Whenever I want to teach poetry to my adorable, beloved children, they inevitably moan and groan. They have the initial knee-jerk reaction most people have, until they learn to appreciate the intricacies of meter, rhyme and all that other poetic stuff.
To turn knee-jerk to knee-slap, I begin with the book The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky, drawings by James Stevenson. We have used and loved the cover right off this beauty.
The New Kid on the Block
There’s a new kid on the block,
and boy, that kid is tough,
that new kid punches hard,
that new kid plays real rough,
that new kid’s big and strong,
with muscles everywhere,
that new kid tweaked my arm,
that new kid pulled my hair.
That new kid likes to fight,
and picks on all the guys,
that new kid scares me some,
(that new kid’s twice my size),
that new kid stomped my toes,
that new kid swiped my ball,
that new kid’s really bad,
I don’t care for her at all.
This past year, I was excited to find Don’t Mess with Moses by Marty Nystrom, author of many of today’s worship songs, including the much loved As The Deer. He gives a ride from Creation to Jonah with Shel Shilverstein type of poetry, giving the Scriptural reference for each poem. The book is wonderfully illustrated by Steve Bjorkman and printed by Standard Publishing. Nystrom is currently working on his NT edition, so I am waiting to see that in print.
Absalom was a handsome prince
with a head full of beautiful curls.
Perfectly styled, his hair was piled
much higher than any girl’s.
Not only was his hair poofed up,
his pride was puffed up too;
the pompous prince, so self-impressed,
was proud of his poodle-do.
While galloping through the woods one day,
as he was waging war,
a leafy limp reached out to him
and grabbed his pompadour.
Of course his horse was starteld
and left him dangling there.
The proud young man then met his end,
hanging by his hair.
If Absalom were here right now,
I’m sure that he would say
that his was the first
(and the world’s very worst)
BAD HAIR DAY!
You can read about this character in 2 Samuel 18.
If you want to read this type of poetry on a blog each day, pop over to see what Jaime at Ditchin’ the Kitchen is rhyming about. I’ve been blessed and brought to giggles daily since I met her.
Reading is a great way to bond with our children, but reading and giggling, well, that’s, as the commercials like to say, priceless.
And speaking of price, now that I’ve found these books on Amazon, maybe it’s time I bought a hardback The New Kid on the Block. Maybe it’ll last through the grandkids.