Nancy Cristman Kissed Me

by Ted Scheu

Nancy Cristman Kissed Me by Ted Scheu

Nancy Cristman kissed me
as we walked to school today.
It happened fast, and I was lost
with what to do or say.

I quickly looked around to check
if anyone had seen it.
If they did, and tease me,
they’ll be sorry, and I mean it.

Why did Nancy Cristman put
that smack upon my cheek?
I’m so confused, and probably
will stay this way all week.

I’ll guess I’ll have to marry her,
and share my lemonade.
A lot can happen to a kid
who walks to second grade.

  — Ted Scheu

Copyright © 2007. All Rights Reserved. From I Tickled My Teachers: 58 Hilariously Heartful School Poems. Young Poets Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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About this Poem

It’s all true, I promise. This earth-shaking event really, truly happened to me nearly 60 years ago as I was walking to school in 2nd grade. Sadly, Nancy Cristman, who I never saw again after 6th grade, when my family moved away, died very young, just before I wrote this poem, so she never heard it. Or read it. But I have since shared it with her family, and I know she giggles whenever I share it aloud, wherever she is. It’s my favorite poem ever.

From I Tickled My Teachers: 58 Hilariously Heartful School Poems

With I Tickled My Teachers, children’s poet Ted Scheu has another winner—a fine confirmation that his distinctively honest and hilariously ironic voice is what kids ages 6 to 11 are looking for in poetry these days. This collection of school poems perfectly captures, in rhyming verse, kids’ laughs and concerns about school life. Here are 58 dangerously funny and ‘heartful’ poems, with titles like “I Love Mondays,” “Nancy Cristman Kissed Me,” “A Little Smelly,” “Cursive Curse,” “Parent-Teacher Conference,” and “My New…Um…Invention.” Ted Scheu’s poems will bring a laugh to your lips no matter how old a kid you are. And once again, Peter Lourie’s stunning black and white photo illustrations capture close-ups of kids’ faces that will put a smile on yours. This updated edition of I Tickled My Teachers is one of the best collections of poems for kids about school to make it out to recess.

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About the Author

Ted Scheu (pronounced “shy”) is a children’s poet and teacher from Middlebury, Vermont who is often introduced as a 3rd grader stuck in a grown-up’s body. He is a former elementary teacher (and naval officer, banker, advertising copywriter, and carpenter), who started writing funny poems seriously about 20 years ago. His poems are published over two dozen anthologies in the US and UK, and in six collections of his own: I Froze My Mother, I Tickled My Teachers, I Threw My Brother Out, Now I Know My ZBCs, Getting the Best of Me, and his latest, a tribute to teachers through kids’ eyes (Ted’s kid-eyes) called, Someday I’ll be a Teacher.

His poems are featured in over two dozen anthologies around the world, including in two amazing anthologies from National Geographic, The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, and The Poetry of US. Ted is also super proud of a poem of his that appears a marvelously-sleep-inducing anthology from Little, Brown and Co. called, One Minute till Bedtime.

When he’s not writing humorous poems about kids’ lives, Ted spends about 100 days a year visiting schools around the country. He shares his poems, and mostly helps young writers find their own voices in writing workshops, and to have the kind of fun with poems he never had as a kid. Ted tries to begin (and sometimes end) a poem every day, and when he’s not writing or visiting schools, he loves to eat cereal with lots of milk, and ride his bike—just like any kid his age.

If you haven’t ventured yet to Ted’s website, you’re in for a tickle when you do. Ted and his ‘cousins’ will entertain you. It’s all at

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