Saturday, April 21, 2012
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to feature two poetry books that we've been reading this month.
HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT by Edward Lear, masterminded by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Calef Brown, is an extremely fun book of poems. Booking Son and his father were reading this book before bedtime one night and I heard quite a bit of laughter. I was surprised that a book of poems was the reason for the giggles, but when I took a closer look, it became apparent why. HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT is just plain silly!
I think HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT is an excellent way to introduce poetry to young children. This book is chock full of poems that are guaranteed to stretch your child's imagination and make them smile. I wasn't familiar with most of these poems, but I have a feeling I might be alone. Edward Lear wrote his nonsense poems over 150 years ago, they are still relevant today. I appreciated that the author included a brief (and very silly) bio of Mr. Lear at the beginning of the book to give some background into his life.
In addition to the poems, the colorful illustrations are quite a bit of fun. This book is full of detailed, yet whimsical, pictures of the characters in the poems. They are extremely interesting to look at and are the perfect complement to the poetry.
This book is a winner and sure to be a hit with little ones (and parents too!)
In addition to beloved poems by Mary Ann herself, this collection also features poems by such notable poets as Carl Sandburg, Karla Kuskin, Jack Prelutsky, Alice Schertle, and William Carlos Williams, as well as helpful tools that children, parents, and teachers can use for memorization and recitation.
The poems are coupled with Michael Emberley's humorous and lively art, offering a unique, approachable, and child-friendly collection. The wide variety of poems, from short to long and from silly to solemn, are sure to please every reader and inspire children of all ages to celebrate the joy of learning poetry by heart. -- Little, Brown
FORGET-ME-NOTS: POEMS TO LEARN BY HEART selected by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Michael Emberley is a wonderful book of poems. While I definitely don't consider myself a fan of poetry (although I am finding that I enjoy books written in verse if that counts for anything), I absolutely loved this book. Part of the reason why is that it reminded me of my childhood. I appreciated rediscovering many of the poems that I remember hearing as a child.
The premise alone of FORGET-ME-NOTS also makes it extremely special. The idea behind this collection is that these poems are perfect for learning by heart and saying aloud. (Do any of you remember having to memorize poems and then reciting them to your class?) The book is pretty extensive and includes over 125 poems of varying lengths. In addition, the book is divided into some pretty neat chapters headings. There are sections titled, "The Short of It," "One and All," "Beautiful Beasts," "Delicious Dishes," "It's About Time," "Happiness Is," "Weather and Seasons," "Sad and Sorrowful," " Strange and Mysterious," "Poems from Storybooks," and "The Long of It." I think there's a little something for everyone, and there is such a wide variety of poems that it's guaranteed to entertain kids of all ages. Another nice feature of FORGET-ME-NOTS is that there are some suggestions at the end of the book for learning poetry by heart.
And finally, I enjoyed this book so much is that it just has some great poems by some great poets. There are some classic poems and also many more that were new-to-me. No matter how you slice it, FORGET-ME-NOTS is a great assortment of poetry. Many of you will recognize the poets whose works appear in this book including Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandberg, Edward Lear (see above review!), Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and Shel Silverstein.
Ms. Hoberman is a former Children's Poet Laureate and a winner of the National Book Award. It is apparent that she has a passion for sharing her love of poetry with children, and I think she has accomplished that once again with FORGET-ME-NOTS. This collection of poetry would make a fantastic gift for children of all ages, and it's one that I can see being handed down through the generations. In my opinion, FORGET-ME-NOTS is that special!
I adored FORGET-ME-NOTS and I think it's a must-have book for every child's library! Highly recommended!
Thanks to the publishers for providing review copies of these books.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!