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Partially rhyming picture books?

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Are there any examples of picture books that rhyme only in select portions of the text, rather than rhyming the entire time? For instance, every third line is a rhyming couplet, something like this (just a made up example):

Fuzzy the Bear went to the library.
He marveled at all the books he found inside.
Some books bound in red and blue,
     books were bound in every hue.

...and then that structure repeats throughout the book. Is this something that's been done? Is it "acceptable"? Would it be a horrible mistake?
#1 - June 04, 2013, 11:12 AM

Absolutely, it's done. And I don't see how it would be a horrible mistake as long as it's clear where you intend things to rhyme and where you don't. (You don't want an editor thinking you simply can't consistently follow meter,etc)

One really well known series that does this Skippy Jon Jones  -- some sections intentionally rhyme and others do not. There are plenty of the other titles, but they're escaping me at present.

#2 - June 04, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Anthony - I actually think this is a great way to go. It's a way to introduce playful/fresh language and rhythm without forcing a rhyming structure throughout the story. That said, I would make sure that when you read the story out loud, the rhythm of the read sounds easy/natural and that the rhyming lines feel appropriate and purposeful -- like they fit in some way with the rest of the narrative.
Jean
#3 - June 04, 2013, 12:25 PM
Jean Reidy
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Hi Anthony -- I can't recommend any books, but I'm glad you brought the subject up. I just wrote a story in prose and rhyme and I was wondering if I was the only one. It just came out that way and felt very natural. So . . . I'd say go for it!   :oncomputer
#4 - June 04, 2013, 02:01 PM

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Karma Wilson's Little Pip books are written prose with a rhyming refrain.  That's as close as I can come to an example of what you're describing.
#5 - June 04, 2013, 06:24 PM

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I've wondered about this as well. Since several authors have commented agreeing with the partial rhyme, I have a similiar question.

What if a picture book with two characters is written in prose but one of the main characters insists on speaking consistently in rhyme?

Thanks, Cali
#6 - June 04, 2013, 07:57 PM

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Possibly-- Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag?  I haven't read it in years but I think there was a rhyming refrain. 
#7 - June 04, 2013, 08:04 PM

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I thought of another one--Big Chickens Go to Town by Leslie Helakoski.  Fun book!
#8 - June 05, 2013, 03:53 AM

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The Mine-O-Saur by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is another one the jumps immediately to mind. (Possibly because it's such a favorite in our house!)
#9 - June 05, 2013, 06:10 AM

I immediately thought of The Mine-O-Saur too!

Also, "Substitute Creacher" is one I've read recently.

I think you can absolutely pull it off. A little tricky, but can be done. I think you should be particularly careful about setting up a clear expectation of rhythm for the reader (especially at the start).
#10 - June 05, 2013, 07:35 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
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I also want to add, in The Mine-O-Saur, the parts that rhyme are the parts when the MC is having a greedy episode. So they add a kind of drama and call those sections out. In Substitute Creacher, I believe it is only the teacher's speaking that rhymes.

So the point is, it might be nice if the rhyming parts rhyme for a reason. If there is something different about them. Just some food for thought.
#11 - June 05, 2013, 07:43 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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This is great - thanks everyone! Good to know that it can be used to good effect, and isn't something that would tend to automatically be a deal-breaker.
#12 - June 05, 2013, 08:56 AM

Two more examples. if they're of any help:

Ugly Pie by the fabulous  Lisa Wheeler mixes rhyme and prose in a delightful way.

and for adding just the slightest mix of rhyme in your prose a great example is Too Many Fogs  by Sandy Asher
#13 - June 05, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Dumpling Dreams, 2017
Magic for Sale,  2017
Pia Piratissima 2014
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Hello Anthony . . . I've written a few manuscripts with narrative in prose and the spoken word in rhyme . . . always keeping the rhyme similar but adjusting it enough for the fun surprise.

Another book to look at is Prancing, Dancing Lily. Lily wants to be lead cow and wear the bell. She loves to dance which the other cows see as a problem for a lead cow. She leaves the farm to enjoy her dancing hooves. Her letters home are in rhyme. It's very well done.

I also think the pacing and placement of where the rhyme is inserted is just as important as the meter.
#14 - June 07, 2013, 06:48 AM
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 06:51 AM by Cynthia Kremsner »
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This question has been on my mind lately, and my favorite example is Frances in the wonderful Russell Hoban books, with her lyrical asides.
#15 - March 15, 2014, 06:48 AM

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...just adding another example to the mix:  Pete the Cat (and its sequels) by Eric Litwin.
#16 - March 15, 2014, 09:24 AM

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I was going to mention the Pete the Cat books too. We love them at our house and all of my kids are over 10. We also love the Skippy Jon Jones books! One is never too old for picture books. ;-)
#17 - March 15, 2014, 11:44 AM
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