I Finished a Book (An Ongoing Series)...
I know, I know--I said picture books don't count. But I had to give a mention to Lisa Wheeler: Rhymer Extraordinaire. Lisa recently sent me a copy of her book Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum (autographed for Murray). The little guy is often reluctant about new books unless they have pictures of trucks on them, but he was interested in this one right away (kudos to illustrator Laura Huliska-Beith).
And as soon as I began reading, Murray was mesmerized. He was repeating words and squealing about pages he particularly liked. This continued through reading number two...and three...and four...and five...and six. Although my read-aloud-er was getting worn out by then, Bubble Gum was a joy to read. Lisa's rhyme is the kind that feel great as if flows out of your mouth. All of you budding picture book writers struggling with rhyming manuscripts, read some Lisa Wheeler to see rhyme done right. (Because rhyme done wrong is just so, so wrong.)
For more on rhyme, read my conference report on Hope Vestergaard's session. And pick up a few of Hope's books, too--like her latest, Hillside Lullaby. Hope really can write rhyme that lilts, marches and dances off the page--her work is wonderful and charming. (Murray likes it too.)