Children’s verse is a delightful way to enjoy limericks, tongue twisters, and rhymes. Through poetry, they can discover the joy of playing with words, and setting their imagination free. The rhythm, wordplay, and creativity in poetry books for kids make them the perfect companion to language acquisition and fluency.
This May, we’re celebrating #PBPoetryMonth, and here’s an interview with the author of some of our best-loved poems for children – writer, storyteller and actress Lovleen Misra.
PB: What inspires you to write about everyday things, like Khazana-e-naak and Thookam Thoo?
Lovleen: I believe that if any language is to survive and be read and prosper, especially Hindi, it must talk to children. And tell me one child who has not done archaeological excavations inside his nostrils or not playfully spat on friends. Or worse still, seen adults do these repulsive acts and remained silent. These poems make fun of those people and of ourselves
PB: Please tell us about the experience of seeing your poems come to life via the illustrations.
Lovleen: My poems hold little or no meaning without their wonderful illustrations. The forms, figures and vivid colors really add so, so much to them. Thank you Pratham and thank you to those prodigious illustrators who bring the madness alive!
PB: How do you use words to make children fall in love with language?
Lovleen: I try and be economical with them, to begin with. The lesser the better chance of the reader remembering it and it staying alive in their mind. And then use of everyday images, objects, smells and sounds. The words must be so effective and inviting that its visual with all its necessary sensory perceptions must come alive in his/her mind.
PB: Could you tell us about the rhyme scheme and imagery that you use in your poems?
Lovleen: It’s a very basic and simple rhyme scheme. Usually, it is AABB or ABAB or AABBCC. I rarely write in free verse. As for imagery as I said above, they are images drawn from the child’s immediate world- whether its the park, games, school or bedroom. Or simple fantasies.
PB: Before we go, here’s a challenge for you! Complete the rhyme…
Lovleen: Kal gayi thi main library kitaab laane, dost se mil aayi ussi bahaane!
Aage tha ek bada ped, aur rasta toota aur tedh-medh!
School se ho gayi chutti, khushi se uthaayi sabne mutthi (मुट्ठी)
Shikari pe jhapta sher, ab nahi usski khair!
PB: Thanks so much!
Read all of Lovleen’s storybooks in multiple languages on StoryWeaver.