Wednesday, July 14, 2010

give a book a chance, will you?

There's a book that feels really lonely here at Booksmith. Every time I introduce it to someone, they love it! But it is almost always beat out by some other wonderful novel or picturebook that they've been wanting to get. What is this wondrous, beautiful book that once you pick you cannot let it go (or, maybe that's just me)? Well, I'll show you:

A Family of Poems Edited by Caroline Kennedy

These pages are beautiful, right? Do you find yourself having to touch the screen and run your fingers across the wet sand? Or want to read out loud with enthusiasm? I promise you the quality is much better than these mediocre scans.

Jon J Muth's illustrations really work to enhance the poems and his exquisite use of color and shading leaps right off of the pages. A Family of Poems covers a broad range of old, classic poets who talk about daffodils (William Wordsworth), cats (T.S. Eliot), rain (Langston Hughes), the fascination of wind (Christina Rossetti), a silent pond (Basho), those crazy people who live upstairs (Ogden Nash), and much more. There are also a few contemporary children's poets mixed in. But the delightfulness in this book is that these poems don't feel old. They actually feel quite alive. I love that they are separated into seven sections: About me, That's So Silly!, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. This is great for when you just want to read about the changing seasons, or for when you are just about to crawl into bed.

There are more hidden treasures in this book. But you'll have to open the book to find them. A Family of Poems is one of the recommended Brookline Summer Reading books for fifth and sixth grade. This collection also makes a great baby gift. It is truly for children of all ages, and one's poetry collection is just not complete without it!

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