Thursday, April 12, 2018

DMC: "Don't Ask a Hopkinsaurus" by Michelle H. Barnes


A little dino told me Today's Little Ditty is not the ONLY one celebrating a birthday this month.

Lee Bennett Hopkins!

This one's for you . . .

Don't Ask a Hopkinsaurus

The L. B. Hopkinsaurus
is a rare and noble breed—
a prince among the wordivores,
he always takes the lead.

At feasting "dino"ccasions
when poetry is served,
his taste for inky gobbling
is robust and unreserved.

He might appear well-mannered
but once he's on a roll,
he holds the Guinness record
for collections swallowed whole!

The L. B. Hopkinsaurus
wears a venerable crown.
Don't ask him to retire,
or even to slow down.

This Energizer Dino
with his charismatic roar
says when it comes to Poetry,
we all should eat much more!

© 2018 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

I hope Deborah Bruss and Matt Forrest Esenwine don't mind me writing about an imaginary dinosaur rather than a real one, but I couldn't resist the opportunity! If you missed last week's interview, you can find it HERE. Their challenge this month is to write a poem about something you would not expect (or want) a dinosaur, or other animal, to do.

Read my Spotlight ON interview with Lee Bennett Hopkins HERE.

If you're looking for collections of dinosaur poems, these three LBH editions are a great place to start... although I don't recommend swallowing them whole.

It's giveaway central around here this month!

This week's "dino-ditties" were by Matt Forrest Esenwine, Linda Baie, and Kathleen Mazurowski. Leave yours on our April 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties, they all will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, April 27th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of Don't Ask a Dinosaur (POW! Kids, April 2018) signed by the authors.

Also featured on Today's Little Ditty this week: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's latest collection of poems for young readers, With My Hands: Poems About Making Things (Clarion Books, 2018). There's a giveaway going on for that, as well! Don't miss the post and giveaway details HERE. (Plus you can see a whole bunch of photos from when my kiddos were much younger and cuter than they are now!)

To celebrate TLD's fifth birthday, I'm giving away five sets of The Best of Today's Little Ditty (Volumes 1 & 2) to educators—teachers, caregivers, volunteers... anyone who shares their love of poetry with students of any age. To enter, contact me anytime during the month—via blog comment, email, Facebook, or Twitter. I'll be compiling a list and drawing names at the end of April.
Robyn Hood Black has a whole lot more surprise party fun at Life on the Deckle Edge. Join her for this week's Poetry Friday roundup!

For more National Poetry Month projects taking place during April, visit the kidlit events roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.


  1. Oh, Michelle! This is so perfectly Lee! xxxx

  2. "his taste for inky gobbling/is robust and unreserved" - HA! This is pretty brilliant, Michelle. Thanks for joining the celebration AND staying in your dino tracks this month....:0)

  3. So perfect, Michelle! I love your first stanza.

  4. A Dinosaurific poem Michelle–it takes the CAKE and you can eat it too!
    Wonderful, thanks!

  5. Brilliant ink, dear Michelle!
    What Donna S. said.
    And so uproarious!
    I wish you could hear me saying this out loud, with my tea & giggles.
    My only regret about it is that I won't
    hear Lee laughing when he reads it.

  6. Nicely done, M. Hopkinsaurus is so right... we should all eat more poetry!

  7. Perfect. Enjoyed this bd celebration voraciously.

  8. Your poem made me laugh out loud. It is, as Amy says, so perfectly Lee! What a wonderful way to celebrate his birthday.

  9. Wow! Your poem is PERFECTION, Michelle!! Fab fab fab. Thank you for the smiles today.

  10. Birthdays do roar around here for sure! Michelle, this is an awesome and perfect poem for this VIP 'dino-bration'. How clever you are! Love "collections swallowed whole" especially!

  11. This is so fun, Michelle! Love discovering the "little known" Hopkinsaurus. :-)

  12. Oh, this is simply wonderful--clever and fun, fun, fun. I'm sure that Lee will be absolutely thrilled with it. A birthday gift extraordinaire!

  13. So, so clever, Michelle--you are also a wordasaurus.

  14. This is a perfect gift for LB Hopkinsaurus. Not only a clever poem for the wordivore but a whole new identity. Love it!

  15. What a clever poem! I love it!

  16. So, so, so fun! And you capture how I imagine Lee just perfectly!

  17. Perfect for a party from start to finish.

  18. Ha, I love it! Great wordplay, Michelle, and perfect for a dinosaur-sized catalog such as Lee's!

  19. Spot on, Michelle! Fits LBH to a T.


  20. Such a fun poem and perfect tribute!

  21. I have quite a few little dinosaur fanatics here at my library who would find these books (and your poem!) roaringly good! :-)

  22. This is great, Michelle--I'm sure this makes him delighted to be called a dinosaur! :)
    Wordivore and that third stanza made *me* particularly happy to have read!

  23. Your poem is all kinds of perfect!!

  24. Thank you, everyone! It was so much fun to write. :D

  25. I'm en-RAPTORed with your DINO-mite tribute! ROAR!!!

    1. Ha! Where were you and Brenda with your dinosaur puns when I needed them???

  26. This is wonderful, Michelle! And yes, "we all should eat much more" poetry!

  27. I finally dropped in today to catch up on this month's delightful dino poems. Love this tribute to LBH, Michelle! We should all aspire to be "wordivores" with appetites as voracious as Lee's!

  28. That's a 10 out of 10 right there, Michelle. "Feasting din-occasions" indeed. And that graffiti dino is pure Florida!