One of the quirky things about the Internet is that an ordinary, home-schooling dad like me can attract attention from unexpected sources. For instance, some one involved in Minnesota’s E85 promotion responded to an E85 post on this blog. An author critical of the The Prayer of Jabez read my review and sent me a copy of his book on the subject. And recently, the public relations manager for Sourcebooks, a publishing company in the Chicago area, sent me a new poetry anthology: Poetry Speaks to Children.
Poetry Speaks to Children sets a high standard for itself in its marketing material:
“Could it be possible that the next hot thing for children is not battery powered, viewed on a screen, and has nothing to do with sex, violence and profanity?”
The material then suggests that the next hot thing is this anthology of poetry: Poetry Speaks to Children. While I’m skeptical that poetry will overcome Playstation and Star Wars and Reading Rainbow and Wishbone, this book presents poetry in an interesting way. It contains 95 poems and each page includes colorful artwork. What sets this book apart, though, is that it includes an audio CD containing readings of 52 of these poems. Many of the recordings are of the poet reading his own work. For instance, listen to some of my favorites:
- Robert Frost read Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
- Roald Dahl read The Dentist and the Crocodile
- JRR Tolkien read Frodo’s Song in Bree
- Mary Ann Hoberman read Rabbit and Brother
I loaned the book to our resource teacher at the Cedar Rapids Homeschool Assistance Program. She had done a poetry study with our two children just last year, I think, so I thought she might enjoy it. I was right. Here’s what she had to say:
“I really enjoyed this poetry book, especially listening to the actual poets reading their own poems. It was great to hear the voices of Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and JRR Tolkien. I think my favorites were the readings of Casey at the Bat and The Raven done by Basil Rathbone.
“I tend to agree with the Kirkus review that the artwork leaves something to be desired because it’s not all done by the same artist. However, that is overshadowed by the wonderful collection of poems.”
We are big proponents of reading aloud to children. Poetry Speaks to Children would provide some nice, off-beat interludes in your reading-aloud plans.