I wanted to highlight to Jazz inspired poetry picture books today. Poetry and Jazz seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly, and these two books are good compliments to each other as well. The first is I Live in Music by Ntozake Shange and the other is Jazz by Walter Dean Myers. Though not a book of poetry, a good prose book to throw into the mix is Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. All three of these books, and their illustrations, speak to the way that music makes us feel more alive.
Putting together a dress up trunk like the one in Song and Dance Man is a great way to bring these books to life. Gather up some old clothes from relatives, garage sales and/or thrift stores, include shoes and accessories too. Put on some music, for these books I would recommend Putumayo Kids' New Orleans Playground CD and let your kiddos put on a show!
When I was little my sister and I had a dress up trunk of old dresses and costume jewelry that was given to us for Christmas by my great-aunt and great-grandmother. We occasionally added new pieces as old ones got worn out - but it was well used for many years. Creating a dress up trunk is not just an investment for one day's activity, but for years of pretend play!
As a side note: creating your own dress up trunk from used clothes is a lot more personal than just buying one of the pre-fab trunks or costumes that are available - and it is a good green option that cuts down on consumer waste!