Tomorrow is National Poetry Day and for the occasion I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to showcase a poem from the forthcoming I’m Just No Good at Rhyming, written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith (Two Hoots). Chris Harris is better known maybe for his work as a TV comedy writer for shows such as How I Met Your Mother  and Lane Smith is the most recent recipient of the Greenaway Medal with his There is a Tribe of Kids, also published by Two Hoots. He has of course many other bestselling ,award-winning books under his belt, the wonderful It’s a Book and several books in collaboration with Jon Scieszka to name a few.

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming, with the subtitle of ‘and other nonsense for mischievous kids and immature grown-ups’ is a really eclectic selection of poems full of visual and textual jokes. This is not just an illustrated anthology; the artwork here is an active springboard for the poetic text. In fact in some of the poems, it is the other way round.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming is really zany, wild and huge fun, but it also offers some moments of reflection, and that is the kind of poem I chose to share with you today:

(click on the image for a larger version)

I chose this because I was a shy child and I am a shy adult, in certain situations. This is such a beautiful, lyrical depiction of being shy, but also what I love about this is that it is not talking directly to the shy child, but to the child who knows a shy child, and encourages them not to give up on them.
As soon as I saw this spread, it reminded me of The Wonder by Faye Hanson; while Hanson uses bright colour to convey the child’s imagination and what goes on inside his head, Smith sticks to the muted, natural colours that are found throughout the book. Yet the effect is just as stunning.
Beautifully designed and packaged, I’m Just No Good at Rhyming will make a gorgeous present for any lovers of poetry, but might also be just the perfect way to win the ‘poetry doubters’ over.

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming will be released on 19th October and can be pre-ordered here.


You can check out more extracts as part of the blog tour:


source: review copy