As a speech language pathologist, I look at books from a little different angle. Of course it needs a great story line, but I am looking for rich vocabulary, interesting language and illustrations that could tell the story by themselves sometimes–because that is exactly how I would use books many times with kids I worked with that needed to use more descriptive and complex language. Basically I look for a language lesson in a new book I pick up. “Daniel Finds a Poem” is a wonderful introduction to a class poetry lesson, showing kids that poetry is everywhere, we just have to discover what delights us. Daniel learns from his animal friends that poetry can be morning dew glistening says Spider, crisp leaves crunching to Squirrel, or a home with many windows in an old stone wall, according to Chipmunk. Each animal shares what is special to him, “a cool pool to dive into,” says Frog. Finally Daniel is ready to attend Poetry in the Park and share his poem which is a compilation of the lovely experiences his animal friends have shared. Choose an animal with your child and decide what their line of poetry would be about. Reading this book with kids can take the mystery out of writing a poem if they can be free to look and listen to describe what is magical and special to them!
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