Friday, July 8, 2011

Go To Sleep, Baby: Switching On the Moon

My son P and I continue to slog our way through the Cybils Poetry finalists; he detests poetry and I only like a slim fraction of it, preferring more structured forms that rarely appear in children's anthologies.  So we really hoped that Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems would be short; I imagined Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters making the hard calls for what makes it into a board book.

It turns out that Yolen and Fusek had more ambitious ideas of what babies like; there were three chapters of poems.  Nothing really grabbed us; neither of us are night-time poem lovers so the book had an uphill battle from the start. While we were reading it I noticed the controversy over the meta-children's book Go the F*** to Sleep, which I told P about (in a censored sort of way) and he found the concept very amusing.  We then started classifying some of the poems as Go the BEEP To Sleep poems; which cheered us up a bit.  Quite a few children's poems about bedtime do have the theme of "please go to sleep already" so there was plenty of chances for us to discover the type.

We also had fun counting the poems by the editors and debating whether they got in by merit or because people like their own poems.  We are a very shallow pair.

"Night Sounds" by Berlie Doherty may make it into my poetry notebook:

When I lie in bed
I think I can hear
The stars being switched on
I think I can


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