I had the great good fortune recently to pick up a copy of Poem-Mobiles – Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian. I think that I have not been shy here in saying how much I love poetry and the fond memories I have (now) of being forced to memorize and recite poems all through elementary school. So I do try, as much as possible, to fit in a book of poetry that I think will appeal to young and not so young, alike.
Let me just say this…If your child somehow manages NOT to like the poetry here…never fear! The illustrations by Jeremy Holmes will surely knock their socks off. Seriously! Because the illustrations do exactly what they are supposed to do…illustrate the crazy poems that they accompany. The detail on each and every page is mind boggling and provides so much material to talk about that if you are reading this book at bedtime, for example, and you have someone who is a procrastinator…well let’s just say this book could definitely drag things on longer than you would like!
But back to the poems themselves. Have you ever wondered what it is that makes a poem appeal to a child? I think that this is actually rather straightforward – short, containing words that are accessible, and humor never hurts. We, Beanie and I, have now read this book of poems, cover to cover, several times. When I try to skip a page – he calls me out. How does he know I have flipped two pages instead of just one…he’s only THREE!
When we read today – I asked what his favorite poem was. Today it’s the Hot Dog Car. What do you think? Tomorrow, no doubt, it will be something different.
Hot Dog Car
My hot dog car is lots of fun
And comes with relish on a bun.
It runs on tons of sauerkraut
Or mustard when you’ve just run out.
Enjoy its fine and fragrant smell,
Its color has no parallel.
My hot dog car-
You just can’t beat it.
And when you’re done
You simply eat it.
Both J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian have many, many published books. And Jeremy Holmes has a few under his belt as well. I think I am safe in saying that you would not be disappointed if you pick up any of these gentlemens’ books. I have a long list that I want to look at.
I think poetry is such a good way to introduce children to the rhythm of language. We do have a beautiful language, but sometimes I think we forget how to use it.Let’s all encourage our children/grandchildren to broaden their vocabulary and with it, their imagination.