring poetry and art. I hope you GREATLY enjoy today’s post!

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Rosie Pova and Her Daughter, Alina

poetry friday buttonThanks to Laura at Writing the World For Kids for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! 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 (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. 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’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Rosie Pova and Her Daughter, Alina

From Rosie: May your candy joy never end and may you always have enough to share because that’s the sweetest part of all!

The Poem by Alina

The Art by Rosie

Art by Rosie J Pova

The Collaborators

Many thanks to Rosie and Alina for sharing their “sweet” talents with us today 😀


Meet Alina: Alina is a 5th grader in a gifted and talented school. She has a sweet tooth, likes music, art and loves gymnastics. Alina is also a big supporter of her mom’s writing and is always ready to help with feedback and advice.                                               
Meet Rosie: Rosie J. Pova is a children’s author, poet, wife, and mother of three. Originally from Bulgaria, she now lives in Texas with her family.
Rosie loves candy, but more than that, she loves to inspire children to dream big and follow their passions. No matter what kind of story she writes – funny, sweet or silly– she hopes to move her readers and warm their hearts.

Sarah’s Song is Rosie’s latest picture book release. It’s a  story about a granddaughter as she comes to terms with her grandmother’s failing health and how that affects the special bond the two share through music. Rosie is also the author of If I Weren’t With You (PB, Spork) and a humorous sci-fi  novel, Hailey Queen Pranking Makes Perfect: The Alien Encounter, (MG, Spork) Visit her at www.rosiejpova.com 

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Tim McCanna and His Son, Nate

poetry friday buttonThanks to Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! 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 (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. 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’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Tim McCanna and His Son, Nate

From Tim: I loved playing Dungeons & Dragons when I was a kid. The magic! The monsters! The 20-sided dice! It’s the ultimate role-playing game that’s all about storytelling and using your imagination. But another aspect of the game I loved were the detailed miniatures I painted and played with during campaigns with my friends. I’ve passed on my love of D&D to my 12-year old son, Nate, and besides playing the game, we have a lot of fun sitting down and painting minis together. I’m no illustrator—I’m a words & music man by trade—but I get great satisfaction from choosing my colors and bringing these creatures to life with tiny, fine-tipped brushes. Each mini is like a blank canvas, and when we’re done, the characters beg to have their stories told.

Nate and I recently painted two new minis for our collection. His is a fierce cave troll, and mine is a gruesome ogre with horns. Once the paint was dry, I wrote a poem for our miniature monsters and Nate provided an illustration.

Tim’s Poem

Nate’s Art

Art by Nate

Tim and Nate Bringing Their Creatures to Life
Click on images to enlarge.

Unpainted Minis

The Paint Table

Nate at Work

Ogre

Finished Minis

Tim and Nate

Swing by your local game shop to learn more about miniatures and roll-playing games!

Many thanks to Tim and Nate for sharing their talents with us today!


Meet Tim: Tim McCanna is the author of Bitty Bot, Barnyard Boogie, Teeny Tiny Trucks, and Watersong, which received a star from Kirkus Reviews. His upcoming picture books include Jack B. Ninja, Bitty Bot’s Big Beach Getaway, and Boing! Tim serves as Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI’s San Francisco/South chapter, and he enjoys going on woodsy hikes with his wife, two kids, and their dog Millie.
Find Tim online at www.timmccanna.com.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and Penny

poetry friday buttonThanks to Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! 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 (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. 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.

Since Landon and I started this series in the fall of 2014, today’s post begins our third year of collaborations! Hope you enjoy!

Penny’s Poem

Landon’s Art

Art by Landon

 I absolutely love how Landon’s school bus is a crayon box! Along with being a talented artist, he’s super creative!

Thanks so much for joining us today. I appreciate all of you who read this series. See you next week when I’ll have guest collaborators.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Marsha Diane Arnold and her Granddaughter, Gráinne + a Giveaway

poetry friday buttonThanks to Kat hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! 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 (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. 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.


**GIVEAWAY! Before you view today’s collaboration I wanted to let you know that Marsha has generously offered a signed copy of her newest board book, Baby Animals Take a Bath, with delightful illustrations by Phyllis Tildes. Many are giving this book with a hooded towel and bath toy for baby showers.

About the Story: From a polar bear rolling in the snow to a zebra in the dust, animals in various settings enjoy their special kind of bath, ending with a human baby having fun in a bubble bath. Little ones will discover some new animals and understand that all animals, including humans, have important things in common.
**Those who enter must have a US address. All you have to do is leave a comment below by September 8th at midnight CST. A winner will be randomly selected.


Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Marsha Diane Arnold and her Granddaughter, Gráinne

From Marsha: My granddaughter Gráinne recently turned four. Her favorite things to draw are faces, the sun, and trees. She has always been enchanted by the wind. So, I wrote a simple poem about the wind and dancing with leaves for our collaboration.

Marsha’s Poem

Being an independent soul, Gráinne’s mind took her first to fiery eyes and burning marshmallows before she settled down to the wind dance. Here is her progression:

Gráinne’s Process

Art by Gráinne

Art by Gráinne

Gráinne’s Final Art

Art by Gráinne

Proud Artist

After Gráinne made a few drawings of herself dancing with the leaves, she declared she wanted to go outside to talk to a tree. She stood in front of our big oak for a few moments having a conversation, then danced with the oak. I love that our collaboration of poem and drawing also took her outside for some real dancing and to commune with nature. Thank you, Gráinne, for sharing your creativity and your enthusiasm.

The Collaborators

Many thanks to Marsha and Gráinne for sharing their talents with us today.


Meet Marsha: Marsha Diane Arnold is a multi-award winning picture book author whose books have sold over 1 million copies. The media has called her, “a born storyteller.” Recent books are Waiting for Snow and Junior Library Guild selection Lost. Found.. Three new picture books are scheduled for 2018.

Marsha shares her love of books and writing by visiting schools around the world and through her online course, Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books, http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html. Like her granddaughter, she enjoys climbing and talking with trees. You may find more about Marsha’s books and school visits at www.marshadianearnold.com or visit her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MarshaDianeArnoldAuthor/

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Ken Slesarik and His Daughter Catherine

poetry friday buttonThanks to Jone at Check it Out for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! We’re back for more collaborations on my series, A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. Just In case you haven’t visited the series before, let me tell you a little about  it. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. 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.

I’m super excited that our first episode this fall (it’s almost fall 🙂 ) will feature return guests. Today it’s my pleasure to share another creative collaboration from . . .

Ken Slesarik and His Daughter Catherine

I love the story behind this collaboration.

From Ken: As far as the collaboration process, Catherine shared her work in progress with me and I looked at the tiny mermaid and thought how brave she must be to venture into the depths of the ocean. About this same time, I was considering changing schools but did not yet have the courage to apply. I had heard about an amazing staff and school that was really making a difference. They are known as the “Trailblazers” and eventually I was hired and I’m smitten with the school and staff that I have met thus far. Vista Peak is a unique school that serves students who may have difficulty in a typical school setting. With the poem, I wanted to capture in as few words as possible what I perceived as an important goal of the Vista staff and that being to produce thoughtful, calm, unfazable, courageous, trailblazing students.

When Catherine and I each completed our part, I was very pleased with the results and feel the art and poem complement each other much like an illustration in a book and it also is our personal “hello” to my new school and sort of celebrates my next venture as a teacher. We hope you enjoy our efforts.

The Collaboration:
Poem by Ken Slesarik
Art by Catherine Slesarik

The Collaborators

Ken and Catherine collaborated in 2016 too. You can view that episode HERE. Also, Ken collaborated with a group of 1st graders in his after school poetry club. You can view that episode HERE.

Many thanks to Ken and Catherine for sharing their talents with us today.


Catherine2Meet Catherine: Catherine Slesarik is an award-winning artist and college student from Arizona. She enjoys sharing her talents with people of all ages. An avid reader and science buff, Catherine plans to incorporate science in her work as a children’s illustrator to inspire girls and women everywhere.


Ken SlesarikMeet Ken: Ken Slesarik is a special education teacher and children’s poet from Phoenix, Arizona. His “Heroes and Poets” assembly program has been well received by teachers, students, parents and administrators. When not teaching or visiting schools Ken writes poetry for children with poems published in several world-wide anthologies and magazines. Ken’s mission is to empower students through the medium of poetry and he is a poetry advocate to children and teachers alike.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Linda Ashman and Her Young Friends, Mischa and Phoebe…Plus a Giveaway!

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

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 seventh-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 one 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.

April is National Poetry Month! So  . . .

poetry friday button

National Poetry Month brings poetry to the forefront. And if you’re looking for poetry for kids, the Poetry Friday Roundup is a great place to start. Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference is hosting today. Thanks, Tabatha. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

To find out how kidlit bloggers are celebrating poetry this month, head over to Jama’s Alphabet Soup where she’s rounded up links to a world of poetry fun.

Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Linda Ashman and Her Young Friends, Mischa and Phoebe

**GIVEAWAY! Before you view today’s collaboration I wanted to let you know that Linda has generously offered a signed copy of her new book, Ella WHO? to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment by April 30th at midnight CST. A winner will be randomly selected. To win the copy you must have a US address.

And now, today’s episode!

From Linda: For this collaboration, I borrowed my friend Emily Dorn’s daughters, Mischa (8) and Phoebe (6). The poems were extras from two poetry collections I’d written years ago—The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide and Stella, Unleashed: Notes from the Doghouse—that for one reason or another weren’t included in the books. I gave the girls both poems and told them they could each do an illustration or collaborate on a single one. They chose to do their own. I thought they might find Medusa too creepy, but Phoebe embraced the idea of a headful of snakes. And Mischa created a letter that my dog would love to receive every day.

The First Collaboration

Linda’s Poem

Phoebe’s Art

art by Phoebe

The Second Collaboration

Linda’s Poem

Mischa’s Art

art by Mischa

Here are the three collaborators as well as a younger brother 🙂 Phoebe’s on the left. Mischa’s on the right. Their little brother Gabe is on Linda’s lap.

Many thanks to Linda, Phoebe, and Mischa for sharing their talents with us today.

**GIVEAWAY: Don’t forget to leave a comment by April 30th at midnight CST for a chance to win a copy of Linda’s book, Ella WHO?

About the Story: When a baby elephant shows up on moving day, a young girl tries to tell her family. But they’re all so distracted (and, well, clueless), that the elephant slips by unnoticed. A friendship blooms as the two play throughout the day but, alas, the elephant must return home to the animal sanctuary. Fortunately it’s not too far away, and—as the girl discovers—is filled with many more potential playmates.


Meet Linda: Linda Ashman is the author of more than thirty-five picture books and the creator of The Nuts & Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books. New titles include Ella WHO?, illustrated by Sara Sanchez (Sterling, April 2017) and William’s Winter Nap, illustrated by Chuck Groenink (Disney-Hyperion, October 2017). She lives with her family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Twitter: @lindaashman2

Coming October 10, 2017