Rebecca Colby and Daughters, 9-year old, Sasha and 5-year old, Alanna

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  . . .

Rebecca Colby and Daughters, Sasha and Alanna

Rebecca’s words about the collaboration: When I first asked my daughters if they wanted to collaborate with me and create either a poem or illustration for Penny’s blog, they both replied enthusiastically.

“I want to color a picture!” said Alanna (a 5-year-old who could quite happily spend the entire day coloring pictures).

“Yes! But you need to write the poem first,” continued Sasha, directing her comment at me. “And then we’ll draw a picture to go with it.”

I explained to my nine-year-old that it didn’t matter who wrote the poem. She could do whichever she chose, but when pressed for a reason why she preferred to draw, Sasha replied, “You’re the poet, Mummy.”

Although she’s been known to brag that her writing is much better than mine, she rarely writes, claiming that she ‘hates writing’. I worried that I might be partly to blame for this. Perhaps having a mother who writes puts pressure on her. Perhaps she feels there is an expectation for her to both write and be good at it.

I didn’t press her further.

But then Easter rolled around. And with it, lots of chocolate eggs. Also, around this time, Sasha studied chocolate in school. For a week, her class did nothing but eat, breathe, and live chocolate. Not only did they learn how chocolate is made and sample various kinds of chocolate, they were expected to write about chocolate.

And that’s when—if you’ll excuse the expression, Penny–the penny dropped. It dawned on her that she could write about anything. Absolutely anything! The next thing I knew, she proudly presented me with a poem about one of her favorite things–chocolate.

“I’ve written an awesome poem,” she said, and then added, “You can draw a picture to go with it.”

Except I can’t draw pictures. So she threw my words back at me and explained that it didn’t matter who drew the pictures.

“But you and your sister are the illustrators,” I said.

Thankfully, Sasha didn’t press me further. And before long, it dawned on me that an illustration doesn’t need to be hand-drawn, it only needs to be visual. So I took a picture of my daughters eating crème eggs, and everyone was thrilled. Although I did eventually cave-in and sketch the outline of a crème egg for the 5-year-old to color.

Here is our work:

Sasha’s PoemSlide1

Collaborative Drawing-Sketched by Rebecca, Colored by Alanna

creme egg - Alanna's pic (1) copy
Art by Rebecca and Alanna

Photography by Rebecca-Creme Egg Obsession

Creme egg obsession (2) copy
Creme Egg Obsession

Photography by Rebecca-Creme Egg Feast

Creme Egg feast (2) copy
Cream Egg Feast

A triple round of thanks to Rebecca, Sasha, and Alanna for being our guests today. This was truly a feast of talent 🙂


Colby author photo copy

Meet Rebecca: Rebecca is a picture book author and poet. Her second book, It’s Raining Bats & Frogs, will be published by Feiwel & Friends in August 2015. Her first book, There was a Wee Lassie who Swallowed a Midgie, is published by Floris Picture Kelpies.

Before writing for children, Rebecca inspected tights, taught English in Taiwan, worked for a Russian comedian and travelled the world as a tour director. You can learn more about Rebecca at or follow her on Twitter at @amscribbler.

Rebecca’s Books
Wee Lassie cover copy
Published 2014
Bats and Frogs jacket copy
Coming August 11, 2105


Carol at Carol’s Corner has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. poetry friday button