Activity Book Nonsense – New Album and Interview with comedy musician Mike Phirman

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)!


New episode featuring Mike Phirman and a song from his new album

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!

Olivia’s Wild Word Search
Sophia’s Word Search

Great kids podcast created by Drennon Davis & Mike Phirman

Thanks for this episodes go out to Buttons & Figs kids Olivia, Sophia and friends, Beth Blenz-Clucas at Sugar Mountain PR, UofA Librarian Intern Anna Ferguson and comedy musician Mike Phirman.

Word Search/Vacuum and song excerpts from the Activity Books album used with permission from the artist.

Sound FX from Zapsplat


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.


#52 – The Nonsense Show at Velma Teague Library

For this episode kids at the Velma Teague Library in Glendale, Arizona wrote and recorded nonsense poems inspired by Eric Carle’s “The Nonsense Show” (public library/indie bookstore). Be warned, this book of nonsense brings forth all sorts of, well, how shall I say, Nonsense! You’ll also hear great nonsense book recommends, and a public service announcement about staying hydrated. What? You say poppycock, fiddle-faddle, surreal cereal?! You’re welcome.

The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle

All nonsense on this episode was written by kids taking part in Buttons & Figs creative wordplay workshops at Velma Teague Library in the Spring of 2020, yup, in the time before. These voices are a nice reminder that we’ll gather again. Stay safe, sane, hydrated, and wear a mask.

Poems by Buttons & Figs kids
Music by Pamela Rogers
SFX by Zapsplat


www – Add A Rhyme

On this episode of Wacky Wordplay Wednesday we’re going to play with RHYMES! Who doesn’t like to have a good time with a mighty good rhyme?!
In this game you’ll be listening to our rhyming verse so you can Add A Rhyme when I say it’s time! Your challenge…ADD A RHYME. (Wacky, quacky, badacky rhymes get extra points, said I) Get ready to play – ADD A RHYME!


written by pamela rogers
audio produced by blaise collins
SFX from Zapsplat


#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