Monday, January 29, 2018

Two Sure ๐Ÿ˜Š-Producing Picks for World Read Aloud Day!


Start warming up your vocal chords! World Read Aloud Day is just around the corner!

I ’fessed up to my Read Aloud Fandom – first as a student, next as a teacher and then as a TeachingAuthor - in my 2016 post.
Many of the resources I shared then, representative of my Professional World, are still worth checking out for this year’s celebration.

Today, however, I’m approaching Read Aloud from my Personal World View - specifically my role as my one-and-only 8-year-old grandson’s Vovo. “Vovo,” by the way, is an affectionate variation of the Brazilian Portuguese word for “grandmother” – “avรณ.”
I’ve been reading aloud to my bi-lingual grandson since his baby days, when I first held his tiny hand and beat out the rhythms of Karma Wilson’s incurably-rhythmic BABY CAKES (Little Simon).
And I do so every chance I get – in person, via SKYPE, phone, Facetime or MarcoPolo.
Poetry is a favorite, with rhyme even more so once Gabe was able to complete the patterns.
His Most Favorite of all, though? Silly rhymes. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Our Book du Jour all 7 days of my last visit was THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK (Greenwillow), a book I'd read to his Papi at age 9 when it was first published in 1984.
How can either the Reader or the Listener NOT smile when lost in an inventive Jack Prelutsky poem?!
And, oh, to have caught my carioca on tape when I first read aloud “Homework! Oh, Homework! I hate you! You stink!” 
Gabe’s brown eyes widened, his mouth formed a perfect O which he quickly covered in embarrassment. Next he fingered the words to make sure I’d read them right.
“Flabbergasted” doesn’t adequately describe his wonder at seeing those words that captured his mindset there in a book I'd bought at a store.

We read that Homework poem again and again, then again and again, until he’d committed the words to memory.
His Plan was to bring the book to school the Monday after vacation and recite that poem aloud. He practiced daily, imagining his teacher’s face, his friends’ faces. I recently learned, though, not to my surprise, that my ever-cautious grandson is saving his poetic recital for the last week of school. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Prelutsky’s clever, silly yet sophisticated word choice, names and phrasing are downright delicious.
Clara Cleech. Griselda Gratz.   Seymour Snorkke.
His subject matter is 100% child-friendly.
Monsters. Rats. Scaredy cats.  Angry Dads.  Friends who sock. Rotten moods. Dracula.
And what a fun way for my bi-lingual grandson to increase his English vocabulary!
“What’s that word mean, Vovo?” he’d ask at least once for each spread. I, of course, lovingly obliged.
Unaccountably.  Discreetly.  Uncanny. Squandered. Dispatch.  Panache.  Semicolon.

Listen yourself to this Poetry Foundation podcast in which the first Children’s Poet Laureate’s poems are read aloud.
I dare you not to smile. ๐Ÿ˜Š


I’m certain my upcoming visit will once again produce contagious giggling as Gabe and I read aloud many of the poems in THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK as well as the new book of silly rhymes I’ve got tucked away in my suit case – Chris Harris’ I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING AND OTHER NONSENSE FOR MISCHIEVOUS KIDS AND IMMATURE GROWN-UPS (Little, Brown, 2016).  The second poem – “I’m Just No Good at Rhyming” will especially appeal to my second-grade grandson’s silly bone.

“I’m just no good at rhyming.
It makes me feel so bad.
I’m just no good at rhyming.
And that’s why I’m so blue.

So,
read aloud a silly poem!  Share a smile.  Catch a giggle.  Celebrate World Read Aloud Day this Thursday, February 1!

Esther Hershenhorn
p.s.
Check out Betsy Bird’s List of 2017’s Best Poetry Books for Kids for more child-friendly titles.


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