Friday, April 20, 2012

Poetry Friday: In Praise of Poetry Anthologies for Kids

Thursday we had one of those idyllic mornings that make me so happy to be able to homeschool.  Wednesday night, Tim read to N. before bed from A Child's Anthology of Poetry edited by Elizabeth Hauge Sword.  N. especially loved T. S. Eliot's poem "Macavity the Mystery Cat" and wanted to read it with me immediately when he woke up in the morning.  So we curled up in bed and read it together.  The poem made me think of a little collection I used to read from when N. was much younger called The Poetry of Cats, so I hunted that book down and read him a couple poems, trying to remember which had been our favorite.  Suddenly N. recalled it: "Cats Sleep Anywhere!" by Eleanor Farjeon:
Cats sleep
Anywhere,
Any table,
Any chair,
Top of piano,
Window-ledge,
In the middle,
On the edge,
Open drawer,
Empty shoe,
Anybody's
Lap will do,
Fitted in a
Cardboard box,
In the cupboard
With your frocks---
Anywhere!
They don't care!
Cats sleep
Anywhere.
N. excitedly paged through another anthology, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children edited by Jack Prelutsky, to show me that "Cats Sleep Anywhere" is reprinted there too.  Then we spent over an hour reading poems aloud to each other, until we reluctantly had to eat breakfast and I had to go to work.  

We haven't made a concerted effort to read poetry with N., but he loves that Random House anthology and will often read from it on his own.  It is organized by subject matter: food, animals, ghosts, etc. and includes many funny poems and appealing illustrations by Arnold Lobel.  The Child's Anthology includes more serious poems, and no illustrations, but it too is organized thoughtfully.  I'm grateful we have these rich books that have introduced N. so happily to the pleasures of poetry, and grateful to share a quiet morning of poetry reading with him.

Poetry Friday Roundup is here.

12 comments:

Mom and Kiddo said...

I agree! Poetry for kids is underrated. I am a big fan of Prelutsky's own verse, as well.

Diane Mayr said...

I have a cat on my keyboard as I'm trying to type! Love your choice of poems, today!

Katya said...

I loved Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats as a kid. I was particularly fond of Growltiger and the mischievous Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer.
Your post reminds me that I haven't shared those poems with my kids yet.

jama said...

Meow! Fun poem :). Hope you continue to read more poems together and share them here.

Alice@Supratentorial said...

Oooh, as a cat lover, I like that poem. Thanks for sharing it.

Ruth said...

This was one of my daughter's favorites when she was tiny. We love to read poems to each other in our family, too. Thanks for sharing this!

Doraine Bennett said...

You've brought back memories of my homeschooling years and curling up with one of the kids to read. And this is a very fun poem. Thanks for sharing.

Doraine Bennett said...
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Doraine Bennett said...
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Doraine Bennett said...

I'm so sorry, Fanny. This thing kept telling me to sign in again, so i did! Sorry for the multiple posts.

Fanny Harville said...

Doraine: no problem!
Thanks for your comments, all!

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the wonderful A.A. Milne poems!
-cmr