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Writing in rhyme for children's picture books

Updated on November 23, 2012
Writing in Rhyme for children's books
Writing in Rhyme for children's books | Source

How to write a children's story in rhyme

Rhyming is a lot easier than you think. You just have to write sentences backwards! Really, I'm not kidding. Conjour up the word that will end your sentence then trawl through your vocabulary until you finding a rhyming word that has the right context. Then work back from that to fill in the rest of your sentence. If nothing fits, pick a new sentence end word and start over.

If you struggle with finding a rhyming word then there are some great online rhyming dictionaries - just Google 'rhyming'. I confess I do this quite often to find a rhyming word.

The trick is not to pick words with difficult ending syllables, like 'syllables'!!

Stories also need structure. Children (and adults) like a hero who has to overcome a problem which takes the reader through a beginning middle and end. So here is a little ditty below that takes you through that process... in rhyme of course!

Kid's rhyming stories for beginners

If you want to write a story that folk will recommend

You'd better be quite certain it has

A beginning middle and an end.

You'll also need a hero

And lots of action too

Or interest will be zero

Because kids know when something's poo!

Start with some excitement to draw your readers in

If the story is a yawn fest

It will soon be in the bin.

And don't forget a dollop

Of words that smack some WALLOP

Add the onomatopoeia

But remember they have to rhyme!

Put your hero though the mill

To raise a little thrill

If he's bland and everyday

The kid's will say 'NO WAY!'

Keep it running at a pace

To have it flag is such a drag

You want your readers to engage

Have them gagging to turn the page.

Danger's good, kids like to scream

Don't be afraid to treat your hero mean

He needs a chance to learn and grow

So give him scenes of grief and woe

Not too short and not too long

Thirty pages is right on song

Be aware of attention span

And factor that into your plan.

Parents too should be impressed

For your kids you always want the best

If you want your story to go global

Always add a lesson and moral

To bring your story to a conclusion

Don't leave the reader in any confusion

Some joy, some tears and a soupcon of laughter

Then let them go with a 'happy ever after'.

The Lazy Seagull synopsis

The Lazy Seagull is available for order at

The Lazy Seagull is an eponymous story about a young seagull too idle to leave his cosy nest and learn to fly, smugly allowing his Mum carry on feeding his fat tum with little silver fish. Contentment however turns rapidly to confusion as a sudden storm picks up both Lazy and the nest and whirls them from idyllic cliff-top ledge to grimy car park gutter.

Apparently unfazed by his new location, Lazy remains entrenched in his nest awaiting his Mum's next delivery of fish. But with no sign of Mum the local birds and animals take pity on the young bird and try to tempt him to with their own titbits of choice, all of which are refused with typical adolescent ignorance. Not even a cheerful, chubby, Gallic Hedgehog can slide a slug into his beak.

As the friendly animals give up on him, it seems nothing can be done to halt the seagull's decline into hopeless self pity. Only when a scavenging fox decides seagull might be more tasty than trash, does Lazy realise that salvation is in his own hands or in this case, wings!

To his great surprise, flying is easy and natural, he can even see his Mum searching for him and all is well for a happy ever after ending with a cheeky twist.

The Lazy Seagull is a lively and humorous rhyming tale on a theme of growing up. It is upholstered with comfortable alliteration, repetition and onomatopoeia to tickle the story taste buds of beginning readers. The content has messages to explore relating to how and what everyday creatures like to eat, with a hint that trying new things might be good for you! The notion of using our talents to help us get on in life, also provides a moral undertone to this entertaining tale.

A beautiful addition both visually and verbally to a little one's library.


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    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Thanks MM I'll be doing another piece on rhyme and posting some poetry for the competition next month.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Johnny, congratulations on your first book!

      I really struggle to write in rhyme and have found your article very interesting and helpful, you have made it sound easy!

      Thank you for sharing, best wishes MM

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Les Trois Chenes - thanks for reading the piece and leaving a comment. I will write something about getting published although in my case I think it was more good fortune than good planning!

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Congratualtions and good luck with your book.I don't have much trouble writing in rhyme - that's not to say that what I do write is any godd, though! Have you written about how to get your book published once written?? Do drop me a link if you have and many thanks for the ifo.

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Thanks Stephanie, I get a lot of fun out of rhyme.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      You make it looks so easy, which I'm sure it's not! Rhyming is at its best when it doesn't seem forced, and yours just flows so naturally. Congratulations on the publication of your children's book!