In the tradition of Iona and Peter Opie's Oxford Book of Children's Verse comes this anthology by the award-winning poet and children's book author Donald Hall. Bringing together "poems written for children and also poems written for anybody which children have enjoyed," the book includes anonymous works, ballads, and recitation pieces, beginning with the Calvinist verses of the seventeenth century.
Hall has collected poems from Sunday School magazines, Christmas annuals for children, and children's periodicals such as St. Nicholas and Youth's Companion. Many marvelous writers, some no longer remembered, wrote almost every month for these nineteenth and twentieth century publications. In addition to the expected names of Longfellow and Whittier, we find Sarah Josepha Hale ("Mary Had a Little Lamb"), Mary Mapes Dodge (creator of Hans Brinker), and Palmer Cox (with his marvelous Brownies). Twentieth century authors abound: Ogden Nash, T.S. Eliot, John Updike, Theodore Roethke, to name just a few. The book concludes with the fabulous nonsense of present-day writers like Shel Silverstein and Nancy Willard.
About the Editor:
Donald Hall's many books include The Oxford Book of American Literary Anecdotes, Kicking the Leaves, and Ox-Cart Man, which won the Caldecott Medal for children's literature.
"Donald Hall has put together a long-needed treasure of a book. At a time when most poetry for children sounds as if it were written by a sponge dipped in sugared milk he has brought together the true best of a great and ignored tradtition. I wish every American child could grow up with it. I wish I had it as a child."--John Ciardi
"Excellent in every way...it shows us, as no other evidence could, how often and how greatly our society has changed its conception of the child's mind and world."--Richard Wilbur
"[Hall's] fascinating anthology will remain valuable, both as a source of the poems we once loved that have vanished from later collections, and as a fascinating and well-researched history of the form."--Alison Lurie, The New York Times Book Review
"Hall's choices make for a fascinating picture of changing literary tastes, as well as providing poetry lovers of all ages with a reference of approximately two hundred fifty poems--some obscure, some well known--to read and recite."--Newsday
"Brings out the kid in any of us, effortlessly making the point that a true source of poetry, and maybe the truest, rests in the child's capacity for savage innocence and eternal wonderment."--David Lehman, The Washington Post Book World
"I'll return to this book again and again, whether or not I have a child on my knee."--The Christian Science Monitor
"Not only a well-selected sampling of individual poets but also a silhouette of a developing literature over four centuries."--Booklist
"Hall has done an exemplary job in assembling from the pages of long defunct children's magazines and antique anthologies this panorama of poems for American Children....Newly discovered gems shine alongside old chestnuts."--Commentary
I heartily recommend this anthology to children of all ages....[It] combines a child's heart with enormous genius. Buy it and read it aloud and reminisce, and be the warmer and younger for it."--The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"An entertaining collection of old and new, this is an anthology to add to the family library, but not to keep on the shelf. Circulate it among family and friends, and, above all, read it aloud."--The Sunday Boston Globe
"[A] brilliant and engaging anthology."--The Times Educational Supplement
Series: Oxford Book of Prose/Verse
For Ages: 12 - 14 years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 25th April 1985
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 15.24
Weight (kg): 0.59