Katherine Paterson: In Collaboration! Poetry Friday + Children’s Book Week

Could this be true?

The chance to collaborate in writing with Katherine Paterson? And for the price of my time?

And so, I have done just that. Fast, before I chickened out. So today’s poem is fresh. For more in the Poetry Friday world, please visit today’s kind host, TODAY’S LITTLE DITTY, created by Michelle Barnes.

To learn how you can work with the beloved author of the BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA or – with Daniel Handler, Barbara Park, Jon Scieszka & others modern legends in the children’s literature world, visit the generous Teaching Authors. These teachers of me and many others, are my go-to boutique online, for spiffy eyedeers, encouragement & just plain goodness.


So here ‘tis.

Begun by National Ambassador for Children’s Literature Katherine Paterson and completed by Jan Annino at Bookseedstudio

I’d be the first to admit
I’d done plenty of things in my life
have gotten into trouble
some I’ve even regretted
but I never imagined a simple

walk in the little park across the street on Sunday night
would bring me to a vacant bench
empty except for a book
that I took

It said “The Hithchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
I sat there in the light of the park lamp
I found that when I read the story
I sat
in the little park across the street on Sunday night
but when I looked up I was not there

When I looked up it was different
From my street and my park
It was not a street or a park
When I looked up each time
I found I was driving a car

A Ford Prefect like my pal Samantha’s family owns
And I love cars
I will get my permanent permit in June
And Mum has promised a Ford Mustang
But this was a Prefect

But you know what?
I thought the it was perfect
To drive the Ford Prefect in the dark
In the little park across the street on a Sunday night

And I still have that stolen book
© 2015 Jan Godown Annino (beginning at line 6)

(Although the lines via Children’s Book Week, shared at Teaching Authors are prose, I think in the spirit of creativity your or your student writers can put them into poem form.)

Here is a Ford Prefect, courtesy of Wikipedia


Children’s Book Week, 2015

So many Poetry Friday readers have just motored out
of the week’s partees of Children’s Book Week. Me too.
Here is an image of part of my celebration of the week,
presenting on my children’s book, She Sang Promise,
The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader
(Illustrated by Lisa Desimini, with a letter to readers from Moses Jumper, Jr.)
I read, we sang alligator songs (BMTJ wrestled alligators)
& the children played their handmade rattles, all arranged
by the very creative art teacher Sally Ash of Woodville
Elementary School, Florida, who also thoughtfully snapped
this picture on her phone.


17 thoughts on “Katherine Paterson: In Collaboration! Poetry Friday + Children’s Book Week

  1. Appreciations for your colorful & creative fairy tales website – I grabbed a peek Brenda. We also share a fondness for Jane Yolen’s work.
    Thank you for visiting Bookseedstudio & I hope you can return some time – appreciative also of your ‘like”
    Happy Week to you!


  2. I got to hear Katherine Paterson speak a few times while I was teaching at Vermont College of Fine Arts – she is such a generous person, so kind and encouraging. Good for you, taking on the challenge of completing her prompt.


    • Hello there Julie & appreciations for your comments.
      What a treat x several – to soak up Katharine Paterson’s energy & spirit in person.
      Thank you so much for visiting Bookseedstudio.
      ~ Jan


    • Oooh, MaryLee, am thinking that your visit to those Teaching Authors-story starters will be the catalyst for some fun for a whole buncha gre8t students & their energetic teacher.
      Happy Week to you!


  3. How have I missed these Wednesday writing workouts until now? Your journey through the galaxy of this poem in a Ford Prefect (with Katherine Paterson, I might add) – what an adventure, Jan! Stolen memories from your imagination.


  4. Like how you transformed Katherine’s prose into lines of poetry and literally transported the reader elsewhere. 🙂 And it looks like you had fun celebrating Children’s Book Week at Woodville ES!


  5. LOVE Katherine Paterson (whom I got to hear speak a few years ago), LOVE this collaborative opportunity, and LOVE the way this poem transports us! (I also LOVE those Teaching Authors, too!)
    Thanks for sharing some magic today, Jan – :0)


    • That listening to Katherine Paterson must have been a boost – look at all your fantabulous writing events & achievements in these years.
      Appreciations for these sweet words Robyn.
      Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!


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