- Age Range: 1 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 9
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (March 26, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1423108051
- ISBN-13: 978-1423108054
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.8 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 191 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Poems to Learn by Heart Hardcover – March 26, 2013
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Theres a poem to celebrate every moment in life-whether its hitting a home run watching a sunset or laughing with your best friend A poem is a gift of the heart that can inspire reassure or challenge us Memorize it-share it-its yours forever In this diverse collection a companion to her New York Times 1 best-seller A Family of Poems Caroline Kennedy has chosen more than a hundred poems that speak to all of us the young and young at heart readers new to poetry and devoted fans These poems explore deep emotions as well as ordinary experiences They cover the range of human experience and imagination Divided into sections about nature sports monsters and fairies friendship and family this book is full of surprises Each section is preceded by Carolines thoughtful introduction reflecting her own familys engagement with and enjoyment of poetry Illustrated with striking watercolor paintings by award-winning artist Jon J Muth this is truly a book for all ages and interests and one that families will want to share for years to come
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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. What I AM opposed to is that kind of poetry being included in a book that is marketed towards adults AND children.
As I mentioned before, it does have some great poems, and the illustrations are beautiful, but I might exchange it for something else. Make sure to use the "Look Inside" option on the product page to view all the titles included in this book. Unfortunately for me, that option wasn't available when I ordered this book!
If you're looking for a poetry book for adolescents and adults, this one is okay.
If you're looking for a poetry book that you can share with young children - look ELSEWHERE, especially if you're thinking about gifting it to a young child for independent reading.
This book is packed full of around 100 poems, all perfect to "learn by heart," appropriate for children (and adults!) of all ages.
~~ "Poems about the self" include "from The World is Round" by Gertrude Stein, "Don't Worry if Your Job is Small" by Anonymous, and "If" by Rudyard Kipling.
~~ "Poems about family" include "The Parent" by Ogden Nash, "Herbert Glerbertt" by Mary Ann Hoberman, and "Ballad of Birmingham" by Dudley Randall.
~~ "Poems about friendship and love" include "The Dream Keeper" by Langston Hughes, "Liberty" by Janet S. Wong, and "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by William Butler Yeats.
Other sections of this book include:
~ Poems about fairies, ogres, and witches
~ Nonsensical poems
~ Poems about school
~ Poems about sports and games
~ Poems about war
~ Poems about nature
~ "Extra credit"
Sprinkled throughout the book are also some adorable, calming illustrations that beautifully accompany the text.
The poems in this anthology are a fantastic, yet somewhat eclectic, mix of poems that will make you smile, make you cry, make you sigh, and make you squirm. The anthology's poems are "classics" and "neoclassics," narrative and lyric, free verse and structured. Overall, though, the poems are lovely. Simply lovely.