Kids Are Natural Poets

For many adults, poetry is either a dead or boring format, with no relevance, resonance, or rightness to it. "I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree"? Oh, brother!

Kids know better. Poetry is their natural language. Starting in first and second grade, they begin to hear the end rhymes of words and will repeat rhyming words with delight (theirs, not necessarily always yours). They start understanding metaphors and similes - the first time a child understands that "It's raining cats and dogs!" does not mean kitties and puppies are falling from the sky but that it's capturing the severity of a storm is always a fun experience! Kids also enjoy using language that captures their feelings and ideas.

That's why National Poetry Month, established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, is a natural celebration for children. There are many great resources for adults to bring the awareness of poetry, encourage poetry-reading (and writing!), and share the beauty of both classic and contemporary poems in the classroom and at home.

In the library, you'll many books of poety in the J 811 section to share with your children and students - funny poems, serious poems, poems about school and sea urchins and holidays and more.

This April, why not swing by a library and check out some of these books to share at home? Your friendly librarian will have some great suggestions!

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