Anybody who’s read a reasonable number of my reviews has probably noticed that I’m absolutely lost when it comes to poetry. Like, if a book has any remote connection to poetry, I must have it. Own it. Possess it.
That said, I don’t always enjoy the books of poetry I read. Some of them are badly collected, some badly edited, and some are just plain badly written. But this book… ah.
This book was called Read-Aloud Poems for Young Readers, and I have to say that I’ve never read an anthology more perfectly suited for children. Ms. Hale chose a wide variety of poems to feature, but all of them were tastefully chosen. As the best example of this I would mention the section titled ‘Friendship and Love’ which held many poems eulogizing love, but none which displayed a too-mature interest in the physical aspects of romance.
I especially loved the layout of Read Aloud Poems. The pages are quite large, but aren’t stuffed with poems. Instead, there are large sidebars where notes can be taken.
Of course, there were a few poems I would have preferred to be absent – Coming from Kansas in which two cousins fight and pull out one another’s hair, Brother and Sister, in which two siblings plot to cook each other (??????), etc.
There are passing references to ghosts, fairies, elves, and other magical elements reference in such poems as ‘The Pied Piper’, ‘Hiawatha’s Childhood’, ‘The Night Before Christmas’, etc. The section ‘Let’s Pretend’ featured many poems centered around such imaginary creatures.
A few of the poems saw violent deaths – mostly those found in the section ‘Poems That Tell Stories’ which had many tales of heroism.
‘My god’ is used once as an exclamation on page 93.
Conclusion. As mentioned above, there are some imperfections involved, but the good outweighs the bad by far.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret