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Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection Hardcover – November 4, 1998
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
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In so many classic poetry selections, you'll find old favorites, but no information on the creators themselves. In Michael Rosen's hearty, well-designed, 160-page anthology--with strikingly diverse illustrations by the talented and chameleonic artist Paul Howard--readers will find a portrait and short biography of each poet accompanying his or her work. Not only that but the selections are arranged chronologically, from the 17th century to the modern day. William Shakespeare's "All the World's a Stage" from As You Like It begins the classic collection, then readers are introduced to William Blake, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edward Lear, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Langston Hughes, and many, many more. Poet, storyteller, broadcaster, and children's book author Rosen says of his treasury, "There are so many ways to enjoy poems. This book is a way of offering new insights into poems, poets, and the relationships between them. It also offers a springboard to children and adults wanting to find out more and explore the world of poetry." And illustrator Howard should take a bow for his successful efforts to explore different techniques and artwork styles that complement the moods and historical context of each poem so perfectly. We welcome the chance to revisit Lear's "The Jumblies," Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride," and other well-loved poems in such a beautiful package. (Ages 9 and older)
From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-Thirty-eight poets, from Shakespeare to Judith Wright, are represented in this handsome, chronological collection. Rosen's introduction defines classic poetry very broadly as "poems that have lasted for many years...many people have thought these poems say important things in an exciting and memorable way." Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Yeats keep company with Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Australia's Banjo Paterson ("Waltzing Matilda" and "Mulga Bill's Bicycle"). Several selections are by poets who are traditionally included in anthologies for children-Robert Louis Stevenson, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Walter de la Mare. Most of the pieces, however, will be most comprehensible to young adult and adult readers. A generous table of contents offers a complete overview of the anthology with small portraits and titles of the poems for each entry. Entries for each poet include a small portrait heading a sidebar of biographical information and soft paintings of variable size facing one to four poems. There are concluding notes for some of the poems, a page of definitions of poetry terms, and a title and first-line index. Somewhat eclectic in its selection, this collection is an inviting, durable introduction to a broad range of poetry.
Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is written chronologically, from Shakespeare and William Blake to Langston Hughes and Judith Wright. He includes from one to five poems from each of his 40 or so collected poets, with a short, thoughtful biography of each.
The book is strikingly illustrated by Paul Howard, who alters his style and technique for each poem, aptly evoking the feeling and time period of each poem.
I would consider this as a readaloud for children ages 8+; younger children are likely to be disturbed by some of the darker selections.
This book is more newly published in paperback as The Walker Book of Classic Poetry and Poets .