Listen to the magic of poetry

Book List

April 11, 1999

"Young People's Poetry Week," sponsored by the Children's Book Council, will be observed this week (tomorrow through April 18) to encourage children and young adults to read, write and enjoy poetry. Poetry creates pictures in children's minds and develops their imagination. And, poems are often short with lots of white space on the page, which makes them more accessible to new readers.

Here are some tips for sharing poetry with your child:

n Read a poem slowly and be dramatic (in other words, ham it up).

n If there is a poem your child enjoys, suggest acting out a favorite line or stanza. Reward such efforts with delighted enthusiasm.

n Pause occasionally and let your child "fill in the blanks."

Because poetry's appeal spans all ages, try a variety of poems. You might start with "Book Poems: Poems From National Children's Book Week 1959-1998." This anthology contains four decades of poems about the importance of reading and books by award-winning poets (available through CBC, 800-999-2160). Visit its Web site (www.cbcbooks.org) for information about coming events and a free bibliography.

These are some of my favorites:

* "Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems" by Judy Sierra

* "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson

* "The Disappearing Alphabet" by Richard Wilbur

* "Hiawatha" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

* "A Hippopotamusn't and Other Animal Poems" by J. Patrick Lewis

* "Hoops" by Robert Burleigh

* "Insectlopedia: Poems and Paintings" by Douglas Florian

* "Lunch Money and Other Poems About School" by Carol Diggory Shields

* "Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems" by Lee Bennett Hopkins

* "Now We Are Six" by A.A. Milne

* "Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems" by Kristine O'Connell George

* "A Pizza the Size of the Sun" by Jack Prelutsky

* "Sol a Sol: Bilingual Poems" selected and written by Lori Marie Carlson

* "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein

-- Susan Rapp, Village Reading Center

Pub Date: 04/11/99

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