Poet talks, works with students

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Talking about how to find poetry in the library, Kenn Nesbitt was giving the students of Creekside Elementary School some helpful hints and insight into researching one of the most intriguing types of literature.

Then, he stopped.

“Is it just me or do I sound like Shaggy from Scooby Doo?”

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The children immediately clapped, laughed and murmured their excited agreement.

That was the tone of Nesbitt’s 45-minute presentation to Creekside students.

Mixing helpful writing advice with humor and wit, the poet/author entertained, as well as educated, the school’s third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

Nesbitt hails from Spokane, Wash., and is a renowned children’s author, with 10 books of poetry and stories published.

Kim Richardson, the media specialist for Creekside Elementary School, came across Nesbitt’s work and profile when she received a media kit about his speaking engagements.

“After reading his bio, I just jumped on it,” she said. Nesbitt spoke Tuesday during the school’s book fair, which Richardson calls one of the library’s most exciting times.

Richardson said Nesbitt has the perfect personality and enthusiasm to engage one of her target audiences: young boys.

“This is just my way of bringing boys into the library, getting them excited to read,” she said. “And he has been a hit.”

Throughout Nesbitt’s presentation, he recited some of his most popular works, including “I’ve Been Surfing Lots of Websites,” his altered rendition of “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad.”

He also involved the students by creating an original poem with them during the presentation, showing them how they could write poems by themselves.

“That way, when you grow up, you can write poems and I can retire to Hawaii,” he joked.

Asking for their ideas and input, Nesbitt created from scratch a particularly humorous poem about doing pranks on April Fools’ Day.

“He’s really fun,” Richardson said. “The kids are just cracking up in there.”

Nesbitt’s books are available online, as well as at the Creekside book fair, which will continue throughout the week.