Poetry Monday: “Grins and Giggles” by Iza Trapani + Picture Book Giveaway

Bubbles by Iza Trapani
Bubbles! ~ illustration by Iza Trapani

UPDATE 3/3/2012: The winner of the book giveaway is TINA M CHO! Congrats, Tina! An email is coming your way…

So much to do, so much to see
No time for silly stories of me.
A poem, a poet, a giveaway
await you in my post today.

Iza Trapani shall be our guest,
an author, artist, and master of jest.
Her “Grins and Giggles” will make you snort —
I tell you now, she’s a clever sort!

So quiet down, don’t flap your jaws…
and let’s give Iza a round of guffaws!

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Grins and Giggles

I sensed a case of grins and giggles
starting to appear,
Beginning with that silly smile
that stretched from ear to ear
Then grew and grew so wide that it
could span a hemisphere.
I knew this case of grins and giggles
would be quite severe.

I felt a tiny tickle in my belly
start to sprout
And there it squirmed and jiggled
and it jostled all about.
The pressure built inside me —
a volcano ripe to spout.
A record-breaking chuckle
was just waiting to come out.

My ears were twitching wildly now;
my face was cherry red.
I thought my cheeks would puff up
like a loaf of rising bread.
I feared my eyes would surely pop
and fly right off my head.
I fought the urge to burst, but I was
hanging by a thread.

It was a world class laughing fit —
by far my personal best,
A riotous, hilarious
grins and giggles fest.
I thought that it was brilliant,
but my teacher’s not impressed.
It’s not my fault it happened
in the middle of a test.

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Laughing on a star
Giggling on a star ~ illustration by Iza Trapani

[heading style=”1″]Guest Poet Snickerview™ ~ Iza Trapani[/heading]

What’s Up with Iza

Iza, who are you, where are you, and how long have you been giggling like a schoolgirl?
I am lucky to be a children’s book author and illustrator, living in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York State, and giggling away the hours, as I have done since I can remember.

Author/Illustrator Iza Trapani

‘Fess up — is “Grins and Giggles” an autobiographical poem?
While I can’t recall one single incident, I am sure I have had many giggle gaffes in my time. “Appropriate” is not a word that comes to mind when I get that tickle in my belly. I do remember holding back chuckles in class.

Anyone who watches that video can tell you are clearly a rabble rouser. How much time did you spend in the corner and/or detention as a schoolgirl? And now?
Now, what gave you that idea? I do have a mischievous streak, but I was always a well-behaved school girl. (Uh-huh.) Well, most of the time. Okay, sometimes. And now? Almost never!

Making poetry videos is a laugh riot, isn’t it? What did you love most about the experience?
Oh, it was a laugh riot, all right! Do you have any idea how many takes I had? We live on a 112-acre farm. You’d think recording a two-minute video would be a piece of cake. But no! I had interruptions from low-flying helicopters, cackling crows, braying donkeys, honking geese, howling dogs, gusting wind…not to mention my own slip-ups, like when I said the wrong words, when something blew in my eye causing a tear to dribble down my cheek, when my mouth frothed and I almost spit up…

Egads! I never thought there’d be frothing at the mouth when I asked poets to do videos! I was going to ask if you had any video bloopers, but I guess the answer is yes. So the big question is, will you contribute them to my blooper reel so we can all laugh at commiserate with you?
Sure! But be warned that most of my bloopers need bleeping. (She ain’t kidding!) Those interruptions and slip-ups might have resulted in a few choice words not suitable for a G-rated blog. 🙂

I knew you were trouble! What do you do when you’re not disturbing the peace with your incessant snickering?
Ha! I write, draw pictures, dream up ideas, read, spend time social networking, play endless games of Facebook scrabble, go for walks with my mastiff, Jambo, and sometimes my husband, Rob, beat my head against the wall when my PhD physicist stepson, Gabe, tries to explain fractals to me, take Pilates classes, take voice lessons and sing harmony with my friend Sarah, play piano, cook, garden, ski, sail, kayak…I’ll rest when I die! 🙂

Excellent! I’ll be right over to sing show tunes around the piano.

Is your opus focused mainly on eyeball-flying, belly-tickling, jiggle-squirmy giggle poetry, or do you do other stuff, too?
“Grins and Giggles” is from my on-going collection of poems for children. Most are funny; many are tongue twisters. My main focus is on writing and illustrating children’s books, most of which are extended nursery rhymes such as The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and my upcoming April release, The Bear Went over the Mountain.

Can we come visit you and peruse your wares? (Online, of course, not at your house. You clearly have no self-control, and we don’t want to take any chances.)
Oh, you are a funny woman! I would love visitors! Everyone can find me at the following sites:

Website: www.izatrapani.com
Blog: http://izatrapani.com/blog
Facebook Page: Iza Trapani Author/illustrator
Twitter: @IzaTrapani

Thanks for stopping by, Iza, and for adding “Grins and Giggles” to No Water River’s growing video poetry library!
Thank you, Renée. It has been such fun working on this project and getting to know you. Your site is wonderful — and so are you!

Your flattery will never change my opinion about you, you sly gal!  

Did you like this poem by Iza?
There’s no doubt that it’s a pleeza!
It could turn a grumpy geeza
to a grinning, giggling wheeza!

Now bring on the free stuff!

[heading style=”1″]Picture Book Giveaway![/heading]

Shockingly, Iza was too modest to tell you this, but she has published twenty-two books (twenty-two!) — that’s right, one for every year of my life!

(You know, it’s rude to smirk.) 

This is an easy one, folks! If you’d like a chance to win one of Iza Trapani’s darling extended nursery rhyme books, just leave a comment on this post telling us what makes you laugh, like the word “pickles” or whiskers on kittens. I don’t own a hat, so all your names will go in one of the diamond-encrusted golden chalices I have lying around (or a shoe), and the winner may choose one of the books pictured below.

Iza Trapani Giveaway
Winner's choice!

Of course, if you’d like to tweet or share this post or subscribe or send me chocolate, that would be lovely, but not necessary to win. See you in the comments!

The winner will be announced on this same post on Friday.

(And keep an eye out for Iza’s April release, The Bear Went over the Mountain. OK, I’m done now.)


Video Location: A hundred wild acres where Iza hangs from trees, Hudson Valley, New York.

See more poems in my poetry video library.
“Grins and Giggles” copyright © 2012 Iza Trapani

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  1. You both got me! I laughed and even smirked (sorry, Renée–I’m 22 too).
    It was fun getting to know a little more about Iza. Her book, THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER was sent to us here in France when my daughter was a baby. It was fun to be able to share a song I sang in kindergarten with her. (She went to French school so wouldn’t hear it there.) I was thrilled to find Iza on twitter all these years later. It was fantastic to hear her recite a poem. I love this feature on your blog, Renée. Mondays are so much better now! 🙂

  2. Snigger, guffaw, screech 🙂 You guys gave ma lot of fun this morning. I so like the fact you do in video form. I have yet to ever produce a video… do you use a normal digital camera?

    I sooooo want to win, but I know, it can’t me fixed..; so Ill just cross my fingers.

  3. Well actually, funny videos are lately making me laugh, like this one on your post. How different things are since just a few years ago, when you were in your teens, I suppose, that we didn’t have YouTube! These books are just delicious looking, just right for a couple of granddaughters I know! Thanks for a fun-filled chuckle of a post!

    1. HA! When I was in my teens…yes, it was hard without YouTube, not sure how I survived…

      I always know when a teacher comments, because they always follow directions! Thanks for telling us what makes you laugh! The books are yummy, indeed, aren’t they? I’ve had my eye on Twinkle Twinkle as I just love those illustrations.

  4. I loved your poem, Iza! You did an outstanding job with the video too! 🙂 What fun you are!

    I have to say that we are proud owners of your “I’m a Little Teapot,” book. My boys like me to sing it to them as they bob up and down doing their teapot movements. We have enjoyed that book very much! 🙂

  5. Twenty-two books…oh me, oh my
    Hearing that just makes me fly
    To practice more of writing craft
    And type another PB draft.

    Renee, thank you so much for starting my Monday in such an uplifting way. It is definitely good to laugh. 🙂

    Iza…I love your lilting poetry..and, more importantly, I think kids will love it too!

    Oh, and by the way Renee, if I knew where to send it, the chocolate would be on its way. 🙂

    Would love to win one of these awesome books for my three year old grandson. 🙂

  6. What makes me laugh, guffaw and snort?

    A video poem of any sort!

    I have a favorite book by far,

    It’s “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

    My girl once said, “I have to think

    That stars are giggling when they blink.”

    So listen well if kids are near.

    They tell the truths you want to hear!

    Thank you Iza. Thanks Renee. Your lovely post has made my day!

  7. Yay Iza! I can’t wait to see those non-G rated bloopers! 🙂 Your interview with Renee cracked me! Renee….have you considered stand up comedy? Thanks so much for sharing! Please enter my name in one of your diamond encrusted golden chalices, or running shoe, as I would LOvE to have one of Iza’s lovely books! You guys are great! Have a wonderful day!

  8. The poem is funny! The ending was VERY funny 🙂
    Yes, we need kid appropriate bloopers! 🙂 Your illustrations are awesome too! I really like the poets you have on your blog Ms. LaTulippe! I’m going to check out Ms. Trapani’s blog!

    1. Thanks, Erik — I’ve got more poets coming that I think you’ll like too. And I told them all to keep their bloopers kid-appropriate. I’ll just have to bleep Iza’s — I told you all she was a trouble maker! 🙂

  9. I so love Iza’s work, so what a treat to hear her recite her own poetry. Unfortunately, I have not been able to wipe the smile from my face!

    This is such a great series Renee. You should really promote it for Poetry Month in April.

  10. I cannot wait to show this video to my son in the morning. We read “Shoo fly” before bed tonight. Iza is our favorite!
    What makes me giggle? The way my son says sausage.

  11. Love this post and the video! Iza is one of my favorite people 🙂 Great job with the video – Renee asked me and i couldn’t pull it off, so I am awed my your mastery of technology and the fact that you can recite a poem without cursing, stumbling, or looking insane because you’re not quite looking at the camera properly! Well done! And very entertaining interview! 🙂

    1. Oh I wouldn’t go that far! I recorded it on my iphone ( one click does the trick). And as for no cursing, stumbling or looking insane–. well, you’ll just have to see one of the many bloopers that need bleeping!

  12. I laughed my head off at this interview. I so love your warmth and energy Renee and Iza is such a honey to play along. Your blog is a one in a millon with your Monday video…. such a joy to visit…. and what on earth took me so long to get here today… tut..tut! Thankyou for the laughs ..ladies!

    1. What a beautiful comment, Diane — thank you so much! Words like that make the hours of prep feel even more worthwhile. Iza is a VERY good sport, indeed, and her joie de vivre just shines right through!

  13. Love, love, love this! I always feel like laughing at all the most inappropriate times (like during prayer or in the middle of class). I can definitely relate to your giggler here. But the thing that makes me want to laugh the most is this… Hearing other people, especially children, with the chuckles!

  14. I pubbed a children’s picture book a wee short time ago,
    and search the blogging universe to learn what I should know.

    So happy to have stopped here; I’m smiling ear to ear.
    To land in a zone of poetry is hard to find- that’s clear.

    I’m happy that I found you, and follow you I will.
    I’d love for you to review my book, now that would be a thrill!

  15. This was my weekly library day…and guess what I brought home? Yes…you guessed! Iza Trapani books. The video is a wonderful addition to Renee’s video library. Absolutely grinned ear to ear while listening. This happened so many times to me while teaching school…the kids getting a case of the giggles. It is so contagious that I would get the giggles, too. So, we just stopped and giggled all together. Your poem captured it perfectly.
    And, if you two get together to sing show tunes…I wanna come!

    1. Yay! Penny, how nice. Oh that would be trouble – giggling along with the students- but I bet they loved you! I’ll sing show tunes with Renee anytime and would love to have you join us 😉

  16. I can honestly say I’ve experienced “a world class laughing fit” and it wasn’t pretty. On our first Valentine’s date, my boyfriend (now my husband) took me to a mexican restaurant. Some students from Wartburg college walked by wearing jackets with logos and my husband made some funny side remark (not insulting, only a observation with much respect for Wartburg). Since “wart” is obviously such a funny word I started giggling, choked on a tortilla chip and threw up, indeed a “volcano ripe to spout.” Giggles can get you into all sorts of trouble.

    1. Oh my! That was quite a romantic date, Janelle! Sounds like you have yourself a great guy. Isn’t it funny how certain words can set us off? Thanks for sharing your funny story.

  17. I love the thought of my cheeks “puffing up like a loaf of bread!” Great images came to mind while reading this poem. I taught 8th grade at one time and have two small children…all kids laugh; all adults laugh and often it’s at inappropriate times or inappropriate things….to be able to lighten the mood is such a blessing 🙂

  18. Thanks for sharing Iza with us. Love the giggley poems and her illustrations are wonderful.
    I get the giggles a lot – but for some reason the word “slacks” just makes me laugh 🙂

  19. A couple of weekends ago I was in the mountains with my parents. We were looking for birds and trying to identify them. My dad identified one bird (jokingly) as the “Blue-throated Cheese Cracker.” For some reason, this sent me off into a fit of giggles. For the rest of the weekend, I would mention the “Blue-throated Cheese Cracker” and the giggles would start all over again. I am 41 years old and obviously haven’t grown up yet. I have no idea why it was so hilarious.

    Iza – love your stories! As do the preschoolers I read with!

  20. I am so glad to find your site. I love the poem “Giggles and Grins.” Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. What makes me laugh? My friend Debbie. Whenever we are out together she does the most outrageous things during every day experiences.

  21. My dog never fails to make me laugh. She’s a quirky sort. She likes to hold hands, shows affection by nuzzling feet, and knows the specific names of several types of cheese.

  22. How did I miss this on Monday? (bad blog reader!) This interview and the poems were a perfect way to start my Saturday morning. Coffee and giggles. Thank you Renee and Iza!

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