April is Poetry Month, but did you know that this is Young Peoples’ Poetry Week ? In honor of this week that celebrates all that poetry has to bring to children and teens, we asked poetry advocate, Sylvia Vardell, for a post.
I’d like to highlight the power of poetry for inviting kids into the music of language—the rhythm, rhyme, and sounds of words. Very young kids will love Fiesta Babies (Tricycle Press, 2010) by Carmen Tafolla, with bouncy folk art illustrations by Amy Córdova. A rhyming couplet begins each double-page spread, “Fiesta Babies sing along/ to Grandpa’s favorite mariachi song!” The babies parade, munch, sing, dance, celebrate, and nap in playful language that invites children to join in with motions and chanting.
Another great read aloud selection for children is ¡Muu, Moo! Rimas de animals/ Animal Nursery Rhymes (Rayo/HarperCollins, 2010) selected by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Here are 16 inviting story rhymes from several different Spanish speaking countries—classic folk rhymes plus new verses, all in Spanish and English accompanied by captivating watercolor illustrations by Viví Escriva.
For older kids, I have to plug Pat Mora’s own new work for teens, Dizzy in Your Eyes; Poems About Love (Knopf, 2010) an innovative anthology of nearly 50 poems about all kinds of love– of parents, friends, family, pets—acknowledging the depth of feeling in many relationships and at many stages of life and in many different poetic forms.
Thank you to our guest blogger Sylvia Vardell, Professor at Texas Woman’s University/ School of Library & Information Studies, and author of several books on literature and poetry. This month on her marvelous blog, Poetry for Children, she’s organized POETRY TAG, a unique celebration of poets, poetry and poetic connections.