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 by: Danielle 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!”