What fun to be guest blogging on Sally’s site on what I like about children’s poetry!
I like the zing of verse novels; their raw emotional intensity. They look just like other novels sitting on the shelf, but open them and you find words, carefully chosen words strung together in free verse with the power to crumple your heart and open your mind.
I discovered YA verse novels while working in a school library, first Steven Herrick’s, then Margaret Wild and Catherine Bateson’s titles. I was amazed how these authors could tell such compelling tales using so few words and so much white space. On the first page the reader is introduced to the characters, the narrator and the situation and then quickly flung into the action. The reader feels a part of this wild ride. It can be a quick read because of the economy of words, but intense.
Children love poetry written for them because it speaks of their experiences, their lives. Think of Laura Purdie Salas’ Stampede!: Poems to celebrate the wild side of school. And to have these poems read aloud or performed! Audiences quickly make the connection that poetry is life captured on the page (or stage). Congratulations to Sally, who’s adding to the genre with Toppling.
My challenge: add a poetry wall to your home, your school, your place of work. Encourage people to write their poems in ink, on postcards or post-its, or project poems onto the surface. Use magnetic poetry. Poetry forces you to clarify your thoughts.
Just like that pure moment when you bite into your first summer watermelon!
Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts, Alison!