Spring is here, and April too!
And so, we have a blog for you!
We think you absolutely will agree
It’s time to read some poetry!
Yes, April is Poetry Month, and we’re here to celebrate. Not only is poetry is great to read, but it also provides children an opportunity to develop crucial reading and comprehension skills.
“A good poem is fun to chant aloud over and over and helps children gain reading and performance skills. Reading poetry every day to children can make them more excited about words and language. Also, encouraging children to write their own poetry can offer them an avenue for self-expression.”Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Canada has no shortage of great poets, especially for children. One of our favourites has to be Dennis Lee and his book Alligator Pie (HarperCollins). “Alligator stew, alligator stew, if I don’t get some I don’t know what I will do!” Who doesn’t love that wonderful rhyme? We have had the honour of having Dennis Lee join us three times at the Telling Tales Main Event. He helped us to launch back in 2009, celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Alligator Pie in 2014 and returned for our 10th anniversary 2018 with Good Night, Good Night.
This month we celebrate poets along with their work. In 2019, we were proud to help launch Nadia L. Hohn’s latest book, A Likkle Miss Lou at our Telling Tales Main Event. It’s the story of Louis Bennett Coverley, a Jamaican poet that empowered an entire country to be proud of their own voices!
Miss Lou’s poetry is written in Jamaican Patois, a mix between English and Creole and West African languages. Miss Lou’s teachers were trying to make her conform to standard English, but Miss Lou stood true to herself. Her poetry was so popular it encouraged artists like Bob Marley to use their original words instead of changing them to suit others. A Likkle Miss Lou is the story of a young girl learning how to use her own voice – an important message for everyone.
Are you feeling inspired? April is a great month to sit down with a pen and paper and write some poetry. Don’t worry about trying to stick to any rules – even rhymes. Just write! Alligator Pie shows us that you can write poetry about anything, even if it feels very silly and A Likkle Miss Lou is about writing poetry in your own way, with your very unique voice.
We would love to read some of the poetry you write! Why not send it to us, we always enjoy hearing from you.