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:

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