Sunday, September 20, 2009
Unusually, it works
A friend shared this book with me some weeks back and I almost found it in the Manila International Book Fair (almost, because I found its sister called Poetry Speaks to Children in A Different Bookstore). I think rhythm and rhyme (or not rhyme) makes any reading material for kids much more interesting. Not surprisingly, little reader me devoured a lot of poetry too: Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Laura Richards.... Obviously I liked the funny ones!
Perhaps the hiphop in this book isn't the humorous type, but it intrigues me a lot to see something so mainstream make it in literary circles and the classroom. What an interesting combination! Here's an excerpt from a review by Tarie of Into the Wardrobe:
"For most of my life I had a blind spot when it came to poetry, because nobody, not even a teacher or a librarian, introduced me to good poetry. If I had been introduced to poetry through Hip Hop Speaks to Children as a child, I know I would have been made a poetry lover much earlier in life."
Speaking of getting kids to love poetry, it's not really that hard to do. Poetry sounds really good aloud, and kids feel great having succeeded reading the lines right. One of the most important factors of successfully integrating a love for reading in the child is a high rate of success. Sounds very technical; but I remember that I would have never picked up a book that had too many words in it.
As an ender let me share a poem I read over and over again without ever getting tired. It's not hiphop, though, but it did use a lot of weird words. Now that I read it again, why do I feel like it's shorter than I remember?
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant-
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone-
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)
Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee-
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)