When you learn a poem by heart, it becomes a part of you. You know it in your mind, in your mouth, in your ears, in your whole body. And best of all, you know it forever.
From the creators of the bestselling You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series comes this new collection of poems especially suitable for learning by heart and saying aloud. With personal introductions by former Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman -- as well as her own time-tested tips and tools for memorization and recitation -- and vivid illustrations by Michael Emberley featuring his trademark wit and lively characters, Forget-Me-Nots includes more than 120 works from both classic and contemporary poets, from childhood favorites to lesser-known treasures.
This anthology will inspire a love of learning poetry!
In honor of National Poetry Month, I wanted to share a few poetry books that I had the opportunity to read and review lately. The first book I will be highlighting is Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman. As I began reading the first few pages of this book, in which the author talks about and share tips on memorizing poems, I began to remember poems I had to memorize when I was in grade school. As I thought back, I was surprised that I was still able to recite a dozen Robert Frost poems, which I memorized in fourth grade. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wold, shared her love of poetry with my class, and through her fun activities, including writing our own poems, as well as memorizing famous poems, I began to fall in love with poetry. And, through the years, I continually find myself picking up poetry books and reading them for enjoyment purposes.
When I was going through cancer treatment a few years ago, I heard so many people talk about chemo brain, and how word games and memorizing things would keep your mind sharp. I used this opportunity to pick up and memorize a handful of poetry books. So, when I began flipping through the pages of this book, I couldn't help but smile at poems that I had memorized during this time. If you don't think memorizing is fun, or is not your cup of tea, you are missing out. I found that it helped with my cognitive development over the years, and helps me when I need to memorize non-poetry things. As you read through this book, the author share useful tips to help you learn to properly and successfully memorize each and every poem that is included in this book. I love how the book starts our with smaller poems, and then finishes with longer poems, which will challenge even the best memorizer.
Even though Savannah is too young to appreciate this book and the selection of classic and contemporary poets that make up this beautifully illustrated book, I know that as she gets older, she will enjoy the poems I have begun reciting to her, and hope that she will develop a love of poetry. Only time with tell. But, in the meantime, I enjoy choosing a few poems each week to memorize and recite to her at bedtime. Not only do they entertain her, but the act of memorizing these poems helps to keep my mind sharp.
If you know a librarian or teacher, this would be a great book to share with them, as it would be a great addition to their collections/curriculum.
About the Author:
Mary Ann Hoberman is a former Children's Poet Laureate and a winner of the National Book Award. During her tenure as Children's Poet Laureate, Ms. Hoberman visited numerous classrooms and libraries, introducing both children and adults to the joys of reading and memorizing poetry. She is the author of more than forty books for children, including All Kinds of Families! and the award-winning You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series.
Michael Emberley is the creator of the highly acclaimed picture books Ruby and its sequel, Ruby and the Sniffs; Welcome Back Sun; Dinosaurs!; and Mail Harry to the Moon! Having grown up in a family of writers and artists, he is an avid reader and comic book fan. A native of New England, Mr. Emberley now lives in Ireland.
Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone.