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The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

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The Random House Book of Poetry for Children offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. Featuring a wealth of beloved classic poems from the past and modern glittering gems, every child who opens this treasury will find a world of surprises and delights which will instill a lifelong The Random House Book of Poetry for Children offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. Featuring a wealth of beloved classic poems from the past and modern glittering gems, every child who opens this treasury will find a world of surprises and delights which will instill a lifelong love of poetry. Featuring 572 unforgettable poems, and over 400 one-of-a-kind illustrations from the Caldecott-winning illustrator of the Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel, this collection is, quite simply, the perfect way to introduce children to the world of poetry.


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The Random House Book of Poetry for Children offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. Featuring a wealth of beloved classic poems from the past and modern glittering gems, every child who opens this treasury will find a world of surprises and delights which will instill a lifelong The Random House Book of Poetry for Children offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. Featuring a wealth of beloved classic poems from the past and modern glittering gems, every child who opens this treasury will find a world of surprises and delights which will instill a lifelong love of poetry. Featuring 572 unforgettable poems, and over 400 one-of-a-kind illustrations from the Caldecott-winning illustrator of the Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel, this collection is, quite simply, the perfect way to introduce children to the world of poetry.

30 review for The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    loved this book when I was a kid.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel L.

    This Poetry Was Music to My Students' Ears (And Don't Be Turned Off by the Title!) A Review by Daniel L. Berek Most young children love poetry, especially for its musical qualities, rhythm, imagery. And with famed children's poet Jack Prelutsky as editor, add "fun, funny, witty, and wise." When I taught young children (K through grade 3), I used this book extensively, and my students kept asking for more, more, more poetry, please. Do not let the awful title of this book, "The Random House Book of This Poetry Was Music to My Students' Ears (And Don't Be Turned Off by the Title!) A Review by Daniel L. Berek Most young children love poetry, especially for its musical qualities, rhythm, imagery. And with famed children's poet Jack Prelutsky as editor, add "fun, funny, witty, and wise." When I taught young children (K through grade 3), I used this book extensively, and my students kept asking for more, more, more poetry, please. Do not let the awful title of this book, "The Random House Book of Poetry for Children," turn you off. The publishers should have used the subtitle instead, "A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today's Child." Why use the publisher's name as the title. This is not a dictionary, after all. Besides, there is already too much commercialism in books for children. Then again, to use a tired cliche, "You cannot judge a book by its cover." So open the book and sample what's inside. Arranged in themes (which is very useful for teachers looking for a poem for a special occasion), an immense selection of poems by poets of all walks of life awaits. Best of all, most of the poems are not ditties written for kiddies - they are honest-to-goodness poems by respected authors such as Christina Rosetti, Robert Frost, Walter de la Mare, John Updike, Walter Crane, Nikki Giovanni, John Ciardi, Gwendolyn Brooks, Hilaire Belloc, Joyce Kilmer, Langston Hughes, and William Butler Yeats to name but a sample, poems for readers of all ages. Of course, there are also verses by traditional writers of quality children's literature, such as Lewis Carroll, Mary Ann Hoberman, Charlotte Zolotow, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, Eve Merriam, Judith Viorst, and the two Lillians, Moore and Morrison. There is something for everyone to like in a variety of themes, including nature, the seasons, animals wild and tame, children, the city, the home, food, people, and just plain silliness, something children and adults alike could always use more of. As an educator, I highly favor the use of poetry in all classes, not just language arts. The children will love it! Just don't let them know that it is also good for them....

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ginta Harrigan

    “The Random House Book of Poetry for Children” is a compilation of 572 poems for children. Jack Prelutsky who wrote “Good Sport’s and “Scranimals” selected the poems. Many of the poems are done in rhyme which (I think) is more palatable to children. Form, the arrangement of words, is also noticeable in some poems. For example in the poem “My Mouth” by Arnold Adoff is written as follows: My Mouth stays shut but food just finds a way my tongue says we are full today but teeth just g “The Random House Book of Poetry for Children” is a compilation of 572 poems for children. Jack Prelutsky who wrote “Good Sport’s and “Scranimals” selected the poems. Many of the poems are done in rhyme which (I think) is more palatable to children. Form, the arrangement of words, is also noticeable in some poems. For example in the poem “My Mouth” by Arnold Adoff is written as follows: My Mouth stays shut but food just finds a way my tongue says we are full today but teeth just grin and say come in i am always hungry Additionally, what is interesting is that Adoff uses a lowercase i in describing himself at the end of the poem. The poems in the book are arranged by nature, the four seasons, the ways of living things, dogs and cats and bears and bats, as well as other categories. I selected a few of the poems to read with my students and they liked them. The poems are short and specific and for those reasons I think children will enjoy reading them and selecting their favorite. My rating for this book is five stars. I liked the many of the poems selected for the book. I also liked the arrangement and the selection of categories for the poems. This is a great book for teachers of primary students to have in their classroom library.

  4. 5 out of 5

    CH13_Lisa Matthews

    The Random House Book of Poetry for Children collection of poetry is a rich and comprehensive anthology that has something for children of all ages. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has roughly 500 plus poems, some written by Jack Prelutsky but the majority of the poem are collected by Jack Prelutsky. These poems range from nursery rhymes to more serious poetry, all of which are separated into 14 illustrated thematic sections. Poems about nature, seasons, life, animals, food, and peo The Random House Book of Poetry for Children collection of poetry is a rich and comprehensive anthology that has something for children of all ages. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has roughly 500 plus poems, some written by Jack Prelutsky but the majority of the poem are collected by Jack Prelutsky. These poems range from nursery rhymes to more serious poetry, all of which are separated into 14 illustrated thematic sections. Poems about nature, seasons, life, animals, food, and people as well as nonsense poems, scary poems, and fantasy fill its pages. The author includes an index in the back of the book that makes it easier for the reader to locate a particular or favorite poem or poems on a particular theme. The illustration a simple and cute and will help the reader connect to illustration to the poem. A wonderful book for children of all ages and can be used in the classroom to cover an assortment of themes. There are so many poems on one page which make to book appeared crowded but nevertheless a wonderful book full of great poems. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children won the following award: Booklist Books for Youth Editors' Choice, 1983, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 1983, Horn Book Children's Classics, 1983, Library of Congress Children's Books of the Year, 1983, and Kentucky Bluegrass Master List, 1985

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kiersten Knapp

    1. This collection of poems has not received any awards. 2. The target audience are 2nd grade and up. 3. This collection of poems from many great, well-known authors is organized based on different themes such as nature, home, and children. There are many different types of poems in this book such as sad and funny ones. There are also many illustrations to go along with the poems. 4. I really enjoyed reading poems in the book because of how vastly different they are. I like how some are long poems 1. This collection of poems has not received any awards. 2. The target audience are 2nd grade and up. 3. This collection of poems from many great, well-known authors is organized based on different themes such as nature, home, and children. There are many different types of poems in this book such as sad and funny ones. There are also many illustrations to go along with the poems. 4. I really enjoyed reading poems in the book because of how vastly different they are. I like how some are long poems while others are very short. I also really liked how the poems were categorized based on their theme, so that if someone is teaching a lesson on nature, the teacher knows right where to go in the book, rather than searching for it. 5. One way that this could be used in class is by having students pick a poem, rewriting it on a page with their own illustration to go along with it. Another way which this book could be used in the classroom is by using it for poem(s) of the week.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cara Dore

    Title: The Random House Book of Poetry Author: Collected by Jack Prelutskey Illustrator: Arnold Lobel Genre: Poetry Theme(s): The four seasons, Nature, Children, Home, City, Self, Hunger, People I know, Nonsense, etc. Opening line/sentence: Nature is the endless sky, the sun of golden light, a cloud that floats serenely by, the silver moon of night. Brief Book Summary: In this poetry anthology, Jack Prelutsky has compiled over 500 poems from a variety of authors. The poems vary in topic, rhythm, an Title: The Random House Book of Poetry Author: Collected by Jack Prelutskey Illustrator: Arnold Lobel Genre: Poetry Theme(s): The four seasons, Nature, Children, Home, City, Self, Hunger, People I know, Nonsense, etc. Opening line/sentence: Nature is the endless sky, the sun of golden light, a cloud that floats serenely by, the silver moon of night. Brief Book Summary: In this poetry anthology, Jack Prelutsky has compiled over 500 poems from a variety of authors. The poems vary in topic, rhythm, and length as well as seriousness but all are enjoyable. Illustrations by Lobel, some in color and some not, accompany almost every poem in the anthology and are sprinkled in and around the printed poems. Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Susie Wilde (Children's Literature) Prelutsky is one of the most trusted names in children's poetry. During the school year he probably gets a hundred letters a week from kids. Kids know that Prelutsky is their friend because he writes about the things they care about--outer space, monsters, dragons, sports, food fights, sibling rivalry, and weird friends. He never condescends. Prelutsky tell things in unique, interesting ways. He's compiled anthologies like this one where he draws on many current writers who he believes are some of the best children's poets who ever lived. 1983, Random, $19.00 and $21.99. Ages 6 to 10. (PUBLISHER: Random House (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1983.) Professional Recommendation/Review #2: Sylvia M. Vardell; BookLinks 15.6, 2006 K-Gr. 6. With more than a half-million copies in print, this comprehensive anthology has become a staple. Its more than 500 poems are organized into 14 broad sections including nature, seasons, animals, cities, home, self, nonsense, and more. The variety of poets is still impressive, including classic and anonymous authors from Emily Dickinson to Dennis Lee, and the selections range from playground verse to more serious fare. Illustrations by Caldecott medalist Lobel abound on every page, executed in color and sepia tones or monochromatic green shades and always perfectly placed and uncrowded, even with as many as four poems on a page. Several helpful indexes make it easier to find and choose just the right poem. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. Selected by Jack Prelutsky. Illus. by Arnold Lobel. 1983. 256p. Random, $19.95 (0-394-85010-6). Response to Two Professional Reviews: I like that both professional reviews discuss the immense variety in this text and (evidently) in much of Prelutsky’s work— the variety in this book is a large part of what made it interesting to me. Wilde comments that Prelutsky chose the authors for this anthology based on “who he believes are some of the best children’s poets who ever lived.” I find it heartening that Prelutsky does not only write poetry, but consumes it and has favorites. Additionally, Wilde’s comments about Prelutsky’s kind nature is unusual in a professional review, which tells me his personality must really be strong. Evaluation of Literary Elements: By nature of being an anthology of poetry, The Random House Book of Poetry has a plethora of formats and rhyme schemes present in the poems. I did notice that most of the poems rhyme, however, perhaps reflecting that this book is intended for children. There is a variety of themes and a variety of positive and negative poems about the themes, which sets up an interesting discussion on values. Consideration of Instructional Application: I would love to use this book and other collections of poetry to create a Poem in My Pocket day. Children could choose a poem from The Random House Book of Poetry or create their own poems and keep it in their pockets all day. When someone comes up to them and asks what they have in their pocket, if they can recite back the poem or give their opinion of what the poem is about/why it is important, they receive a Pocket Point. Poem in My Pocket Day can occur not only in my classroom, but at lunch, at recess, etc.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky falls under the genre poetry and children's book and is intended for children 7-15 years of age, but can also be enjoyed for young adults as well. The book has not won any awards. The book is compiled with many different poems written by many different poets and authors. Jack Prelutsky collected the poems used in the book and even wrote a couple of them too. There are many different topics throughout the book including nature, animal The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky falls under the genre poetry and children's book and is intended for children 7-15 years of age, but can also be enjoyed for young adults as well. The book has not won any awards. The book is compiled with many different poems written by many different poets and authors. Jack Prelutsky collected the poems used in the book and even wrote a couple of them too. There are many different topics throughout the book including nature, animals, food, and different characters. Most of the poems are accompanied by an illustration. There are short simple poems, as well as longer, more in-depth poems. I gave this book a four-star rating because overall, they had some very good, interesting poems. The whole book is made up of 500+ poems and it just took a while for me to read the whole thing. Some poems I found a little boring and could not relate too. However, this book would be an excellent introduction to poetry for kids ranging from multiple ages. There are poems included that children beginning to read could easily read aloud and understand. There are also more complex works of poetry that could be used for older students learning about poetry and how to start writing poems themselves. There were some illustrations that really stood out, and others were simple doodles and pictures. I think some of these poems would appeal to young readers and I think the older they got, the more they would enjoy and appreciate them. One of my favorite things about this book of poetry was the categories. They kept each category of poems together that ranged from nature to animals as well as scary to fantasy. This book of poems really has anything you could be looking for and they did an excellent job of keeping it very organized. 12/02/17

  8. 4 out of 5

    Krista Lockwood

    Summary: This poetry is full of classics poems that everyone will love. From traditional popular poems to hidden gems, this book has them all. With over 500 poems this poetry book is a great addition to any book collection. This collection of poems shows all different types and forms of poetry. Using this book can be a great way to introduce children poetry. Review: Poetry is fun to read especially when you have these awesome poems all in one book! This poetry book is a great resource to have in Summary: This poetry is full of classics poems that everyone will love. From traditional popular poems to hidden gems, this book has them all. With over 500 poems this poetry book is a great addition to any book collection. This collection of poems shows all different types and forms of poetry. Using this book can be a great way to introduce children poetry. Review: Poetry is fun to read especially when you have these awesome poems all in one book! This poetry book is a great resource to have in your classroom library. Children can learn all kinds of things from reading these poems. From the fun traditional poems, to the silly cartoon illustrations this poetry book will be a hit for everyone. Other Book Connections: This poetry book can be used with other poetry books by Jack Prelutsky like “It’s Raining Pigs ants Noodles”, “A Pizza The Size of The Sun”, and “Something Big has Been Here”. All these poetry books are fun to use with children who are learning about poetry. Mentor Text: Using this poetry book to mentor writing can help increase students knowledge on different ways that you can write poetry. There are endless amounts of different poems, and this book can give students ideas of how they can write their own poems.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Inna Egorysheva

    This is a poetry book meant for ages 5 to 11. This is an anthology of 572 poems meant for children separated by topic. This is a book full of wonderful poems. There are funny poems, poems that make the reader feel appreciative of nature, and poems that are meant to relate to the reader. Many of the poems have a rhyme scheme(which makes sense, considering this is children's poetry) but none of it feels like it's following a cookie-cutter form. The illustrations don't add very much, but that's oka This is a poetry book meant for ages 5 to 11. This is an anthology of 572 poems meant for children separated by topic. This is a book full of wonderful poems. There are funny poems, poems that make the reader feel appreciative of nature, and poems that are meant to relate to the reader. Many of the poems have a rhyme scheme(which makes sense, considering this is children's poetry) but none of it feels like it's following a cookie-cutter form. The illustrations don't add very much, but that's okay, because the poems do all the talking themselves. I really like that this anthology is separated by topic(home, nature, living animals) because it shows the reader that one topic can be expressed in many different ways and styles. I think a child would love this book because all of the poems are entertaining and either make the reader giggle or think. I would definitely teach this in an early education setting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    I thoroughly loved this children's poetry book. I think a lot of children prefer to be read poetry because of the rhyming schemes, which makes reading not only easier for children, but also more fun. Poems are a little bit like music for kids. There are a plethora of topics, including animals, food, and family members. There are black and white, color, and little illustrating taking up each page. Almost all of the poems can be relatable in someway to a child. This book is full of poetry for chil I thoroughly loved this children's poetry book. I think a lot of children prefer to be read poetry because of the rhyming schemes, which makes reading not only easier for children, but also more fun. Poems are a little bit like music for kids. There are a plethora of topics, including animals, food, and family members. There are black and white, color, and little illustrating taking up each page. Almost all of the poems can be relatable in someway to a child. This book is full of poetry for children of all ages, but I'd say targeted for children in 2nd grade and up, and used as a read aloud in a classroom!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christina Jackson

    A massive collection of children's poems organized by subjects (animals, about me, in the city,...) written by a wide variety of authors. It is a wonderful assortment of short poems to explore for kids. If you like the way a certain author writes, you can search for more works they have created. All of these poems are great for read aloud to primary and elementary students alike. There are many ways to explore lessons with fluency, prosody, onomatopoeia, metaphors, similes, and making inferences A massive collection of children's poems organized by subjects (animals, about me, in the city,...) written by a wide variety of authors. It is a wonderful assortment of short poems to explore for kids. If you like the way a certain author writes, you can search for more works they have created. All of these poems are great for read aloud to primary and elementary students alike. There are many ways to explore lessons with fluency, prosody, onomatopoeia, metaphors, similes, and making inferences. They are also ideal for developing fluency during independent reading. All the poems are short and welcome exploration.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Corrieri

    When researching poetry books for young readers, this book came up in several of the top book lists. This book is a combination of old poems that have been revised, new modern poems, and filled with enchanting illustrations. The multiple styles of poems give children the perfect introduction to the world of reading poetry. The subjects of the poems cover animals, nature, city living, and people. Students could read poems to practice fluency. Memorize poems and recite them to their class. Student When researching poetry books for young readers, this book came up in several of the top book lists. This book is a combination of old poems that have been revised, new modern poems, and filled with enchanting illustrations. The multiple styles of poems give children the perfect introduction to the world of reading poetry. The subjects of the poems cover animals, nature, city living, and people. Students could read poems to practice fluency. Memorize poems and recite them to their class. Students could identify similies or metaphors throughout the poems. When being read to students could listen for prosody.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This is a fine introduction to poetry for children. Prelutsky’s selection of rhyming poetry offers a rhythm that appeals to children’s musical sensibilities, Lobel’s illustrations offer a comforting familiarity: what could be wrong? There will always be something missing from a collection, but that just means you’ll need to read more poetry to find your favorites! Poetry is a wonderful way to start reading aloud to children: brief snippets that are easy to remember and relaxing for listening.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Winans

    This is an awesome collection of poems for children. I like the organization by themes of Nature, The Four Seasons, Alphabet Stew and many more. Each page has intricate drawings, some black and white while others are very colorful. One of my favorites is The Four Seasons. This is a simple poem defining each season. The poem is on one side and there is magnificent artistry of each season on the adjacent page.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Though this was published almost 40 years ago (1983!), these selections still resonate with my children of today, making them smile and often even laugh. Broken into sections (from "Nature Is..." to "I'm Hungry!" and "Nonsense! Nonsense!"), your children are bound to find poems they love in here (though, of course, at 248 pages and 572 poems, you might need to help them...). And let's not overlook the fact that Lobel (of Frog and Toad fame) illustrated this collection!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I think we use this poetry book for the first couple years of this curriculum & I don't want it in my Currently-Reading for that long so I'm reviewing after a month. There have been a couple poems that have been catchy for us and some that were not, but overall I like the variety and they are definitely age/skill appropriate for my 6 yr old. I think we use this poetry book for the first couple years of this curriculum & I don't want it in my Currently-Reading for that long so I'm reviewing after a month. There have been a couple poems that have been catchy for us and some that were not, but overall I like the variety and they are definitely age/skill appropriate for my 6 yr old.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Esther Westfall

    This is a wonderful collection of children's poetry. There's such a wide variety of poems, that every child is bound to find at least a few that they enjoy. It is an excellent way to introduce children to the various kinds of poetry all in one book. The illustrations are also cute and help kids to be able to further interpret the poems.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Courtnie Sepe

    This is a wonderful collection of children's poetry. I enjoy how the book is divided into categories. It gives a wide range of poetry samples. I have grown up with the book and have always enjoyed picking it up and finding new poems to read. I especially love the poems on the holidays and the seasons. I also find the illustrations to be interesting to look at while I am reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Sarnowski

    This book is filled with interesting poems of all types and varying lengths. Several of the poems are humorous, others are serious and contain questionable information. Many of these poems do not seem suitable for children as they introduce subjects including death, animals posing a threat, and punishment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sydney M

    This poetry book offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. It has classic poems from the past and modern new poems. I recomend this book to any child that loves poetry and if they dont love poetry after reading these poems they may start to love it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paris Krug

    This poetry series has tons of classic poems that students will love! There are many traditional poems to ore recent ones. There is almost over 500 poems in this book as it would be useful for the classroom or bookshelf to anyone! This would be a good way to get started with poetry with your children!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Camille Haynie

    Genre: Poetry. I categorized this book in poetry because this is one of the best resources out there for children's poetry. It is a great collective anthology for children's poems. I believe poetry should be a big part of the elementary school classroom.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline Masluk

    Even though this book is old, it still has some good poems inside it. I thought some of the poems were very funny and very relatable in every way possible. I would recommend reading some of these poems to your family members or to any child who loves to read poems.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leaflet

    Top-notch selection of poems made even better by Arnold Lobel's illustrations.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin Niedert

    This poetry book is filled with tons of different poetry with many different sections of different themes. This would be great for middle to upper elementary.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I wanted to love this more than I ended up enjoying it. It has a fair amount of weird poems that are gruesome (cats murdering each other was a memorable one). Not a winner for us.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    This book has poems that are funny and entertaining poems for children. This book is filled with classic poems that children will love!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

    I can't even count how many times I read this book as a sickly bed-ridden child. The drawings were just as enchanting as the verses.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I’m not a huge fan of poetry but this book was just plain fun.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jane Scholey

    Loved this book when I was younger. I often revisit it.

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