Storytelling in Rhyme
Storytelling in Rhyme
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Storytelling in Rhyme

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Write Picture Books That Rhyme!


Learn how to write wonderful rhyming stories, the kind that gets read over and over again. Tim has strategies and checklists that will help.


Lesson 1: Before Your Even Start Rhyming

  • Write down an idea that you have for a rhyming story.

Lesson 2: Determine If a Story Idea Is Right for a Picture Book

  • Make sure your story is age-appropriate and will be the right length for a picture book. Use the checklist!

Lesson 3: Determine If Your Story Is Right for a Rhyming Picture Book

  • Tim has some questions you can ask to determine if your picture book needs to rhyme. He also has an assignment that you'll be able to use as a reference throughout the whole process.

Lesson 4: The Big, Ugly Block of Prose

  • You'll write your story as a big, ugly block of prose to work out your narrative. This will also give you something to mine for keywords later.

Lesson 5: Setting Up Your Story to Rhyme

  • In search of strong rhymes and the best word choices, Tim will have you using keywords and tools, like a rhyming dictionary and a thesaurus.

Lesson 6: Finding Your Story's "Inner Meter"

  • A great meter should add atmosphere to your story without distracting readers. It's important to find the meter that matches your story.

Lesson 7: Considerations as You Begin the Rhyming Process

  • Now that you're ready to write that first draft, Tim has some parting advice.


Tim McCanna is the author of ten rhyming picture books, including Jack B. Ninja, So Many Sounds, and Bitty Bot. Tim served five years as Assistant Regional Advisor for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators San Francisco/South chapter, and he created the Storytelling in Rhyme mini-class for Storyteller Academy.

His rhyming picture book, In a Garden was named a 2021 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year for 5 and under.

Visit Tim at