Sunday, February 19, 2012

Books of Poems


Recommended Books from Young Years Library: Mother's Guide to Children's Reading by Rachele Thomas, Parents' Magazine's Press, 1963. {LOC 63-15865}

Young Years Library was a five or 10-volume anthology of reading material for children. The product evolved over the years, but generally it was sold direct to parents who wanted to provide an educational or literary advantage to their children. Many of the great children's librarians of the day were involved, including the pioneering Augusta Braxton Baxter. My copy, published in 1963, includes a 72-page list of recommended books for various ages and stages. To my eye, many of these books have long since been forgotten, not least because of the revolution in children's literature that took place following the publication that year of Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. I'll be transcribing the sections of the Mother's Guide to Children's Reading reading list, one by one, in hopes of providing a starting point for modern mamas looking to explore more unusual, likely out-of-print book suggestions, beyond those usually included in generally available contemporary reading prescriptions. Copyright, of course, remains with Home Library Press.

All Together: A Child's Treasury of Verse, by Dorothy Aldis, illustrated by Marjorie Flack, Margaret Freeman, and Helen D. Jameson. Putnam.
The writer's selection of her best poems, totalling 144, all brief. For five-to-eight-year-olds.

America, America, America, compiled by Kenneth S. Giniger, illustrated by Leonard Fisher.
Selection of poetry and prose about our country and our pepole. For children twelve and up.

A splendid collection of poems about the land of the Eskimos and its people. For children twelve and up.
The famous poems of childhood by the great writer. For all ages.

Favorite Poems Old and New, compiled by Helen Ferris, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. Doubleday.
More than 700 verses, including lyrics, rhymes, doggerel and songs. For all ages.

The First Book of Poetry, compiled by Isabel J. Peterson. Watts.
A selection of more than 80 cherished poems. For children nine to twelve.

A variety of poems in a large-book format. For children nine and under.

I Met a Man, by John Ciardi, illustrated by Robert Osborn. Houghton.
Thirty delightful, easy-to-understand poems. For eight- and nine-year-olds.

Peacock Pie, by Walter de la Mare, illustrated by Barbara Cooney. Knopf.
A collection of the author's poems about fairies and witches and such. For nine- to twelve-year-olds. Another fine collection of de la Mare's poems:
Come Hither

A Pocketful of Rhymes, by Katherine I. Love. Crowell.
A splendid collection of fun and fantasy verse, selected by a children's professional librarian.

The Penny Fiddle: Poems for Children, by Robert Graves, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone. Doubleday.
Many beautiful poems by a well-known contemporary writer.

Poems for Seasons and Celebrations, compiled by William Cole, illustrated by Johannes Troyer. World.
More than 140 appropriate poems for special days, arranged according to the calendar.

This Way, Delight, compiled by Herbert Read, illustrated by Juliet Kepes. Pantheon.
A highly recommended selection of familiar and modern verse. For children nine and up.

Time for Poetry, compiled by May H. Arbuthnot. Whitman.
Almost 700 poems by classic and modern writers. For children ten and under.

Tirra Lirra, by Laura E. Richards, illustrated by Marguerite Davis. Little Brown.
A beautiful collection of the author's hilariously funny rhymes and verses. For children ten and under.

When We Were Very Young, by A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard. Dutton.
Light verse, full of delightful whimsy, written for and about a now-famous boy named Christopher Robin. For children five to eight. Companion volume:
      Now We Are Six

Wind Song, by Carl Sandburg, illustrated by William A. Smith. Harcourt.
The illustrious American poet has selected his own poems, adding some new ones, especially suited to young people. For children ten and up.

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