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Meet the Authors and Illustrators
Jack Prelutsky

Book List


The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders


Scranimals


A Pizza the Size of the Sun


It's Raining Pigs & Noodles

PZogre
Awful Ogre's Awful Day

 

Jack Prelutsky - Author

For over 30 years, Jack Prelutsky's poetry has induced giggles, chuckles, and guffaws from children all over the world.  He has written about suspender-wearing frogs, sun-sized pizzas, and eraser-eating creatures, among others.  In 2006, he became the first Children's Poet Laureate of the United States. 

Interview

RIF: You have a collection of more than 3,000 frog figurines and cards.  Why do you find frogs so ribbit-ing?

Jack Prelutsky: I've always wanted to be a singer, but when I sing, it sounds like I have a frog in my throat.  So I thought if I collected frogs, then the frog in my throat would see how nice I am and leave my throat.

RIF: Are you still crazy about frogs?

JP: Not as much as I used to be.  Now I'm into watching and photographing birds.  I live on an island in Washington state and I love watching the great blue herons, red wing blackbirds, and bald eagles on the island.  My favorite flying birds are pelicans; they remind me of pterodactyls.

RIF: How does it feel to have the honor of being the first U.S. Children's Poet Laureate?

JP: I like it; it's like I've been elevated in stature, although I'm a short guy [at 5'8]. 

RIF: What do you like most about poetry?

JP: I like the way words work, the way you can weave them together like no one else has.  I especially like how you can create a world in a few words.

RIF: What was your favorite poem as a child?

JP: Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.  It helped me realize that poetry could be silly and fun and about an imaginary world.

RIF: You are well-known for writing silly and funny poems.  How do you do it?

JP: I don't try to be funny, I just am.  I used to try to write love poems and they'd always come out funny.

RIF: Where do you get ideas?

JP: From everywhere.  For example, I came up with the idea for Scranimals in the middle of the night.  I was eating a banana while watching a documentary on anacondas when I came up with the idea of an undiscovered animal called a bananaconda. The poem begins:

Oh sleek bananaconda
You longest long long fellow,
How sinuous and sly you are,
How slippery, how yellow. 

RIF: What advice would you give to a young person who wants to write a funny poem?

JP: I'd say, don't go out of your way to be funny.  Just write from your heart.  Write what you know.

That being said, one way to write a funny poem is by pretending you are a reporter interviewing something silly, like a boneless chicken.  Then ask the silly character normal questions like who, what, when, where, why, and how.  The answers will inevitably be silly and you can use those answers to write a funny poem, like Ballad of a Boneless Chicken:

I'm a basic boneless chicken,
yes, I have no bones inside,
I'm without a trace of rib cage,
yet I hold myself with pride,
other hens appear offended
by my total lack of bones,
they discuss me impolitely
in derogatory tones.

 

Want to read more funny poems by Jack Prelutsky?  Check out these links:

 

Learn more about each of these authors and illustrators:
 

 
  Author

Author

 
  Illustrator

Illustrator

 

 
- - -
 

  illustrator

Allen Say

 
  Author

Arthur Dorros

 
  Illustrator

Ashley Bryan

 
  Author

Barbara Park

 
  Illustrator

Beverly Cleary

 
  illustrator

Bryan Collier

 
  Author

Candace Fleming

 
 

Carmen Rubin

 
  illustrator

Chris Van Allsburg

 
  Author

Cornelia Funke

 
  Author

Dav Pilkey

 
  illustrator

David Kirk

 
  Author

Eoin Colfer

 
  Illustrator

Eric Carle

 
 

Fred Bowen

 
  Author

Gail Carson Levine

 
  Illustrator

Graeme Base

 
  illustrator

Henry Cole

 
  Author

Jack Prelutsky

 
  illustrator

Jerry Pinkney

 
  Author

Jerry Spinelli

 
  Author

Joseph Bruchac

 
  Author

Karen Cushman

 
  Author

Kate DiCamillo

 
  Author

Kathleen Karr

 
 

Laurie Halse Anderson

 
  Author

Lemony Snicket

 
  Author

Lemony Snicket - part 2

 
  illustrator

Lulu Delacre

 
  illustrator

Mark Teague

 
  Author

Mary Pope Osborne

 
  Author

Megan McDonald

 
  Author

Mem Fox

 
  Author

Michelle Y. Green

 
  illustrator

Mo Willems

 
  Author

Nikki Grimes

 
  illustrator

Nina Laden

 
  Author

Pam Muñoz Ryan

 
  Illustrator

Pat Cummings

 
 

R.A. Montgomery

 
  Author

R.L. Stine

 
  Author

R.L. Stine - Part II

 
  illustrator

Rosemary Wells

 
  Author

Sharon Creech

 
  Author

Stan Lee

 
  Illustrator

Tony DiTerlizzi

 
  Author

Wendelin Van Draanen

 
  Author

William Sleator

 
 


For Grown-Ups:

 
 

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