Books, Memes, Reviews, Writing

The Perfect Starter Kit Series to Great Poets

More Poetry for Kids in this post: I think I have discovered the Perfect Starter Kit Series to Great Poets – this series – Poetry for Kids (and it is not just for kids!!).

Poetry for Kids: Robert Frost: Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ has long been a favorite poem. We read it in school, and for some reason the fact that we had to memorize it, analyze it, and more did not make me stop loving it, so it is truly a testament to the poem! The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was inspired by Frost. He(Nehru) hand-wrote the last stanza (below) of the poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Morning’ and this was on his bed-stand the night he died.

‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep’

And now, this book delivers a wonderful selection of Robert Frost’s poems specially picked by historian Jay Parini. Each poem is brought alive with Michael Paraskevas’s illustrations – vibrant and stunning, yet capturing that simple beauty all around. It was a joy to read many poems I had not read before and re-discover Frost.

While reading the poem “Out, Out” (which is mentioned here as written based on a true event in Frost’s neighborhood) saddened me, the very next poem in the collection immediately gladdened my heart – “Snow Dust”

Snow Dust

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I rued.

And the poem “Tuft of Flowers” follows the narrator as he moves from feeling lonely in these lines here

And I must be, as he had been,–alone, 
`As all must be,’ I said within my heart,
`Whether they work together or apart.’ 

to the last lines where you can see a total shift in that feeling

With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach. 
`Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,
`Whether they work together or apart.’ 

Truly uplifting..

Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg and Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman
Both Walt Whitman and Sandburg are poets I had not read before. (with Whitman, I am not sure but I know I have not read the poems in this book at least). These books gave me a wonderful introduction to two brilliant writers and I am sure they will provide that same introduction and the delight of reading their poems to any reader who picks up these books. My favorite reads in these books were the excerpt from ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ and ‘Poets to Come’ from Walt Whitman’s collection as well as the poems ‘I am the People, the Mob’ and ‘Paula’ from Carl Sandburg’s book.Now I know I need to read more poetry and so many more poets yet to discover; and hoping this series continues with collections of other writers soon.

Like in the other wonderful ‘Poetry for Kids’ books I read earlier (Emily Dickinson, and Shakespeare), the additional notes at the end give a brief description of what the poet was thinking of as he wrote each of the selected works. The introduction is a short yet informative biography of the poet. Poems include word definitions when necessary (helpful when reading to younger kids; and some words to better understand as used in the poem) and this really will be useful for readers. The selection of poems in each of these books covers a wide range of topics and emotions by the poet, and the illustrations convey the same.As mentioned in my other reviews for the series, these books are wonderful starter kits to introduce just about anyone to poetry and to reading, and to these poets. They are the perfect gift!!

Rating: A+
Reading Level: Read to younger kids; read with everyone else
Reread Level: 5/5
Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss for the digital ARC of the books

I am linking these books to What are you Reading? From Picture Books to YA at Teach Mentor Texts and to NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge

7 thoughts on “The Perfect Starter Kit Series to Great Poets

  1. I’ve always been a fan of poetry. (I never said i was a conventional engineer…)
    And, besides folks like ee cummings and Robert Frost, I’ve brought my children up by reading poetry for kids by wonderful folks like Jack Prelutsky (who they also met a few times), Shel Silverstein, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Langston Hughes, among others.

    Now, my eldest is continuing the tradition with my grandson…

    1. wow! that is cool – I love Jack Prelutsky too.. (discovered him as well as Shel Silverstein only as an adult)..
      And my copy of Shel Silverstein’s poetry collections is full of sticky-notes sticking out of various pages – for the many times the kids had to share a poem or something funny in class (in elementary school and even in pre-school) – so that was their (my!) pick for sharing; And I hope they continue this tradition too

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