How I Accidentally Wrote the World’s Longest Children’s Poem

On Thursday, I triumphantly finished my last revision of my children’s book. I was finally ready to show it to a few beta readers.

Sure, the meter was a big off in some spots and there were still a few areas here or there where I didn’t 100% love a line or plot progression.

But overall, it was ready.

At first the word count didn’t mean that much to me.

2,579 words.

That didn’t seem too bad. Yeah, the poem was long and took me a really long time to write.

But still, that’s a fraction of most of my book manuscripts. I routinely write articles longer than that for work — usually in the course of a single day.

But then I read it out loud. And I asked my wife to read it out loud. It turns out reading a 2,579-word poem is a marathon.

And I realized I might’ve accidentally written the world’s longest children’s poem.

For comparison, The Cat in the Hat is 1,621 words and feels long. Horton Hears a Who!, which feels even longer, is 2,008. And those, of course, are Dr. Seuss classics, not books by an unknown.

Some others:

  • Goodnight, Moon – 131 words
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – 212 words
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 1,359 words
  • The Jabberwocky – 577 words
  • Room on the Broom – 834 words

In fact, through all my searching, I couldn’t find a poem-based book for “picture book”-age children that clocked in longer than what I wrote.


This is all part of the learning process. As I try out all these different book formats here in the early stage of this 100-book project, I’m learning quite a bit about all of them. The epic poetry lesson is just the latest.

So now, it’s time for a quick trip back to the lab — to trim out at least 750 words and tighten this thing up.

Then it will be ready for people to see.

And maybe one day, if it becomes beloved in its own right, I can release the extended director’s cut.

To see a daily log of my progress toward my goal of writing and publishing 100 books, check out the Work Log.


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