How to Revisit “Kid” You

If only I could go back in time to walk in young me’s shoes. Sure, research via reading books and talking to kids is arguably just as effective for churning out kid-friendly stories, but wouldn’t it help to be 7- or 12-year-old you for even an hour? To relive those kid feelings and write them into your current stories?

Well, if you wrote stories when you were a kid, I suggest you dust off those gems and read. As a kidlit writer, you strive to capture how children feel in your stories and characters. When I reread my old stories, I’m transported back to that time and, even if just momentarily, feel those kid feelings of excitement, wonder, possibility, and fear.

I capture those feelings by writing immediately after reading my old work. Soon a moment becomes a minute, five minutes, a chapter. You’d be surprised how fast those kid feelings breathe life all over your page.

Lucky for me, I wrote many poems, plays, and stories in elementary school. So, here are a few [horribly rhymed] poems by 5th-grade me. Silly as they are, I hope they inspire you to reread your work, remember what it was like to be you at that age, and incorporate those feelings into your manuscripts.

Superstitious
I once met a girl,
Who was really superstitious,
She scared me a little,
And was quite vicious.

When she was walking,
She saw a crack,
And stepped over it,
So she wouldn’t break her Mom’s back.

Then she spots something,
There was a black cat,
She spun around,
And ran.

When she passes a cemetery,
She starts to take a rest,
But then she notices the tomb stones,
She walks and holds her breath.

When she meets her friend,
Her friendship really links,
They say the same thing,
And she says, “Jinx!”

She is so superstitious,
I can’t believe it at all,
She’s just so weird,
I hope she doesn’t give me a call.

And another…

My Little Fairy
I was picking some flowers,
On a summer day that was airy,
I picked a tulip,
And out popped a fairy.

She said, “Hello.”
And, “How do you do?”
“I am a little fairy,
By the name of Little Fairy Dew.”

I took her to my house,
To get something to eat,
Little Fairy Dew gobbled it down,
And said, “Yummy, Sweet.”

We played that day,
In the park,
We stayed out late,
Until it got dark.

So I went inside,
With Little Fairy Dew,
I made her a bed,
From my old little shoe.

It fit her quiet well,
With the pillow and all,
She said, “Good Night.”
With a voice so small.

When we awoke,
I got in my dress,
Sat at the table,
And ate some breakfast.

After we were done,
Little Fairy Dew and I went outside to play,
She said, “It’s time for me to go, Goodbye.”
And she flew away.

And finally, this one. Which, with the reference to pogs, is clearly reminiscent of the late 90s/early millennium. Ha!

My Collection
I have a lot of things in my collection,
Nothing you would imagine,
Come and see for yourself,
You’ll really see that I have a passion.

Old chewed bubblegum,
Plastic frogs,
Two Sugar Daddy rappers,
And Forty-Four sparkly pogs.

Fifty-two moldy tomato skins,
One black-eyed pea,
Little Susie’s bicycle handle,
And an old dead bee.

Crumpled notes,
Artichokes,
A letter that is kissed,
And my old dried up jellyfish.

I have more stuff,
But can’t name it all,
So if you want to see the rest of my collection,
Just pick up the phone and give me a call.

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