Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Purple Plums

Earlier in the week, I posted pictures of my grandchildren on Facebook with a promise to share Evie’s poem today.  I've been under the weather today, but I want to get this written before the meds kick in.

I was very excited to share Lee Bennett Hopkins’ latest anthology Lullaby and Kisses Sweet with Evie and Victor because one of my poems is included. It was so much fun to read the poems to them. Evie was especially intrigued, and enthusiastically interjected comments about her own experiences. For example, after reading “Spaghetti” by Laura Purdie Salas, she said, “Yeah, Victor is messy like that too!” To Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s  “My Tricycle” she said, “My bike has two wheels, but it has training wheels too. One, two, three, four.”  I loved hearing her make connections to these adorable poems.

Then, holding the book in her little hands, she piped up, “Hey, I have a poem too, listen to this:

Purple plum, purple plum—
Squish, squish, squish

Purple plum, purple plum                                     
I love them in my
Dish, dish, dish!



As soon as she was finished reciting her poem, she gave a little giggle and ran off to play with her brother and Grandpa.  Simple as that!

 Of course, I was tickled she modeled her poem from mine, but even more important is how she made it her own!  She wasn’t all that impressed to find Grandma’s poem in a book; she’s seen that before. Instead, she was inspired by poems that touched her heart. This little book spoke to her, and she wanted to be part of it. Isn’t that the reason we write poetry?  No review by a publisher or editor is more meaningful than the reactions of a child who sees herself in words we wrote.

I wish I had thought to have her illustrate her poem.  I can just imagine a whole page full of squished up plums!  I don’t want to miss that opportunity again so the other day I bought a little blank book. Now Evie and I can start our own poetry collection!  I think it will make a perfect keepsake.

Evie lives in a language-rich environment where her Grandma reads her poetry, and Daddy reads her picture books.  She and my son have been creating their own stories together since she was an infant. Evie delights in telling her stories to Mommy and anyone else who will listen! In her mind, making stories and poems is just part of her day.

Playing with words comes natural to young children, but not all children have the good fortunate to have quality books like LULLABY.   I want to change that, at least in my own small way.  I have decided to donate copies of LULLABY  and a few other favorite titles to a local charity that helps low income mothers in Evie and Victor’s honor. I’ll share more after I’ve gotten more information. I want other children to experience the joy of words the way my grandchildren do.

Whew!  I hope I didn't make too many typos, my head is pretty stuffy and my throat feels like sandpaper!   I'm off to take those meds!

For more poetry,  head on over to this week's host, Author Amok,  say hello to Laura and see what everyone is wearing for National Poetry Month.







  1. Feel better, Linda. It sounds like Evie is truly immersing herself in this wonderful book.

  2. Enjoyed hearing about how Evie enjoyed the book and wrote her own poem. :) Great idea to donate books to charity. Feel better soon!

  3. I hope those meds help, Linda! This is such a sweet post about this new book and your granddaughter, and her poem, too. I've ordered more than one of the book for future baby gifts and to share with my own granddaughters. Thanks for sharing the best reason for the book, for children's enjoyment!

  4. Having a collection of Evie's poems is a great idea! Squished plums would be a fun illustration :-)
    Donating Lullaby and Kisses Sweet sounds perfect -- what a super first book! Hope you feel better soon.

  5. I love how your granddaughter is so immersed in poetry and stories that poems just sort of fall out of her mouth. I wish all kids could have these experiences. Hope you feel better soon!

  6. Thanks for sharing this story before you went down for the count. Adorable! (Hope you're feeling better!)

  7. Thank you for sharing your story of your time with Evie. I love hearing how young ones are connecting to poetry (and books!).

  8. Hope you are feeling better soon!

  9. Enjoyed reading about how you're supporting your granddaughter's talents and sharing poetry love with others as well, Linda. (I would have loved to create an illustrated poetry collection as a young child!) Feel better.

  10. It sounds like Evie is a poet in the making. Thank you for giving this peek into your book love together...your idea of giving boks to others in your grandchildren's honor is beautiful. I hope you're doing better on this St. Patrick's Day! xo, a.