Skip to main content

A Child's Anthology of Poetry, edited by Elizabeth Hauge Sword, illustrated by Tom Pohrt,344 pp RL 4

Published in 1995, the year I started working as a bookseller, A Child's Anthology of Poetry remains the foremost collection of poetry for children, including many works by poets who have not traditionally written for children and a great combination of classic and contemporary verse. With the help of an advisory board that includes the likes of poetic greats such as Louise Glück and Mark Strand, Elizabeth Hague Sword and Victoria Flournoy McCarthy did a magnificent job selecting poets and poems for the book, which is arranged alphabetically by poet with an index of poem titles in the back and a table of contents listing authors in the front. One thing I do wish had been included in a more visible way are the dates the poems were first published. You can locate this in the copyright acknowledgment section before the index.

For a look inside the book, click here. A brief list of big names is as follows: Maya Angelou, Bashō, Elizabeth Bishop, William Blake, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson, TS Eliot, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, Octavio Paz, Edgar Allan Poe, Christina Rossetti, Carl Sandburg, Tennyson, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Wordsworth and Yeats. "Casey at Bat," "The Raven," "To an Athlete Dying Young," "The Road not Taken," and "Jabberwocky" are among the more widely known poems included.

As Elizabeth Hague Sword writes at the end of her introduction, "I hope this book opens "magic casements" for everyone who reads these poems. Whether a child's interest lies in a poem's words, story, rhythm or rhyme, poetry can foster a lifelong love of the language. This is a gift beyond measure." If you only buy one book for poetry for your children, and you want it to be literary, this is the book for you. Of course, Shel Silverstein is an essential part of childhood (and his poem, "Sick," is included in this collection), but his poetry is kind of like the dessert to the meal that is A Child's Anthology of Poetry.

Look for poems from this fantastic anthology this month!


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…