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Poems to Learn by Heart Hardcover – March 26, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
This collection plants such seeds. Caroline Kennedy (yes, that Caroline Kennedy) has thoughtfully chosen more than 100 poems to inspire, celebrate, and appreciate. There is a range of topics covers, from powerful emotions to "ordinary" moments. Beautifully illustrated, this is a book to dip into again and again.
There's something here for all ages. And some little poems, only a few lines long, will be fun to recite from memory at the dinner table or in line in a store. The only change I would make is to add more poems of melancholy that examine pain and loss.
I hope parents will SLOW down, sit by their children's beds, and read aloud all of these poems together. Twenty some years ago, when my son was in the second grade, he was in love with Kipling's "The Jungle Book." When talent day rolled around, he memorized and couldn't wait to recite his favorite passage. And so he did. And though he grew up to far greater accomplishments throughout the years, I look back with pride at that small red-headed boy on that immense stage.. brave and fierce... reciting those two wordy pages from Kipling... and I glow with happiness. It's noteworthy that today he can barely remember it at all... but what he DOES remember are the happy times of reading poetry and prose... together and out loud... and how it left him with a profound love of language.
The author did the work of selection for us already in the admirable little volume. One just has to savor the words and embrace the slow, rich pleasure of simple poetry. Perhaps you will even gift your children with a longer attention span, but if not, you will give them priceless, living memories that will linger forever. This is a book you will want to keep and pass on to the next generation.
This is a great survey of different writers so you can get a feel of what you want to read next. It even included the Shakespeare Crispin speech.
What I found fun is remembering the different movies and books that contain the poems in passing. I had been watching "The Nine Tailors" and never realized what they were referring to when they talked about "Young Lochinvar" until I read this book. I am sure you will also have revelations.
Do not over look the paintings by Jon J Muth; as they add to the experience. I was also surprised that this is a Disney publication.
If you're searching for a book to share with preschool or early elementary-aged children, read on. If not, this review is probably not for you.
As a parent of 3 children under the age of 7, I was so excited to share this book with my little ones. Based on the title and the front cover, the age range listed as "1-11" years, and the "Disney-Hyperion" publisher, I mistakenly assumed this book would be suitable for young children. It most definitely isn't.
I was expecting lighthearted, beautiful poems that people would naturally WANT to learn by heart - uplifting poems that people enjoy reciting and listening to - but I was terribly disappointed. Here are some of the titles:
O dear! How disgusting is life!
The Cremation of Sam McGee
Ballad of Birmingham (On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963)
A Poison Tree
There's also an entire section devoted to poems about war, which includes a poem that says, "After the battle, flat and still upon a hillside now he lies..."
or "What's That?" - about a horrible monster leaning over the child's bed.
Finally, there's the one that made me close the book in disgust: from "Voices Rising":
"My voice rises for the girls trapped in four walls with men who think they're sexy"
AND "Little girls, my voice rises over your screams of broken innocence."
What the heck??? I understand the need for powerful poetry that deals with dark emotions, or social and political issues. I am not opposed to it, at all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm enjoying the book with my grandkids. A good way to introduce poetryPublished 6 days ago by Grandma of 4 girls
Not my favorite poems. I read through several and hoped for a meaningful favorite, but not my favorites. It is a beautiful book with beautiful artwork.Published 1 month ago by Kathy M. from Stockton, CA.
Not what I was expecting... not very child friendly. I must have missed something.Published 1 month ago by bbab15
I was enjoying reading to my daughter until the book transitioned into social justice warrior mode. A lot of echo in this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Henry
We are using this as part of our Teatime Tuesday in our homeschool. The collection is beautifully curated and the art is lovely. An excellent addition to our homeschool.Published 3 months ago by coffee and books
I purchased this book specifically to have a collection of poems that I presumed would have been selected as poems specifically chosen as those for children to commit to remember... Read morePublished 3 months ago by anonymous
Bought for kids' bedtime. It have a few good ones in it, but over half are just weird, not good-weird, or just not good at all. I like Robert Louis Stevenson much better.Published 3 months ago by Sean B