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The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (Treasured Gifts for the Holidays) Hardcover – September 28, 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (Treasured Gifts for the Holidays) + The Random House Book of Poetry for Children + Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young
Price for all three: $45.11

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Product Details

  • Series: Treasured Gifts for the Holidays
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st Printing edition (September 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679893148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679893141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.5 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I objurgate the centipede,/ A bug we do not really need," writes Ogden Nash. Carl Sandburg hums and strums, while pages later, William Jay Smith compares a toaster to a silver-scaled dragon. And of course A.A. Milne must add his two cents' worth, "tiddely pom, tiddely pom." What a labor of love! Children's poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky has collected 211 of his favorite poems by 137 poets, representing the best of verse from each decade of the 20th century. "Until this century, most children's poetry was either syrupy sweet or overblown and didactic, and tended to talk down to its readers," Prelutsky writes in his introduction. "Contemporary children's poets have thrown all that condescension and moralizing out the window, and write with today's real child in mind."

What's in this anthology for today's child? Food fights, outer space, animals, noses, monsters, sports, and sibling rivalry. Each of award-winning illustrator Meilo So's spectacular watercolor-splashed spreads reflects a theme: one buggy watercolor romp is surrounded by Deborah Chandra's "Cricket," Walter R. Brooks's "Ants, Although Admirable, Are Awfully Aggravating," and Robert Frost's "Blue-Butterfly Day." Five nocturnal poems nestle into a moonlit cityscape. Four music-related poems, from Bruce Lansky's "My Violin" to X.J. Kennedy's "The Girl Who Makes the Cymbals Bang," burst from So's cacophonous paintings. This excellent collection, a companion to The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, belongs on every poetry lover's bookshelf. Prelutsky, creator of The New Kid on the Block, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, and more than 30 other poetry books, has perfect pitch. (Click to see a sample spread. Illustrations copyright 1999 by Meilo So. Permission of Alfred A. Knopf.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

For this companion to The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, Prelutsky combed more than 4000 poetry volumes to select 211 poems by 137 poets. His sampling includes established poets like Langston Hughes, Shel Silverstein and e.e. cummings, but, to Prelutsky's credit, not necessarily their best-known works. The overriding mood is rollickingly upbeat, uncharacteristic for a form renowned for its adeptness at expressing moments of grief or loneliness. Hats off to So (The Beauty of the Beast, with Prelutsky), who visually holds the anthology together. Her people are engagingly limber, her animals unmatched: for instance, she evokes the fitful movements of a squirrel with a few calligraphic strokes, and her wet-on-wet technique suggests the fluffy texture of a kitten's fur or the speed of leaping salmon. In one spread, she ingeniously accommodates eight bug poemsAfrom poets as diverse as Ogden Nash and Valerie Worth; the poems themselves appear to flit about a central image of two children nearly hidden in a field of wildflowers. She connects four stand-alone poems in another spread ("A Hippopotamusn't" by J. Patrick Lewis and "The Click Clacker Machine" by Donna Lugg Pape are two of them) with a unified palette of pinks and lavenders. Its unvarying tone notwithstanding, this eye-catching collection is likely to lure both future fans of verse and poetry devotees. All ages. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book for anyone with children.
J. Matherne
This is a great collection of poems, most of which I have not encountered before, so it's as exciting to me to read them as it is for my grandkids to listen to.
Crzyoldone
This is another great anthology; well selected poems; great topics; great illustrations.
Guide Mum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When I ordered this book, I was very curious to see how my first-grader, a beginner reader, would respond to poetry that was more sophisticated and literary than the rhyming words of her preschool books. She absolutely loved it, understanding enough of the content, intrigued by the colorful illustrations and entertained by the way poems sound when read aloud. For the parent, it's a welcomed change of pace from reading stories aloud. For the child, it's an imaginative introduction to the different ways words can be used to express thoughts and feelings. I liked it so much that I ordered a copy for my child's first-grade class.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "papierman" on March 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a great gift to kids (and adults) that like playing with words. Jack Prelutsky has compiled some of the best poetry of the 20th Century. His aim is true. There are no clunkers in this anthology. The poetry covers the broad range from wistful to joyful, with imagination to spare.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the illustrations by Meilo So. They gorgeously illustrate the gist of many poems. Just like the poems, the paintings drip with imagination and wonder.
Some people may frown at spoon-feeding images, rather than letting the child make up his/her own. They may have a point, yet you can always discuss the images with the kid, decide whether they properly frame the poems and/or discuss what other images would have been better. In other words, these illustrations can be used a spring board for further imaginative work.
All in all, I highly recommend this book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By mountainmom on September 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Paraphrase for your child the preface of this book- Jack Prelutsky's private poetry book collection totalled over 5000 volumes, and from these he culled the poems in this book. That immediately amazed my children who love to collect, and they knew these poems were special... My 6 year old boy - my Yugio loving, Ninja masked soccer playing boy, loves poetry as a result of this book, and recites several from memory. We copied his favorite to put on the bulletin board of his school when it was his turn to be student of the week.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Matherne on September 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We bought this as we have the "The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury" and thought it would be a good companion piece. I liked the choice of poems (a nice range from classic to contemporary) and the way they were organized (by theme). My only (minor) disppointment has been that the Poetry Treasury is so small compared to the Book Treasury (87 pages vs. 297). One of the aspects I most appreciated about this book is that the poems included are not all "children's" but are still child-friendly. I would recommend this book for anyone with children.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My daughter's favorite bedtime reading. A wonderful collection of poetry for children (and entertaining reading for adults too!). Fun rhymnes, bright illustrations and humorous approach make my 3 1/2 year old laughout loud. She asks for poems by name -- especially "My Name Is". This book makes reading poetry a joyful experience and will be the first Christmas gift I send the children on my list this year.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book of beautiful poems written for children. I love these poems, i am 12. I got this poem book when i was little and still enjoy reading it often. this is a great book to add to a collection of children's poetry!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with all the poems I read. It truely reminds me of poems mothers would read to their child for bed. The illustrations were very beautiful and dramatic. The pictures were so bright and colorful. Children from ages 0 to 5 would love to look at the pictures and illustrations in this book. Even though a child that young can't read, it would be very amazing to their eyes. At my age, I would love to either read the poems to a group of children or even have the children read them in silent reading. This book would also allow the child to be imaginative and creative. These poems are fun to listen to and not poems that are meant to be preached.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Guide Mum on June 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is another great anthology; well selected poems; great topics; great illustrations. Not a poem out of place. I just wish it were a little longer as we enjoyed it so much. This is one that we will dip into for years to come and is a lovely book to give to other families as a gift.
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