Throwback Thursday – C.J Dennis

C.J. Dennis’

Book For Kids

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It’s tattered, creased and being held together by masking tape.  To be honest I am not surprised because I read this book over and over again until I hit my mid teens.  I loved poetry as a child and even tried writing some myself, which sadly I destroyed as a teenager.

This book was first published in 1921 and republished about 4 times before I got this book. I can’t say why I was so drawn to this book but I would read it from top to bottom every time I read it.  From the beginning C.J. Dennis’ words are inviting, “To all good children over four and under four-and-eighty…”. The colours are bright and the poems are catchy which is why it appealed to me as a child.

“Hey there! Hoop-la! the circus is in town! Have you seen…” I remember loving this poem in the book, it is titled The Circus.  I think I liked it so much because it was catchy and easy to learn, by today’s standards the illustrations are simple but fits the era of the book.  When it comes to any book, especially picture books I tend to think deeply about everything I can see in the picture and this poetry books is no different.  I remember reading the poem titled A change of air and thinking about what everything in the picture might mean, and what other things they have done in their lives.

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I had a list of favourite poems from the book when I was younger, The Circus (I have already mentioned), The Ant Explorer, A Change of Air, The Looking Glass, Tea Talk and The Postman.  C.J. Dennis’ poems are still being published for children today, not only in print form but in audio book as well.

I feel very thankful that I got to read this book as a child as it helped me not only with reading development but also exposed me to poetry. I highly recommend that all parents, teachers, education specialists, librarians and literacy specialists share poetry with their children, open them up to different forms of the written word.  You never know, a book on poetry might encourage the non reader to read because it is in a much smaller and form that a whole chapter of a book.

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