As Prelutsky notes in the brief introduction, this hefty collection of 572 poems consists mainly of the work of modern...



As Prelutsky notes in the brief introduction, this hefty collection of 572 poems consists mainly of the work of modern ""children's poets""--Myra Cohn Livingston, Shel Silverstein, Lilian Moore, Karla Kuskin, E. V. Rieu, Prelutsky himself (the largest selection by far)--with sizable representation of such forerunners as Christina Rossetti, Rachel Field, and Ogden Nash. It comprises mostly light, humorous verse, arranged in broad subject-categories (nature-in-general, seasons, everyday and out-of-the-way animals, the city, etc.), and it's intended for elementary-school children (not preschoolers). For maximum utility, there are indexes of titles, authors, and smaller, selected subjects (Birds; Body, parts of; Boredom). As Prelutsky also observes, so large a collection of child-wise verse (""relevant, understandable, and thoroughly enjoyable""), drawn two-thirds from the work of ""the past four decades,"" reflects a great deal of activity, whether or not ""a renaissance in children's poetry."" This is mostly simple, sing-song verse, and some of it is pretty trite: ""City, city/ Wrong and bad,/ Looms above me/ When I'm sad""; or (from ""Cockpit in the Clouds"")--""Two thousand feet beneath our wheels,/ The city sprawls across the land/ Like heaps of children's blocks outflung,/ Intantrums, by a giant's hand."" En masse, it tends to be monotonous--mundane. A good deal, too, is on the kindergarten/first-grade level: the sort of thing children graduate to from Mother Goose. But within its compass, the selection is resourceful--embracing Maurice Sendak's ""In October/ I'll be host. . ."" and Richard Wilbur's ""What is the opposite of two? A lonely me and a lonely you."" The nonsense verse and scarey stuff, in particular, is more grown-up and interesting as poetry. The Lobel vignettes on every page--in color or monochrome--give the book a perky look. And, like the old Brewton collections, this will serve handily in classrooms. For an individual child, it's too much of too little.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1983

ISBN: 0394950100

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1983

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