By Guest Blogger Ellen Lloyd
From an early age, I remember feeling a connection to poetry. I penned my first poem at the age of six and have written many poems since. I love the layers of story tucked within each line of poetry, and the complexity that exists within a seemingly simple stanza. April is known as National Poetry Month. This designation was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as way to raise awareness and appreciation of this form of writing.
In an effort to introduce poetry to all age groups and to help celebrate National Poetry Month, most of the selections this month feature poetry. From the engaging rhymes in Giraffes Can’t Dance to the elegantly crafted lines of one of my all-time favorite poets, Robert Frost, even reluctant poetry readers will surely find some aspect of this art form to appreciate. I encourage you to explore a few poems, and don’t be surprised if you discover a love of poetry!
Preschool — Giraffes Can’t Dance (board book) by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Gary Parker-Rees
Gerald the giraffe dreams of being able to dance, but his body doesn’t make it an easy dream to realize. Through fun illustrations and light, airy rhymes, Gerald receives encouragement from an unlikely friend and travels a path to dancing in a non-traditional way, but a way that reflects who he truly is and to a tune that works for him. This story inspires children to never give up on big dreams and to always be open to dancing to their own tune.
Early Elementary — Guyku: A Year of Haikus for Boys by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
This title will be most appealing to young boys and a fun way to introduce them to haikus. The author’s haikus relay themes of nature and outdoor fun experienced through all four seasons. Outdoor activities are described with sensory provoking words that will surely invite play and engage imaginations.
From www.bn.com, “When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash through in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to sword fight with in the winter. So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree climbing and kite flying? Why, guyku, of course!”
Elementary/Middle School — Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, Edited by Gary Schmidt
Robert Frost’s poems delight all five senses and easily pull readers into other worlds, times and seasons. This well-loved, Pulitzer Prize winning poet has more than twenty-five of his most popular poems featured in this collection. Young people will find a perfect introduction to the world of poetry with Frost’s elegant and carefully selected words.
High School — Stressed Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind by Jonathan Bate and Paula Byrne
While poetry may seem to be a non-traditional approach to relieving stress, this collection is proves otherwise. Organized with themes that relate to the stresses of teenage life, readers can easily turn to a poem that speaks to their worries, big issues and concerns, and be filled with positive thoughts and hope. This collection has been called bibliotherapy. Try it!
Moms — Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler
This New York Times bestselling author is a professor at Duke Divinity School who was enjoying her work, happily married to her high school sweetheart and loving life with a newborn son when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Kate questions what it means to die in a society that believes everything happens for a reason. In this powerful memoir, Kate tells her story with thoughts and observations on her perspectives on dying and how they have taught her to live her life.
Win a book of your choice from today’s blog!
Remember to share your thoughts and comments, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)
Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit www.funwithfreckles.com and www.facebook.com/funwithfreckles to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at www.mindfulmom.wordpress.com and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.
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