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
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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
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