Top positive review
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IF YOU ONLY PURCHASE ONE BOOK FOR YOUR CHILD OR YOURSELF THIS YEAR.......!
on April 6, 2012
When you first cast your eyes on this work you will automatically think - Ah, another anthology of children's nursery rhymes/poems. I did that and it was a big mistake! This is NOT a collection of poetry meant exclusively for the wee ones; no, no, no! Mary Ann Hoberman (Former Children's Poet Laureate) has put together a collection of poems which are specifically chosen to be learned by heart - as the title of the book would indicate. Between the covers of this wonderful volume we find around 130 extremely diverse works of poetry that will please almost everyone no matter their age.
Just a quick glance through this one will reveal works by Ogden Nash, Ezra Pond, Carl Sandburg, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Ann Hoberman, Robert Frost, A.A. Milne, Gertrude Stein, James Thurber, William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson and many, many, many others. Folks, we are talking some very heavy hitters from the world of the written word and poetry here! Some of the poets you will have never heard of but that dose not make the poems any less desirable or are inferior in anyway to those of the authors mentioned above. To be honest, I did not find one poem in this entire work that did not delight me. Many of the works here were old favorites dating back to my childhood while other where clean and fresh and simply wonderful.
The one binding factor found here is that all of these poems are simply meant to be memorized. They are the sort that once read a few times will go around and around in your head...much as a favored song or tune. The author has arranged these selected works from the short and simple to the longer and more complex. The selection of style and methodology is extremely diverse. There is literally something in this work for everyone!
"How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!"
And then we go to a full page of one of my favorites - Kipling with his "The Camel's Hump."
"The raucous auk must squawk to talk.
The squawk auks squawk to talk goes
Mary Ann Hoberman
(I think Mary Ann was reading too my Gertrude Stein when she turned that one out!) Just teasing.
When I went to school, as with most of my generation and those that preceded us, we did a tremendous amount of "memory" work; work we were required to periodically recite in front of the class. While I admit that as a child I was not overly fond of that process, I must admit to you today that this was some of the best training I had in school and most certainly had a very large impact on my life. They do not do much of that in schools these days which I personally feel is a pity as I feel our children are loosing a lot. With the wretched "No Child Left Behind" act, there are now gapping holes in our educational process which teachers and parents MUST fill in if they want their children to receive a truly well rounded education. It is books such as this that will give those concerned parents and teachers invaluable teaching tools to fill those gaps in.
The author has added a section to the book filled with good tips in teaching the memorization process. This is extremely valuable information and I found every word she wrote to be true.
This volume has been skillfully illustrated by Michael Emberly, a very, very skilled and imaginative illustrator and artist. The illustrations he has created here go perfectly with each and every poem.
Jenny Kissed Me
"Jenny Kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny Kissed me."
James Henry Leigh Hunt
Wow - I love that poem and can I relate!
Put this one at the top of your book shopping list. I can promise you that you will be absolutely delighted!