Community Collection 15: MEMORIES with Deborah Underwood

Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
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Today’s Guest…

is the bestselling author of the beloved The Quiet Book and the Here Comes … Cat series, as well as a musician and Bella the cat’s devoted human. Please welcome delightful author and poet …






Write a poem about a physical object that evokes a memory or feeling.



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Deborah Underwood is the bestselling author of over 40 picture books, chapter books, and nonfiction books, including the Here Comes … Cat series, the cosmic Interstellar Cinderella, and the beloved The Quiet Book

In the author’s words (adapted from her website): I grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. When I was little, I wanted to be an astronomer. Then I wanted to be a singer. Then I wanted to be a writer. Today my jobs are writing and singing. I guess two out of three’s not bad!

After college, I became a street musician. Then I worked in an office typing memos for accountants. When the accountants weren’t looking, I wrote screenplays.

I finally decided to write for kids. At first my stories were pretty awful, but I kept trying. They got better in timebut writing sure is a lot of work! I also started writing nonfiction. When a publisher asks me to write a nonfiction book, I usually don’t know much about the topic. That means I have to learn fast. Now I know about lots of cool things, like smallpox and orangutans and Easter Island and whether or not it’s okay to slurp your noodles in Japan (it is).

When I’m not writing, you might find me singing in a chamber choir, feeding squirrels in the park, or baking vegan cookies. Or possibly acting silly. (Who, me?)

I am a huge fan of independent booksellers! If you’d like to buy my books, please patronize your local indie bookstore. They’ll be happy to special-order anything that’s not in stock. If you need help finding a store, check out

Discover more about the author and her books at

Oh, and that cool cat in the picture above is Bella, Deborah’s roomie. She wanted to write a poem too, so here it is:

Ode to a Horrid Monster

Vacuum cleaner,
shiny blue,
Vacuumers suck
and so do you.

© 2018 by Bella Underwood


Once upon a planetoid,
amid her tools and sprockets,
a girl named Cinderella dreamed
of fixing fancy rockets.

With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue!

“Like Cinder for the picture-book crowd, this futuristic take on Cinderella recasts the heroine as a skilled mechanic, one who studies rocket-ship repair late into the night. With her wide eyes, pink hair, and work goggles, Hunt’s Cinderella looks like she’s stepped out of a contemporary indie webcomic, and her extraterrestrial world hints at mid-century illustration influences. Writing in playful, clever rhymes, Underwood (The Quiet Book) gives this Cinderella welcome agency and independence…It’s another strong showing from Underwood, and a notable debut for Hunt.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Ms. Melba, the kitty school teacher, needs to go to the doctor. Guess who needs to step in to take her place? It’s safe to say the kitties have never seen a teacher like Cat. And Cat learns a thing or two as well in this, the fifth book of the heartwarming Cat series.

“When Ms. Melba has to go to the doctor, the star of Here Comes the Easter Cat and its sequels reluctantly agrees to be a substitute teacher at Kitty School. Underwood and Rueda maintain the droll narration and spare visual humor of the previous books as Cat guides eager kittens through music (electric guitars are involved), building time (a “fountain that spouts fish” is involved), and art (major cleanup is involved). There’s plenty to giggle over on almost every page, but the funniest moment might belong to Ms. Melba, who returns to the classroom with a ‘cone of shame’ around her neck.”(Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Other books in the CAT series: Here Comes the Easter Cat, Here Comes Santa Cat, Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat, Here Comes Valentine Cat.

Arnold is most certainly NOT ready for kindergarten: he’s convinced that his teacher, the affable Mr. Z, is actually the villain Zorgo. Fortunately, Super Saurus is on the case! His escape attempts are thwarted by Zorgo’s henchmen (aka Arnold’s parents), but it’s just as well—Super Saurus realizes he can’t leave a bunch of innocent children in Zorgo’s evil clutches. When a T-Rex (or is it a tiny lizard?) bursts onto the scene, Super Saurus’s super powers will come in handy—and Arnold just might learn that Zorgo makes a good ally.

“…Young’s acrylic-and–colored-pencil illustrations marvelously cut between real and imagined scenes…Imagination as a coping mechanism equals lots of superpowered fun.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)


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“Nectarine” and prompt copyright © by Deborah Underwood.
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Blossoms by Ching, Creative Commons 2.0; Nectarines from Kaboompics via Pexels (no attribution required)