We’ve officially begun our 2010-2011 school year, and with this new venture into first grade has come lots of reading aloud. However, most of our reading time has been focused on science and history read-alouds (which I HOPE to share tomorrow), so I’m a little short on the random reads that I like to share for Read Aloud Thursday today. The one I do have to share, though, is a real winner!
I am adding Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry to my list of wonderful poetry anthologies for young children. This book caught my eye at the library first of all because it’s a large hardback book and second because the illustration on the cover is bright and cheerful. On further investigation, I learned that the poems inside this volume were chosen by none other than Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, and I’ve already established how much I like Jane Yolen.
Despite how much I enjoy it, poetry is sometimes a hard sell with my girls. This anthology, though, is one that they’ve actually asked me to read from! In fact, they’ve requested certain poems from this anthology to be read over and over again! This is the true mark of success with poetry, at least in my book. 🙂 What is it that makes this book special? First of all, of course, is the poems themselves. With selections from such diverse poets as A.A. Milne, Gertrude Stein, Nikki Grimes, Jack Prelutsky, Hilaire Belloc, and many others whose names I don’t recognize, there is a wide array of styles represented–from somewhat serious to mostly silly, from rhyming to not. Second, I think the illustrations and the large format of both the book and the text make this particular volume very appealing to small children. Polly Dunbar‘s illustrations are bright, colorful, and kid-friendly. I love her use of interesting backgrounds and colors–each page is different. Between the large and colorful illustrations and the large font used for the text of the poems, the format of this book really appeals to little hands and eyes.
I’m just itching to share my favorite poem from this book, but I will restrain myself out of respect for the author’s copyright, etc. (It’s by Berlie Doherty, a writer I had never heard of before I read her poem in this book.) However, I will share a few telling quotes about poetry, just for fun:
Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. — Carl Sandburg
A poem begins with a lump in the throat. — Robert Frost
Poetry is life distilled. — Gwendolyn Brooks
Even for kids, I think all of these things are true.
I want to add Here’s a Little Poem to our collection. I give it a Highly Recommended!
What read-alouds have you been enjoying together as a family? Please leave a link to your Read Aloud Thursday blog post below, or simply leave a comment.
Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!