Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dallas Book Festival

I am so pleased to be invited to speak at the Dallas Book Festival and give a little glimpse into the history of children's literature (in 45 minutes!). I decided to use the lens of poetry (of course) to talk about how children's literature has evolved-- a chance to look back, to revisit some old favorites, and to share poetry with a new audience. Here are just a few nuggets from my slide show. Enjoy!

Did you know one of the earliest books published in the U.S. for children included the poem that most people know as the song, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"?
 Probably the best known American poem is this holiday classic:
 A.A. Milne gave us Winnie the Pooh and many witty poems for children. This is also the first children's book I owned as a child-- given to me by my dad.
Langston Hughes published one book intended for young people (in his lifetime) and this is one of my favorite books of poetry of all time and by any poet. 

This British couple brought scholarly study to the world of children's oral folklore, collecting thousands of children's rhymes and games from the playground. 

The best-selling book of poetry for young people OF ALL TIME is this one:
This study helped us see that children really love funny, rhyming poetry. (But not JUST funny, rhyming poetry.) 
The first award for children's poetry was established by the National Council of Teachers of English in 1977. 
Only 5 children's books have been awarded the Newbery medal since it was established in 1922 and this was the first one. 
According to Ann Terry's study, this was children's all-time favorite poem at that time: 
Jack Prelutsky had authored several books of poetry before compiling this MAJOR anthology and followed with many additional wonderful works of his own. 

The SECOND book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal:
The third book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal, a novel in verse:
An award is established for the Poet Laureate who writes for young people!
The fourth book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal:
The fifth book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal, a novel in verse: 
And indulge me as I promoted the Poetry Friday series too... 


Joan Bransfield Graham said...

This is terrific, Sylvia! When I was three year old, I begged my mother to read "The Night Before Christmas" all the time. Once when she was feeling tired, she skipped a bit, and I said, "Wait, you left out . . . ." She said, "Do you know this?" I recited the whole thing--a "poetry present," which stayed with me always. Enjoy the Dallas Book Festival--I know they will enjoy YOU! Thanks for all you do to share the joy of poetry.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks, Joan, for stopping by and sharing your story. I love that idea of a "poetry present!" I wish we could give that to everyone! That's why we do what we do, right?

Joyce Sidman said...

Sylvia, loved this look into the past and present of children's poetry. Enjoy the Dallas Book Festival--I'm sure you will wow them!

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

Wonderful and insightful post, Sylvia! So fun to meet your :-)

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks so much, Joyce. I had a great time and an audience that loved digging into poetry of the past with me! What a treat!

Sylvia Vardell said...

So fun to meet you too, Penny, IN PERSON! Here's to meeting and working together again soon!

Charles Waters said...

I loved everything about this post! Thanks, Sylvia. The history of children's poetry is gold!