Vivian French: The Beauty of Rhyme
Vivian French, children’s author, acknowledges the benefits of rhyme – children love rhyme, and things we hear in rhyme are much easier to remember.
Stories, songs and rhymes give us a chance to hear and learn more words. The more words we hear, the stronger our vocabulary. With this collection of words in our head, we have the power to express ourselves – and if you haven’t got the words, we become frustrated and often resort to other less productive forms of self expression.
The more words we hear, the stronger our vocabulary
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My name is Vivian French and I'm a writer. Rhyme, I think, is very important to my work today because I do write for all ages, but primarily from nought to eleven. And I think that rhyme is very instinctive at that age and I think you can very often offer some information in a rhyming form and it just goes in, it’s retained much longer than if it was just in a prose form. I think reading aloud to children and sharing rhymes with them is very, very important. Quite apart from the pleasure that you get from sharing something like that with a small child, it introduces them to the world of language. And one of the things I was always very good at when I was at school was talking. And I feel that the more children learn to talk, and to use vocabulary, the better their world will be because words, in a way - words are power. And you use words when you talk, you use words when you read, and you use words when you write and you can stop a war with words but if you haven't got the words all that's left is for you to just punch the guy. My advice to anybody who is thinking about doing rhymes and rhythms or singing is just have the confidence, because if it's you, you are the person that your child loves more than anybody else in the whole wide world and you will not be making an idiot of yourself, they will love you, they really really will. I wrote a book years ago called A Song For Little Toad. And Old Mother Toad was singing Croak-croak-croak. #Croak-croak-croak. Go to sleep, my sweet one# Croak-croak-croak. Close your eyes and sleep.# and all the other animals mocked her and said "you should sing more beautifully". But that was the song that her baby, her tad - her toadpole wanted because she was his mum. My upbringing as a small child was pretty boring, but I lived the lives of thousands and thousands of other children through books, and I think that every childhood should have the same opportunity.