Novels in Verse Are a Novel Idea

Book cover for The CrossoverAs I’m sure many of us know by now, April is National Poetry Month! However, if you (or your children) are anything like me, you hear “poetry” and immediately think of vague metaphors you think you understand but aren’t quite sure. I have flashbacks to English literature courses, having to explain the significance of poems and having no idea what Keats, Dickinson or Frost actually meant. Well, I have discovered the best way to cure my poetry anxiety! Novels in verse are absolutely wonderful. They are separate poems that come together to tell one cohesive story. Even if you do not quite understand one of the poems, the rest are there to fill in the gaps so you know the whole story.

Novels in verse are perfect for middle grade readers (and adults who love reading children’s literature like myself!). This is the age where poetry starts getting introduced in schools, and for some it can seem scary and hard. These novels can make verse seem less alien and provide a love of poetry in young readers, encouraging them to read and write their own. I, personally, have found that reading multiple novels in verse has helped me not be so afraid of reading poetry and find that I can understand what the author is talking about and get drawn into the story, just like with a regular novel. Continue reading

Tiger Family Fun Fest & ParentLink Resources

Tiger Family Fun FestNeed something fun and free to do on Saturday, April 25, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.? Come to the annual Tiger Family Fun Fest! Free family activities will include a bounce house, stage performers, a fire truck, kiddie corral, arts and crafts, face painting, the DBRL bookmobile and much more!

ParentLink recently celebrated their 25th anniversary providing services to Missouri families and professionals serving families. Some of the great services ParentLink provides: Continue reading

It’s All in the Details

Book cover for 100 Hungry MonkeysDo you have a kid who notices every little detail? Picks lint off your clothes and inevitably points out something embarrassing when you’re in the checkout line at the store? Oh, maybe that’s just me. Anywho…my kid LOVES the details in every book we read. “100 Hungry Monkeys!” by Masayuki Sebe is perfect to fulfill her need to count and pore over every page for little hidden surprises. It’s sort of an updated version of Where’s Waldo with funny little details. Part story book, part seek and find, part counting book — all fun! Check out these other titles with similar formats: Continue reading

Fractured Fairy Tales

We all grew up knowing about Goldilocks and her “friends” the bears, but did you hear the one about her meeting three dinosaurs? Have you ever thought about how the story of Cinderella would be different if told by her wicked stepmother?

Fractured fairy tales ask readers to revisit known tales and think about how the stories could be different. Often these tales become humorous when a character we expect to be the villain becomes the hero, or the main character is a dragon instead of a princess. Even a setting change can transform a well-known tale into a fractured fairy tale. A familiar story becomes new when it takes place, for example, in the future, in outer space or in a different world altogether. Continue reading

Pull Your Poetry Out of the Dark in the Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest

boy writingApril is National Poetry Month! In celebration, the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program are inviting Callaway County kids and teens to submit an original poem. This year, kids and teens are challenged to write a poem that explores the night, shadows, sleep, your dreams or the dark.

Prizes will be awarded to winners in each age group, and a brief awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 28th, at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton. Download full contest rules and an entry form here. Entries must be received by April 30, 2015.

Need some inspiration? Check out this book list of recommended poetry and verse for kids.