Books Picture Books Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes Universal Republic of Childhood

[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.


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


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.


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.”


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!”


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!


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


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


  4. books4learning

    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.


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


  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!”


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


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


  9. maryleehahn

    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)!!


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


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