After you read it be sure to leave a comment with your name and email address (email address won't be published publicly) on the "Yummy Mummy" blog post at MamaMinutes this week to enter yourself into a drawing for a copy of the book. Comments will be accepted until midnight (CST) on Friday, March 9. A winner will be announced in a blog post on MamaMinutes on Monday, March 12. Good luck!
When Sourcebooks, Inc. approached me about reviewing Poetry Speaks to Children I wasn't sure what kind of book to expect. I imagined a lightweight, brief book filled possibly with cartoon drawings and simple, rhyming poems aimed at making children laugh. As it turned out, the book I received was so much more than that. The book is a gorgeous hard-cover anthology of children's poems--by classic as well as contemporary poets--with an accompanying CD. This was a book I could pour over and love. Yet it was created for a child's senses and sensibilities. By bringing together timeless poetry; colorful, lush and sometimes comical illustrations; and recordings of the actual poets reading their own works, Poetry Speaks to Children attempts to engender a love for poetry in children and it hits the mark.
I spent an afternoon reading through the book of 95 poems and listening to the accompanying CD which includes 50 performances by poets reading their own works. Each performance, along with its track number on the CD, is noted in the upper corner of the poem's page. Reading and enjoying the selected poems is a gift but getting the chance to hear a poem read in the author's own voice? That's like tying up the gift with a big, shiny bow. Some of the performances are prefaced by comments from the authors, providing glimpses into the creation of the poems and
what the authors thought and felt about their own written words.This beautiful keepsake book is worth the price of $19.95 all on its own, but the accompanying CD really makes this book a good value.
Delaney awoke from her nap when I was about halfway through the CD. I cuddled her close and we listened to several poems as we paged through the book. She was more captivated by the illustrations and my reading the poems to her than she was by listening to the recordings, however I think that's to be expected at her age. One day when she's a little older and able to read the poems herself, I know she'll appreciate the hand-in-hand combination of the book and CD and the chance to hear the authors speak personally about their poems.
Lastly, I was pleased to see that contemporary poets (Sandra Cisneros and Naomi Shihab Nye, just to name a few) were included in this rich anthology in addition to classic poets (such as Robert Frost, William Blake and Shakespeare). Poetry Speaks to Children is a lovely and accessible book that can introduce even the youngest child to the awe and wonder that poetry inspires.