Little Poems for Tiny Ears
Poems by Lin Oliver; illustrations by Tomie de Paola
After a long harsh winter, spring beckons with an invitation to warmer days and newness in nature and it’s all on the cusp of a special delivery by Mother Nature. So why not celebrate spring AND National Poetry Month come April, with some great introductory books to rhythm and rhyme for your young readers.
Little Poems for Tiny Ears is a great place to start, presenting poems by Lin Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of some twenty-five books and co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers. And the book’s illustrations dovetail charmingly and fittingly with the lively material and are rendered by none other than that “living treasure” of picture book fame, one Tomie de Paola, who sadly passed away one year ago.
He is the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his contributions to children’s literature, the Regina Medal, the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian AND the 2012 Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators. How could you go awry with a picture book “curriculum vitae” from headliners of such imagination as these two? Both poems and art deliver the goods.
And speaking of deliveries, these poems are designed to deliver the wonder of poetry to the newest picture book devotees in the neighborhood – tiny tots. The titles and subject matter for the poems are perfect for the experience of joy found in the everyday awaiting the youngest among us. We adults tend to forget as we are distanced from childhood, that everyday becomes not so commonplace when experienced for the first time or remembered from our own childhoods. When set to rhyme those experiences become even more immediate and memorable. And, we get a chance to experience some of the firsts all over with, and through the eyes and voice of a child in these poems.
In the story hour that I have weekly with three, four and five year olds, I am introducing them to many Mother Goose rhymes. Last week we did The Three Little Kittens. Remember those kittens that lost their mittens? These tots loved the rhythm and energetically acted out the story of finding, washing and drying those lost and dirtied mittens so they may partake of the pie. I remember lots of nursery rhymes from my own childhood and I do believe that they fire up the imagination early to begin fueling it for a lifetime of reading. Isn’t it sad that so many of these early introductions to poetry have been lost in the race to the chapter book?
But never fear; there are still many Mother Goose rhymes to be shared if you are so inclined, and also new entry vehicle books for sharing and seeding the love of poetry with a young reader. Small Poems for Tiny Ears is a good place to start this April!
Here are but a few of the titles of the poems within this book for the tiny-eared set. Even for a slightly older reader, they can be used to reminisce about their younger days when things like My High Chair, Peekaboo, and Belly Button loomed large in their world. The poems include titles of time-honored tot-relatable subjects such as Blankie, My Mobile and In My Stroller.
Tomie de Paola’s softly hued borders for the poems add the perfect poetic punch to his calming and comforting illustrations. Great job, Tomie!
If you want a book that has wonderfully imaginative poetry, complemented by illustrations brimming with the discovery of “tot-topia”, all spoken through the tiny voices of its discoverers, Little Poems for Tiny Ears is EAR RESISTIBLE! Here’s a sample.
My High Chair
I like to drop food from my chair.
It lands kerplop, but I don’t care.
I watch it fall down to the floor.
It’s so much fun, I toss some more.
My mom says no, my dad says please
Stop launching bits of toast and cheese.
They’re right – I will try hard to stop.
But first….just one more small kerplop!
And this book provides the PERFECT gift, too, as the back flap, covered with sensational complementary designs by Tomie de Paola, wraps around the front, and when sealed with the included stickers, your gift is good to go! Gift your own young reader or a young friend you may know with Little Poems for Tiny Ears this April!
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