Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children

Article excerpt

Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children. By Sylvia M. Vardell. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2014. 286 p. Paper $45 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-1177-8).

Texas Women's University professor and "Poetry Friday" founder Sylvia M. Vardell has updated her 2006 book Poetry Aloud Here. The second edition serves as a guidebook to incorporating poetry into schools and, to a lesser extent, into public libraries.

The text includes compelling arguments for presenting poetry to children and practical ways to go about including the genre in interactions with children in a variety of contexts. An annotated list of poets whose works suit children makes up a large portion of the text, making it especially useful for a public librarian who wishes to update a children's poetry collection. A section filled with biographical information on more than sixty poets acknowledges that many professionals (and therefore the children they serve) are familiar primarily with big names like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky and Vardell thoughtfully provides read-alikes from lesser-known authors. A special focus on literature from a variety of cultural perspectives adds a further layer of usefulness.

The book proposes concrete lessons, such as author profiles that showcase one work by the poet and include a related instructional activity. Advice from the author and from professional poets on the process of introducing poetry to children complements the book's collection development utility. The author also offers practitioner perspectives, mostly from school librarians with public librarians and teachers interjecting occasionally. …

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