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Celebrate National Poetry Month around Chicago

April is National Poetry Month, making it the perfect time to expose your children to Chicago’s rich poetic history. Check out these upcoming events.

Young People’s Poetry Day

Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Young People’s Poetry Day event on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Poetry Foundation. This poetry open house is free to all and an excellent reason to visit the Poetry Foundation’s beautiful building. The event will include refreshments, interactive writing activities and crafts. There will also be a reading by Margarita Engle, the Young People’s Poet Laureate and author of “All the Way to Havana” and “Miguel’s Brave Knight, Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote.” 

61 West Superior Street, Chicago

Poetry family storytime

The Thomas Hughes Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library has weekend family story times on Saturdays every month. But on Saturday, April 28, in honor of National Poetry Month and the Chicago Public Library’s daylong Poetry Fest, there will be a special Poetry Family Storytime from 10 a.m to 10:30 a.m for kids up to five years old. The program will feature poetry books, fingerplay, movement activities, rhymes and music. 

400 South State Street, Chicago

Share Shel Silverstein

The incomparable Shel Silverstein is a fabulous introductory poet for kids. He actually grew up in Chicago and started his career as a cartoonist here before he began writing children’s books. Head to your local library or bookstore to check out some of his famed works, such as, “The Giving Tree,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” or “A Light in the Attic.” Silverstein’s writings, drawings and overall messages appeal to both adults and children and are fun to share together as a family.

Haiku for you

The 14th Annual Haiku Festival will take place during the Chicago Public Library’s Poetry Fest on April 28. At 10 a.m. in the Pritzker Auditorium at the Harold Washington Library, poets ages 8 to 14 will read their original haikus. Letting your children hear poetry from their peers is a great way to create some interest and excitement about poetry. Tsukasa Taiko Japanese drummers will also perform and there will be readings by professional guest poets. 

400 South State Street, Chicago

A poem a day

Make reading a poem a part of your family’s routine in April (or all year long!). You can sign up for the Poetry Foundation’s Poem-A-Day to receive a poem through email each day. Or invest in a few poetry collections to have at home, such as “The Complete Poems of Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne, “The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems” by Mary Ann Hoberman or “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson. 

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