Academic journal article Childhood Education

Traveling with Poetry; Playing with Language. (Books for Children)

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Traveling with Poetry; Playing with Language. (Books for Children)

Article excerpt

How many poems do you know "by heart"? If you are like most people, it would be only a few, or even none. Yet everyone knows songs, and songs are, in a sense, poems set to music. So really, each of us has poems to take with us as we explore our world. Before the OMEP breakfast at the ACEI Conference in San Diego, Jim Quisenberry, Language Arts Professor Emeritus and a long-time ACEI member, shared his enthusiasm for poetry. Using especially clever, short poems to illustrate his thoughts, Jim wondered about the seeming lack of opportunities to learn poetry given to today's children. This shift away from poetry is a shame, because poetry is a fine way to learn about language and have fun in the process. Every culture has poetry; by sharing poetry children can learn about other cultures, as well as their own. In the process, children also may learn about the beautiful sounds and rhythms of language. Jim Quisenberry advises us to celebrate language by writing, drawing, reading, performing, and singing--and not just memorizing--poetry. The following books, briefly noted, will encourage us to begin poetry celebrations throughout our world.

Attenborough, Liz (compiler) POETRY BY HEART: A Child's Book of Poems To Remember. Cover illustrations by Emily Hare. ISBN 0-439-29657-9. New York: The Chicken House, Scholastic Inc., 2001. 124 pp. $17.95. Divided into nine themes such as "Short and Sharp," "Fur and Feathers," and "Stuff and Nonsense," these works by various poets and illustrators will surely entice a broad range of readers. The foreword by Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, draws readers into an enjoyable collection of poetry. Indices for titles, authors, and first lines add value. Ages birth-12.

Bacharach, Burt & Hal David I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER FOR YOU. Il. by Karin Littlewood. ISBN 0-439-29658-7. New York: The Chicken House, Scholastic Inc., 2002. Unp. $16.95. Karin Littlewood's joyful illustrations of her neighbors near her London home capture the spirit of this internationally renowned love song. Ages birth up.

Eastwick, Ivy O. SOME FOLKS LIKE CATS: And Other Poems. Compiled by Walter B. Barbe. Il. by Mary Kurnick Maass. ISBN 1-56397-450-9. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/ Boyds Mills Press, 2002. 32 pp. $15.95. Humorous situations, celebrations of nature, and wonderful memories all have a special place in this charming book that honors British poet Ivy Eastwick. A true advocate for children's literacy, Walter Barbe offers a delightful book to another generation of children. Ages 2-7.

Greene, Rhonda Gowler JAMBOREE DAY. Il. by Jason Wolff. ISBN 0-439-29310-3. New York: Orchard Books, Scholastic, 2001. Unp. $15.95. Cheerfully illustrated animal characters in this whimsically rhyming, toe-tapping book invite young readers to join the celebration at a jungle jamboree. Ages 2-6.

McLaren, Chesley ZAT CAT! …

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