Today, we’ll take a closer look at a poetic device: Anaphora
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or set of words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines. It:
In the poem “Least Favorite Nickname” from my poetry collection THE SUPERLATIVE A. LINCOLN: POEMS ABOUT OUR 16TH PRESIDENT (Illustrated by Dave Szalay) I used this poetic device. The poem is about Lincoln’s dislike of his childhood nickname “Abe” and emphasizes the fact that he really preferred other forms of address, such as Lincoln or Mr. Lincoln. To play up this point, I repeated the phrase “call him,” creating a distinct rhythm and also heightening the emotion about this phrasing for the reader.
Call him Mr. President, the leader of our states.
Call him a great orator, well known for his debates.
Call him neighbor, father, son—all labels he could claim.
Know that when folks called him Abe, he didn’t like that name.
One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmer’s market.
Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.
It was just the right size to hold in her arms.
Just the right size to bounce on her knee.
Just the right size to love.
Pat’s use of anaphora to open her book helps us feel the intensity of the little girl’s love for the squash more deeply and better understand the emotional connection. The reader forms a stronger bond with Bernice, too.
A parody is "an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect" (Oxford Dictionary). Have you read any picture book parodies? Some are "adult" versions of popular classics, such as GOODNIGHT IPAD. But you'll also find parodies of fairytales, folktales, and nursery rhymes aimed at young audiences.
If you like writing in rhyme, it's an enjoyable exercise to try a parody. Your version doesn't need to be overly comic; picture book parodies often bring smiles with clever twists or use of language. Many picture book parodies have been picked up for publication and can be especially popular as read-alouds.
MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMP by Jack Lechner and Bob Staake immediately brings in humor when the opening spread swaps out Mary's loyal lamb for a desk lamp.
The next two spreads give small, specific details that explain Mary's love for her lamp. The author then returns to the original nursery rhyme, as Mary takes the lamp to school with disastrous results. Humor builds as her worried parents seek professional help:
The kids gain control, and the book ends with them creating items with sheep fleece.