Daily Archives: April 16, 2020
Posted by WCPLtn
April is National Poetry Month! As are many of you, I’m spending loads more time with my kids. We’re attempting to keep up with reading and math, as encouraged by the school system. What better way to keep up with reading than by reading poems? For many kids, poetry can seem a bit abstract and perhaps not as engaging as a full story. But with exposure (and a convincing delivery!) comes understanding and appreciation.
Of course many of us turn to the master, Shel Silverstein, to introduce our kids to poems. With a perfect mix of utter silliness and a touch of self awareness, truly those collections are classic. But my favorites, without question, are two books of poetry by beloved Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.
“When We Were Very Young” is a collection originally published in 1924. “Now We Are Six” is a follow up collection from 1927. All the poems are written by Milne, and each page contains illustrations by Ernest H. Shephard. The content is positively charming.
Your kids will encounter familiar characters, like Pooh himself, and Christopher Robin. Concepts like imaginary friends, changing of the seasons, and growing up crop up in the pages. With the works being almost 100 years old it might seem as if they’re no longer as relevant… but the innocence of childhood is something that transcends time. And it’s something these collections capture in a most pure and heartfelt way. I know many of these poems by heart and can recite them from memory. You may find yourself familiar with some of the lines, as a few of them became ubiquitous Pooh quotes!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading these books, now is the perfect time! These poems find joy in the simplest things, and emphasize the power of imagination. Sharing these poems with your children will be the highlight of your day!
Both of my boys are now well past 6, but on their 6th birthdays I recited to them the title poem from “Now We Are Six“:
When I was One, I had just begun. When I was Two, I was nearly new. When I was Three, I was hardly Me. When I was Four, I was not much more. When I was Five, I was just alive. But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever. So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever. ~ A. A. Milne