My books Andrew's Fairy Tale, and The Bankrupt Tooth Fairy are both written in rhyme. I view that as a positive thing, a format children would enjoy. Sadly, the modern world of publishing does not seem to share my viewpoint. For this reason, I decided to self-publish my work. Whilst researching how to approach publishers and agents, the advice and statistics I found, were very off-putting. Books for children, particularly rhyming ones, seem to be a very difficult market to crack. There were very few publishers I found that were willing to accept poetry, and literary agents seemed highly unlikely to take on poetry. My own children very much enjoy my stories, and enjoy writing poems at school. I've also found that a homework task to learn a song or poem is always a popular one. I find it strange that this fun way of reading is not readily available to young children, who should be encouraged to enjoy learning to read as much as possible.
I came across some posts on the topic of poetry on writersdigest.com. I completely agree with what was written by Jennifer Cummins, a freelance writer:
"Reading children’s rhyming poetry aloud to them, from infancy onward,
not only stimulates brain development and auditory memory recall and
development, but also develops phonemic awareness, the base of
linguistic development. Elementary age students also need to be reading,
hearing, and writing rhyming poetry, to continue to strengthen the
brains’ myelination of nerve connections. The lack of children’s poetry
in the educational system, fun-to-read rhyming poetry books by authors
represented by good literary agents, flies in the face of logic. These
children, with well-developed linguistic skills, will mature into the
readers of tomorrow. It is up to agents to acknowledge they need to
think proactively, in building a readership for the future. In not
representing children’s poetry, agents are shortsighted in their
approach to representation, as authors who pen poetry are also capable
of authoring other brain-stimulating works."
Ms. Cummins has inspired me to continue writing children's poetry. Children should be
able to enjoy rhyme as an effective tool in learning to read.
Related article (with some rhyme success stories):