Poetry Anthologies for Children
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, assembled by young people's poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky, showcases nearly 600 short poems from classic and contemporary poets. These poems are grouped into fourteen categories, which include food, nonsense, goblins, animals, and seasons, with an emphasis on fun and humor that encompasses playground chants, anonymous rhymes, as well as scary and silly verse. Illustrator Arnold Lobel, winner of a Caldecott medal and the creator of the Frog and Toad series, provides funny and touching illustrations to unify the collection. In Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems, editors Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, Eva Moore, Mary M. White, and Jan Carr have also recruited Caldecott Award-winning illustrators to dramatize their selection of poems. Illustrations by artists like Maurice Sendak and Trina Schart Hyman are paired with poems from Shel Silverstein, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and E.E. Cummings in this outstanding collection.
Both Imaginary Gardens: American Poetry and Art for Young People (edited by Charles Sullivan) and Talking to the Sun: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems for Young People (edited by Kenneth Koch and Kate Farrell) are anthologies that impress children with their combination of poetry and art. Imaginary Gardens features eighty-six selections, mostly short lyric poems and rhymes, from poets like Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg, and Howard Nemerov. These poems are paired with paintings, drawings, or photographs: Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Afternoon on a Hill" with Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World"; Carl Sandburg's "Milk-white Moon, Put the Cows to Sleep" with Roy Lichtenstein's "Cow Triptych." Talking to the Sun is an oversized anthology produced in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art that pairs paintings with poems. This collection includes poems by William Butler Yeats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Theodore Roethke, Rainer Maria Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Basho, and Li Po, among others, and art from Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper.
For young readers curious about poets from countries not traditionally represented in American textbooks and classrooms, poet and editor Naomi Shihab Nye has assembled This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World. Featuring poets from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South and Central America, India, and Eastern Europe, this book of poems is divided into sections by themes like "Loss" and "Dreams." Biographical information on the featured poets and a map of featured nations is also provided. This collection of over 125 poems from sixty-eight countries features many poems that have been translated into English for the first time.
de Regniers, Beatrice Shenk, Eva Moore, Mary M. White, and Jan Carr, eds. Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems (1988). Scholastic.
Koch, Kenneth and Kate Farrell, eds. Talking to the Sun: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems for Young People (1985). Henry Holt & Company.
Nye, Naomi Shihab, ed. This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World (1996). Aladdin Paperbacks.
Prelutsky, Jack, ed. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children 1983). Random House.
Sullivan, Charles, ed. Imaginary Gardens: American Poetry and Art for Young People (1989). Harry N. Abrams.