Jennifer Armstrong, bookseller at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga is on the blog today giving us some sweet reads for your darling little readers. All of these titles can be found on their Children's Floor in the store at 424 Broadway in Saratoga Springs perfect for gifting on Valentine's Day. Thanks Jennifer! xoxo Poetry is the language of the heart and the voice of love. Poetry gives expression to those things that take your breath away - how the baby looks sleeping, how it feels to watch your child stand up for a friend, what joy floods in at the most unexpected moments. Never underestimate your children's ability to "get" poetry, which should be shared early and often, while their imaginations are still wide open! Here are a few suggestions to start with:
For the littlest babies, who will respond to the rhythm and pattern of metric rhyme and the cadence of your voice long before they understand the words, try Nancy Tillman's It's Time To Sleep, My Love, a beautiful, graceful board book with magic in it just perfect for bedtime.
For your toddler, try Everything, by Emma Dodd - as in, I love everything about you! Like all of Emma Dodd's books, this is a sweet expression of unconditional love, and like her other toddler books, this is highlighted with shiny foil to delight your toddler. Again the gentle rhythm of the poetry will speak volumes.
And for your grade school children, share What the Heart Knows, a collection of chants, charms and blessings by acclaimed poet, Joyce Sidman. Here are subtle insights and surprising metaphors, new ways of looking at every day things that offer the possibility of wonder. Read them together, or take turns finding new favorites.
For your whole family, I also recommend buying a beautifully illustrated treasury of poems such as the Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, which is filled with poetry that has brought delight and inspiration to children for generations. Leave it out where it can be picked up and enjoyed regularly. In the words of poet Marianne Moore, "Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads in them." After even just a few minutes spent in the thoughtful company of poems, your children will see the world with fresh eyes. What better gift could there be?
Happy Valentine's Day from Jennifer Armstrong in the children's department!