Favorite Poems Old and New selected by Helen Ferris
A thick volume of poems for children that is sure to contain many old favourites, plus introduce some new friends. The word “wholesome” comes to mind.
The Children’s Book of Virtues edited by William J. Bennet
This large (not thick) richly illustrated picture book contains about 20 short stories and 10 well-chosen poems.
Leaves from a Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
With illustrations by Donna Green
Stevenson’s poems are almost a must as a first introduction to poetry for kids. There aren’t many full colour illustrated copies of his work available, that I know of, and so I appreciate these illustrations by Donna Green.
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A treasure of 572 Poems for Today’s Child selected by Jack Prelutsky
Mostly humorous poems, but some gems hidden in between. Kids will laugh and learn to love the rhythm and rhyme of poetry through some of these pieces. The illustrations are aptly silly.
A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa
For those who find the book above a disgrace to all serious poetry, here is an alternative. About half as thick, this picture book is full of gems with a few humourous poems hidden in between. The illustrations are simple in colour and line.
The Ideals Treasure of Best Loved Poems
Contains many classic favourites for teens and adults; is fully illustrated throughout with photographs from nature. A good variety of well-known poems.
Poems for Children: A Delightful Collection for Boys and Girls
A slimmer picture book, illustrated in an old-fashioned style that matches the tone of these old classics for children. This volume has fewer (if any besides R.L. Stevenson) modern poets than the others.
When We Were Very Young
And Now We are Six
Or compiled in one volume as The World of Christopher Robin
By A.A. Milne
Very true to the style of the original Winnie-the-Pooh books. These poems are a light and over-all fun read if you enjoy that whimsical ho-hum what am I thinking of train of thought… A thick volume with line illustrations on each page.
The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies
By Cicely Mary Barker
A volume that contains the flowers of each season, then the flowers of the garden, trees, and wayside, and lastly the flower alphabet. Each page introduces another flower or two.
With children dressed up with wings on each picture, this is an odd place to turn for nature study, one would think, but Cicely Barker’s beautiful paintings have realistic flowers that are accompanied by just as realistic poems that tell one or two striking characteristics for each flower.
Out and About: A First Book of Poems
By Shirley Hughes
I was a little disappointed in this thin picturebook. The pictures and topics are very suitable for kids, but although I know poems don’t need to rhyme or have rhythm, I did miss it throughout, and I think kids would too.
Selected by Barabara Rogasky
I loved this book for the beautiful watercolour scenes that gave such a rich background to the winter season. This book is intended for teens, however, I find, with more difficult language and the theme of death in one poem. Not as satisfying as some poetry collections, since for every classic favourite author, there were a few more stilted poems in between (personal opinion!)