Connecticut Center for the Book: Do you find that children relate to poetry differently than adults do? And if so, how?
Mary Ann Hoberman: Above all, they're not afraid of it! You invite them in and they respond, without worrying about what it means or whether they'll "get it." And if the person who presents the poetry to them is skillful and loves poetry herself, it is surprising how much kids can get out of poetry—not just the jingly-jangly verse or the stuff that panders to their obsession with subjects parents would rather not discuss in polite company, but serious subjects on deep themes.
The above is an excerpt from an interview with Mary Ann Hoberman in the Summer 2009 edition of Readings, a publication of the Connecticut Center for the Book. It's not available online, but Connecticut residents should look for Readings at their local libraries. The issue is devoted to "Poetry for Children: Opening the Door." Hoberman, the current Children's Poet Laureate, lives in Greenwich.
Do check out Hoberman's classic The Llama Who Had No Pajama if you haven't read that collection of poems. It's a delight.