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The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems

por Donald Hall (Editor)

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409846,364 (3.94)4
An anthology of American poems, arranged chronologically, from colonial alphabet rhymes to Native American cradle songs to contemporary poems.
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Poems and illustrations, collected from 20th and 21st century sources, that are meant to touch on the history of experiences within (the United States of) America.

The variety of poem forms is excellent. The age appropriateness of the selection was not. I think some of the poems are inappropriate for most who are younger than their teens. For example, one poem focused on the n-word. (Why? Did the editor not understand how controversial that word is even in adult literature in the USA?) Another example by "Anonymous African American" describes snakes as parts of the Devil that should be killed. (Meanwhile, we're in the Anthropocene fighting disinformation that further devastes ecologies.) I also struggled with pronunciations and rhythms for some poems, which doesn't allow for the reading aloud hoped for in the editor's preface. (The "Counting-out Rhyme" must be also a tongue-twister.)

The eclectic illustrations ranged from familiar to unfamiliar. Citations and an index are placed in the back. I was baffled about why so many artists and publications from the UK were used, but I suppose Oxford wanted to promote itself, too.

I don't regret reading this book. While I won't deliberately pass it on to a young child, I know of more poems than I did before, including a few new favorites that I will look for in other collections. ( )
  aspirit | Aug 8, 2020 |
This is definitely a must read for children when learning about poetry. At first when I opened it up and saw that the dates were so long ago, I worried that children would not be able to understand the content of the poetry, but actually I was very wrong. It was quite the opposite really. These beautiful poems went through a variety of themes, from the New England Boy’s song about Thanksgiving, to a poem about a crocodile! It’s versatile, and can be read to many age groups, which is something I especially love. I also like how it has illustrations on each page too still that relate to the poems. In some poetry books, you tend to not see that, so it is refreshing to see something that is poetry that is also illustrated. One more thing about the illustrations that I enjoyed is that they are not in color. I really like that, because it does not distract from the poem, and just adds to the poem if anything. Another thing I liked about this book was that there are many different poets, and styles of poetry. Some rhymed, like Triolet Against Sisters, rhyming hair with bare throughout. Some was freestyle, like Good Hotdogs. Lastly, I like how there are not too many words on one page. It wouldn’t intimidate a child because it is very evenly spread out, like the long poem The Floor and The Ceiling, spread out across two pages. This book is so wonderfully designed, and very versatile. Any age group from kindergarten to 6th grade students would enjoy at least some of these poems, and could learn a lot about many different topics, and many different kinds of poetry. ( )
  mbram1 | Oct 10, 2017 |
This is a great book of classic kid-friendly poems in which would be useful to have in the classroom. Students would be able to have access to different styles of poems as well as different titles. I think an upper elementary and middle school classroom would benefit to have this collection in their classrooms. ( )
  maddisonsitz | Nov 9, 2016 |
This book of poems is a great book that I believe targets the Elementary and Middle School children more than the High School Children. The poem I read out of it was a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale called Mary's Lamb. This poem has been turned into several religions church songs and has appealed to the public for over 150 years. Mary's love for the lamb and the lamb's love for Mary, creates an faithfulness that can not be broken.
  mwj78 | Sep 26, 2016 |
The selection of poems is reasonable, though not always coherent. ?The pictures are *wonderful.* ?áThere are no notes. ?áThe text is small, and the credits are in such fine print that I couldn't find them at first, squeezed in as they are after the index. ?áMany pics are not credited, either. :(

A nice enough book for a library or classroom, but I can't recommend you buy it for a single family.

My favorite picture is for The Lazy Pussy" by Palmer Cox, but it's from Orlando the Marmalade Cat: A Seaside Holiday by Kathleen Hale.

My second favorite is A Forest Glade, Springtime, by Johannes Boesen.

My favorite poem might be Cardinal Ideograms by May Swenson:

A mouth. ?áCan blow or breathe,
be funnel, or Hello.
0 unrolling,
tape of ambiguous length
on which is written the mystery
of everything curly...."

Or Song of the Rabbits Outside the Tavern by Elizabeth Coatsworth:

"... Suns they have inside a cave
And stars on each tall stem,
And the thought of fox or night owl
Seems never to trouble them....

... But they never dance as we dance,
They have not the speed nor the grace...
... We who dance hungry and wild
Under a winter's moon."

This makes me remember, and better appreciate, Nathaniel Benchley's?áFeldman Fieldmouse: A Fable. I was interested, and saddened, to learn that Rachel Field only lived 48 yrs, and Countee Cullen only 43...." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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An anthology of American poems, arranged chronologically, from colonial alphabet rhymes to Native American cradle songs to contemporary poems.

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