For a child, poems are very abstract. They do not have the flashy colors, vibrant energy or loud explosions of Saturday morning cartoons and display little of the exciting, adventurous tones of a particularly engaging comic book. However, to a child, poems that strike the right cord are not impossible to find. You just need to find the right child poem. A child poem is not very much unlike a normal poem. It is however, written and directed towards children, offering details that they would enjoy.
Poetry is a fickle art form with millions of examples; many of them brilliant, many of them awful, and a great deal of them quite dull or too complicated for a child. To strike the right note early on with a child, poems that are simple and interesting are vital. They also serve to create a growing interest in reading at a young age.
What to look for in a Child Poem
Children's poetry in the 20th century has a very unique flavor to it, having been developed and institutionalized by writers like Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. However, they were not the first to write child poems and should not be the last place a parent looks when trying to find the perfect one. With that in mind, what exactly should those parents look for?
A child poem should be lighthearted
A compelling storyline is also a great selling point for a child poem.
Abstract emotion and metaphor will bore a child.
Child Poems should not create unwanted situations with awkward, touchy subjects.
A child poem should be written to entertain, not solely teach. A good combination is always good though.
Who to turn to for Child Poem
Many of the great writers of children's literature also wrote poetry during their lives. Lewis Carroll is a great example. Famous for Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Carroll's poetry is equally as compelling. Jabberwocky is a great, funny nonsense child poem from those books:
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch! "
Rudyard Kipling also wrote his fair share of poetry alongside his novels. Famous for his work on The Jungle Book among many other adventurous children's stories, Kipling wrote poems like Gunga Din, long story driven pieces that were both funny and compelling for young children.
Louisa May Alcott, the famous author of Little Women and Little Men and an almost essential writer in the canon of American literature wrote her own share of goofy child poems as well. Poems such as "The Rock and the Bubble" and "A Song from the Suds" are funny, entertaining distractions for children. Her poems especially strike at the curiosity of a child, the most important target for any literary work, lest that child grows bored too quickly