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In a little old house on a little old hill,
With the dead black trees and haunted chill,
They say there lived a monstrous wolf pup
That huffed, and puffed, then gobbled kids up.

Three little boys - what a brave young team!
No big bad wolf, no matter how mean,
Could ever scare them - no, not today!
With a huff, and a puff, they made their way.

The first boy stood, staring in the maw
of gaping darkness; it gave him pause.
Like straw in the wind, his nerve gave way
In a huff, and a puff, he flew away

Boy number two, he wanted his kicks,
Throwing tough words and throwing big sticks;
But once he heard that ghostly wail,
He huffed, and he puffed, and turned his tail.

Now the last young boy, though things looked grim,
He stilled the quivers of his chinny chin chin;
Feet planted firm as a big brick wall,
He huffed, and he puffed, and stood up tall.

And, alas! No monster stood there;
Just an old kitty cat with greying hair.
No longer scared, and smiling proud
With a huff, and a puff, he laughed out loud. 
A response to :iconthewrittenrevolution:'s prompt:
Rework an old fable or fairytale into the modern world. No magic. No deus ex machina.

The fairytale that stood out the most in my childhood memories was The Three Little Pigs, and this is the revised result of that prompt. Here's the original poem: fav.me/d6emyvs

MINOR EDITS: Played around with 'huff and puff' parts; edited last stanza for rhythm; changed 'eerie' to 'haunted' because I felt that kids were more likely to understand that word and associate it with haunted houses. 

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For critiquers:
Hopefully, there are some teachers or parents out there that can help me with some of these questions, though you don't have to be either to help. This is intended to be read out loud, to children. Or by children, if it's appropriate. I want it to be fun for both reader and audience. Bear with me, there are a lot of questions, you don't have to answer them all. I have split it into sections for the sake of clarity.

General:
:bulletpink:If you have read the older poem, what are the main points of improvement?
:bulletpink:If you don't mind a little extra reading, you can refer to Vigilo's very helpful comment on the original: comments.deviantart.com/1/3873… . With that in mind, have I improved on the points that she mentioned?
:bulletpink:From a writer's perspective, I feel like the third stanza (The first boy stood...) is an improvement over the original, but I fear that it might be difficult for a child to understand some of the vocabulary, grammar, and imagery. Is it too difficult, or just challenging enough to be interesting? If you feel that it might be too difficult, what parts should I change?
:bulletpink:What do you think the story is? (I'm just curious about the responses)
:bulletpink:Feel free to point out anything else that I've missed.

Read by an adult:
:bulletpink:Is it fun for you to read in your head? Out loud? Why?
:bulletpink: I personally like to act a little bit when reading to children (make gestures, sound effects, extra little commentary, etc) to try and engage them. If you are like me (or, if that's not your thing, imagine someone very expressive doing it), is there lots of room for you to express yourself? Lots of extra opportunities to engage the audience?
:bulletpink:If you have experience in this area, what age group would you read it to? Why?
:bulletpink:Are there any words or phrases that might be difficult for a child to grasp if they were read out loud to them? I wouldn't necessarily consider this a bad thing, if said words or can be used for vocabulary or literary enhancement. However, there is such a thing as too difficult. So, if you don't mind, please differentiate between the two if you comment on this.

Read by a child:
:bulletpink:Do you think it would be fun for a child to read? Why?
:bulletpink:If you have experience in this area, what age group would you give it to to read? Why?
:bulletpink:Are there any words or phrases that might be difficult for a child to grasp if they were read? I wouldn't necessarily consider this a bad thing, if said words or phrases can be used for enhancement. However, there is such a thing as too difficult. So, if you don't mind, please differentiate between the two if you comment on this.

Recent TWR critique: comments.deviantart.com/1/3940…
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmagicaljoey:
MagicalJoey Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2015   Writer

Hi there, it's MagicalJoey from :icongrammarnazicritiques:. This will also be a CRITmas Critique.

 


:bulletred: ST = stanza

:bulletred: L = Line


 

I've read through this piece numerous times, and each time I've hesitated to critique it. I think it's time, it's been in the folder long enough.

 

I read through both versions of this piece and I must say you have improved it a lot in the second version. I can't say that I can answer many of your questions, simply because you ask for very detailed answers that I am not sure I can give given my status as a normal person (not child, not teacher, not parent). However, there are some I will answer.

 

General:

:bulletpink:If you have read the older poem, what are the main points of improvement?

- You changed some of the words to make it more child appropriate. You mention 'eerie' but there was also 'cur' in ST 2 that you changed.

:bulletpink:From a writer's perspective, I feel like the third stanza (The first boy stood...) is an improvement over the original, but I fear that it might be difficult for a child to understand some of the vocabulary, grammar, and imagery. Is it too difficult, or just challenging enough to be interesting? If you feel that it might be too difficult, what parts should I change?

- Perhaps consider changing 'maw' to 'jaw' depending on the age group you are meaning this to be read by/to. That's the only word that stands out to me as being more difficult than others, though it does produce an excellent vocabulary word if one is learning that sort of thing in class. Teachers should use more poems and songs with children, they are easier to remember and they put the words in context.

:bulletpink:What do you think the story is? (I'm just curious about the responses)

- It's about mastering fear, specifically fear of an unknown entity, because sometimes what you fear is worse than what the thing actually is.

 

Read by an adult:

:bulletpink:Is it fun for you to read in your head? Out loud? Why?

- It's great fun for me to read because you have punctuated it excellently. You show me where to read on, where to pause for breath, or amusement, and where to stop reading for a bit to absorb what has been said.

:bulletpink: I personally like to act a little bit when reading to children (make gestures, sound effects, extra little commentary, etc) to try and engage them. If you are like me (or, if that's not your thing, imagine someone very expressive doing it), is there lots of room for you to express yourself? Lots of extra opportunities to engage the audience?

- I think there are. I can see someone acting 'maw' while reading. That part sticks out specifically because I have just spoken about it.

:bulletpink:If you have experience in this area, what age group would you read it to? Why?

- I would say ages 11+ (what would be grade 5+ here in South Africa) simply because they would be learning about things like that with the more difficult vocabulary words, and they would also understand poetry more to enable it to be read properly on their own as well as having the teacher read it. They would also know of the story from hearing it when they were younger and so it would be a fresh take on an 'old' theme for them.

 

Read by a child:

:bulletpink:Do you think it would be fun for a child to read? Why?

- I think it would because a child would be more likely to put actions to it. You get some very expressive children and they would love this.

:bulletpink:If you have experience in this area, what age group would you give it to to read? Why?

- Same answer as above, age 11+.

:bulletpink:Are there any words or phrases that might be difficult for a child to grasp if they were read? I wouldn't necessarily consider this a bad thing, if said words or phrases can be used for enhancement. However, there is such a thing as too difficult. So, if you don't mind, please differentiate between the two if you comment on this.

- 'maw' might be difficult and would need an adult's translation. 'wanting his kicks' could also be a bit difficult to understand.

 

Overall, a great translation of the story into a poem, and into modern language as well.

 

Hope this helps.

Jo

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:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Professional Writer
Cuuuuuuuuute! :meow:
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:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014   Writer
I like the rhythm of this.  I stepped into it quite easily and you held it throughout.  :clap:

And yes, I'm a reader like you when reading to a child, and there's definitely room for it with this.  The poem allows for a natural pause just before the huff/puff lines, which is where you want that build up.

I've no expertise, but I do read to an eight year old quite regularly, and I'm certain she would love this.  But really, she loves anything that's acted out.  More than likely, a four year old her would be best suited for this.

I do have a couple areas that caught my eye:
"Throwing tough words and throwing big sticks;" The double throwing, well it reads okay, but I'd try to avoid the repetition. 

And then there were two spots where the rhyme wasn't consistent: "The first boy stood, staring in the maw / of gaping darkness; it gave him pause." and "Now the last young boy, though things looked grim, / He stilled the quivers of his chinny chin chin;" 

Oddly, it really does effect the flow when reading because you're expecting it to rhyme like all the others.
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:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah geez, I've been meaning to get around to replying this but totally forgot! So so so sorry for the late response Ashamed 

I really appreciate the feedback, it's been helpful :) The slant rhymes you mentioned were a suggestion by an earlier critic (critiquer? critic sounds so negative). Also, with the chinny chin chin one, I just plain had trouble thinking of something that both rhymed and fit so I just threw in something close enough ^^;

"Close enough" --> story of my life.

But I digress. I will definitely consider revising the rhymes to fit better. 
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:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014   Writer
:la:

I've no problem with late replies.  I prefer them to no reply at all.
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:iconcelestialmemories:
CelestialMemories Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:iconcrit1::iconcrit2::iconcrit3::iconcrit4::iconcrit5::iconcrit6::iconcrit7::iconcrit8:


Devious Rating
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty:


Vision:
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty:
Originality:
:star::star-empty::star-empty::star-empty::star-empty:
Technique:
:star::star::star::star::star:
Impact:
:star::star-half::star-empty::star-empty::star-empty:


Hello! I am here because you requested me as a critic at Criticarium! I apologize for the delay as I am quite sick!

I would first like to start off by saying that my critique is purely based on opinion and in no way criticizes your work or your talent as a writer. It is in the end just my own opinions and suggestions on the piece for you to do what you will! I will answer your questions at the end of the critique.

Overall Thought

I want to say that I absolutely loved the rhythm! It was interesting because it was so universal that I could pair it with any sort of rhythm that I've heard from storytellers and even songs. It was very entertaining. It was an interesting read and I happened to read over it a couple of times before taking the notes needed for my critique. Some of the concerns I was having was that some of the phrasing and wording was quite confusing (something that might not be caught by someone listening to this but it stood out very obviously in this piece). You did mention that this was a modern spin of the fairy tale and I would like to say that I did not catch the modernity of this piece. Changing the pigs to boys and the houses becoming metaphorical isn't really modern as it is altering the fairy tale (as I remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle show doing this with their Fractured Fairy Tale shorts). Modern has the connotation that you are altering this piece to fit the more contemporary styles. I don't believe this piece did such a thing.

Structure

What's nice about this piece is that it is even and divided neatly as the story progresses. We are first brought into an understanding of the universe, we are shown the protagonists and each significant event of the story. With the added repetition at the end of the stanza is a nice piece that ties everything together. As for the image that is created, there is no independent image that you provided us. We are a little dependent upon the original fairy tale otherwise we won't understand the references of the straw, sticks, and brick as well as the important "chinny chin chin" reference. I would've suggested you create images of your own in order to really claim this piece and not just making it into The Three Little Pigs in poetry form.

The poem does not end strongly in my opinion and instead made me very confused. Who is this kitten? Is that supposed to be the wolf? Why did it turn from a wolf puppy to a grey kitten? Some consistency in that aspect I didn't think would've needed to be mentioned. Is the kitten the boys? I thought they were boys. And who was doing the huffing and puffing? Wasn't it the pup all along? Granted I didn't really think about this the first time I read it, but after the second time I realized I was confused more than I was entertained. That left the entirety of this piece to me obscure and I don't think I'll be able to answer your question about the meaning of this piece.


Rhythm & Rhyme

There was a sharp rhythm in this piece that was very entertaining. I found myself reading it to Blue by Eiffel 65 (at least the beginning part). It was very fun. The alliteration was very entertaining and the rhyme enhanced the poem and is my favorite part of this piece.

The last stanza hurt the fluidity of the piece. The third line felt a little long and it tripped me up. That was the only thing I happened to notice. The rhythm and the rhyme was absolutely spectacular.


Imagery & Language

The imagery of this piece depends on the original fairy tale, and since you said you were targeting a younger audience with this they might have already heard the fairy tale and understand. But in some crazy situation where it hasn't been heard it would be very confusing. The slang used is not mature, but I am not sure if some children would be able to understand the colloquialisms used ("he wanted his kicks", "throwing tough words and throwing bid sticks") without some sort of explanation (as brietta-a-m-f mentioned that some of the words would require some definitions). There needs to be some understanding that not all kids will have the same level of background in terms of language and the story you are referencing so you need to look over the piece in a way that even if a child never read Three Little Pigs or isn't at a mental level to understand what grim or maw means they should be able to understand the story. This piece feels a little too obscure for something like that.

The reason we involve rhythm and rhyme in a lot of children's works is because children with intellectual disabilities will find this entertaining and hopefully would be able to learn more by enjoying the pleasurable sound that a rhyming story will provide. Your piece does this and makes it very entertaining but some of the language is a little too overly complex. Even I haven't created a complete image in my head with this piece.

The most striking and enjoyable line for me was stanza four.  I liked the rhythm of it the most and the slang was very enjoyable and made me smile. The last stanza is not striking to me for the reasons I mentioned.

Your Questions

:bulletpink:If you have read the older poem, what are the main points of improvement?
- It flowed a lot better than the previous poem and I didn't get tripped up on stanzas!

:bulletpink:If you don't mind a little extra reading, you can refer to Vigilo's very helpful comment on the original: comments.deviantart.com/1/3873… . With that in mind, have I improved on the points that she mentioned?
- I believe that you did improve, but I didn't see much slant rhyme as she mentioned. But that isn't a bad point, I really like the rhythm as it is now.

:bulletpink:From a writer's perspective, I feel like the third stanza (The first boy stood...) is an improvement over the original, but I fear that it might be difficult for a child to understand some of the vocabulary, grammar, and imagery. Is it too difficult, or just challenging enough to be interesting? If you feel that it might be too difficult, what parts should I change?
- I had no problem with that stanza. :)

:bulletpink:What do you think the story is? (I'm just curious about the responses)
- I honestly don't know, as I said before.


Read by an adult:
:bulletpink:Is it fun for you to read in your head? Out loud? Why?
- It was very fun because of the rhythm.

:bulletpink: I personally like to act a little bit when reading to children (make gestures, sound effects, extra little commentary, etc) to try and engage them. If you are like me (or, if that's not your thing, imagine someone very expressive doing it), is there lots of room for you to express yourself? Lots of extra opportunities to engage the audience?
- I do not think there's much room for expression in this other than the influctuations and pauses in your speech. I say this because I do not particularly understand the meaning of this piece.

:bulletpink:If you have experience in this area, what age group would you read it to? Why?
- I would probably read this to second and third graders. The rhythm and the vocabulary used reads like something a teacher or someone would go over in class and the images and slang are a little too complex for younger audiences and a little too boring for older audiences.

:bulletpink:Are there any words or phrases that might be difficult for a child to grasp if they were read out loud to them? I wouldn't necessarily consider this a bad thing, if said words or can be used for vocabulary or literary enhancement. However, there is such a thing as too difficult. So, if you don't mind, please differentiate between the two if you comment on this.
- I mentioned some of my concerns in the Imagery and Language section. But I do feel like the specific words were not difficult, but some of the slang phrases used is something not easily understood by children. And with that being said it could also be a little confusing to explain to a child.

Read by a child:
:bulletpink:Do you think it would be fun for a child to read? Why?
- It would be very fun for a child to listen to and probably read to a group. I don't think it would be a good piece for a child to read on their own without someone reading along with them. Things such as difficult vocabulary would hinder their reading.

:bulletpink:If you have experience in this area, what age group would you give it to to read? Why?
- I took an Art of Storytelling class, I'd like to feel that I would have some slight knowledge, as we did do work on looking at books and recommending age groups. With that being said I would give it to second or third graders with an attached curriculum in maybe vocabulary and creative writing. Maybe writing their own version of a fairy tale using words like the one in your poem.

:bulletpink:Are there any words or phrases that might be difficult for a child to grasp if they were read? I wouldn't necessarily consider this a bad thing, if said words or phrases can be used for enhancement. However, there is such a thing as too difficult. So, if you don't mind, please differentiate between the two if you comment on this.
- I think I have mentioned this a couple of times in my previous comments :)


I do hope this helped! This is all purely subjective and some nitpicking! I do hope my critique offered some food for thought when it comes to working on this piece or even any future piece! You're welcome to request me again as a critic over at Criticarium! I had fun reviewing this lovely piece!




The Artist thought this was FAIR
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:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the detailed critique, it is greatly appreciated :) ! You are the first person who took the time to answer all the questions even though I wasn't expecting anyone to, so I gotta give you props for that. Clap 

You are the first person who said that they didn't know what the poem was about. I'll give a short summary below, perhaps you can give me some tips with clarifying the story?
There is a haunted house rumoured to have a monster living in it. Three kids go to investigate, perhaps on a dare. The first one can't even set foot in the house, and runs away. The second one acts tough and starts throwing sticks, hears something  (likely because he hit the poor cat), thinks it's the monster, freaks out, and runs away. The third one has the guts to stick around, and he finds out that there is no monster living in the house, just the cat.
As a side note, I would like to illustrate it or have it illustrated, but that is dependent on whether I have the time, resources, and ultimately attention span, so I didn't mention anything about illustration in case it doesn't reach that point.  

The 'huff and puff' part was put in as a tie-in to the original story, and as a unifying element for every stanza. I meant it as a descriptor that changes depending on context, and refers to whatever the main subject of each stanza is doing - so in stanza 2 it might mean that they puffed themselves up, while in stanza 3 it might bring to mind the huffing and puffing he might do while running - but perhaps its usage as a generic descriptor was confusing. I would still like to have some unifying element, but I feel that adding a chorus might slow down the reading, any suggestions or thoughts?

I hadn't thought about the colloquialisms. You're right in that words like 'maw' and 'grim' could simply be defined, but something like 'he wanted his kicks' would be more difficult to imagine and to explain, even though the words are simple. I will definitely take a closer look at stuff like that. 

I originally left the strong references to Three Little Pigs to make the connection obvious for the sake of the prompt, but now that the prompt is over, perhaps it is time for me to look for better imagery. 

Funny that you should mention that it isn't a straight-up modernization. Slightly off-topic, but that was actually my original approach to the prompt - I started with a prose piece about three cops trying to catch a serial killer calling himself "The Big Bad Wolf". The first two cops end up mangled by the killer because they weren't careful enough. Through some clever trick, the third one succeeds. I ended up not liking that approach, because it was way too dark and I felt that going the dark and edgy route was cliche. Also, since prose is my weakness, I wouldn't have had enough time to pull it off properly before the deadline and still be able to slack off with homework :XD: So I reworked it and somehow... somehow I got this. I can't quite remember how, maybe I had an abandoned house in my first attempt. But I digress. I'm not terribly concerned that it isn't a direct modernization, my aim was to recapture the whimsical feel I remember from hearing the original tale. 
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:iconcelestialmemories:
CelestialMemories Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Actually after I finished writing the critique I gave it another read and some more thought then I understood it ^^;. I think me being sick is really clouding my head or something. And I was going to talk about that in my critique, it feels like something that would be read with illustrations and then would be very clear. Maybe I was just tripped up on the huffing and puffing (while they originally are applied to the wolf, they are now used by the two boys and I was stuck on that original idea). With that being said, maybe you could make the boys own that aspect as they did with the sticks and straw. They threw big sticks and were steadfast like a brick wall, etc. But with illustrations I am sure that aspect of the piece would not need to be adjusted.

The colloquialisms are nice, maybe they would be tied with a curriculum covering idioms or something of the sort. They are not bad necessarily, but I wouldn't recommend maybe allowing a child to read this on their own without knowing these things (because unlike prose, you're doing less with poetry so you depend more on the words and rhythm and you would hate for a child to lose the rhythm while they were reading).

It is very whimsical and I did enjoy it (although you do have me interested with that murderer and the three cops :eyes: and it's kind of funny that you think of the pigs as being cops. hehehe.) I know a child would absolutely enjoy this piece! Most of my critiques usually have quite a few nit picks, which all depend on personal taste.

I'm glad I could've helped in some way. :meow:
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:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, okay, that clears it up a bit. 

I would like for a child to be able to read it on their own, so I think I'll still take a look at some of the colloquialisms; maybe illustration will help a bit, but I would like for it to be enjoyable even outside of a curriculum on idioms. 

Hope you feel better. :)
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:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

As far as writing for a target audience of younger children (and an indirect audience of the parents as readers), I think this succeeds. I'm not a proponent of "dumbing down" for children. They tend to be a lot smarter than they are credited for. (I started reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings at eight. Normal? No. But it shows that younguns have the capability of being very literate.) Perhaps kids, hearing words like "eerie," "grim," and "maw" won't know what they mean, but this is intended to be read aloud, and the reader can explain if necessary. I also don't believe youngsters will be particularly frightened by the notion of a wolf eating kids. I've worked as a baby sitter most of growing up, and the scenarios some of those little boys came up with were much more gruesome!

 

To me, this provides an opportunity to have an awesome story with some possible learning points (ie expanded vocabulary). I would say the age group would be any age that the kids will sit down and listen, up to eight or nine.

 

My only critique is that the last stanza seems choppy in the flow and rythym. It gave me a little pause, as everything up to then went smoothly and carried the reading along, but the end was jarring. I like the scenario, but the syllabal count is off or something. Perhaps something like:

 

"And, alas! He found that nothing was there;

Just an old kitty cat with greying hair.
Seeing there was really nothing to fear,
With a huff, and a puff, he let out a cheer."
 
Something like that. However, I'm far from a poetry expert, and this is purely personal opinion! 
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:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I've been (re)reading through some more well-known children's poetry recently, and I've come to the conclusion that I should be alright vocabulary-wise if I'm aiming for around kids around 5-8 ish. And I agree, I've decided that it's better to have a bit of a challenge - where would you or I be today if all children's lit were dumbed down? We probably wouldn't be here discussing poetry. 

I would say the age group would be any age that the kids will sit down and listen - totally off topic, but this made me think about my 3-year-old niece and how when I'm reading her a story, even though she was the one who wanted me to read it in the first place, she'll probably wander off in the middle to go get some other toy that she wants me to play with. Not exactly sitting down and listening there. I chuckled a bit at the mental image. 

And, alas! He found nothing there is meant to have a longer pause between the sentences, but I get what you're saying in that the pauses and rhythm aren't readily apparent in this stanza. And yes, looking at the third line, it does seem a little awkward. I'll play around with your suggestion and see what I get. 
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:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

I think most three year olds are that way. There was one I babysat, and I always had a really hard time keeping up with what game we were playing. We'd go from Donkey Kong on the Nintindo, to Power Rangers with bean bag force fields to G.I. Joes in the span of six minutes or so.

And it's only a suggestion! Poetry isn't my strong point, although, at times, I wish it was.

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:iconmajikku7:
Majikku7 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

I'm 15, so I guess I'll critique this from a "child's" standpoint.

Regarding younger(ish) children (5-8), I believe they would find this cute. Any younger, and they might be a tad frightened by the "eating kids" line in the first stanza. Also, they most likely won't have a clue as to what "eerie", "grim", "maw", or "quivers" mean. Six, seven, and eight year olds might know a few of those words, but not all. You got a little carried away in some areas--I would tone down some of the words if your audience is meant for young children. If you are aiming for older kids (closer to my age), then I would suggest some major revisions on this piece, but somehow I think your target audience is much younger.

 

This poem would be fun for little kids to read because it's very similar to the "three little pigs" story, although its shorter and more likely to hold a small child's attention simply because all of the lines rhyme. It creates a picture in my mind when I read it, and since children often have giant imaginations, the imagery here is likely to captivate them. In regards to the "fun" factor, you did well.

 

Children most likely to read this would be around 5 to 8, and as I previously mentioned, older kids are most likely to look at this and become bored because they've heard stories similar to this all throughout their childhood. And to be quite honest, this simply appears to me as the poetry version of the "three little pigs", which doesn't interest me at all simply because I'm older and I've read this story hundreds of times before. If you market this as though it is aimed for an audience around 5 to 8, you're likely to find a fairly large group of readers.

 

Overall, it's well written for the intended age group. Aside from the fact that it is not very original (except the ending, I liked the twist there). It flows well, although younger children might not know what semi-colons are, so you may want to consider eliminating those. Pretty much everything rhymes, as well, and the imagery created in this piece is good and very well-done.

 

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:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for leaving a detailed comment! It's very appreciated! :D

Yes, you have it right on the mark with "poetry version of the three little pigs". I know my comment section is pretty long, but I said that this poem was originally a response to a prompt that said Rework an old fable or fairytale into the modern world. No magic. No deus ex machina. My approach was to avoid the 'darker and edgier' route that most modernizations take nowadays (although, to be fair, a lot of fairy tales were pretty dark and gory to begin with). Partly because it's overdone, partly because I wanted to recapture that lighthearted feel that I remember from childhood, and mostly because I didn't think I could pull off 'darker and edgier' convincingly before the deadline :XD:. Also, my strength isn't prose. So... yeah. Modernized Three Little Pigs in ballad form happened somehow.

Yes, I was aiming for the 10-and-under group, but I wasn't sure where I landed within this broad range. Your comment helps narrow it down and gives me some things to consider in future rewrites, especially in terms of difficulty level. I was concerned about 'maw' mostly (since it's somewhat outdated), and 'eerie' and 'quivers' as well, but I hadn't considered that 'grim' isn't that common of a word either. I'm glad that at least I've got the imagery part down well though.

Hmm, based on your response, I guess the question 'Do you have fun reading this on your own' isn't quite what I'm aiming for in terms of a grown up reader (I would consider you a young adult or adult in terms of target audience, as opposed to a child). Perhaps something more like "If you were to read this out loud to a younger sibling/cousin/nephew/niece, would you think, 'I feel like a total moron for even looking at this, ugggh I'm so bored...'?" I'm aiming to keep it simple enough for a young audience, but not so dumbed-down that the indirect audience, the person reading it to their kids, is thinking "Kid's books have gotten so retarded these days." Thoughts on this?
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:iconmajikku7:
Majikku7 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry I didn't reply sooner (computer problems). The poem isn't bad (on the contrary, it's good for the target audience), and while I wouldn't feel silly for reading it, it's not something that I would read over and over again simply because it's not what I'm interested in. Now would I think that children's books have gotten "dumbed-down" based on this poem? No, I mean children's stories have gone down in reading level in my opinion (teen literacy levels don't seem to be very high, either), but I don't base that on reading this one poem. The poem is good, the language used would be understood by young readers, and the imagery is definitely there. Overall, it's a fine piece.
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