Today is Read Aloud Thursday, but do you know what this month is?
It’s National Poetry Month! In honor of poetry (and because it’s something I fail to get to often enough), I have been sharing poetry with my girls during our read-aloud times every morning this week. I hope to continue through next week, too. I’ve shared some of our favorite poetry books on a number of occasions (here is a good place to start), but today I thought I’d share a few library picks. As you can see, I went a little overboard in checking out poetry books from the library! (Actually, not all of these are library books.)
The truth of the matter is that my girls don’t really love poetry. Or at least they think they don’t, which is the same thing. I’m having them memorize “The Swing” right now (from Stevenson‘s A Child’s Garden of Verses), and they have been less than excited about it. I just think about my granny, who at ninety could still remember entire poems she memorized during her eight years of formal education, and I persevere. My girls would almost never choose a book of poetry over a picture book. However, after we’ve read a few poems, they forget their reservations and get into it somewhat, but never with the same enjoyment that they find in picture books and novels. That’s okay, though, because everyone has her preferences! I do want them to at least soak a little of it up, so again, I persevere. One thing I’ve learned for the young age of my girls is that if I can make it interactive at all, they like it better. That’s where riddles come in. Riddle Rhymes by Charles Ghigna has been the biggest hit of all the poetry books we’ve enjoyed together thus far. The riddles in this book are easy enough that my kindergartener and four year old could solve most of them. I like that they’re in a regular meter and rhyme scheme. We read the whole book at once, and to my girls it was more like a game than anything. That alone earns it an enthusiastic Highly Recommended! If my memory serves me correctly (and it might not–I’m pregnant, you know! 😉 ), I actually got to see Charles Ghigna at an Alabama librarian’s convention back before I had any children. It turns out that he is an Alabama author with a lot of books to his credit. He even has a poem-a-week blog that looks like fun.
The other winner this week has been a poetry anthology entitled Jumpety-Bumpety Hop: A Parade of Animal Poems by Kay Chorao. Each one or two-page spread contains poems about one particular animal. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and detailed; in fact, Louise had to move close to me while I was reading from this one just so she could really study the pictures. It’s more of a whimsical look at animals (as it should be) than a serious one, but there are a few poems by “serious, adult” poets included (i.e. Blake, Wordsworth, and even Tolkien). I would love to add this one to our collection at home!
I hope that next week we can do some activities that relate to poetry. I must give Jimmie credit for reminding me that this month is Poetry Month and for inspiring me to actually do something about it! Right now I’m not sure what we’ll do. Does anyone have any ideas for good activities for young children?
What about your family? Have you been enjoying poetry this month, or are you reading something else fabulous that you just have to share? I hope you’ll share it here, either by leaving a link to your blog post below, or simply by leaving a comment!
Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!