The assured, irresistible, easy introduction to poetry for individuals who doubt they prefer it
If you or your kids are not sure how to develop a taste for poetry, especially if you haven't decided whether to feel compelled to do so, I have a short, painless list of books for you. Even if you can't currently access a library, we recommend that you order these books from an independent bookstore that offers roadside, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon pickup. You will not regret your purchases.
Read them out with a drink and a snack (should we call them quarantine donuts?). DO NOT wait until you make donuts to enjoy these books. However, when making donuts, read them out loud with your fingers messy and your mouth full. I usually rely on popcorn and iced tea.
Ready? You are welcome. What do these five men, two Englishmen and three Americans have in common?
Your protagonists are poets. Really clever, humorous poet. In every story there is an outbreak of meter and rhyme that feels so natural for the story that poetry appears to be an ordinary part of everyday life.
Step 1: read the essential Calvin and Hobbes and Yukon Ho! by Bill Watterson.
Read the rest of the series because poems are scattered all over the place. Read the poems for the best effect.
Step 2: Read all of the picture books about Frances the Badger (bedtime, baby sister, bread and jam, best friends, birthday, bargains) by Russell Hoban.
Your insights are childish and brilliant. If you can, order a used copy of Egg Thoughts and other Frances songs. It's out of print, but "Gloria" is often quoted here. (Note: Best Friends for Frances has been reprinted as an I Can Read version and is not identical to the text in the picture book. As far as I can see, Baby Sister and Bargain are the same. Stick to the original.)
Step 3: Read Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.
Part of the charm is that Pooh's poems aren't perfect and we don't mind. (Optional: Read when we were very young and now we're six. "The Kings Breakfast" has long been one of my favorites, and when Kermit the Frog's nephew, Robin, sings "Halfway Down" on the Muppets , the charm is irresistible.)
Step 4: Read Freddy and the Walter Brooks Bean Home News (a bargain on Kindle).
Freddy is a pig entrepreneur who likes to compose poems during his adventures at home and abroad. His collected poems are also available on Kindle. There are many books in the series, all of which are recommended.
Step 5: read J.R.R.'s hobbit Tolkien.
My elder confesses that he skips the poems, but he heard them read when he was too young to remember, and he still developed his love for language.
Contemporary authors: The Wilderking Trilogy and The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers
We enjoyed the poems and songs performed by feechies and other characters. (At the moment the author is reading The Charlatan’s Boy!)
Let's go! You experience poetry as a pleasure. Are you ready for more Our family favorites include:
If you're ready to move on to more traditional classics, I particularly liked the Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems, published by Donald Hall (author of Ox-Cart Man).
Wasn't that easy? If you're not a poetry lover yet, at least learn that it can be engaging, effortless, and even irresistible.
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