Poetry Friday: Froggy prose and toady poetry

Before we get to the poetry, let’s just talk a little bit about prose.

THIS prose, to be precise!

Elliot the Heart-Shaped Frog (Rainstorm Publishing) is a color/shape primer based on a Goldilocks-like tale, as our little green hero leaves the pond he grew up in and searches for the perfect new home! It hits bookshelves this coming Tuesday, and as I was sharing the news about it earlier this week, it occurred to me that this book features two “firsts” for me…

For one thing, it’s a board book, something I’ve never published before. If novelists find it difficult to tell a story in picture book form, I can tell you as a picture book author that it’s even more difficult telling a story in board book form! Word ecomomy is crucial, and it’s important that the plot be simple enough for a young child to grasp it, yet not so simple it becomes mind-numbing for the poor sap who has to read it every day. (Let’s face it, we’ve all been that peson at some point, grumbling about having to read the same book, over and over!)

This is also, interestingly, the first and only book I’ve had published in prose. Eleven books either already out or under contract…and they all rhyme, except for this little guy. People ask if I ever write in prose, and I say yes – even though there’s very little proof! So now I can hand them this book and say, “HERE! PROSE!! SEE????”

So in keeping with today’s amphibious theme, I thought I’d share a short little bit of light verse I wrote about Elliot’s cousin (with apologies to Ogden Nash):

The Toad

The toad is quite the peaceful bloke;
he’d rather trill a song than croak.
No matter what his cousin says,
he has no need of princesses.

© 2021 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

For today’s complete poetry Friday roundup, head over to Laura Shovan’s blog where she is celebrating Amanda Gorman’s incredible inauguration poem!


Coming March 2, 2021!

Contrasting the past with the present, this picture book takes you through a lyrical exploration of the world as it was before humans made their mark.


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I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


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17 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Froggy prose and toady poetry

  1. lindabaie

    I don’t need board books anymore for the girls, but I do read those donated to the bookstore & yes, not many words, but they are delightful. If only we could read lots when we do re-read, but you’re right, there are favorites that want re-reading again & again. This looks fun and a bit of learning, too, Matt, about that precious Elliott! Congratulations!


  2. haitiruth

    I love “The Toad,” and congratulations on your board book! Yes, I have been the person reading board books, and other kinds of books, aloud again and again! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  3. Pingback: Happy #BookBirthday, Elliot! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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