[Poetry Friday] Going Round the World With Poetry in “My Village”

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am glad to be joining the Poetry Friday community this week with a poetry book I found at the Jurong West Public Library in Singapore a few months ago. I thought it best to reserve it for our current reading theme that celebrates the Universal Republic of Childhood.

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Thank you to Jone of Check It Out for being this week’s host for Poetry Friday.


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My Village: Rhymes From Around The World

Collected byDanielle Wright Illustrated by: Mique Moriuchi Introduced by: Michael Rosen
Published by: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2008 ISBN: 1847800866 (ISBN13: 9781847800862)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

There are twenty-two poems in this collection hand-picked by Danielle Wright – coming from New Zealand (the beginning poem), India (the ending poem), China, Norway, Tonga, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia, Germany, Samoa, Iceland – just to name a few. Think of your favourite nursery rhymes, only packaged just a wee bit differently, and presented in a bilingual format (which I enjoyed seeing). I like how this book drives home the importance of play in poetry – that it is really the rhythm of the language, the beat, the repetition, the cadence that matter more than sense and meaning – especially to a young child.

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I was also glad to see non-traditional representations of poetry coming from specific countries, take for instance the one from Australia above. As Michael Rosen noted in his Introduction:

Other cultures and languages possess their small-scale rhythms intended for children and I’ve heard such poems or songs from France, Germany, Turkey, Bangladesh and West Africa. But I’ve never heard them translated in a way that makes them accessible to an English-speaking audience, so I’m looking forward to reading and re-reading this book and perhaps I’ll have some new companions with me.

I have two favourites from this collection which I wanted to share with you. One is from Brazil, which tugged a few corners in my heart: “If This Street Were Mine.”

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And because I am now in Munich for an International Fellowship at the International Youth Library (the world’s largest library for international children’s literature), I just had to share this very danceable rhyme from Germany: “Dance, Little One, Dance!”

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Warm Greetings from Munich! 

Which rhyme caught your eye? Did you have a favourite nursery rhyme as a child? From which country did it come from?

10 Comments on [Poetry Friday] Going Round the World With Poetry in “My Village”

  1. I love that they are from all over the world. Enjoy Germany!

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  2. Wonderful collection! Thanks for telling us about it.

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  3. Lovely. The colours in the artwork are as distinctive as the voices in the poems.

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  4. books4learning // June 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm // Reply

    Thanks for sharing this book. Fortunately, a local university has it for me to check out. I am excited to read it. I love how it has different voices.

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  5. What a lovely collection, Myra. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  6. Squee!
    Our daughter surprise-gifted me with this lovely new collection in December.
    I am thrilled that it is in your library there. Appreciations for sharing. I luv so
    many, but especially “Dance, Little One, Dance!”

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  7. “If This Street Were Mine” is my personal favorite. And thanks for the picture of you and your daughter – such lovely smiles!

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  8. Great post! It looks like a fun book! 🙂

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  9. maryleehahn // June 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm // Reply

    I love this book! One of my colleagues is from China and she totally approved of the Chinese poem in the book. I take that as a stamp of approval for all of them (at least in cultural and translation accuracy)!!

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  10. Thanks for introducing us to this collection, Myra! Will be keeping an eye out for it. =)

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