In Praise of Poetry
“A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” – Emily Dickinson
As we celebrate both the spoken and written word, here are some new and noteworthy books I’d like to share with you. Then, take a minute and visit the Web site of Poetry Speaks to learn more about what is happening in the colorful, creative world of poetry.
For ages 2 and up:
Everybody Was A Baby Once and Other Poems by Alan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman (Candlewick Press, $15.99). Filled with witty, funny poems kids will enjoy hearing and parents will love reading, like Small Hairy Mouse, Monster Munch and more!
For ages 3-8:
Truckery Rhymes (Part of Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown) with illustrations by the Design Garage: David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon (Simon & Schuster, $17.99). For me a favorite here is The Wheels on The Truck and Wrecker Rosie Sat on a Wall. Truckfulls of silliness in store.
For ages 4-7:
Arnold Lobels Odd Owls & Stout Pigs: A Book of Nonsense with color by Adrianne Lobel (HarperCollins Children’s Books, $15.99). Who doesn’t love Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories? Now there’s more to love with this collection including some extremely clever limericks with lines you’ll be repeating over and over.
Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems by Debbie Levy with illustrations by Stephanie Buscema (Sterling Publishing Co., $14.95). Funny poems about sleepovers, closets, pillows and night clothes fill this book and get kids giggling and grinning before bed, getting imaginations in gear and guaranteeing lots of good dreams!
For ages 9-12:
The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination edited by Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston (Soucebooks/Jabberwocky, $19.99 includes 1 Audio CD). Here’s a collection you and your child will want to revisit again and again because it’s absolutely packed with poems and info about our world. I particularly like that there’s a helpful glossary, bibliography and an About The Poets section, too. Hearing poets read their own works on the CD is simply the icing on the cake.
For ages 12-14:
Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else in Your Amazing Future edited by Elise Paschen; series editor Dominique Raccah (Soucebooks/Jabberwocky, $19.99 includes 1 Audio CD). Teens will be inspired to write their own poetry at the end of this book after reading Shakespeare, Rosetti, Nash and more than 100 moving and meaningful poems by contemporary and classic poets. Read and Hear: Billy Collins, Marilyn Nelson, Sonia Sanchez, Richard Wilbur and more. The zeitgeist of teen-dom is so perfectly captured and conveyed in this anthology and really does speak to middle-graders in an exciting array of voices.