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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury Hardcover – September 28, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I objurgate the centipede,/ A bug we do not really need," writes Ogden Nash. Carl Sandburg hums and strums, while pages later, William Jay Smith compares a toaster to a silver-scaled dragon. And of course A.A. Milne must add his two cents' worth, "tiddely pom, tiddely pom." What a labor of love! Children's poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky has collected 211 of his favorite poems by 137 poets, representing the best of verse from each decade of the 20th century. "Until this century, most children's poetry was either syrupy sweet or overblown and didactic, and tended to talk down to its readers," Prelutsky writes in his introduction. "Contemporary children's poets have thrown all that condescension and moralizing out the window, and write with today's real child in mind."

What's in this anthology for today's child? Food fights, outer space, animals, noses, monsters, sports, and sibling rivalry. Each of award-winning illustrator Meilo So's spectacular watercolor-splashed spreads reflects a theme: one buggy watercolor romp is surrounded by Deborah Chandra's "Cricket," Walter R. Brooks's "Ants, Although Admirable, Are Awfully Aggravating," and Robert Frost's "Blue-Butterfly Day." Five nocturnal poems nestle into a moonlit cityscape. Four music-related poems, from Bruce Lansky's "My Violin" to X.J. Kennedy's "The Girl Who Makes the Cymbals Bang," burst from So's cacophonous paintings. This excellent collection, a companion to The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, belongs on every poetry lover's bookshelf. Prelutsky, creator of The New Kid on the Block, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, and more than 30 other poetry books, has perfect pitch. (Click to see a sample spread. Illustrations copyright 1999 by Meilo So. Permission of Alfred A. Knopf.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

For this companion to The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, Prelutsky combed more than 4000 poetry volumes to select 211 poems by 137 poets. His sampling includes established poets like Langston Hughes, Shel Silverstein and e.e. cummings, but, to Prelutsky's credit, not necessarily their best-known works. The overriding mood is rollickingly upbeat, uncharacteristic for a form renowned for its adeptness at expressing moments of grief or loneliness. Hats off to So (The Beauty of the Beast, with Prelutsky), who visually holds the anthology together. Her people are engagingly limber, her animals unmatched: for instance, she evokes the fitful movements of a squirrel with a few calligraphic strokes, and her wet-on-wet technique suggests the fluffy texture of a kitten's fur or the speed of leaping salmon. In one spread, she ingeniously accommodates eight bug poemsAfrom poets as diverse as Ogden Nash and Valerie Worth; the poems themselves appear to flit about a central image of two children nearly hidden in a field of wildflowers. She connects four stand-alone poems in another spread ("A Hippopotamusn't" by J. Patrick Lewis and "The Click Clacker Machine" by Donna Lugg Pape are two of them) with a unified palette of pinks and lavenders. Its unvarying tone notwithstanding, this eye-catching collection is likely to lure both future fans of verse and poetry devotees. All ages. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st Printing edition (September 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679893148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679893141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When I ordered this book, I was very curious to see how my first-grader, a beginner reader, would respond to poetry that was more sophisticated and literary than the rhyming words of her preschool books. She absolutely loved it, understanding enough of the content, intrigued by the colorful illustrations and entertained by the way poems sound when read aloud. For the parent, it's a welcomed change of pace from reading stories aloud. For the child, it's an imaginative introduction to the different ways words can be used to express thoughts and feelings. I liked it so much that I ordered a copy for my child's first-grade class.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great gift to kids (and adults) that like playing with words. Jack Prelutsky has compiled some of the best poetry of the 20th Century. His aim is true. There are no clunkers in this anthology. The poetry covers the broad range from wistful to joyful, with imagination to spare.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the illustrations by Meilo So. They gorgeously illustrate the gist of many poems. Just like the poems, the paintings drip with imagination and wonder.
Some people may frown at spoon-feeding images, rather than letting the child make up his/her own. They may have a point, yet you can always discuss the images with the kid, decide whether they properly frame the poems and/or discuss what other images would have been better. In other words, these illustrations can be used a spring board for further imaginative work.
All in all, I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Paraphrase for your child the preface of this book- Jack Prelutsky's private poetry book collection totalled over 5000 volumes, and from these he culled the poems in this book. That immediately amazed my children who love to collect, and they knew these poems were special... My 6 year old boy - my Yugio loving, Ninja masked soccer playing boy, loves poetry as a result of this book, and recites several from memory. We copied his favorite to put on the bulletin board of his school when it was his turn to be student of the week.
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Format: Hardcover
We bought this as we have the "The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury" and thought it would be a good companion piece. I liked the choice of poems (a nice range from classic to contemporary) and the way they were organized (by theme). My only (minor) disppointment has been that the Poetry Treasury is so small compared to the Book Treasury (87 pages vs. 297). One of the aspects I most appreciated about this book is that the poems included are not all "children's" but are still child-friendly. I would recommend this book for anyone with children.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter's favorite bedtime reading. A wonderful collection of poetry for children (and entertaining reading for adults too!). Fun rhymnes, bright illustrations and humorous approach make my 3 1/2 year old laughout loud. She asks for poems by name -- especially "My Name Is". This book makes reading poetry a joyful experience and will be the first Christmas gift I send the children on my list this year.
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A Kid's Review on February 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book of beautiful poems written for children. I love these poems, i am 12. I got this poem book when i was little and still enjoy reading it often. this is a great book to add to a collection of children's poetry!
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this as a gift for my then 4-year old son. He's 14 now--and just last week I read a few poems from this to him right before bedtime. Old fashioned? Maybe. But there's something enduring about this collection that keeps drawing us back to it. Today, it's a nostalgia that my son still appreciates. Finding that in a book is something special.

In short, this is a great collection, with a wide variety of poem styles and rhymes. Some are humorous, others thoughtful. All merit inclusion in this treasury.The watercolor illustrations only boost the quality of the experience.

Few books today merit five stars. This is one of them. Buy it for a child you love, and make a lifelong connection through it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter has to memorize a poem every month for school, and this treasury has good mid-length poems organized by theme and time of year. A really excellent collection of modern, high-quality poems.
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