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The Random House Book of Poetry for Children Hardcover – September 12, 1983


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children was recognized upon its publication in 1983 as an invaluable collection--a modern classic--and it has not since been surpassed. Five hundred poems, selected by poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky, are divided into broad subject areas such as nature, seasons, living things, children, and home. The poems of Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and Gwendolyn Brooks populate the book's pages, while Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and Shel Silverstein ensure that the collection delights even the most reluctant readers of rhyme. Playground chants, anonymous rhymes, scary poems, silly verse, and even some sad strains are carefully indexed by title, author, first line, and subject. With illustrations of cheerful, round-faced children and animals on every page, Arnold Lobel (a Caldecott medalist and creator of the Frog and Toad series) unifies the diverse poems to form a satisfying whole; Lobel can draw anything and make it funny--or poignant, if he chooses. This collection, one of the most varied and complete around, will carry any budding poetry lover through childhood and beyond. (Ages 5 to 11.)

From the Inside Flap

"A generous collection with a distinctly upbeat tone, this gives a taste of the best poets writing for children over the last several decades. Lobel's drawings imbue the whole with action and graphic images as inventive as the verse. Successfully geared to meet home, school, and library needs."--(starred) Booklist.  
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (September 12, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394850106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394850108
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By "papierman" on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jack Prelutsky has compiled another great anthology of children's poetry. This anthology basically covers the best children's poetry of all time (except for late 80s-90s poems). You'll find some Mother Goose and Lewis Carroll, thus expanding this anthology beyond the 20th century.
The only drawback (and reason why I didn't give the book 5 stars) is the illustrations. Most of the illustrations are traditional monochrome drawings. While they are well done, they are not as colorful or as imaginative as the illustrations in Prelutsky's "The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury."
Have fun reading.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bryce Stevens on June 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a middle school reading teacher, I host an annual Poetry Reading Competition open to all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. For the past several years, this book has been a prize, in addition to plaques for the first and second prize winners. The best review for this book is that the children use it, read it, and often select poems from it for their entry pieces. Even better, perhaps, is that I have had thanks from many parents for awakening an interest in poetry in their children, boys and girls alike. This volume of poetry offers a full range of poems, for short to long, humorous to sublime, and in a wide range of topics. While it is just one of a wide selection of books and poets I offer my students, it is one of the most versatile. Whether teaching rhyme scheme, simile and metaphor, slanted rhyme, figurative language, or stress, this is also an invaluable part of my teaching arsenal.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By nickunt on November 22, 2002
Format: Library Binding
Wonderful, just wonderful, this collection of children's poetry sparkles and adds life and verve to any classroom. From the opening stanza of "The Boy What Done A Poo" and the haunting reworking of Goldstein's "Ahhh, I'm telling Miss of you" this anthology will thrill children of all ages, and grown ups too!
(I must point out, however, that the inclusion of controversial poet Sean Hickey's "Bang Bang You're Dead 50 Bullets In Your Head" might cause younger readers some concern).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Todd Carlsen on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This outstanding collection of poems for children should be a part of every child's book collection. No other poetry collection is better. My children own several books of poetry, and I have reviewed several similar collections at the library and in book stores, and "The Random House Book of Poetry for Children" is the best of them all.

The poems are mostly silly and very entertaining. We sometimes like to take turns picking out poems to read at bedtime. Humorous children's poems help build creativity. I can think of nothing negative about this book.

Put this book in your cart and buy it. You will be happy that you did.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By dash like a bunny on July 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I love this book- I first discovered this book in the 4th grade (a long time ago)- it was the first book of its kind that I read from cover to cover. I still own this book- dog eared, chewed up and still containing many of my original hand made bookmarks!

This is such a fun read- there is a wonderful variety of poems, long, short, silly, sad- all great. And what still amazes me today, as I sift through its pages, the number of very "adult" poets that are compiled in here. The poets you study in college Lit classes because they're so very important. Poets that you might think their work would appeal to ten year olds- but they do- a testament to the power of their work, I think.

Definitely a book that should be treasured.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Devin M. Kearns on January 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Jack Prelutsky's anthology is wonderful! Because it is divided by themes, it makes an ideal resource for teachers searching for the perfect poem on the unit in focus. Most of the poems are whimsical and light-hearted, but also provide access to many forms of poetry across centuries. Arnold Lobel (of Frog and Toad fame) accompanies the poems with adorable, although sometimes plain, illustrations. It is an excellent purchase for the elementary teacher and parents alike -- tons of literacy fun!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Learning Abilities Books on December 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Children learn to love poetry by poets whose work they will study in high school and college. Among these greats are Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SReed on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best collection of children's poetry that I have seen. I read this to my three-year-old daughter, and I enjoy it just as much as she does.
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