Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Just in case it isn’t clear,
National Poetry Month is here!
We’re celebrating poetry every day
in the Children’s Room at MLK!
Is there time to write some rhymes?
Perhaps we should scribble a sonnet or two -
Maybe I’ll try haiku.  How about you?

Let’s read, and write, and read some more.
Each page reveals an open door.
The most wonderful news- you can have more than one
There’s no need to choose, and we’re in for some fun.
So pick a book from the shelf,
try reading a few!
Words spin and twirl
as you weave them anew.
Hey, look,
you’re a poet!
Who knew?

This Saturday’s Family Fun Time was all about poetry.  We read a few poems, listened to stories about poets, and then decided that it was time to write some of our own.  We created book spine poems, assembled acrostics using our own version of (large-scale) magnetic poetry flashcards, and even decorated miniature books.  Some of our poets were also blossoming artists, and one used the word flashcards as a prompt for a sentence and illustration in each page of the book.  It was great fun, and everyone got to show off his or her creative side. 
Here are a few of the books that inspired us today:
How to paint the portrait of a bird
Red Sings from Treetops
Here's a little poem : a very first book of poetry
A river of words : the story of William Carlos Williams
This is a poem that heals fish

Looking for more poetry? The NCTE (National Council of Teachers of  English) just released their annotated list of notable poetry (part of the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children), almost all of which you can find on our library shelves.  Here are just a few of the titles selected by the NCTE committee:
Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem
Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!: Poems for Two Voices
Lullaby (for a Black Mother)
Poems to Learn by Heart
Face Bug
When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders
World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of
Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems
Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems
Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist
Wee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book

This particular list of poems ranges from bugs and babies to holidays, fairy tales, and civil rights.  Poetry can be about anything, and there’s a poem out there for everyone, no matter what you are interested in.  Do you like dinosaurs, sports,  or outer space? Fairies and mythical creatures?  Food?  Try a poem!  They don't all rhyme, I promise!
Don’t forget that Mother Goose nursery rhymes and tongue twisters are poems too!
Want to learn more about poetry? Try the Encyclopedia Britannica!  
How about a video storybook or two?  You can also get downloadable ebooks and e-audio recordings of children’s poetry collections.  All you need is your library card!  

Well, I have to admit that it’s been a delight
looking for poems that we can recite,
finding fascinating facts, and playing with rhymes.
But I’m very quickly running out of time,
so I’ll end this verse with a simple request -
please keep writing, creating, and having fun
After all, poems are for everyone!

Happy National Poetry Month!