Saturday, June 6, 2009

Talking Like the Rain: A Read-to-me Book of Poems

This collection of poetry for young children is selected by X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy and charmingly illustrated in bright watercolours by Jane Dyer. The poets range from Emily Dickinson to Dennis Lee to Christina Rossetti to Langston Hughes and Robert Louis Stevenson.

All of the poems are short and have been chosen to share the beauty and rhythm of language. Some are fun and snappy, like the two lines that make up the entirety of "The Wapiti" (Ogden Nash): "There goes the wapiti / Hippety-hoppity."

Others are more lyrical, inspiring a child's imagination:
"a cold little / raindrop / in her winter nightgown" from "First Snowflake" (N.M Bodecker)
"stars come out / with silver keys / to open up the night" from "Taking Turns" (Norma Farber)
"Far away, on the world's dark rim / He howls, and it seems to comfort him." from "The Wolf" (Georgia Roberts Durston)

This would be an excellent gift for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th birthday. Like a collection of Mother Goose rhymes, it is a book to reread with a child many times.

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