Poetry Friday: “The Rabbit Band”

January 18, 2013 38 Comments by Renee M. LaTulippe

Hey there, cool cats.

I’ve got some groovin’ bunnies cooling their heels in the green room today, so I hope you’re in the mood for some whisker-twitchin’ jazz. But before they take the stage, I thought I’d start something new by chatting every now and then about what I actually do for a living, which is write and edit, and about how certain poems come about. I can already hear the tsk-tsking and paw thumping in the wings, so I’ll get on with it.

Today’s poem is another selection from the book Lizard Lou, a collection that contains equal parts my poems and classic children’s poems. This book was written as part of a pre-reading program for All About Learning Press, so I thankfully did not have the vocabulary constraints I have with the early readers.

Lizard Lou is laid out with three poems per letter of the alphabet, and each poem contains a keyword. These keywords are used in the poems and referenced in the teacher’s manual, but they are not necessarily the subjects of the poems. The focus letter is also referred to visually on the letter page before each section, as in this illustration for the lowercase “r” section:

By the way, the keyword rake is referenced in the poem “Under the Willow” by Leroy F. Jackson (1881-1958), author of The Peter Patter Book of Nursery Rhymes. If you’re not familiar with his work, go read some! He’s really delightful.

“The Rabbit Band” was one of the last poems I wrote for the book, a last-minute replacement for another “r” poem that wasn’t working out. I remember being pretty tapped out at that point and convinced that the English language didn’t actually contain words that begin with “r”. Sorry, no more words for poems! All out!

As often happens, my brainstorming partner (aka my husband) came to the rescue with “What about rabbits?” “What about them?” I asked dubiously. “What about…a band of…rabbits…that do something…?” he offered. A band of rabbits? Are they marauding rabbits? Are they bandit rabbits? They could be marauding bandit rabbits! But since this book is for pre-school, they turned out to be a rabbit band instead. Words are fun!

And they are even more fun when accompanied by lovely illustrations like this one by artist and writer Donna Goeddaeus. Donna illustrated all 70+ poems in the book and also illustrates many of the early reader stories I write. Sweet, huh?

Jazz bunnies by Donna Goeddaeus. Look at ’em go!

All righty then, I’ve got a seething mass of irritated fur staring me down. So put on your shades, get those jazz hands waggling, and nod along as “The Rabbit Band” tickles the…well, carrots. 

THE RABBIT BAND

Late one night in the lettuce patch,
where scarecrows guard the land,
I heard a snazzy jazzy tune
played by a rabbit band.

One tap-tapped on a carrot,
one munch-munched on a leaf,
one snip-snipped on a turnip root,
one whistled through his teeth.

One chomp-chomped on a shallot,
one thump-thumped with his paws–
and at the end, those bunnies got
a round of loud applause.

[heading style=”1″]Extension Activities: “The Rabbit Band”[/heading]

  • Writing:
    • For this poem, I wondered what rabbits could use as musical instruments (carrots, leaves, their paws, their teeth), how the rabbits would “play” those instruments (chewing, biting, thumping), and what sounds the instruments might make (chomp-chomp, thump-thump, snip-snip). Write your own music poem by choosing an animal or group of animals and brainstorming all the ways those animals could make noise. What items could they find in their natural surroundings? What noises could they make with those items? How would the animals “play” the instruments?
  • Reading: 
  • Creating: 
The lovely bunny Violet Nesdoly is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today. Go play her a tune!

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Video Location: JazzRabbit Station, second left after PawBunny Mills.

See more poems in my poetry video library.
 
“The Rabbit Band” by Renée LaTulippe. Illustrations by Donna Goeddaeus. Licensed by All About Learning Press, Inc. Copyright © 2010, 2012 All About Learning Press, Inc. All rights reserved.  No portion of this material may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated, or otherwise used without the express written approval of All About Learning Press, Inc.

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38 Comments

  1. Catherine Johnson
    5 years ago

    That is delightful, Renee! I’ve been dying to get your poetry book, it’s absolutely next on the list 🙂 And I love M.M. Socks’ poetry :0)

    Reply

  2. Margaret Simon
    5 years ago

    Great rhythm can be heard from the rabbit band! The illustration is adorable, each rabbit seems to have a unique personality. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  3. Iza Trapani
    5 years ago

    I love the rhythm and sounds, Renee! Makes me want to dance the bunny hop 🙂

    Reply

  4. Dana Carey
    5 years ago

    Great post, Renée. It was interesting to read how you got the idea for the poem and the kind of writing you do for your job (some might say I’m nosy but I prefer ‘curious’). And to top it all off, a fun reading of the poem. Thanks!!

    Reply

  5. Janet F.
    5 years ago

    I am buying this book asap, Renee!! Love your poem a lot and also your posting in general with the back story and a chance to “say hello” to you on that sunny country lane. I am going to email you a poem I bet you will like. It has quite the story and was written by a 3rd grade student of mine. I KNOW she will love this post and will email it to her. (She’s now in 8th grade!)

    Reply

  6. Liz Steinglass
    5 years ago

    Super fun!

    Reply

  7. Wendy Greenley
    5 years ago

    The bunnies at my house at the marauding kind. I like yours much better!

    Reply

  8. Matt Forrest Esenwine
    5 years ago

    Fun poem, Renee! You created a nice rhythm with its structure, so the reader can almost hear the music!

    Reply

  9. Katya
    5 years ago

    I’ll trade my ravenous rabbits for your jazzy ones any day!

    Reply

  10. B.J. Lee
    5 years ago

    Loved this playful poem, Renee, and very interesting to hear about your book, Lizard Lou. Thanks for sharing a little of the backstory with us!

    Reply

  11. Penny Klostermann
    5 years ago

    Those bunnies deserved a round of loud applause…and so do you! The Rabbit Band is snappy and happy! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  12. jama
    5 years ago

    This post made me so happy — I LOVE rabbits. Great idea for a poem. Your recitation was absolutely delightful, as always. Also swooning over the letter “r” — be still my alphabetica loving heart . . .

    Reply

  13. Cathy Mealey
    5 years ago

    Didn’t they play the theme song for the movie “When Hare-y Met Sally?”

    Thanks for sharing your funny bunny poem!

    Reply

  14. Tabatha
    5 years ago

    We have a rabbit, and he is about the quietest animal I have ever met. He would make a great ninja. I think he would enjoy this poem about his noisier brethren, though 🙂

    Reply

    • Renee LaTulippe
      5 years ago

      Ninja rabbits! Ninja bandit rabbits! Marauding ninja bandit rabbits! Story wheels turning…

      Reply

  15. Bridget Magee
    5 years ago

    Fabulous poem, Renee! I so wish I could hear the “Rabbit Band” outside our house, but our Rat Terrier, Smidgey, barks all the rabbits away. *Sigh*
    Thanks for sharing your poem with us today. Happy Friday! =)

    Reply

  16. Robyn Hood Black
    5 years ago

    Oh – this is so delightful! Loved hearing about how the Muse nudged you toward this one, too.

    I’m sure kids LOVE acting out this poem – even grown-ups can’t be still with all that rhythm in there. Hey – do those bunnies play hip-hop? (Sorry – couldn’t help it.)

    Reply

    • Renee LaTulippe
      5 years ago

      And…we’ve got another comedian. When will you and Cathy Mealey be taking the act on the road?

      Reply

  17. Tara
    5 years ago

    This poem had me tap tap tapping my feet as I read along. Thanks for sharing all the lesson ideas, too.

    Reply

  18. Violet N.
    5 years ago

    Fabulous! One could look at a book like that and think how fun (and easy?) it would be to put such a book together..not! Behind-the-scenes looks like you gave are always instructive. I loved the poem and your rendition of it was lively and fun.

    Reply

    • Renee LaTulippe
      5 years ago

      I always think books look easy to put together too, until I start putting one together. Working on one now that may just push me over the edge…

      Writing about bunnies is not for sissies!

      Reply

  19. Linda Baie
    5 years ago

    I find it hard to find anyone who doesn’t adore bunnies. This, and the illustration, is just so creative, Renee. I love the story that your husband gave you the idea, but then you turned it into quite a sweet story. Your book Lizard Lou must be terrific. I liked the earlier ones you shared, too.

    Reply

  20. Sylvia Liu
    5 years ago

    This is a great post, Renee. I love learning about the backstory and how you came up with idea. Excellent poem!

    Reply

  21. Erik - This Kid Reviews Books
    5 years ago

    I love the poem! It’s really funny!

    Reply

  22. Ruth
    5 years ago

    How fun! Thank you! I love your performance, as always.

    Reply

  23. Joyce Ray
    5 years ago

    Wonderful rhythm, Renee, and great sounds. I loved reading the background of how the poem came to be.

    Reply

  24. Carmela Martino
    5 years ago

    What a fun poem, Renee! I especially like the line:
    >>one whistled through his teeth<<
    And I love that your husband helped inspire it.

    Reply

  25. Pat Zietlow Miller
    5 years ago

    Great poem!

    Reply

  26. PragmaticMom
    5 years ago

    How fun to have a rabbit band teach kids about poetry! Kids love bunnies!

    Reply

  27. Laura Shovan
    5 years ago

    Hi, Renee! I love all the onomatopoeia in your poem. I grew up on Peter Rabbit, so you had me at “rabbit.” I think Peter and Benjamin Bunny must be members of your rabbit band.

    Reply

  28. Hannah Holt
    5 years ago

    Yay! We love our Lizard Lou book. Or as my four-year-old calls it, “Lizawd Lou.” He’s working on pronouncing his Rs, so we’ve been reading the wabbit poem together.

    Reply

  29. Charles Waters
    5 years ago

    I loved the Rabbit poem and I love No Water River!!!!!

    Reply

  30. Katrina
    5 years ago

    Great post! I love the poem and the extension activities. While I’m not teaching anymore, my sister is. I’ll have to pass this along to her. I think her students would love it!

    Reply

  31. Renee C.
    5 years ago

    That really is a toe-tappin’ poem. I read it aloud to my cats since my kids weren’t around! lol My kids and I also love Zin Zin a Violin! It’s not too late to write about “marauding bandit rabbits” ya know!

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop once again. It’s always so great to see your contribution. Cheers! 🙂

    Reply

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