Many children’s authors and poets celebrate Poetry Friday. But what exactly is Poetry Friday and where did it come from?
On the Poetry Foundation's website Susan Thompsen tells us: “every week, children’s book lovers and bloggers gather in cyberspace for Poetry Friday, a tradition launched by Kelly Herold, editor of the children’s literature webzine The Edge of the Forest.” Taking her cue from some favorite academic bloggers, Herold instituted poetry Fridays to celebrate children’s poetry. On her blog, Big A, little a, she shared a favorite poem from her childhood, A.A. Milne’s “Disobedience,” as the first poetry Friday blog.
The idea of poetry Fridays took off right away! Since then Kidlitosphere, a community of bloggers who write about children’s books, has embraced Poetry Friday. Bloggers have been sharing favorite poems, poetry books, websites and anything and everything about poetry for children and adults alike.
When I was a child some of my favorite books were nursery rhymes. I loved Little Miss Muffet, Little Boy Blue, and The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe!
Reading Rockets says “Nursery Rhymes are important for young children because they help develop an ear for our language. Both rhyme and rhythm help kids hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps kids learn to read!”
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. Click here to see their post on National Poetry Month.
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Author: Sarah J. Hale - 1788-1879 (1830)
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned him out,
But still he lingered near,
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear.
"What makes the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cried.
"Oh, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
The teacher then replied.
For a collection of nursery rhymes for children and a history of the meaning behind the nursery rhymes, see Jane Yolen's Mother Goose Songbook.