#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!



extra! extra! – Poetry IS for the Birds!

Buttons & Figs was invited to Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona for their Bring on the Birds event! It was organized by the Maricopa County Audubon Society. Kids attending the event were able to visit a magnificent bald eagle, a menacing turkey vulture and learn about other birds brought to the bookstore by Liberty Wildlife Rescue. Because nature fills us with wonder, poet David Chorlton and Buttons & Figs kids shared their poems at the event…and we were even able to capture a few just for you…here are some nature loving friends who stopped by the bookstore proving that Poetry IS for the Birds…


#43 – Nonsense Play with Calef Brown

On this episode we’re sailing our sieve to the land of Nonsense with Calef Brown’s latest book, “Up Versus Down: Poems, Painting and Serious Nonsense.” Calef’s nonsense verse shook up our minds, inspiring us to gather wacky words and play. Buttons & Figs kids show you how we played with word associations in order to write nonsense verse of our own – we hope you’ll give it a try at home. Calef has great advice if you’d like to write too, be sure to listen to his whole interview. Read all Calef Brown’s books aloud (13 to be exact!) for a super, earlicious treat (not to mention reading 13 books would be a nifty little feat.) www.buttonsandfigs.com

Enjoy our full, fun interview with Calef Brown, author of “Up Verses Down: Poems, Paintings and Serious Nonsense”. Learn about Calef’s process for writing nonsense verse, advice for becoming a writer and hear him read some of his poems from his latest work. Be sure to listen to episode “#43 – Nonsense Play with Calef Brown” to hear the ways we played with nonsense. www.buttonsandfigs.com

Here is the Buttons & Figs kids nonsense verse in process. We played word association games to gather our list of words, then we arranged them to build nonsense verse. Listen to their pieces on Episode #43 – Nonsense Play with Calef Brown.


extra! extra! Improv play

extra! extra! we have a bit of improv play for you today! on this episode, these Buttons & Figs kids share and play two improv games. we hope you’ll play along. be sure to share your way to play at 623-282-4080. we say, play is the way! www.buttonsandfigs.com


extra! extra! – Carnation Celebration! a one-sided phone conversation

They say we have an astronomical, astrological double header here, March 20th, to be clear – a Super Moon and Equinox! One thing is certain on this day, when the tilt is tilted in just the right way, we can hear a telephone conversation, but just one side, of a gentleman with a great deal of pride, who happens to like carnations….Let’s take a listen…..