I received this product free from Memoria Press, Purchased at local bookstore for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.Genres: Educational Resources, Poetry
Published by Memoria Press Format: 8x11" paperback, Paperback
Source: Memoria Press, Purchased at local bookstore
Through the recommendations of Memoria Press in their curriculum package it is amazing what is possible to provide in a pre-school or Junior Kindergarten experience and I’d say the bulk of the best of it is within the literature and poetry section. Since there are 33 weeks and 34 literature selections, let me start with telling you about the poetry because of this, there is really only three. Two, however that you use on a regular basis throughout the year of curriculum in the lesson plans. The third doubles one week for both literature and poetry.
A key element to the Jr. K curriculum, the music and poetry offers exposure to enduring childhood classics and satisfies the child’s intrinsic interest in story and song. The interesting and rich language of the music and poetry selections (yes, even simple Mother Goose Rhymes) helps the child develop a taste for and comfort with the beautiful, stylistic language ubiquitous in the classical education to come. Fortunately, no persuasion or explanation is necessary – the Jr. K student loves to rhyme and sing!
The main book of poetry in Jr. K is the Mother Goose. As I said in my opening post, early in the beta stage we started with Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose which was fine, but were later switched to Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever which is fabulous. I love Richard Scarry, we love Richard Scarry in our house. And while it is true that for the Mother Goose portion you could possibly use any of your favorite Mother Goose illustrated works, this is my favorite of all the others that we have on our shelves.
Fifty favorite and not so well-known nursery rhymes are brought to vibrant life by Richard Scarry whose bears, pigs, cats, and rabbits perfectly illustrate these familiar verses. From Old Mother Hubbard to Jack Sprat, this oversize book depicts these most classic characters in bright, funny, colorful detail.
Mother Goose is a perfect foundation for any child’s library, and Richard Scarry is the ideal illustrator to make these first poems accessible and fun.
The book itself is huge and wonderfully durable. Richard Scarry is a staple in my household and his characters are very familiar to my children. Having larger illustrations to act out Mother Goose rhymes is just icing on the cake. In the book there is from one to a few more rhymes per page and there is plenty to look at and observe.
Often we are to be found having read over our rhyme for the day, discussed it via the poetry guidelines in the lesson plans and then my daughter will beg to go back and read a rhyme for the week before or the week before that. I read through the rhymes about three times, and while she doesn’t have these memorized she knows what the main concept is and is delighted in their silliness and always wants more. Quite a few times I’ve come to find her in our library just pouring over the book and flipping the pages going on. While she cannot read on her own yet, she can remember the ones we have read and they provide her much enjoyment.
Overall in my opinion there could not be a better choice for Mother Goose rhymes than the Richard Scarry version, but then I adore his characters so I’m biased anyhow. Oh, and it’s technically a Golden Book, so that’s another point in the plus column.
The other poetry book we have is completely new to me and the concepts learned here are more than just on poetry. It’s all about color. Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neill is a different kind of book for my experience, but I like it and I like it alot. It was a little confusing when I was purchasing my copy, because everywhere I look online there is a different cover image shown, but when my copy arrived it was a thin paperback that matches the images in the Memoria Press collages. Illustrated by John Wallner, Hailstones and Halibut Bones is a book for the imagination to soar. Text copyright 1961 and illustration copyright 1989 this book has been around and there is good reason why it is still in publication. The imagery is lovely and flows beautifully. In the study of poetry often it seems I find some people love certain poets that I think are bizarre, but Mary O’Neill’s poetry is attractive to the eyes and ears and I think a great influence on a possible project to try in the future one day of our own in a midst of color or another topic.
Now touching back on the lesson plans, we have a page with poetry guidelines in the appendix. These include discussion points for before you read, during your reading, and after you read as well. Through these bullet points a poem can be brought even more to life and taken further and just beginning the educational adventure. With this kind of introduction on a Jr. K level I am intrigued and excited for what we may expect in years to come.
Up to this point we have covered the lesson plans, phonics, math and now poetry. Ah, and in case I have confused you by mentioning a third poetry portion, this I mean by one week’s double choice where the literature also fits for the poetry section in Tomie dePaola’s The Song of Francis.
Other things I would love to tell you about include literature, music and crafts… Guess what’s next?
Make sure to check out the parts of my Kindergarten review in posts!
You might also be interested in Junior Kindergarten.