Reviews by the Andreolas

A review by Karen Andreola:

Favorite Poems Old and New
Selected by Helen Ferris
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
 

First published in 1957, Favorite Poems Old and New is the standby poetry book we have had on our shelf since the beginning of our homeschool experience. I remember it was 10 years ago that I first read the heart-warming introduction by the book's compiler, Helen Ferris. She recalls her fond memories of poetry read aloud by her parents in the evenings. During her childhood, there was neither a public library nor a bookstore in her little Nebraskan town. She often wondered how such lovely books (including poetry) would so regularly find their way to their home. He mother, a pianist, had an "articulate theory" whereby it didn't matter that children understood every word of poetry. What was important to her was that they enjoy the beautiful sound of the words. With this theory, Mother Goose flowed easily and naturally into Rossetti, Longfellow, and Shakespeare. Her father, a minister, saved his money for Shakespeare's complete works and read them aloud to his children with gusto. He also read the graceful Psalms.

Psalms as well as 700 classic and modern poems make this a comprehensive volume for the homeschool. The poems are arranged under such headings as "My Family and I," "It's Fun to Play," "Animal Pets and Otherwise," "The Good Earth," "Roundabout Town," "Sing of My Nation," and more, so we have conveniently chosen poems for recitation, for adorning history notebooks and nature diaries, and for seasons and holidays. Charlotte Mason thought each day should have a poem in it. It might be a new poem or one that over some days is repeatedly read for memory, i.e., a poem "for keeps." Rediscover time-honored favorites like "Casey at the Bat" and "The Wreck of the Hesperus"! Delightfully illustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Leonard Weisgard.

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