On this episode we get to wordplay with Dirk, a talking chipmunk! Which means we’re sailing our sieve to talk with Kenny Curtis, host, DJ, and animal wrangler for his radio show, The Animal Farm, which airs on Sirius XM Channel 78, Kids Place Live. You’ll get to hear about the talking animals on Kenny’s radio show, a bit of history about satellite radio, and learn about some of the music and podcast projects he works on. You’ll also hear from some Buttons & Figs kids who have a few animal suggestions for Kenny’s Animal Farm…not to mention a few interrupting animal jokes, because it’s always fun to yell into a microphone!
In celebration of National Poetry Month we have a special guest – Phoenix’s Youth Poet Laureate Annika Clark! In this episode we talk with Annika about how she came to be the youth poet laureate of Phoenix, how she fell in love with poetry, and what inspires her to write poetry…but best of all, you get to hear a poem she wrote for her little sister, titled “For Grace”. She also shares the poetry prompt that inspired her to write the poem, so you can write a poem for someone special too!
If you’d like to hear more about the Phoenix Youth Poetry Program, visit CYAZ.org. If you’d like to start a youth poetry program, visit UrbanWordNYC.org. And if you’d like to read and learn about poets visit poetryfoundation.org
You can also follow Phoenix Youth Poets on Instagram at @phxyouthpoetlaureateprogram
Interview captured on Zoom, SFX from Zapsplat and Garageband
Art by Ann Pickard/Graphic design by Elizabeth Burrill
Do you like to say the words, Activity Books? Do you like all the puzzles and games found in Activity Books? Then you’ll love comedy musician Mike Phirman‘s new album titled, “Activity Books“. In this episode you’ll get to hear one of the songs from his new EP, “Word Search/Vacuum”, featuring the voice of Weird Al Yankovich; you’ll also get to hear our funny and fabulous interview with Mike about how he became famous and about his unfortunate experience with a vacuum; and, you’ll hear from two Buttons & Figs kids, Olivia and Sophia, who were inspired to make a word search of their own (see below)!
You can learn more about Mike Phirman’s work and find all the ways to purchase the Activity Books EP at his website: mikephirman.com
Be sure to subscribe to Mike Phirman’s YouTube Channel to see these and all of his wacky videos, including the connect-the-dots project he mentioned in the episode!
A few of our Buttons & Figs kids were inspired to create their own word search activity after listening to this fabulous album. Click on the image to print and do the word search!
Do you love animals at the zoo…us too! For this episode we were inspired by Ogden Nash‘s “Zoo“, a collection of silly animal verse, illustrated by Etienne Delessert. We invited kids at the Velma Teague Library to read some of Ogden Nash’s poems and write some of their own. You’ll learn a bit about Ogden Nash, hear a few of his poems, and hear original poems about a panda, a bee, a sheep and more! We’ll also tell you how we went about our wordplay, so you can play our way by writing some silly animal verse of your own!
Thanks to: Greg Kinder and Janet Llyod with Glendale Public Library, Velma Teague Branch – who welcomed us in to read, write and play before Covid took it all away! Zapslat for their SFX Anna Ferguson our Library Intern from the UofA – who has some wonderful book recommends!
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a Word Ghost were to capture me and a bunch of Buttons & Figs kids after we fell through a portal along with a bunch of other friends, like horses, chickens and Scooby-Doo? Us too! In this episode you get to hear a tale from the land of Wacky Woo, Woo, Woo, spun from the imaginations of the first ever group of online writers for Buttons & Figs. During our online class we played with alliteration, rhyming verse, word rhythms then for our last class, we each wrote a chapter that I’ve woven into a story…sort of.
This episode features original nonsense stories written by: C.J., Cruz, Maddy, Noah, Olivia, Piper, and Silver – kids ages 7 to 11.
If you want to write some nonsense too…be sure to check out our friends at Storyseedspodcast.com. They have an excellent podcast for kids all about writing and they have a new activity book chalk filled with great ideas to get you started.
The class was supported and co-taught by Tamara Fromm, sfx by Zapsplat, audio enginnering by Blaise Collins and hosted and produced by Pamela Rogers.
Thanks for listening to me and you and you and me.