From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 2–5—This grand and varied anthology contains an impressive number of old favorites and newer selections. Grouped by theme, such as animals, nature, feelings, school, family, and nonsense, the poems represent an appealing range of humor, pathos, and meditative wonder. Though many of the offerings have been widely anthologized, it's always nice to come across classics by Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Eleanor Farjeon, and Emily Dickinson. Their poems, along with newer works by Mary Ann Hoberman, Dennis Lee, and Aileen Fisher, among others, are paired with illustrations crafted by an eclectic range of distinguished children's picture-book artists including Ashley Bryan, Lois Ehlert, the Dillons, Chris Raschka, Steven Kellogg, and Dan Yaccarino. There is a smattering of poems by Robert Frost, and tributes to Bill Martin, Jr., from Eric Carle and Steven Kellogg. Five of Martin's poems are included as well. The nine poems in the food chapter represent a savory mix of whimsy and laugh-out-loud humor, including Louis Phillips's "On Eating Porridge Made of Peas," John Ciardi's "Mummy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast," and Jack Prelutsky's "Herbert Glerbett." This finely crafted, accessible collection should resonate with a wide audience of readers; it deserves a place in most schools and libraries.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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The almost 200 selections in this big handsome anthology, created by Martin Jr. and published posthumously with Sampson’s help, have a singing beat that will turn even young kids on to what Steven Kellogg calls the “music of language.” The collection brings together poems from Robert Frost, Christina Rossetti, Langston Hughes, Nikki Grimes, Aliki, Jack Prelutsky, and many other well-known poets. Accompanying the poems are pictures from many of the best picture-book illustrators, whose work, often in the artists’ signature styles, extends the words' lyrical rhythms and playfulness. The pages are spaciously designed and organized into thematic sections, such as animals, people and places, school, nonsense, family, and feelings, closing with a big final group of Mother Goose rhymes. This is a great gift book as well as a strong library and classroom anthology for browsing and reading aloud. Adults, in particular, will enjoy Eric Carle’s moving introduction. Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman