Sunday, 26 May 2013

Rhyme helps children to read.

My books Andrew's Fairy Tale, and The Bankrupt Tooth Fairy are both written in rhyme. I view that as a positive thing, a format children would enjoy. Sadly, the modern world of publishing does not seem to share my viewpoint. For this reason, I decided to self-publish my work. Whilst researching how to approach publishers and agents, the advice and statistics I found, were very off-putting. Books for children, particularly rhyming ones, seem to be a very difficult market to crack. There were very few publishers I  found  that were willing to accept poetry, and literary agents seemed highly unlikely to take on poetry. My own children very much enjoy my stories, and enjoy writing poems at school. I've also found that a homework task to learn a song or poem is always a popular one. I find it strange that this fun way of reading is not readily available to young children, who should be encouraged to enjoy learning to read as much as possible.

I came across some posts on the topic of poetry on I completely agree with what was written by Jennifer Cummins, a freelance writer:

"Reading children’s rhyming poetry aloud to them, from infancy onward, not only stimulates brain development and auditory memory recall and development, but also develops phonemic awareness, the base of linguistic development. Elementary age students also need to be reading, hearing, and writing rhyming poetry, to continue to strengthen the brains’ myelination of nerve connections. The lack of children’s poetry in the educational system, fun-to-read rhyming poetry books by authors represented by good literary agents, flies in the face of logic. These children, with well-developed linguistic skills, will mature into the readers of tomorrow. It is up to agents to acknowledge they need to think proactively, in building a readership for the future. In not representing children’s poetry, agents are shortsighted in their approach to representation, as authors who pen poetry are also capable of authoring other brain-stimulating works."

Ms. Cummins has inspired me to continue writing children's poetry. Children should be able to enjoy rhyme as an effective tool in learning to read.

Related article (with some rhyme success stories):

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