Author and poet Tim Fortier has written a fun book for kids — and it’s just the first of many!
By Laura Jean Whitcomb
Can you imagine…Japanese beetles sumo wrestling? A shark with braces? Well, New Hampshire native Tim Fortier can. His new book, Animal Imagine, will have kids imagining up their own silly scenarios in no time. Kid Stuff magazine asked Fortier a few questions about his brain, his books and what he has coming up.
Q. Who are you? What is your day job? Where do you live?
A. I grew up in Sunapee, N.H., and attended all 12 years of schooling there. Much of what I write about involves my years of growing up in the area.
I love to create stories and paint with words. Perhaps, I am a blending of my parents: my Dad the storyteller and my Mom the educator and word lover. I try to create poems and stories that will bring joy, smiles and laughter to my readers.
I’ve worked primarily in restaurants as a bartender/server and sales jobs most of my life. Currently, I wait tables at a local restaurant and bartend weddings, private parties and festivals. Since 2016, I am residing in Florida.
Q. How did you think up the idea for Animal Imagine?
A. Animal Imagine started as a list of fun animal poems I could write. Only one became a poem but I realized if I added illustrations to these imagines I would have a fun children’s book. I took a whimsical look at animal stereotypes and imagined unusual twists to how we would think of them. For example, a giraffe has a long neck so what if he/she had a necktie collection? What if a shark wore braces? What if penguins snowboard?
Q. Does your brain really imagine these things?
A. Yes! I have an active and vivid imagination that creates quite a variety of thoughts.
Q. How old are you?
A. I am 58 yrs old, but I reserve the right to be child-like forever, but not childish.
Q. Do you have kids? Did they grow up with imaginations, too?
A. I have three wonderful children: Meghan, 23, Devon, 21, and Jared, 18. I believe they were blessed with great imaginations because I have stolen lots of their ideas and words.
Q. Does your imagination get you in trouble?
A. I don’t believe so, people do think I am quirky, strange, unusual, maybe even weird.
Q. How can kids develop their imagination?
A. I think “imagination” is a natural part of a child’s development. Children see the world magically, wonderfully, without adult filters. Just let them be inquisitive and encourage their thoughts and questions. Imagination will happen.
Q. You write poetry, too?
A. Yes, I write original poetry for children. I write fun, imaginative, crazy, silly poems that most kids can relate to. I am passionate about inspiring young writers through the magic of poetry and picture books. Look for several books to come! Trevor, Whatever (a rhymed verse about a boy and his wild hair) will be published in spring 2020 — and might already be available as you read this.
By Tim Fortier
Like a postcard for a view.
Dad has taken out this shovel.
He has lots and lots to do.
The snowbanks are all five feet high.
Special present from the plows.
The trees are all but straining.
From the white stuff on their boughs.
The wind is whipping icy.
Turns your head or blows your hat.
A face now halfway frozen.
From such frigid gusts as that.
I tire of the climate here.
Do I really have to stay?
Dreaming of warmer weather.
Make the winter go away.
F-word beckons me to come.
Sell the house and pack my things.
No cold or snow will bother me.
Sun and sand my fortune brings.
Wish I never heard the F-word.
Florida is not real cool.
There’s a hurricane approaching.
And there’s a gator in my pool!
© 2019 Tim Fortier. All rights reserved.
Find more about author and poet Tim Fortier at tfortpoetry.com