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A Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry Hardcover – May 6, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; HAR/COM edition (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579122825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579122829
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-There are plenty of collections of children's poetry available, but none like this one. The first section discusses the different forms the genre takes: nursery rhyme, narrative verse, ballad, free verse, pastoral, etc. Driscoll offers a clear explanation of each type and defines any difficult, associated vocabulary. Commentary on each example and a note on where to find the recording on the accompanying CD is provided for each selection. The second section covers individual poets from Homer to Maya Angelou and offers at least one example or excerpt from each writer's work. The brief introductions to the forms and poets are lively and often amusing. Readers will find the varied layouts and warm cartoon watercolors inviting. On the CD, a professional actor reads the selections; the music or sound that precedes each one sets the mood. This is a great resource for teachers and homeschoolers, and a must for libraries. It has more diversity than Glorya Hale's An Illustrated Treasury of Read-Aloud Poems for Young People (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2003).
Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6, younger for reading aloud. Playful and informative, this cheerful anthology introduces kids to the joy of all kinds of poetry (limerick, haiku, sonnet, free verse, and much more) with a quick overview of famous poets from Homer, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth to Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. There's too much packed on each page--the poem, facts about the poet and the form, line-and-watercolor cartoon illustrations, definitions of highlighted words, and asides on colored screens--and few contemporary poets are represented. But Driscoll lures readers by beginning with traditional nonsense verse and limericks, and then easing into the more technical forms, such as the villanelle and the pastoral. He gets away from the view of poetry as difficult and special, focusing on sharing the fun, especially the joyful sounds and rhythms of the words. Kids can hear the 64 poems read aloud on an accompanying CD; a "play track" symbol on the page informs kids when it's time to stop and listen. For teachers as well as family sharing. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Michael Driscoll is a reporter for the Martinsburg Journal in West Virginia, and has written for Reuters and the Associated Press. He's a former editor at Black Dog & Leventhal, where he worked on a wide range of titles, including the State Shapes series, Take Me Out to the Ballpark, and Photo Oops. Driscoll studied poetry at Emory University in Atlanta, and has been a poetry afficionado ever since.

Customer Reviews

CD adds to the fun.
Wise Pawn
Our only complaint is the reading of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.
M. Warren
This is a great book to introduce poetry to kids.
melc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on January 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This must be the ULTIMATE introduction to poetry for kids! More than a mere anthology of some of the most popular works (from spooky to silly), it includes a rundown of the features and format of several different types of poetry, along with brief bios on the poets themselves (from classic to contemporary) that will interest just about everyone. Not only that, it also includes a glossary of poetic terms and techniques, AND a box on each page with quick definitions of more difficult words or phrases (which are highlighted) at a glance, so kids (and adults!) can read and enjoy without having to flip to the back of the book constantly. Often, the poems include a short historical explanation, so when reading one can envision the verse in context. All done in a kid-friendly, fun and lighthearted way, with colorful and humorous illustrations! To top all that off, it comes with a CD so you can listen as you read; or as I do, pop it in whenever just so the kids can listen and imagine while coloring, etc. The CD is soothing and delightful at bedtime for the kids, too.
I believe my daughters, ages 10 and (almost) 6, will be entertained and inspired by this book for many years to come. Hopefully, it will spark an interest in kids to seek out further works of the poets included in this amazing introduction, discover others, and perhaps even create some poetry of their own!
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Format: Hardcover
I homeschool my children (ages 7 and 9), and I wanted to add poetry to their literature curriculum. I found this book at the library, and it was a perfect introduction to the many forms of poetry, with great examples for each. The biographies of famous poets in the second half of the book were also a very useful teaching tool. They were short, informative and interesting. (I learned a few things myself...)

I kept the book in the car, and my children took turns reading (aloud and to themselves). They looked forward to their poetry lessons, and even memorized a few poems on their own accord. My son read Poe's "The Raven," and commented, "I don't understand it, but it's scary, somehow." I found it fascinating that a poem writeen almost 200 years ago could frighten a modern-day child.

This book was a wonderful tool to pique my children's interest in poetry. I plan to buy or borrow other books on poetry to cultivate their budding interest.

I can't comment on the CD as it was no longer included in the library book. However, my children and I enjoyed this book so much that I will definitely purchase it soon.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Warren on April 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! I have been trying to introduce poetry to my boys since they were toddlers and the only feedback I ever received was blank stares - maybe it was my reading style. But, for some reason, they just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this CD. We listen to it in the car and fight over which poem we listen to first. Some of our favorites are The Pied Piper, Thomas' Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night, the limericks (I was a bit worried when it started with There was an old man from Nantucket. . . . - but it is actually the children's version, obviously) and Kit Marlowe's The Passionate Shepard to His Love. My 8 year old has several of the classics almost memorized.

Our only complaint is the reading of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. It is somewhat flat and not at all as exciting as it could be.

Nonetheless, it is a great, rich, collection of beautiful poetry that your kids will enjoy. It truly is one of our favorites.
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48 of 66 people found the following review helpful By "mar2004" on March 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although the book, with its illustrations, sidebars and accompanying cd, seemed so promising, in the end this is a disappointing compilation. The book and cd waste a lot of space with some of the most commonplace forms of poetry - Mother Goose rhymes and limericks - to which many parents will have already introduced their children. The book veers from nursery rhymes to multiple poems involving death to Shakespearean sonnets. The choices of poems within each form introduced could have been improved upon - many are downright uninteresting. Finally, I reached for the CD, hoping the purchase could be saved by the careful, luscious reading of selected excellent examples on it. Alas, alack. Two "professional" actors read - neither, unfortunately, possessing either the gravitas or the tonal depth to make the poems ring. And again, the cd is littered with limericks and nursery rhymes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By scrapdawg on June 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My kids 4 love to listen to books on CD in their bedrooms during quiet time and in the car while we run errands or head to soccer practice. This anthology kept the attention of all my kids, ages 4-12 without complaints that it was boring or babyish. I enjoyed it myself, as well.

The narrators' voices (one male and one female) are engaging and expressive. The illustrations in the book are colorful and include some history behind the poems. Not all of the poems are read on the CD and not all of the stories are read in their entirety, but instead there are excerpts of longer works, such as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." I first borrowed this from the library and then bought it because we all loved it. It would make a great gift, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lizz.B on May 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We just started using this book . As far as the book itself is concerned, we (my son, daughter & I) think it's pretty good. We are not huge poetry fans in this house so it's nice to have some background information on poets or styles before diving into the poems themselves. And I believe that it is good to expose children to all types of writing in moderation even if it's not their favorite (or mom's favorite) thing.
The CD, however, is terrible! The very first poem had us groaning and wanting to to turn it off. We skipped ahead to several of the other poems just to hear the recitations and found them all dull and laborious listening.
We will continue to use the book for our edification, but we will skip the CD.
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