These are gloomy times and we all need poetry to uplift us and make us laugh. This is why I am sharing a new book by Vikram Madan. It’s A HATFUL OF DRAGONS: AND MORE THAN 13.8 BILLION OTHER FUNNY POEMS. I guarantee you will smile and laugh.
I’m thrilled to be part of this blog tour.
In 2013, another Madan book, THE BUBBLE COLLECTOR, was nominated for the CYBILS Poetry Award. It was a playful poetry book that my students loved.
Vikram graciously answered five questions:
1. I love 13,841,287,201* Nonsense Poems in One. How did you come up with that idea for a poem?
As a kid I was a fan of classic Mad Magazine features like ‘write your own speech’ or ‘make your own song’ using fill-in-the-blanks. I always desired to create a ‘write your own rhyming poem’ in the same format. It wasn’t until I finished writing mine that I realized I had created 13,841,287,201 possibilities! Hopefully it’ll keep some kids very, very busy (in a good way!).
2. Which comes first the sketch or the poem or does it depend?
Generally the words have to start the ball rolling because I often don’t know where a poem is headed till I start writing it! As I am putting the words down, a part of my brain starts conceptualizing visuals so both usually develop together as the poem proceeds. I love creating poems where the words and images work together tightly. That said, there are poems where the images just play a supporting role, and there are poems that were entirely sparked by a visual. So it depends.
3. What does your writing routine look like?
When I am working on a poetry collection, what works best for me is to go to the library, make sure I have an offline thesaurus and rhyming dictionary, and absolutely no internet access. This allows me to be productive and focused without distraction. I don’t have a daily writing schedule as my day job is ‘visual artist’ and I generally spend more time painting than writing. Writing for me is very project-based. When I have an idea I want to develop, I just keep working on it, on and off, but consistently, till done.
4. What are you working on currently?
I recently finished two public art projects as well as a couple of dummies for an early reader project. Once ‘A Hatful of Dragons’ launches, I hope to start working on another poetry collection. Someday I hope to also create a graphic novel.
5. What is one thing you’d like readers of all ages know about you?
Ten years ago I had a corporate tech job and spent most of my time in project-management meetings. If someone had told me then that one day I would be a full-time artist and published author, I wouldn’t have believed them. But what do you know, it’s entirely possible to follow your dream – it just takes perseverance and hard work.
I invite readers to follow my work on social media: @ArtByVikram (instagram, facebook, twitter).
A HATFUL of DRAGONS is a full of laughter 64 page book of poems, wordplay, and reader participation. If you are Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein fans, you are going to love Madan’s poems.
“13,841, 287, 201 * Nonsense Poems in One” asks for reader participation. And how could you not be drawn to write one? I will definitely use this when I get to sub again. Here’s mine (my word choices are in CAPS).
I met a PANDA sitting by the BOOKSTORE.
She said, “Can we travel by PAPER PLANE?
Can you spare SIX SYLLABLES for THESE DRAGONS?
The GERMS are conspiring against my reign!”
I gave her FRIES AND HAGGIS and TWO OLD SOCKS.
She said, “MY HAMSTER MOONLIGHTS AS A SPY.”
She hugged MY BEST KAZOO and DID SOME YOGA–
Then TWIRLED away without waving goodbye.
Feel inclined? Share your poem in the comments.
STUDENT POETRY POSTCARDS
There is still time for Student Poetry Postcards. In this time of social distancing, they might bring cheer.
I have about fifty postcards created by students. I want to sent them off to good homes for National Poetry Month. Please sign up below.
A Hatful of Dragons looks like so much fun–congratulations Vikram (my long-ago pal from March Madness Poetry!)
Thanks Buffy! Hope you’re well and staying safe! 🙂
A lot of kids are going to LOVE this book! (And that hedgehog is adorable!) Congratulations to Vikram and thank you, Jone, for the interview and sneak peek.
Thanks Michelle! The hedgehog is a painting I recently finished – you can see it here:
We could all use a good laugh! Thanks for sharing A Hatful of Dragons. (I love the little hedgehog illustration.)
Thanks – hopefully yes you’ll find a few laughs in the book. And see the full hedgehog image in the comments above.
Thanks for the introduction to A Hatful of Dragons, Jone. It looks so fun! Vikram is an inspiration for following dreams.
Oh fun, Jone!!! I am so glad to hear about Virkam’s book!!
Here’s my rendition:
I met a TEACHER SITTING BY THE SPACESHIP.
She said, “DOES A LOT OF THINKING CAUSE STRAIN?
Can you spare DAY OLD COFFEE FOR A LOST CAUSE?
The NIGHT IS CONSPIRING AGAINST MY REIGN!”
I gave her TWO STALE BAGELS and A FLU SHOT.
She said, “CAN I MAIL YOU TO SHANGHAI.”
She GAVE ME HALF A GRAPE and STOLE MY PINK HAT-
Then FLEW away without waving goodbye.
I will look forward to a postcard (and I may have already signed up just an FYI. Take good care!!
Glad to see you are having fun with the possibilities 🙂
His shift in careers and the message to follow your dreams is so inspiring!
Jone, thank you for sharing this wonderful book with its delightful illustrations. I enjoyed your blog tour review. I am excited that you are offering your Student Postcard Poetry-always a big hit.
Thanks for featuring me Jone! 🙂
My pleasure. You’re welcome.
Thank you, Jone. Sounds like a fun book. Good interview. I also liked Vikram’s encouraging words at the end of the interview!
Thanks for the interview and review. A Hatful of Dragons looks like so much fun! Thank you for all you do to promote poetry!
Thanks for stopping by – I’ve tried to make this a fun interactive book so hopefully lots of people will enjoy it. You can also learn more at http://www.HatfulOfDragons.com
It’s lovely to read about this new book & to read Vikram’s words, Joan. Thanks for that & for the postcard call. Somehow I’ve missed signing up. Thank you, hope all is well with you!
I love fun rhyming poems so thanks for introducing me to this book and author. My kids would have loved A Hatful of Dragons. great interview, Linda!
I am hoping poetry-lovers of all ages will like this book, not just kids 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
I love Vikram’s encouraging words at the end… thank you Vikram, and thank you Jone! xo
Thanks Irene – hope you’re staying well!
Hooray! I’ve read A Hatful of Dragons, too. It’s funny good fun. Thanks for the great interview. I wish this book much success.
Thanks Linda 🙂