Last week we enjoyed Mary Ann Hoberman’s Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems, which has been the most age-appropriate for my young girls of all the poetry collections we’ve enjoyed so far this month. (We’ve enjoyed them all, but this one has required the least amount of work to understand.) Hoberman was named the Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation back in 2008. Her works are widely anthologized , and she has written a number of picture books. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers is a fun poetry collection that looks at families from multiple perspectives and about their different members–little sisters, big sisters, kids with messy rooms, grandparents, an only child, cousins, etc.
My girls’ favorite poem from this collection is one entitled “Big Sister.” It begins like this:
I have a big sister;
She’s taller and older;
On tiptoe I only
Reach up to her shoulder;
The poem continues with the little sister explaining how she intends to catch up to her big sister. (I don’t want to give her solution away, but it’s funny!) My girls like this one a lot, I suppose because both girls can relate to it. They chose this one to use for copywork and to illustrate:
Hoberman expresses childish understanding, attitudes, and dreams in some of these poems, and it’s refreshing for me as an adult to climb back into a child’s mind and remember what it feels like to be a kid. Her poem entitled “When I Grow Up” captures this feeling:
When I grow up, I want to be
A grown-up who remembers me
And what it felt like to be small:
I can say with confidence that Mary Ann Hoberman’s poetry should appeal to almost any child; I know we have enjoyed what we’ve read.