Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Walker book of Poetry for Children (Review number 500!)

Today is the day I reach 500 reviews/posts on my blog.  I set myself the target of four books per month back in 2009 but last year I decided to try and reach 500 posts by the end of 2012.  I am six months late but all I can say is better late than never.  I have been thinking over the last few days about which book I might use to celebrate post 500 and I have selected a poetry book.

I have owned this book for nearly thirty years and it continues to be a book that I regularly use from my book shelf.  If I need a poem this anthology nearly always has a wonderful example.

The full title of this book is The Walker book of Poetry for Children a Treasury of 572 poems for Today's child selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Arnold Lobel.  Here is the blurb and it really sums up why I 'treasure' this book :

"This book is a treasure chest.  In one beautifully illustrated volume there are 572 poems to suit a child's every mood: nonsense poems and poems about pets; nature poems and goblin poems and even poems about chocolate!  Here are traditional favorites as well as poems of today - all brought to life with enchanting illustrations by Caldecott Medal winner Arnold Lobel.  Children, as well as adults, will delight in page after page of splendid rhythm, rhyme and imagery."

I first used this book with my Grade three class - we were asked to perform for a small school event and so we learnt two poems from this book and even now I can still recite them.  One is called Rules by Karla Kuskin and the other is Me also by Karla Kuskin.  This poetry collection contains three essential devices - an index of poets, an index of first lines and a subject index - which is brilliant.

Our school library copy of this book has an interesting history.  When I arrived in my current school we already had a copy of this special poetry collection.  I was so happy to see my favorite book. A student teacher called into the library asking for a poem to read to his class so I loaned him The Walker book of Poetry and we never saw the book again.  This was in 1997 and this book was out of print.  I was in despair.  Luckily about ten years later my poetry book appeared again - the title is slightly different but the content is the same.  I wonder if this young man became a teacher - I do hope he has enjoyed using this book.

I will finish my 500th post with the last poem in this book :

Keep a poem in your pocket by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Keep a poem in your pocket
and a picture in your head
and you'll never feel lonely
at night when you're in bed

The little poem will sing to you
the little picture bring to you
a dozen dreams to dance to you
at night when you're in bed

Keep a picture in your pocket
and a poem in your head
and you'll never feel lonely
at night when you're in bed.

1 comment:

kinderbooks said...

Perfect. My favourite too and mine too is still well used. The library's copy is falling apart.