"I Did It Because...": How a Poem Happens.


64 pages
ISBN 978-1-55451-017-1
DDC j808.1





Illustrations by Michael Martchenko
Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings is a public-school teacher and librarian in Ajax,


Loris Lesynski has taken the questions readers frequently ask of authors (Why did you write this poem? Where do you get your ideas? etc.) and, in attempting to come up with answers, written an informative and entertaining book.


“I Did It Because…” is really two books in one. First, it is a poetry book. Many of the poems included here have appeared in Lesynski’s previous collections. A few were created especially for this volume, e.g. “Me, My, Mine” and “A Poem’ll Do It.” Secondly, it is a guide for those who would like to write their own poems. Countless suggestions to help budding authors get started are offered, beginning with simply listening to poetry to become aware of the beat. Poems such as “Dirty Dog Boogie,” “The Bad Mood,” and “Dawdle, Dawdle” illustrate a variety of rhythms.


Listening to the sound of words is important. Some words, like whisper, sound like what they mean. Others, like crash, sound like they sound. Readers are challenged to invent some new words of their own.


Lesynski includes tips for choosing and expanding on a topic and even provides some ready-made ideas.


“I Did It Because…” is jam-packed with colourful and humorous illustrations by Michael Martchenko, best known for his collaboration with Robert Munsch. In fact, sharp-eyed readers are sure to spot the dragon of The Paper Bag Princess fame here. Martchenko offers some tips of his own for youngsters who wish to illustrate their own creations.


In addition to answering readers’ questions, one of Loris Lesynski’s objectives in creating this book appears to be to show that poetry is, above all, fun. With her rollicking rhymes, she has certainly achieved this goal. Highly recommended.


Lesynski, Loris., “"I Did It Because...": How a Poem Happens.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/32923.