Oops! by Alan Katz, illustrated by Edward Koren

This is from my latest newsletter.
Illustrated by Edward Koren
7-10 year olds will love Oops! by Alan Katz, illustrated by Edward Koren. Alan Katz is always funny, as you can tell from the very first poem in this collection – and I always believe funny is a great way to get kids into poetry. There are gross puns, funny pictures, wordplay and parodies. My favorite part was the end where Alan Katz includes his hysterical, and, frankly, brilliant work from when he was in second grade.
Alan, why did you write this book?
After writing all the Silly Dilly Songbooks (like Take Me Out of the Bathtub), my editor suggested I write a poetry book. Frankly, I didn’t think I could. I had never written poetry before. But when I tried it, I found that I loved doing it. And I learned an important lesson: if someone says try something new–perhaps a new kind of book to read, or a new kind of writing, a new sport, whatever–try it. You might find out that you really like it. That’s what happened with me and poetry, and I am very, very proud of OOPS!
Do you converse with your characters and if so, what do you talk about?
There aren’t really characters in the book, though I do let the “people” in OOPS! represent me–or my kids. Some of them have the exact behaviors I did as as kid…or my kids do now.
What do you do when you’re stuck?
When I’m stuck I write anything that comes to mind. Anything. The first poem in OOPS! starts with, “The wind is blowing quite a breeze.” Why? Because I was stuck and looked out the window…and the wind was blowing quite a breeze!
Do you dream about your characters?
I once dreamed a whole book. The basis for Don’t Say That Word! came from a dream. I wrote a good portion of the book the day after the dream.
What’s the funniest comment you’ve gotten from a kid about this book?
The funniest comment about OOPS! came from my wife–who is a very accomplished poet. When she read the poem that I think is probably everyone’s favorite in the book, she said, “They’re PAYING YOU to write that?” Here’s the poem…
Lick lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lick
I also tell kids if they think THEY could have written that…OF COURSE they could have! But I already wrote it first!
What part gave you the most trouble?
There are 100 poems. I found out that 100 is a lot. But happily, I’ve now written 100 addiitonal poems for a sequel that’ll be coming out next year. Not sure what the title will be yet.

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