George Washington Carver

I recently discovered an extremely talented illustrator named Julie Rowan-Zoch and instantly became a fan. Through chatting with her, I learned that we both think George Washington Carver was one of the coolest people to ever walk the earth. We decided to both do posts today honoring him. I think if you check out her blog, you will love what you see and read.

You can visit her site here: http://julierowanzoch.wordpress.com

I must admit I had a lot of difficulty writing a poem about George Washington Carver, even though he is a hero of mine. My poems are usually silly and always made-up. Mr. Carver was neither of those things. He was a brilliant man with many talents who accomplished amazing things. He had a gift with plants and became a professor of agriculture. He invented all kinds of products out of plants, especially from peanuts. He used plants to make hundreds of things from ink and milk to plastic and shaving cream. He also taught farmers how to grow better crops which helped the economy significantly. If you have time and you haven’t already, you should definitely read about George Washington Carver. He was a fascinating person.

Today, I have two poems for you: one silly poem about a kid who invents something from other things…kind of like George Washington Carver, but also very not like him, and a simple poem about my hero. I hope you like them! (And don’t forget to visit Julie’s blog!)

 

THE BIKE

Although I may not have a dime,

I’m cunning and I’m smart.

I built myself a bike from scratch,

A two-wheeled work of art.

Mother Streusel

The handlebars from mixer prongs,

The seat, a kitchen chair,

The wheels are from Dad’s set of drums.

I don’t think that he’ll care.

Mother Streusel

My sister’s necklace is the chain,

The gears are from a clock.

The horn is my pet parrot Pete.

That bird can really squawk!

Mother Streusel

Although my new bike is quite large,

I made sure it’s not slower

By giving it a motor that

I stole from Dad’s old mower.

Mother Streusel

I ride with pride upon my bike

It’s fast, it’s sleek, it’s rare

The finest bike in all the land

A bike beyond compare

Mother Streusel

And now, please allow me to present my very humble ode to the great George Washington Carver:

Mother Streusel

I love George Washington Carver

I don’t think you understand

How truly remarkable

And amazing was this man

Mother Streusel

Although he faced racism

In our post-Civil War nation

He overcame the odds

And earned an education

Mother Streusel

Armed with his love of plants

And hard-won master’s degree

He helped Booker T. Washington

Start a university

Mother Streusel

From plants like the peanut

Came his hundreds of inventions

Like shaving cream and buttermilk

He had the president’s’ attention

Mother Streusel

He helped so many people

He never stopped creating

His life was truly meaningful

And truly fascinating

Thank you so much for visiting today!!! If you weren’t already, I hope you become as big of a fan of George Washington Carver as I am. Don’t forget to stop by Julie Rowan-Zoch’s page to see what awesomeness she has cooked up! See you soon!

– Mother Streusel

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The Robot

Mother Streusel

This summer I’m building a robot,

A robot that looks just like me.

He’ll do all my chores and my homework.

Soon all of my time will be free.

Mother Streusel

I’ve told everybody about it.

They’ll see what a genius I am

When he attends all of my classes,

While I stay at home eating jam.

Mother Streusel

I’ve tinkered each day in my bedroom.

I shut the blinds and locked the door.

The summer has flown by like lightning.

There’s only a week or two more.

Mother Streusel

It seems now I have a dilemma

With my life-sized robotic man:

Although he does carry my likeness,

He can’t do the things that I’ve planned!

Mother Streusel

School is beginning tomorrow.

It seems all my great plans fell through.

I can’t let them think I’m a failure.

There’s only one thing I can do:

     Mother Streusel

I’ll walk and talk like a robot

While he’s at home behind closed doors,

He’ll lay in bed just like I would

And I’ll go to class and do chores.

© 2014 Karyn Linnell

Mother Streusel Will Be Battling In A Poetry Competition AND She Has Written A Book!!!!

Mother Streusel

Guess what? I, Karyn Linnell, AKA Mother Streusel, will be competing in a highly prestigious children’s poetry competition in just a few days! It is the 2014 March Madness Poetry competition where amazing poets, or “Authletes,” from all over the world are pitted against each other until only one poet remains! There are only 64 spots in the competition, and only half the poets make it past the first round. Most of the “Authletes” competing are well-known poets who have published books of poetry. Let’s just say this is going to be tough! This is about as intense as it gets in the world of children’s poetry. You will probably be hearing many pleas for votes from me, because I want to win!!! You can follow the competition here at www.thinkkidthink.com. The competition starts on St. Patricks Day, and you can begin voting for my poem on March 19th!

Mother Streusel

Mother Streusel

Also, every “Authlete” will be donating a book of poetry, and all of those books will be won by one lucky classroom. I decided to create a book of Mother Streusel’s Useless Rhymes called Ugh! Ink Is Getting Everywhere to donate. It has 40 poems, and about a dozen of them have never been published on this blog…and they never will be! Bwa ha ha! Wish you had a book of Mother Streusel’s Useless Rhymes, too? You can get Ugh! Ink Is Getting Everywhere here in either paperback or hardcover. If you would like signed copy, please email me at karyn@motherstreusel.com to pre-order. I will be placing a bulk order when I have 25 people who want signed copies.

Mother Streusel

This is the front of the book…

...and this is the back of the book!

…and this is the back of the book!

I am very excited about this competition, and I hope that you will vote for me (unless you like my competitor’s poem better.) It’s a really fun and exciting event, so be sure to follow along at http://www.thinkkidthink.com. I and all the other “Authletes” really appreciate your participation! It’s what makes March Madness Poetry so much fun.

Aunt Mabel

        Mother Streusel

Whenever we have dinner

At the home of my Aunt Mabel,

I must be extra careful

And polite while at the table.

Mother Streusel

Aunt Mabel is quite sensitive

To any sign of crudeness,

And I never can predict what words

Offend her with their rudeness.

Mother Streusel

She asks me what I’m learning

And expects me to reply.

I try to answer safely,

But things often go awry.

Mother Streusel

One year it was the alphabet.

What problems could there be?

Aunt Mabel lost her temper

When I said the letter P.

Mother Streusel

Aunt Mabel started choking

Upon a piece of onion

When I said my class had read

The tall tale of Paul Bunyan.

Mother Streusel

One year we got into a fight.

She said that I began it,

Because I said uranus

While listing off each planet.

Mother Streusel

You doubt she is that sensitive?

I promise you that it’s true.

Last year she nearly sent me home

When I said the word shampoo.

Mother Streusel

Mother Streusel

© 2014 Karyn Linnell

The Perfect Day

       Mother Streusel

I’ll daydream for a moment

And imagine something fine

The most heavenly day ever

A day perfectly mine

Mother Streusel

I’ll wake up at a sleepover

To sunshine and birdsong

Probably in Florida

‘Cause that’s where I belong

Mother Streusel

I’ll wear my purple dress

Then get something to eat

Perhaps a piece of pizza

Or anything that’s sweet

Mother Streusel

I’ll go dress up my dolls

To make sure they look pretty

And then build them a castle

Or maybe a whole city

Mother Streusel

I’ll paint a lovely painting

And jump on a trampoline

While riding on a pony

And then I’ll become queen

Mother Streusel

Or maybe be a doctor

To help kids who are sick

I’ll make medicine that tastes

Like candy on a stick

Mother Streusel

My head will hit my pillow

When that day finally ends

…Or maybe I will have

Another sleepover with friends

 © 2014 Karyn Linnell

William and the Train

This poem was written especially for an awesome kid named William! His mom, Kiah, won the official Mother Streusel Facebook Contest. Congratulations to them both!

Mother Streusel

William sat quietly

Doing puzzles with a cat,

When he heard a funny sound

Go rat-a-tat-a-tat.

Mother Streusel

It wasn’t like a drum.

It didn’t sound like rain,

But when he heard the whistle,

He knew it was a train.

Mother Streusel

Sure enough a train arrived

Just a moment later,

Puffing smoke and shiny red.

He’d never seen one greater.

Mother Streusel

‘Get in!” the conductor cried,

“And help us if you can.

We need someone to drive this train,

And you are just the man.”

Mother Streusel

William hopped aboard.

He heard the engine sputter.

“How do you make it go?” he asked.

“Just feed it peanut butter.”

Mother Streusel

There never was a train like that!

The more peanut butter fed

The faster it would go,

And down the track it sped.

Mother Streusel

A hundred miles an hour

A thousand, a million!

No one drove that peanut butter

Train better than William.

Mother Streusel

How could William make that train

Do what it could do?

I guess he understood it.

He liked peanut butter, too!

© 2014 Karyn Linnell

The ABC’s

        Mother Streusel

I told my little brother,

“Now that you are three

It’s time for me to teach you

About A, B and C.”

Mother Streusel

He said, “I know those letters.”

I asked, “Do you indeed?”

He said, “Of course I do.

I can even read.”

Mother Streusel

I decided I would test him.

I figured he was lying.

“A is for…” “Banana,”

He answered without trying.

Mother Streusel

“A is for banana?

It certainly is not!”

“B-A-n-A-n-A.

Yep. Three A’s, like I thought.”

Mother Streusel

“No, A is for apple.”

“But apple just has one.

There’s more A’s in banana,

And now can we be done?”

Mother Streusel

“No, let’s do B now.”

“Okay. Flibbertigibbet.

There’s no word that I know of

With more B’s to exhibit.”

Mother Streusel

I nearly lost my temper

But I thought, “He’s only three.”

I took a breath and tried again

With the letter C.

Mother Streusel

“I’ll try to ask a different way

So you’ll know what I mean.

Can you tell me what ‘Car’ starts with?”

He said, “Yes, with gasoline.”

© 2014 Karyn Linnell