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Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg Hardcover – April 3, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up—This addition to the series, which began with Emily Dickinson, showcases the poetry of Carl Sandburg, the singing bard of America. Arranged in two categories, poems about people and places, the 36 free verse selections follow a brief biographical introduction by Benzel, who is noted for her work on the Sandburg Project: Prayers for the People. Acrylic illustrations are paired with the poems and are most effective when portraying the natural world. Least successful are Crawford's simplistic renderings, such as the letters that spell out the word soup in a bowl of broth, which accompany the poem of the same name. While much of the artwork is stunning, it depicts the surface layer of the poems without revealing any of the subtle imagery beneath. Many of Sandburg's classic poems, such as "Fog" and "Jazz Fantasia," can be found here. More complex pieces such as "Psalm of Those Who Go Forth Before Daylight" and "Sunset from Omaha Hotel Window" have been chosen instead of delightful nonsense poems such as "We Must Be Polite" or "Arithmetic," which seems odd in a volume meant for kids. Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg, edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin, is a more comprehensive overview that features some of Sandburg's nonsense poetry. Benzel's book is best suited for reading aloud. A table of contents and an index of first lines are also included. VERDICT A weaker offering than Susan Snively's Emily Dickinson (the first title in the series), though it is an acceptable, additional purchase for those wanting to update their poetry collections.—Rachel Zuffa, Racine Public Library, WI
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Younger readers will be introduced to Carl Sandburg, a poet for the people. This is a collection of 35 of his poems and is just one book in the Poetry for Kids series.
Professor Kate Benzel has chosen the poems for this amazing collection and award-winning illustrator Robert Crawford has done a magnificent job of visually making them come alive.
Commentary on the poems, definition of key words that may be difficult for children to comprehend, and a lovely bio of the poet's life is included. I love the segment, "What Carl Was Thinking" at the end of the book that exposes the author's thoughts and intentions as he wrote each poem.
I was very impressed with the book and feel it would be one you would be proud to add to your poetry collection. Our children need exposure to great classic poet's work and this is the perfect book to do just that. I highly recommend it.
The MoonDance Press Poetry for Kids series provides a wonderful resource for introducing children to the magic of America's great poets.
The latest book in the Poetry for Kids series is Carl Sandburg. Thirty-five age-appropriate poems for children age 8 to 13, selected by Kathryn Benzel, are accompanied by colorful original illustrations by Robert Crawford.
The Introduction is a brief biography of Carl Sandburg. He was born in 1878 to immigrant parents in Galesburg, Illinois. Typical of his generation and class, after he left school after 8th grade to work at menial jobs. He moved to Chicago before hopping a boxcar at age 19 to see America.
Sandburg's poems are 'of the people,' from the prairie to the city factories, embracing his experience of American life from Reconstruction to the Depression, through two world wars to the invention of television and transcontinental flight.
The poems are divided thematically: poems about people and poems about places.
Poems about people include interactions with the natural and human-made world.
A boy studies nature in Young Bullfrogs, while I Am the People, the Mob extols workers and creators, the common people who make the world go.
Jazz Fantasia celebrates the free-form quintessential American music while Buffalo Bill recalls a boy's idolization of the Old West.
Poems about places begins with Sandburg's most famous poem, Fog, and includes Limited about the 'crack train' of the nation carrying passengers who don't look beyond their next stop.
River Roads, Valley Song, and Between Two Hills--poems about the country--are balanced by Street Window, The Skyscraper Loves Night, and a selection from 'Smoke and Steel.'
The illustrations by Robert Crawford are beautiful: A man and his dog under the flowering fuchsia canopy of a crab-apple tree at dusk; a bright Jack-o-lantern at night; a girl on a pier under a purple sky reflected upon the lake.
Included are helps for parents or young readers: Explanations for Understanding offers definitions and historical information, and "What Carl Was Thinking" has a brief description of the poem's meaning or origin.
Poetry for Kids Emily Dickinson was published in October 2016.
These are wonderful books for the classroom, for family reading, or to gift to older children.
I received a free ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Author Harry Golden Sr. (1902-81) applies the same anecdotal style from his newspaper and many books (Only in America, For Two Cents Plain, etc.) in these pages. The effect is a nicely readable, informative look at one of the nation's greatest poets.