Happy New Year to all! It’s always good to have a new year; a new start, a new chance to reclaim (oneself), to be hopeful again, and make a new new year’s resolution; a new wish list, things to do, things to learn, places to go, and above all, books to read! In the case of books, a list is always involved with classics, either not-yet-read (shame) or re-reading a list of books that we would always return to.
No other books would do better than A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson's timeless poems for children. The book has been in print since 1885, and is now illustrated by Brian Wildsmith’s stunning art. The year that is begun with poems, I suppose, cannot go wrong. It’s not April yet, not a national poetry month. But reading poetry gives children an appreciation for reading aloud. We all know children are very keen to hear rhyme, and rhythm and that’s how they come to know the joy of playing with language.
Read aloud to your child as poetry is supposed to be. Recite poetry with your child, one by you, another by your child. Perhaps, each night or each morning like a ritual. In the book, there are plenty of poems that resonate with a child’s every mood and imagination; whimsical, silly, exuberant, and melancholy. Then just hold a moment to study Brian Wildsmith’s enthralling wonder of color, magical brushstrokes that makes us happy again, dream again, imagine wild again, silly again and smile again. So will the year of 2011 be to all!