06 March, 2010

and I guest blog @ Sally Murphy's about children's poetry

Shout about it! Sally Murphy has a new book out - Toppling;  a verse novel. To celebrate its release Sally asked authors, readers, teachers and librarians to participate in a blog tour on her blog during March.
We were asked to respond to the topic, What I like about children's poetry.

Here's my post from over there (reposted below) - check Sally's blog during March for others' musings on children's poetry. And read Toppling!

summer watermelon moments

What fun to be guest blogging on Sally’s site on what I like about children’s poetry!
I like the zing of verse novels; their raw emotional intensity. They look just like other novels sitting on the shelf, but open them and you find words, carefully chosen words strung together in free verse with the power to crumple your heart and open your mind.

I discovered YA verse novels while working in a school library, first Steven Herrick’s, then Margaret Wild and Catherine Bateson’s titles. I was amazed how these authors could tell such compelling tales using so few words and so much white space. On the first page the reader is introduced to the characters, the narrator and the situation and then quickly flung into the action. The reader feels a part of this wild ride. It can be a quick read because of the economy of words, but intense.

Children love poetry written for them because it speaks of their experiences, their lives. Think of Laura Purdie Salas’ Stampede!: Poems to celebrate the wild side of school. And to have these poems read aloud or performed! Audiences quickly make the connection that poetry is life captured on the page (or stage). Congratulations to Sally, who’s adding to the genre with Toppling.

My challenge: add a poetry wall to your home, your school, your place of work. Encourage people to write their poems in ink, on postcards or post-its, or project poems onto the surface. Use magnetic poetry. Poetry forces you to clarify your thoughts.
Just like that pure moment when you bite into your first summer watermelon!

check out a verse novel - and feel yourself falling into the story

Best wishes Sally!


comrade harps said...

I've gotta check out the sticky institute - my bro has suggested zining my words/piccies and this is just the thing - my city too!

alison said...

smart bro.
mark me down for a copy!

comrade harps said...

It must be my FF settings: IE and Chrome r OK with it.

Btw, I checked out the Sticky Institute: look out for a season creep zine! I'll make it into a pdf and make it available from the creep. I'm working on the 1st ed.