Not to cast any aspersions on America’s most beloved children’s poet, but there is much more to poetry for young people than the great Shel Silverstein. April is National Poetry Month, and thus a perfect opportunity to explore the wide world of children’s poetry.
From anthologies of works by modern children’s poets to poem picture books to novels in verse, children’s poetry is a wide open and growing genre full of humorous, touching, and imaginative writing that is sure to inspire and delight any child who is exposed to it.
A growing body of research is discovering that there is a real crisis in boys’ reading. Boys are reading less and less well than their female peers, and this gap only gets worse as children get older. Much of the reason for boys' poor reading is that the types of books being offered to boys in school often hold little or no interest for them.
Jon Scieszka, award-winning author of The Stinky Cheese Man and other favorites, has started a campaign called Guys Read to encourage boys’ reading. He believes that simply offering boys books that they will enjoy is a huge step in making the shift from reluctant to motivated readers.