Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words T

A Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words T

Michael Driscoll
Illustrator:  Meredith Hamilton 
Poetry with Audio CD
For ages 8 to 12
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2003   ISBN: 978-1579122829

If you think that poetry is strictly for learned professors and students of English Literature you are about to discover that you couldn’t be further from the truth. Poetry is all around us and we begin to hear it and enjoy it from our very earliest days in this world. In the nursery we listen to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and other nursery rhymes and then we move on, as we grow, to more complex poetry forms such as nonsense verse, limericks, haiku, narrative verse, and lyric verse.

   With plenty of examples to show us what he means, the author introduces us to the major poetry forms. He also gives us a lot of information about the historical and cultural significance of many of the sample poems. As we read we are encouraged to listen to the poems on the CD provided. Many of the poems will be old friends like The Jabberwocky, Paul Revere’s Ride, and The Road Not Taken, while many others will be new and beautiful pieces to listen to and explore.

   In the second half of the book the author introduces us to some of the greatest poets of all time. From Homer to Robert Frost and from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes, this will be a fascinating journey both from a historical and a poetical point of view.

   This volume is practically a complete poetry course in one book. It presents poetry in a fresh and exciting way, helping the reader to see and appreciate that poetry gives us a wonderful way to tell a story, to express a feeling, or to make a person laugh. Michael Driscoll is a creative and inspired writer who knows how to make the study of literature both interesting and entertaining.