Poetry Friday: “Max Mostly Moves On” by Penny Klostermann

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

And here we are at my last post for 2012. But don’t get out your hankies just yet, because today’s guest is more likely to leave you with smiles than with tears. And besides, to tide you over until I return on or around January 11 to celebrate my one-year blog anniversary, I wrote you this ditty:

So Long for Now

I’m not good with long good-byes,
they makes me sniffle, then I cries.
I s’pose it’s not a big surprise,
that long good-byes are hard.

What happens with the long good-byes,
is that I eats the puddings and pies
and ‘fore you knows, I grows a size
’cause long good-byes are hard.

So I says let’s all compromise,
and shake our hands and give high fives,
since that’s the best way I can tries
to make good-byes less hard.

Now shoulders back and dry those eyes.
I hates to see you down, youse guys!
These weeks — they’ll scamper, how they flies!
So so long I says, with my regards.

OK, that was silly. Moving right along…

If you looked at the graphic above and guessed that today’s poem has something to do with Christmas, a certain Grinch, and his dog, you would be correct. Well done, you! And what makes this even better is that the poem is written by one of the nicest, most ungrinchy people you’ll ever want to meet. In fact, I met her through the Perfect Picture Book Friday group hosted by Susanna Hill (other nicest person), and I swear I got a toothache the first time I went to her blog. She’s that sweet!

I’m so pleased to welcome this friend and fellow poet, and I know you’ll be nice to her! It’s…

Penny Klostermann

Now hop on the sleigh and enjoy the ride Penny is taking us on. Then after the video, sled on down to the interview for a couple of holiday giggles! 


Not too far back I was known far and wide
as the pooch who helped Grinch take his sleigh for a ride.

Yep…I’m Max, the dog—but I have moved on
to a place in the world where I feel I belong.

I now live in Maxville. It’s named after me.
I’m married with kiddos—Kid One, Two, and Three.

My wife’s name is Margie, and this is quite weird—
but Margie’s a goat with a beautiful beard.

That’s why I picked her—well that, and her eyes.
And why she picked me, I will never surmise.

Our kiddos are dog-goats. It sounds like it’s spelled.
They have Margie’s beard and they’re all three dog-tailed.

Of course, they’re delightful—our pride and our joy.
The first two are girls and the last is a boy.

The girls stay quite busy just mowing the yard.
The boy is a barker, who likes to stand guard.

We’d love you to visit. We’re right on the map—
a mile south of Bleatstown and just north of Yap.

But don’t come at Christmas, my time’s in a pinch…
I still go to Whoville to help Mr. Grinch.

[heading style=”1″]SNICKERVIEW™ with PENNY KLOSTERMANN[/heading]

What’s up with Penny

Penny: who are you, where are you, and how long have you been a Rhyming Fool Who?
I am a writer and I live in West Texas with my husband, y’all! As for the rhyming fool part…

I’ve always rhymed to some degree.
It’s what I like to do, you see.
In fact, when people talk to me
My thoughts go on a rhyming spree.
When they say “hi”
I’m thinking “pie.”
When they say “wait”
I’m thinking “plate.”

See…a rhyming fool! And, sorry…back to the question. I really have rhymed to some degree since I was a wee Who. I got pretty serious about it in the fall of 2010. I had retired from teaching and was driving around West Texas selling books to school and public libraries. I drove miles and miles…and had lots of time to think. I began recording ideas and parts of stories using headphones and an app on my iPhone. When I put them down on paper as stories and poems, I caught the writing bug and have been hard at writing ever since.

Can you share an early poem? A whirly, girlie early poem? One you wrote as a wee lass? One as fresh as Whoville grass?
Although I don’t have an early poem, I do have evidence of me claiming picture books in my “own” way. Below are four childhood books. As you can see, I either marked through the original owners’ names (my younger sisters) or erased them completely and wrote mine in!

I have a little Grinch in me
As proven by my history.
Instead of snatching stars from trees
Stockings, lights and pretty wreaths,
I crossed out names and wrote in mine
In every book that I could find.
But like the Grinch, I changed my ways—
And left behind my klepto days.


The books in the pictures are real live books snatched from my sisters. No fictional names are used! Actually, I still have the books and my sisters still speak to me. They love me…and they know how much I love books!

Like me, you’re a fairly new Who in the kidlit worlderoohoo. When and how did you begin to spin the tales that make kids grin? Would you, could you, tell me how? Would you, could you, tell me now?
I would. I could. I think I should…tell you how…I’ll tell you now. Even though I am a new Who in the kidlit world, I have always been drawn to picture books. I’m especially drawn to the ones that make kids grin. I think humor is something that children must have in their lives. There are so many tragic and sad things in this old world that we have to give them times to laugh. I have a strong desire to do my part to get stories out that can elicit at least a grin…and, hopefully, a big belly laugh.

Are the thinks you have thunk and the writes you have writ mostly poetic? What are you working on now?
A chunk of what I’ve thunk is poetic. But you must knows I’ve thunk some prose. Currently, I am revising several manuscripts for picture books—two of them are rhyming manuscripts, and the rest are prose. They all tend to the humorous. I also have a number of poems that I am polishing to submit to children’s magazines.

Oh, the places you must go when not in Bleatstown or Yap. Has your sleigh slid onto the road to publication?
I’m not published yet, but I do have an editor considering a picture book manuscript, which is exciting, and I have another picture book manuscript out on submission. I’m also a member of a fabulous picture book critique group called The Picture Bookies, and a fabulous poetry critique group called The Poets’ Garage. Oh, and I’m the 2012 runner-up for the SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant! (I’m impressed, I admit it! Good for you, way to go!)

No one is youer than you, that is true — but if you could be a different Who for a day, who would you be and what would you say?
Well…as I told you before, I tried out the Grinch for more than a day. That worked out okay! But if I could choose now? The mouse in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And I would say to Mr. Grinch, “Give me back my crumb, you bum!”

You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. When you have free time, what fun do you choose?
Well, as you know, Renée, writers really don’t have free time. There’s always one more story or poem or word to write. But with these brains in my head, I tend to tread the halls of the school where I taught for twenty-four years. I still enjoy the classroom, so I am a substitute teacher. With these feet in my shoes, I choose exercising…especially walking outdoors. It is a rare day that I don’t exercise. My sport of choice is tennis, which I play once a week. Also, I do love getting away with my husband to visit my son, other family members, or just to travel anywhere.

Quick: a rhyming couplet using the word “antlers.”
Oh, of course. That will be easy…because “antlers” rhymes with so many words 😉  Okay, in honor of Max and Dr. Seuss’s made-up words:

After discussion and deep dog-goat bantler,
Max placed his antlers on his fireplace mantler.

Clever lady! 

Can we visit you in Maxville to see what you do? What writes you are writing, what thinks come from you? If you let us In from our place here in Out, our hearts will grow three sizes, no doubt!

I’d love for your hearts to come In from the Out
And, thank you, Renée, for having no doubt.

Here’s where you can find me:

Blog: a penny and her jots
Twitter: @pklostermann
Pinterest: Penny Klostermann

P.S. Since you seem to have inside info on fictional characters…where’s Waldo?
Oh no! No trick questions! If I told you where Waldo is, it would ruin everything. Let’s just say he’s on some corner…of some page…of some book…on some shelf…in some library…in some town… in some country…on some continent…on some planet. That’s as specific as I’m getting!

Thanks for stopping by, Penny, and for adding “Max Mostly Moves On” to No Water River’s growing video poetry library!


[heading style=”1″]Extension Activities for “Max Mostly Moves On”[/heading]

Little Heidi Who is hosting Poetry Friday today over at My Juicy Little Universe. Strap on your jing-tinglers and give her a ring-a-ding-ding!

[heading style=”1″]SEE YOU IN JANUARY![/heading]


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Video Location: Just north of Yap, Texas, of course.

See more poems in my poetry video library.

“Max Mostly Moves On” © Penny Klostermann. All rights reserved.

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  1. Anything Penny touches turns to poetic magic. The girl has such a great ear from rhyme! And I know this because I have the pleasure of critiquing both her picture books and her poems as we are in two critique groups together–not that her rhyme needs much help. I love reading her writing, and this was no exception! She always comes up with something original, clever and funny! Loved it!

  2. Fantastic poem (Renee AND Penny!), and fantastic interview from two of my very most favoritest people! You guys are so funny 🙂 Although the entire thing was terrific, I think my favorite part is Penny’s picture book reign of terror! Hahaha 🙂 Thank you both for a wonderful post.

    1. Thanks, Tina! I’m glad you had fun!

      I wish, I wish—more than a bit
      That someone will publish a write that I writ!
      (He! He! Maybe my Reign of Terror isn’t over…I just stole some of Renée’s words!)

  3. That was wonderful Penny, you’re so talented. Congrats on being runner up for the SCBWI BK Grant – wow & good luck!

    p.s. I loved that you shared your much loved childhood books with us.

    1. Thank you, Catherine. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I think the rhyming part of my head
      Departed me and went to bed!
      I want to be clever.
      I want to be glib.
      But my brain is on hold
      and I just can’t ad-lib!
      Well…I can, but it makes no sense.
      Like nails on a chalkboard, it makes folks wince.
      etc…. etc…

      Ok, that’ll do.
      I’m through!

  4. You ladies are poetic badasses! I loved the Q&A and poems.

    Renée, you have created an amazing blog this year, which I know will grow from strength to strength in 2013.

    Penny, I think you’re going to leave your mark in the kidlit world as boldly as on those early picture books!

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Joanna,
      I hooted out loud when I read your comment!!!

      One thing I thought that I never would do
      Is get a colorful bicep tattoo…
      But now, Ms. Joanna, my thanks to you
      Specifically your Poetic B*#**@% review
      I may reconsider the bicep tattoo.
      PB would look great…don’t you think so, too?

  5. This interview post was the bestest, most funnest in the wide world. Renee, I love how you creatively present your questions. What theater! Penny, you’re an amazing guest! I’ve enjoyed reading your work ever since our fun time with Rena’s poetry fun last April. I instantly fell in love with your style and your humor. Oh ladies, the last part of this interview is my favorite. Great job Renee and Penny!

    1. Thank you all for stopping by to say hi to Penny. Isn’t she great? I’m so very pleased that I finally got her to come on NWR – no pressure was applied or anything! 🙂

      And I’m looking forward to more wonderful poetry and poets and videos and more in 2013. Thank for coming to NWR – your visits and wonderful comments keep me keeping on.

      Happy holidays!!

      1. Renée,

        Thank you so much for having me! This was a blast. I am proud to be a part of the NWR Poetry Video Library.

        So Long For Now is written with your usual super skill and, as always, your humor connects with my funny bone in a way that keeps me laughing throughrepeated reads of your work.!

        Happy Holidays to you, too 🙂

  6. So this is what happens when Renee and Penny get together….and
    the thinks in my brain, flying planes, would agree, it’s high time for take-off in a duetted PB !

  7. Fun poem Penny and congrats again on being the runner of for the Karlin grant this year. Me thinks, you’ll move mountains in 2013 (98 and 3/4% guaranteed). And I love your send off poem, Renee. Sniff. See you next year.

  8. Congrats on all your great accomplishments this year, Penny. I love reading your blogposts on Fridays (they come right into my inbox so lazy me doesn’t have to lift a finger to get to them). This poem video is a blast. It’s fun to put a voice to the person–and I especially love that West Texas accent that gives 2 syllables to the word POEM. I think it’s better that way; an important word deserves 2 syllables! My Northeastern POME pales in comparison. :p
    Happy Holidays to you and yours!
    Hey Renée– Happy Happy to you too!

  9. Oh my gosh, your voice sounds exactly the way I imagined it would, Penny! Love the poem, too. We were watching the Grinch the other night and wondering about poor old Max, now I have an answer! Good luck with your manuscripts that are out for consideration, I hope they find an editor that loves them.

    1. Heather,
      I’m glad that I’ve cleared up the mystery of Max.
      I had a good source for confirming the facts.
      Post-Grinchy visions filled my post-Whoville brain
      Like a psychic awakening—the facts were made plain.
      So I wrote and the page filled with poetic words
      That flew and then landed like Biffer-Baum Birds!
      That’s how it happened. Yep, those are the facts
      That cleared up the mystery of post-Whoville, Max!

  10. Such a cute poem, Penny! You are most definitely a rhyming fool – and an expert one at that!

    I loved hearing your Texas twang 🙂

  11. I’m ever so sorry; I tell you I am.
    I left out your link in my hurry to cram
    Way too much into one single dark day.
    Forgive me please, Penny; forgive me, Renee.

    Your poem is witty, it’s silly, it’s fun!
    Your interview shows you’re a gal on the run.
    Congrats on your SCBWI award–what a thrill!
    I just know you’ll get published, I know it, you will!

    Thanks for sharing in this Solstice edition of Poetry Friday!

  12. Where do I begin? You two are just too funny–and you perhaps have been tippling a few sips of the Whoville wine?

    Renee, love your goodbye poem, although because I saw The Hobbit yesterday, I kept hearing Gollum hiss the words!

    Penny, I loved seeing Max in his post-Grinch life! Yay! And your klepto poem and pictures of your books are priceless. I think every book lover feels a bit of rage to see someone else’s name (the nerve) written in their books.

    Thanks for all the fun and rhymes!

  13. I love the idea that Max has a whole life separate from his role in the Grinch. Great poem, Penny! It’s nice hearing your voice read it, too.

    Renee, no goodbyes, only until-next-time.

  14. This was a totally stupendously unforgettably spectaculous amazement of poems and snickerview. LOVED it. them. you know what I mean.

    Thank you both — I’m so grateful that we’ve all got to know each other over the past year. Here’s to a spectaculous new year! (I just made that word up, and I rawther like it!)

  15. What a stupendous interview! Thanks, Penny and Renee. Penny, you’re a real whoot! So glad to hear that Max has moved on to Maxville. And wow, you are such a natural in front of the camera!

  16. Hi, Penny, your writing is hilarious! You’ve even made Dr. Seuss laugh. I, too, wish, more than a bit, that you will be published and a success in Kidlit. So, hang up your stocking for santa to fill. An Editor will call you, I know that h/she will! Your bookshelf is growing, the one in your head. A published writer you already are, and in kidlit you’re well read.
    Yes, it’s wonderful that Max still helps Mr. Grinch, now that his heart has grown bigger than a pinch. But, I’d like to see Max, and his family ride in the sleigh. Let Mr. Grinch from his mountain pull them and his family away.

    And Renee, I enjoyed your little ditty “So long for now,” Oh, what a pity! But keep eating those puddings and pies. It’s your heart that grows bigger instead of your size!

  17. What a wonderful post, Penny and Renee….and how fun to read through the comments. So many great rhymers out there! Glad to have gotten to know both of you a little bit, and looking forward to reading more of your posts…and your poems!…in the new year 🙂

  18. So very clever, Penny! And fun to see you reading it in your back yard. Thanks, Renee, for another great interview and, as always I love your extension activities!

  19. So late to this soiree, but happy to see
    it’s still here with delights, though the host’s absentee

    Penny, you’re shiny – and Renée, you’re a hoot.
    New Year wishes to both, with contracts to boot.

    *{{Thanks for sharing!!!}}*

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