Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Library Poetry Break

Introduction - This poem would be perfect for the first visit to the school library after school begins in the fall, or at a public library in a children’s presentation about how to find things in the library.

The Library
By Barbara A. Huff

It looks like any building
When you pass it on the street,
Made of stone and glass and marble,
Made of iron and concrete.

But once inside you can ride
A camel or a train,
Visit Rome, Siam, or Nome,
Feel a hurricane,
Meet a king, learn to sing,
How to bake a pie,
Go to sea, plant a tree,
Find how airplanes fly,
Train a horse, and of course
Have all the dogs you’d like,
See the moon, a sandy dune,
Or catch a whopping pike.
Everything that books can bring
You’ll find inside those walls.
A world is there for you to share
When adventure calls.

You cannot tell its magic
By the way the building looks,
But there’s wonderment within it,
The wonderment of books.

(from THE RANDOM HOUSE BOOK OF POETRY FOR CHILDREN selected by Jack Prelutsky, Random House, 1983)

After reading the poem out loud, ask the children to name some of their favorite buildings in their town. Ask, “What do these buildings have in common? What is different about each of these buildings?” Lead the conversation around to your particular library building, and ask the children what their favorite part of the library is. Hand out paper and crayons or colored pencils and allow the children to draw their own library, either outside or inside, or both.

Graphic from Texas State Archives and Library Commission, “Bilingual Children’s Library Signage.” August 28, 2007. (accessed January 28, 2009).

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