William Shakespeare is considered to be one of the most influential playwrights in literature. Over four hundred years ago, he lit up the stage at the famous Globe Theater in 16th- and 17th-century England with his lavish histories, comedies, and tragedies.
April is Poetry Month, the perfect time to share the beauty of poetry with a child. If you are an adult who enjoys poetry, you are probably already regularly reading poetry with the children in your life. If you are an adult who is either intimidated by poetry or simply doesn’t enjoy it, I urge you to take a look at poetry written for children. I often enjoy children’s poetry much more than that written for adults. I like the humor, wit, and silliness of children’s poetry, as well as the simplicity of the more serious poems.
Maya Angelou is famous today for her memorable words. She should also be remembered for her indomitable spirit.
Poems by Cynthia Grady with illustrations by Michele Wood
Cynthia Grady and illustrator Michele Wood have crafted a book to share with children where each poem, together with its picture, is a thoughtful illumination of some aspect of slaves’ experiences.
"I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas." (From The Big Sea, one of Hughes’ autobiographies)
“it takes courage to grow up & become who you really are.”
- e.e. cummings
As a boy, poet e.e. cummings had a huge imagination. He loved to play tag, climb trees, and especially gaze out his window at Mother Nature. Inspired by everything around him, e.e. began to speak poetry, which his mother wrote down for him in a notebook. He played aloud with words to express his excitement for learning.
to the clouds
(just loud enough
for the sun to overhear
but not enough to wake the rain)
“the strawberries are furious
and i think i just heard
even the roses sigh”
April is National Poetry Month, which is a perfect time to highlight all the amazing poetry that is out there, but . . . UGH . . . POETRY. At least, that’s how I used to feel. When I was a kid I LOVED poetry, especially Shel Silverstein. But as I got older, and school started requiring me to think about the poetry we were reading and what the deeper meaning might be, I started to resent it. I mean, couldn’t I just ENJOY the poetry instead of trying to decipher how the poet might have been feeling when he wrote it? Apparently not.
Then I started working as a youth services librarian, and I was introduced to novels in verse. All of those middle school and high school memories came flooding back, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Until I read one. Then I read another and another. Finally, I realized I LOVED novels in verse! Why? Because they are complete stories told through a collection of poetry. Poetry rarely takes up a whole page, which made the books super fast to read! It also amazed me how by simply changing the spacing or even font size within a poem an additional meaning was made clear.
"There are Moose Tracks on my back porch. I'm not sure how they got there
One thing I'm fairly certain of-- last night those tracks were NOT there."
Monsters, they're just like us! Sure, they lurk in darkened corridors, drink blood, and terrify unsuspecting villagers. When it really comes down to it, though, we all want the same things. In Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, Adam Rex explores every aspect of these monstrous needs...in rhyme!