Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Little Yellow - A Story Poem

Buses and Car
Photo by Amy LV

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - My lesson for today is, "Keep your eyes peeled for strange and wonderful things!" Yesterday, I was leaving Iroquois Intermediate School in Elma, NY, and I saw the scene that you see above. Doesn't that little yellow car look like it is hoping to grow up to be a bus?

As I drove out of the school parking lot, I thought, "Hmmm...that's so cute" and kept driving. Then I thought, "Hey! I want a picture of that." So I stopped at the stop sign, parked my car (no one was behind me) and snapped this shot. I knew immediately that I would write about the dreams of one little yellow car.

Have you ever written a make believe story poem? It's great fun. Sometimes I love writing about what I know lots about, but sometimes I love noodling around the unknown, poking about the attic in this old noggin o'mine. Who would have thought that a little yellow car has been parked up there for 41 years, just trying to drive itself out into a poem? And who can know what else is up there? What might lurk in every noggin of every person reading this sentence right now?

There is only one way to find out. Pick up a pen or a pencil or some paints...and free your own strange and wonderful. And keep your eyes open.

Sometimes we can trace back our ideas to others' work. And I am quite sure that part of the fun I had in writing this poem grew from one of my favorite picture books, James Howe's I WISH I WERE A BUTTERFLY, so beautifully illustrated by Ed Young. The message of Howe's book is that we all have gifts, and sometimes it just takes a little while to realize our own gifts. It's a book I try to carry with me in my heart.

And now for some very exciting news....I am allowed to share the cover of FOREST HAS A SONG, to be published by Clarion. This, my first book, will be out next year, on March 19, and I could not feel more joyous over Robbin Gourley's whimsical, natural, and soulful watercolors. Here is the cover!

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  1. I love how I felt at the end of your poem, so hopeful and happy for "little yellow." I think your connections to I WISH I WERE A BUTTERLFY are lovely. I have had that book on my desk for about two weeks waiting for the right moment to read it to my students. Today must be the day because I am seeing gifts in a new way recently and you re-iterated my thoughts here.

  2. Finding a way for the whimsical to emerge is a challenge for some students. They can be so serious! This is a lovely example of imagination, Amy. Love that little yellow car, & the connection to the James Howe book is right. There are many good things that people can offer, just have to find what feels right. Thanks!

  3. What a fun poem! And what a wonderful book cover -- how exciting!

  4. Oh my goodness, how did I miss this?? This cover is SO BEAUTIFUL and exciting! must be giddy! Sending you an email...

  5. I'm sure it was love at first sight when you saw your book's cover! Congratulations! I can't wait to read it!