The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury

Prelutsky, Jack

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1999
ISBN 10: 0679993142 / ISBN 13: 9780679993148
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Synopsis: "Until this century, most children's poetry was either syrupy sweet or overblown and didactic, and tended to talk down to its readers. Contemporary children's poets have thrown all that condescension and moralizing out the window, and write with today's real child in mind."
?from the Introduction by Jack Prelutsky

Here in one gloriously illustrated volume are 211 wonderful poems that represent the best this century has to offer. From sibling rivalry, school, monsters, food, and just plain silliness, to such ageless themes as the seasons, Who am I?, and the many moods of childhood, this is a collection that begs to be read aloud and shared with the whole family. The poems, from every decade of this century, showcase 137 famous poets.

Selected by Jack Prelutsky, America's leading children's poet, and illustrated by award-winning watercolorist Meilo So, this useful and beautiful gift is a splendid way to end the century ? or start a new one. Truly a book that families will cherish long after the millennium excitement is over, The 20th-Century Children's Poetry Treasury is a joyous companion volume to the best-selling The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury.

Review: "I objurgate the centipede,/ A bug we do not really need," writes Ogden Nash. Carl Sandburg hums and strums, while pages later, William Jay Smith compares a toaster to a silver-scaled dragon. And of course A.A. Milne must add his two cents' worth, "tiddely pom, tiddely pom." What a labor of love! Children's poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky has collected 211 of his favorite poems by 137 poets, representing the best of verse from each decade of the 20th century. "Until this century, most children's poetry was either syrupy sweet or overblown and didactic, and tended to talk down to its readers," Prelutsky writes in his introduction. "Contemporary children's poets have thrown all that condescension and moralizing out the window, and write with today's real child in mind."

What's in this anthology for today's child? Food fights, outer space, animals, noses, monsters, sports, and sibling rivalry. Each of award-winning illustrator Meilo So's spectacular watercolor-splashed spreads reflects a theme: one buggy watercolor romp is surrounded by Deborah Chandra's "Cricket," Walter R. Brooks's "Ants, Although Admirable, Are Awfully Aggravating," and Robert Frost's "Blue-Butterfly Day." Five nocturnal poems nestle into a moonlit cityscape. Four music-related poems, from Bruce Lansky's "My Violin" to X.J. Kennedy's "The Girl Who Makes the Cymbals Bang," burst from So's cacophonous paintings. This excellent collection, a companion to The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, belongs on every poetry lover's bookshelf. Prelutsky, creator of The New Kid on the Block, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, and more than 30 other poetry books, has perfect pitch. (Click to see a sample spread. Illustrations copyright 1999 by Meilo So. Permission of Alfred A. Knopf.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson

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Title: The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Library Binding
Book Condition: New

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