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Chapter Poems

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In my introductions thread Verla Kay suggested that my plot was too complicated for a simple picture book, and recommended submitting as a mid-grade story in verse, or a graphic chapter book.

After doing a bit of research, the concept of a graphic chapter book really appealed to me. I have added chapters into my story, and am loving the change.

As a single poem, I was forced to add connecting verses between scenes, and in my opinion, these are often the weakest parts of my poem. However, there was no choice but to add them, otherwise, the transition between scenes is jarring and flow-breaking.

Now it's a chapter poem, I have realised that I could possibly do away with these connecting verses, or at least any connecting verses that are weak. But in thinking along those lines, I'm also wondering if I should aim for each chapter to read like it's a poem in its own right, and then further worrying whether that would make it - from a classification point of view - into a poetry anthology and therefore harder to publish.

I was wondering if anyone could provide me advice and suggestions on structuring a fully rhyming, meter driven, graphic chapter book.  I'd also appreciate it if anyone could suggest similar books that have done well. Verla mentioned Cindy Marko's Kung Pow Chicken books as examples of a graphic chapter book, but they don't seem to be rhyming stories.
#1 - October 10, 2017, 08:02 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

Zorgmazoo by Robert Paul Weston,   is written completely in rhyming verse. 

I can't speak to its overall success but it got several nice reviews.
#2 - October 10, 2017, 11:45 AM
Thomas Jefferson & the Mammoth Hunt 2018
Dumpling Dreams, 2017
Magic for Sale,  2017
Pia Piratissima 2014
Victricia Malicia, 2012

Zorgmazoo by Robert Paul Weston,   is written completely in rhyming verse. 

I can't speak to its overall success but it got several nice reviews.

Wow! 29,221 words. That must have taken a long time to write.
#3 - October 10, 2017, 02:50 PM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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There are plenty of novels in verse out there, but I haven't seen any chapter books in verse. I think that would be cool.
#4 - October 10, 2017, 09:25 PM

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There are a few illustrated novels in verse that may appeal to chapter book readers. Tamara Will Wissinger's titles: GONE FISHING and GONE CAMPING and Julie Sternberg's LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE series come to mind. All five were illustrated by Matthew Cordell.

Good luck with your project!
Sarah
P.S. You can find more verse novels listed here: http://sarahtregay.com/novelsinverse.html
#5 - October 12, 2017, 09:54 AM
LOVE AND LEFTOVERS and FAN ART
Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
ARA Utah/Southern Idaho

Thanks everybody. I'm checking out all the books suggested.

So far (if they've been illustrated at all), the examples I've looked at have had the occasional scattered illustration (usually black and white), mixed with pages of just text.

I was really hoping to find rhyming examples of full spread, colour illustrations where every page is illustrated. Essentially picture books expanded into chapter books (or graphic novels shrunk down to chapter books).

That's kind of how I dream of my book being presented, so I would still love to find an example of a graphical chapter book written in verse, rather than longer illustrated novels in verse, but the novels are still helpful for reference, so thanks :)
#6 - October 13, 2017, 03:24 PM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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Honestly, I don't know if there is a book like that out there... which isn't a bad thing. If you have something unique, go for it! Manuscripts are often pitched by taking two things and putting them side by side, such as DIARY OF A WIMPY KID meets DR. SEUSS to get an idea across in a concise manner.
Best,
Sarah
#7 - October 15, 2017, 04:32 AM
LOVE AND LEFTOVERS and FAN ART
Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
ARA Utah/Southern Idaho

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Zombelina School Days Hardcover –This is a series and books are in verse & though considered PB's, they seem different to me: longer, more sophisticated. Also, they TELL A STORY, you can TELL they are telling a story,  unlike so many other PB's roday that , hard to express, do not seem to want to tell a, mmm, story.  A straightforward story.  I guess you'd have to read 'em to find out what i mean. More like older rhyming PB's, maybe, more like the poem BELINDA WAS GREEDY, don't know if that's exact title. I'd love others' opinions on these rhyming books about Zombellina..

#8 - October 28, 2017, 03:31 PM
Carol Samuelson-Woodson

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