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ONCE UPON A POEM by Kevin Crossley-Holland

ONCE UPON A POEM

Favorite Poems That Tell Stories

By Kevin Crossley-Holland

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-65108-5
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

Four different artists illustrate these 15 stories told in verse. Selected for their appeal as read-alouds, most are familiar, like “Paul Revere’s Ride,” “Jabberwocky” and “The Creation of Sam McGee,” with a few exceptions like Roald Dahl’s gruesome version of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Described in a foreword by Crossley-Holland as having a penchant for grabbing the reader by the collar and evoking laughter and tears, the poetic tales are visually interpreted with colorful scenes by two English husband-and-wife teams with a large font adding to the appealing page design. An established author briefly introduces each poem, e.g., Cornelia Funke lauds “The Highwayman” and Philip Pullman extols “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Backmatter provides two pages of notes on the illustrators and four pages on the original authors and their introducers. While adults will discern the different artistic styles, it’s unfortunate that the only place where each story’s illustrator is credited is in the Table of Contents. Otherwise, a fresh approach to some classic verse that kids might otherwise miss. (Poetry. 8-11)