How to Introduce Children to Poetry from the Golden Age of Children’s Literature

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Quality children’s literature is a top priority for most classically-minded moms. Sometimes it can be hard to weed through all the options to find the gems. We often want to read our children the classics, particularly those from the Golden Age of Children’s Literature, roughly the time from 1860 to 1920 when some of the most well known children’s lit was written, such as Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, and Tom Sawyer. But sometimes it is hard to get your hands on the lesser-known titles from those days. They are either not available at your public library, impossible to find online, or have disappeared completely and you don’t even know what you are missing, because they are out of publication and you’ve never heard of them!

Author Heather Lynn Harris has set out to reintroduce some of the lesser known authors from the Golden Age of Literature to modern readers. Through re-telling poetry and stories that have been lost through time, she is aiming to get these valuable pieces of literature back into the hands of children. She also illustrates the stories herself.

As one example, Heather has re-told the poem Five Hungry Mice by F.A.B. Dunning. As a woman writing during the Golden Age of Literature, Dunning’s works did not receive the attention they deserved and in modern times, it is nearly impossible to find anything still in print. I was able to find one book on Amazon, Gathered Leaves. My public library, which has never let me down and has always had every book I’ve ever dreamed of checking out, has absolutely nothing by F.A.B. Dunning. Heather Lynn Harris decided to take this matter into her own hands and do something about it.

I received a copy of Heather’s retelling of Five Hungry Mice to read with my son. It is a lovely poem set in Paris and there’s a cat in it. If you have read many of my posts, you probably know that my five year old is OBSESSED with cats. So of course, this book was a huge hit with him.

The illustrations in the book are quite lovely. My favorite part are the giant claws on the cat in the story. I am a huge advocate of The Paw Project, a national program aiming to educate people on the harmful health effects of declawing cats. The fact that the cat in this story has her claws made me smile.

Lovely toe beans on this kitty!

I also am the kind of person who says, “Yes! I should read my children more poetry!” but then do I? No, I do not. I love that this sweet little poem is presented as a typical children’s book. It feels effortless in this way to read a poem to my kindergartener. Heather Lynn Harris is an author/illustrator to keep an eye, as she helps us classical Mommas reintroduce these lovely poems to our children!

Yeah, he’s wearing football gloves. Don’t ask. Life in this house is full of mystery!

If you’d like to enjoy this chance to read Golden Age poetry with your children, you can find Five Hungry Mice by Heather Lynn Harris on Amazon. Or, you could head on over to my facebook page, because I’m giving away a copy!

Disclosure: Buffalo Herritage Press provided me with two free copies of Five Hungry Mice in exchange for writing this review. All opinions are my own.

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