Silly Animal Verse inspired by Ogden Nash

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!


Writing Nonsense – A Word Ghost in the Portal

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.


extra! extra! Super Hero Jokes for National Comic Book Day

extra! extra! It’s National Comic Book Day and to celebrate we have SUPER HERO KIDS telling SUPER HERO JOKES! Kids selected a joke from the “DC Super Friends Joke Book” to share with you! We recorded these jokes at the Velma Teague branch of Glendale Public Library during their LibConWest Festival. A Free Festival dedicated to celebrating comics and pop culture! Mark your calendar for this year’s virtual event…Sat Dec 5, 2020! Visit www.libconwest.org or glendaleazlibrary.com to learn more! Wakanda forever, comic books always!

Buttons & Figs · extra! Super Hero Jokes for National Comic Book Day


Woke Poetry

Before Buttons & Figs heads back into the school year with more wacky wordplay…we have an extra! episode about social justice. On this episode you’ll hear three amazing poems read by Mahogany Browne from the new poetry picture book titled, “Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice.” You’ll also get to hear from some Buttons & Figs kids sharing their thoughts about justice. We hope hearing these poems and conversations will prompt you to talk about social justice with your family.

The poems in “Woke” also feature poets Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, with a forward by Jason Reynolds. This picture book is filled with hope and joy and the poems will help grownups open up conversations with kids about justice. The book is illustrated by Theodore Taylor III and published by Roaring Brook Press.

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled wacky wordplay next time. Till then, may your head turn green and your hands turn blue. Thanks for listening to me and you and you and me.

audio sound by Blaise Collins
sound FX from Zapsplat
produced by Buttons & Figs

Buttons & Figs · extra! – Woke – poems about justice with poet Mahogany Browne


#51 – Jabber-Walking with poet Juan Felipe Herrera

“And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came.”
Listen as poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera reads this famous Lewis Carroll line, explaining it is the yeast that made his book, Jabber-Walking, rise. Jabber-Walking (public library) is a way to observe the world, inspiring kids to write poetry. On this episode, Juan shares where his love of poetry came from, how he came up with Jabber-Walking, and how YOU can start Jabber-Walking too. It also features 4th grade student voices from Landmark Elementary School in Glendale, Arizona, who share their Jabber-Writing as they walked through the tulgey wood. Be sure to listen to the full interview with Juan Felipe Herrera and download our free coloring sheet, by artist Ann Pickard, inspired by this episode – both are linked below — now go write and walk and color…Jabber-Walk…Jabber-Write…Jabber-Color!

Enjoy our full conversation with poet Juan Felipe Herrera, author of “Jabber-Walking.” Learn about how Juan learned to love poetry, when he first discovered Lewis Carroll and the poem Jabberwocky and hear GREAT advice for how YOU can write by Jabber-Walking.


Download our free coloring page from artist Ann Pickard, inspired by Jabber-Writing by Fernanda


#48 – Gorey Nonsense! with author Lori Mortensen

On this episode we sail in a sieve to the land of Edward Gorey, with author Lori Mortensen to show us the way. Ms. Mortensen just released a biography of Gorey titled, “Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey.” On this episode you’ll get to hear about Gorey’s life, his style and his love of anagrams! Join Buttons & Figs listeners, including the hosts of Book Power for Kids podcast, as they come up with silly names using the letters of their names, just like Edward Gorey did. You’ll also get to hear how Lori Mortensen does research for her biographies, along with some great advice for how YOU can write a biography too. Now go write!