Sunday, April 02, 2006

Poetry and the very young

As I pondered a submission to the Third Carnival of Children's Literature, I realized that I do not talk much about poetry. That is so odd because there is nothing more pleasant or pleasing to read with kids than poems or rhymes. My keenest memories of my own mother reading to me are when she read poems. Poetry just flows off the tongue and I always enjoyed reading it aloud to my own kids.

We recently gifted a new mother-to-be with My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells. When we asked her if there was a bookcase in the baby’s room, she said there was one in the closet. We told that met the minimal standard but she needed to acquire one to be placed in plain sight, ASAP.

I wonder how many folks think of a bookcase as required "baby room" furnishings along with a changing table and crib? Were Treebeard and I just odd?

A while back, to go with a family member's nursery “theme” of Winnie-the-Pooh, I found some letters, decorated with the Shepard Pooh characters (not Disney) that sit on a dresser to spell out the child’s name. Only, I did not buy my niece’s name.
I bought four letters, R – E – A – D.
It is such a pain having a librarian as an aunt.

I loved reading Mother Goose to children. It stood me in good stead when I started as a school librarian because I could recite them from memory, all of them, even the obscure ones. I always felt like the kindergarteners who could say them along with me were going to be AOK with reading. The children I worried about were the ones who had the “Jack and Jill, who? / Humpty Dumpty did WHAT? ” look on their faces.

Goodnight Moon
flows like poetry. That is a book that always invited a, “read it again, please?” and I never minded. I can recite that one from memory too.


web said...

To quote (from memory) The Genie of Sutton Place: "And no bookcases. How could anyone decorate a kid's room and not put in any bookcases?"

Good choice of gift (like you didn't know.) My son loved it.

Camille said...

web--thank you!

Kelly said...

I love the Rosemary Wells' Mother Goose books. Such friendly illustrations (I never loved the illustrations in the classic golden book anthology with the black and white checked cover). A great baby gift!

Michele said...

Personally I'd have LOVED to have a librarian for a relative - what fun ! Fortunately, my parents always encouraged me to read and as a child I often had books as gifts instead of Easter Eggs or fireworks (I've never liked the latter). Funnily enough a friend recently wanted to buy me some chocolates as a "thank you" gift and I pointed out that I hadn't eaten the last lot he bought me (I'm saving them for Easter) and reminded him that I love books, so he got me a Book Token instead ! Yay !