Tuesday, November 17, 2020

ReFoReMo Mini-Monthly Writing Challenge: Beauty to Feed Your Soul

By Janie Reinart

 “If I had but two loaves of bread, 

                                                         I would sell one and buy hyacinths, 

                            for they would feed my soul.”     ~Mohammad

We need beauty in our lives. I am attracted to the beauty of words and images in a picture book. You’ve 

been there. You read a phrase, stop, and read the words again. Or stare at a picture on the page that makes 

you smile. When that happens, I use these books as mentor texts. I end up purchasing “ books that 

feed my soul".   This post is from several years ago with some new favorites added. Your challenge is to 

write something that feeds your soul.


                   Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers Read-Aloud by Laura Renauld


                                         MADELINE FINN AND THE THERAPY DOG by Lisa Papp

By Adam Rex

The moon follows a little boy home and stays in his back yard. The pictures glow.

“From Dad’s shoulders, I brushed the moon with my fingertips.”
“Morning had missed us. In darkness, the town awoke...” 
“Hushed they shuffled through slush and dozed off at stoplights.”
“ Then I started a yawn that swayed up the block…and followed me home.”
“The tide came in, smooth and thin, and settled underneath our moon.”

Notice all the soft sounds matching the mood of the story.

                                                                      by Susan VanHecke

In 1861, three escaped slaves made their way to a Union held fort and were granted protection.

“May moon gleams bright as Colonel’s buttons. Three slip out unseen.”
”Weathered skiff bobs in rustling rushes.”
“Oars dip, no sound, silver ripples.  Steal away now, away.”
“Glinting waves slap rotting wood. Whispers, low and shivery.”
“And still they come, in patches and tatters.”
“ Tears rain down and shouts rise up…”

The free verse story uses many poetic devices.

by Emily Jenkins

Three toy friends suit up for the first snowfall.  The most practical toy, Plastic (red rubber ball) changes her outlook to a more poetic viewpoint. The story and pictures are charming and humorous.

“A snowflake is a tiny ballerina, says StingRay.
“No, it’s just really tiny frozen water,” says Plastic. “I read that too.”
A sunset: “It’s strawberry syrup pouring over the world to make it sweet before nightfall,” explains StringRay.
“I’m a strawberry –syrup sun in the snow!” cries Plastic.

The ending is perfect. “And yes, the world is sweet.”

by Doreen Rappaport

This book starts with beauty in the end papers and is filled with quotes from Helen Keller throughout the book. The watercolor pictures match the vibrancy of the words.

When Annie Sullivan pumped water into Helen’s hand and spelled W-A-T-E-R, the quote from Helen is “That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, and set it free.”

“Annie took Helen walking in the forest, jumping in the salty ocean…sailing  in a boat.” Helen’s quote for the page, ”Our little boat swirled in the billows, only to be driven down with angry howl and hiss. Our hearts beat fast.”

The story focuses on what Helen could do.

Here is your challenge.

Start a special notebook to collect beautiful words and phrases.

Add sketches, magazine/catalogue pictures, and photos. 

Identify the type of lyrical language that is used. 

Share with us the beauty of your favorite picture books--books that feed your soul. 


  1. I also can reread and ponder both words and illustrations. In this strange time of COVID, to surround ourselves with beauty and write about it is a great way to energize our creativity. Ty, Janie,

  2. Thanks for adding to the beauty of my day, Janie! I needed this!

  3. What a lovely challenge! I think I have the perfect journal for this. It will be an inspiration all on its own as it grows and grows! This spoke to my soul. Thanks for all your wonderful examples to get us started!

  4. Such beautiful words from so many books I have to add to my list! I will try to get my to this challenge over my Thanksgiving break! Sincerely, Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

  5. Love your challenges Janie :) You definitely feed the soul with your selections. I need a little writing soul right now <3

  6. Collecting beautiful words, phrases and thoughts is such a lovely thing to do. Couldn't agree more!