Friday, April 9, 2010

April is National Poetry Month - A review

I gave my daughter this book for Easter and ended up liking it so much that we both decided that I should review it.


Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection
Selected by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Paul Howard
For ages 8 and up
Poetry
Candlewick Press, 2009, 978-0-7636-4210-5
In this day and age so many of us expect to be constantly entertained when we read. We like titles that have a fast-paced plot, one that will keep us engaged all the way through the book. We are less willing to explore words and the images and emotions that they describe or conjure up. Because of this tendency, we often miss out on some wonderful stories, and we completely bypass poetry. Reading poetry can take a little more work, it is a little more demanding than a simple narrative. At the same time, poetry can give us a wonderfully rich literary experience.
   For this book Michael Rosen, Britain’s Children’s Laureate, has selected classic poetry written by some of the world’s most wonderful English language poets. Some of the poets will be known to the reader, like William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll, while others will become new friends.
   For each poet Rosen has written a short biography, and so this book is “not only a book of classic poetry; it is also a book of classic poets.” For some of the poets Rosen has chosen more than one poem, and this will help the reader get a richer picture of what the poet cared about.
   In addition to reading poems about Ozymandius, the Mock Turtle, Paul Revere’s Ride, The Jumblies, and much more, readers can read the poet’s biographies, looks at portraits of them, and admire the art that Paul Howard has created to accompany the poems.
   This is a title that young readers will dip into again and again, and it is a book that they will surely enjoy for many years to come.
   

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