Yea! It’s National Poetry Month, and to start it off, I want to share an excerpt from Douglas Florian’s funny, clever, new collection, Dinothesaurus. It’s getting starred reviews and laughs all over the place!
|Here’s one of my favorite poems from the book. I just love the idea of a dinosaur as a tank, with its heavy-armored skin. Love that!
Tough as tanks and hard as nails,
–Douglas Florian, all rights reserved
You can read a few more excellent poems (and check out the striking artwork) from Dinothesaurus at Florian Cafe:
Douglas is relatively new to the blogosphere, and I’ve been enjoying reading his Florian Cafe posts, where he shares poems, art he loves, quotations, and riffs on lots of artsy topics.
After I read this super-funny collection, which I had been salivating while waiting for because of the several teaser poems he shared on his blog, I asked him 3 questions. And he answered! (I love getting the behind-the-scenes scoop from poets!)
1. What’s one thing you did (writing or painting) in this book that you haven’t ever done before?
This is the first book that I created art specifically for the endpapers (the brave girl shaking hands with a Pterodactyl). There’s also a "sites and museums page." And it’s my first book for Simon & Schuster.
(Check out that endpaper image here.)
2. Do you do lists of rhyming words related to your poem topic before you start working on a poem? Or do you look for the words as you need them?
I don’t start with words. I start with a concept or an image. In the Pterosaurs poem the idea was to carry the funny "pt" spelling of the name into the ptotal poem.
(And it’s pterrific! You can read "Pterosaurs" here on Douglas’ blog.)
3. What was your favorite bit/kind of dinosaur research that you did for this collection?
A funny thing happened to me. In New York City I took the C train instead of the E train going home, and when I got out at the station I was surrounded by all the dinosaur fossils embedded in the wall because it was the stop for the American Museum of Natural History. I couldn’t escape them.
(I now have this great image in my head of dinosaurs pursuing Douglas Florian through the streets and stations of NYC! The first ever art-thriller blockbuster movie!)
So, thank you to Douglas Florian, for getting Poetry Month off to a rousing start here! I know this book will be an enormous (gigantosauric?) hit with kids and adults alike.
Reminder: Everyone’s invited to my online book launch for Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. Just drop by www.stampede.ning.com this Monday, April 6, to join in the fun!