|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
National Poetry Month @ Your Library
By Jerry Jones, Youth Services Coordinator
April 1 , 2009
I’ll never forget the day I was working in the children’s department and a patron expressed her surprise to find poetry books on the shelves—written especially for kids. Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky have written in a way that kids really relate to and because of this, are authors of some of the most requested books in our children’s poetry collection.
If you don’t recognize their names, perhaps you’ll recognize “Where the Sidewalk Ends” & “A Light in the Attic,” two of Silverstein’s earliest collections that have become children’s literature classics and were more recently joined by “Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook,” a mixed up mess of rhymes guaranteed to keep your tongue twisted throughout.
“The New Kid on the Block” and “Something Big Has Been Here,” are probably two of Prelutsky’s best known. But, just the title alone of his newest book “The Swamps of Sleethe: Poems from Beyond the Solar System,” is enough to entice young readers into its pages on a mission to discover just exactly who, what or where is a “Sleethe.”
April is National Poetry Month, and the Natrona County Public Library will be celebrating with two special events designed to inspire the creativity of potential poets. On Tuesday, April 7 at 4 p.m., fourth, fifth and sixth graders are invited to our Tween Poetry Party. In addition to creating their own poetry, tweens will have the opportunity to practice being a poet through activities based on Silverstein’s timeless treasures.
Tweens will test their train of thought with a “Spoonerism Sord Wearch,” based on the premise of switching the beginning sounds of two or more words as Silverstein used in “Runny Babbit.” Tweens will also make magnetic poetry pieces for the Poetry Board in our Tween Zone, providing a way to continue practicing poetic skills, long after Poetry Month ends.
On Tuesday, April 14, at 7 pm teens are invited to the Metro Coffee Company for one of our ever-popular Poetry Slams. Students in grades 7 through 12 who wish to showcase their poetry should prepare three original poems to perform in front of their peers. Space is limited, so register in the Teen Zone, or by calling 577-READ, ext. 101.
Friends, family and others wishing to express support for these budding poets are also invited to attend as part of the audience. For those who haven’t been to a slam, snapping, rather than clapping, is the accepted way to applaud the slammers.
At your library, you will find a poetry collection that ranges from the classics of Emily Dickinson to the inspirational works of Maya Angelou to poetry with more of a local flavor such as that written by one of Wyoming’s own Poet Laureates, David Romtvedt. It also includes the works of Silverstein and Prelutsky as well as many others who write specifically with kids in mind.
Your library is the ideal place to bring together fans of this genre, of all ages, to celebrate poetry’s place in our lives.
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