Poems to Learn By Heart Review

poems_to_learn_by_heartPoems to Learn by Heart selected by Caroline Kennedy, paintings by Jon J. Muth

Disney-Hyperion, 2013. 978-1423108054

Synopsis: Divided into sections about nature, sports, monsters and fairies, friendship and family, this book is full of surprises. These poems explore deep emotions, as well as ordinary experiences. They cover the range of human experience and imagination. – from Amazon.com

Why I picked it up: I heard Caroline Kennedy speak about this book at a library conference and I loved what she had to say about the importance of libraries and the power of literature and the written word.

Why I finished it: This is a wonderful and diverse collection that celebrates humanity’s power, potential, and triumphs. It shows us where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. There are a number of familiar classics included in this collection: “If-“, “Ballad of Birmingham”, “Manners”, “Sick”, “Casey at the Bat”, “Gettysburg Address”, and “Paul Revere’s Ride”. Included is also a poem written by the students of the DreamYard Prep Slam Team which asks the reader to listen to the voices in the poem and makes the reader stop to consider the potential of the teenage voices. In many ways, the voices in the poems are asking us to consider our own status, our own emotions, our own feelings about the world around us and how it affects us. They truly are poems that should be memorized and shared, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the book for yourself and see how it speaks to you.

Other related materials: A Family of Poems selected by Caroline Kennedy, paintings by Jon J. Muth; Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberly; A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Tasha Tudor; Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls selected by Helen Farris, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard; A Child’s Book of Poems illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa; Poems for Young People: Emily Dickinson edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin, illustrated by Chi Chung; Poetry for Young People: Walt Whitman edited by Jonathan Levin, illustrated by Jim Burke; Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt, illustrated by Henri Sorensen; Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersand, illustrated by Benny Andrews; Poetry for Young People: William Shakespeare edited by David Scott Kastan and Marina Kastan, illustrated by Glenn Harrington; Poetry for Young People: Rudyard Kipling edited by Eileen Gilloly, illustrated by Jim Sharpe; Poetry for Young People: Robert Louis Stevenson edited by Frances Schoonmaker, illustrated by Lucy Corvino; Poetry for Young People: William Butler Yeats edited by Jonathan Allison, illustrated by Glenn Harrington; Poetry for Young People: Lewis Carroll edited by Edward Mendelson, illustrated by Eric Copeland

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