There is currently a pumpkin decorating contest going on at the school where our two boys attend. So our family recently stopped by the “pumpkin patch” on the front lawn of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston for our kids to pick out some tiny pumpkins for themselves and a couple of larger ones for the decorating contest.
At home, in the back yard, we spread out an old flannel sheet from our chilly days in Minnesota. Then we handed out small paint brushes and began painting those two larger pumpkins. This was an art project that took several days because we started with two coats of white paint as a primer to cover the orange color. Afterwards, we added two coats of gray and pink, respectively, to create Gerald the Elephant and his friend Piggie, who appear together in a wonderful series of books by Mo Willems.
Those Elephant and Piggie books are hilarious, especially when our oldest son reads them to our youngest son with the same character voices that my wife Carrie used when she first read to him these stories about friendship. I think they are helpful tales for adults, too, who often navigate the waters of friendship just as awkwardly as Elephant and Piggie do. Children’s books are like that — speaking not only to the child who hears the story but also to the adult who reads it aloud.
So let’s write haiku about children’s books — those that you loved, those that you hated, those that you only came to know as a so-called grown-up. All you need is one verse with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. Mine refers to a children’s author in my previous church in Minnesota at whose wedding it was my honor to officiate a couple of years ago:
Willems’ books are great.
But our friend Michael Dahl writes
too — Penguin Says Please.