First published in 1986 and just as fresh and relevant today, this widely acclaimed, child-friendly poetry anthology is now being reissued with a striking new jacket. In his introduction to this book Jim Trelease, bestselling author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, writes, "No one better recognizes the essence of the child-poetry connection than poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky. . . . Here are more than 200 little poems to feed little people with little attention spans to help both grow. Marc Browns inviting illustrations add a visual dimension to the poems, which further engage young imaginations." The poems are by 119 of the best-known poets of the 20th century.
This book has been selected as a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades K-1, Poetry) in Appendix B.
Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended New York City Public Schools and studied voice at the High School of Music and Art. He enrolled in Hunter College in Manhattan but left soon after "to become a beatnik". Jack has been a cab driver, a busboy, a photographer, a furniture mover, a potter, and a folk singer. He enjoys bicycling, playing racquetball, woodworking and cooking. He lives in Washington State with his wife Carolynn and a vast collection of poetry books and frogs in every shape, size, and form -- except living! There was a time when Jack couldn't stand poetry. In grade school he had a teacher who left him with the impression that poetry was the literary equivalent of liver. He rediscovered poetry in his twenties, and he decided that he would write about things that kids really cared about, and that he would strive to make poetry delightful. He has been writing poetry for more than twenty years and has published more than three dozen books for children.
A long time ago, when I was a little boy, years before I went to school, my mother read to me. I loved listening to fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Hansel and Gretel, I loved books like The Little Engine that Could, but most of all, I loved poems. There was something special about rhyme and meter that sunk in and became part of me. I have no doubt that my lifelong love of literature grew out of those early precious moments with my mother.
Still, my mother only knew a few poems by heart and, except for a Mother Goose collection and Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, we had no books that contained more than one or two poems. Also, we didn’t have a car, and the library was a very long walk away, so we were seldom able to go there. I sometimes wished that my family owned a giant book of poems written especially for me.
That’s what I tried to do by creating Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young–put together an anthology of delightful poems for children from ages six months or so, to six years or so. Although it includes many old favorites, I also combed through hundreds and hundreds of books to find lesser known, delightful little gems. The poems are on themes that very young children can relate to, such as nature, bedtime, animals, weather, food, the world of make-believe, and of course, children’s own thoughts and feelings. Many of the poems mimic the experiences children have as they discover the world around them.
The tips that follow are designed to help you share these poems with even the youngest child. These are the early building blocks to a lifetime of reading and special memories that your child will remember forever!
“All truly easy to read aloud.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“Bound to develop an appreciation for poetry at a very young age.”—School Library Journal
“Parents will discover it is as much fun to read as it is for the little ones to hear.”—Chicago Tribune
“Marc Brown’s pictures of children and animals, each lovingly depicted, convey the universal childhood exuberance found in each rhyme.”—Boston Sunday Globe
A Horn Book Fanfare Honor Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year