Poetry as Play for Young Readers

From PBS Parents, US Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis shares his thoughts on why poetry is important for young readers and how you can share the power of poetry. He says:

“The rhythm and rhymes can help children develop a love a language—and a love of reading. Once kids begin flexing their writing muscles, poetry can spark their creativity and let their imaginations soar!

You can read newspapers and magazines all you want, but nowhere else are you going to find words taken to such beautiful and sometimes absurd extremes as in poetry.”

Although I’m always a supporter of prose, I like the idea that poetry lets kids explore sounds and play with language. Because of the short form and having to take such care with each word, I think picture books are pretty close to poetry already. Expanding into poetry shouldn’t be that much of a leap for kids.

Click through to check out suggestions for reading and more PBS Parents resources related to poetry (like Martha Speaks: Martha’s Rhyme Time game).

(image: State Library of Queensland, Australia)

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