For the Love of Poetry…and Silliness!

So I’m not trying to beat this whole “come celebrate poetry with us!” zealousness that I have to death but….

It’s poetry! How can you not love poetry?  The most amazing thing that I’ve discovered about children and poetry is that no matter how much they may grumble and groan (and how boring or dumb they think it is), kids really do find poetry hard to resist once they’re exposed to it in a positive manner.  Poetry is fun and should be presented as such…and the benefits go beyond reading comprehension.  Vocabulary and listening skills can be worked on and improved.  Reading poetry out loud allows kids to do a bit of acting or group participation (or both!).  And writing poetry?  It’s one of the best ways for kids to express themselves!

Or, as Jack Prelutsky puts it:  “Children seem naturally drawn to poetry — it’s some combination of the rhyme, rhythm, and the words themselves. Poetry seems to sink into us the way prose doesn’t. I can still quote verses I learned when I was very young, but I have trouble remembering one line of a novel I just finished reading.”

We’re getting geared up for National Poetry Month (April) at the Library and this is when you can see the magic of poetry in action!  For details about the Children’s Poetry Contest that starts today (March 22) and ends on April 16, see the previous post on the blog or give us a call or stop in to your favorite Library branch!  What I’m crazy excited about is the culmination of National Poetry Month at the Library….2 programs dedicated to poetry, fun, and silliness!

The Not Just Your Average Poetry Reading program is on April 19th @ 6:30 (it’s also a Marvelous Monday program night, we combined them to make it easier on everyone to attend!).  I’ll be performing all kinds of crazy and fun poems (warning! all kinds of crazy hats and props may be involved, including wet spaghetti noodles!) and we’ll do some really silly group participation and I’ll be looking for volunteers to help me read a few poems.  The night will end with the announcement of the 3 winners of the Children’s Poetry Contest.

The following Monday night, April 26th @ 6:30 is Open-Mic Night.  This is a great chance for kids ages 5 and up to come read a poem or tell us a riddle or joke!  If you don’t have any favorite poems, riddles, or jokes but still want to participate, you can pick a poem or riddle from a selection I’ll have available at the program! Or if you want to read the poem you submitted to Children’s Poetry Contest, that’d be great as well!  I want everyone who wants to read something to the audience to have the chance to do so!

Please make sure you SIGN-UP for both the poetry program and open-mic night.  Sign-ups are so important because it helps me keep track of how many people plan on coming to the program and how many kids want to read something out-loud.  So please, if you’re interested or have more questions, give us a call at 419-521-3130.  We’ll be happy to sign you up for these programs or anything else going on at your favorite Library!

And all of this is still a month away, so I’ll leave you with a few great poetry books we have available at the Library!

Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant by Jack Prelutsky

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Who’s Been Sleeping in My Porridge? by Colin McNaughton

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