Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Poetry Break!

Circle of Sun  by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

(from Here's A Little Poem by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, originally published in Lemonade Sun and Other Summer Poems by Rebecca Kai Dotlich)

I'm dancing.
I'm leaping.
I'm skipping about.

I gallop.
I grin.
I giggle.
I shout.
I'm Earth's many colors.
I'm morning and night.
I'm honey on toast.
I'm funny.
I'm bright.
I'm swinging.
I'm singing.
I wiggle.
I run.

I'm a piece of the sky
in a circle of sun.

I've always liked this poem, but I think the clincher to make this my favorite was an experience that happened about a year ago. Dancegirl was asked to introduce Cupcake to the Young Women's Program at our church at a "New Beginnings" event in January. Dancegirl was fourteen and Cupcake was eleven and would enter Young Women's several months later (when she turned twelve). Dancegirl talked a little about Cupcake's interests, and then said, "I have a poem that will show you what my sister [Cupcake] is like." Then she read this poem aloud to the group. It fits Cupcake so well. I was quite "chokey" (I really try to avoid crying in public, but sometimes I just don't quite make it)   . . . here was a child I love, talking about a child I love, reading a poem I love from a book I love about a sister that she loves  . . . definitely a favorite memory forever.

My favorite children's poetry book is Here's A Little Poem by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. (And it is hard for me to every say "my favorite" when it comes to books.) It's the illustrations that do it for me. I love reading this with my children and looking and the large illustrations . . . one per poem, one poem (usually) per page.  I ADORE the illustrator, Polly Dunbar. I read from it everyday when my two youngest babies were little.  It brings back such a happy time for me.

We have memorized almost all of the poems inside, just from sheer exposure. I love that the compilation includes classic children's poems like Halfway Down by A.A. Milne, as well as new ones like The No NO Bird by Andrew Fusek Peters. Jane Yolen and Andrew Peters have teamed up again to create a gathering of bedtime poems. I like the "sequel" . . . we read poems at bedtime, and I try to close with a bedtime poem. Brian Karas (who illustrates often for our favorite children's magazines from Cobblestone Publishing--Babybug, Ladybug and ASK) is the illustrator. 

Out there in "kidlitosphere" there is something called "Poetry Friday." Hurrah! I love children's poetry. I'm going to try to post a poem every Friday. .. it's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but it feels like Friday around here . .  .

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