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A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

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Caroline Kennedy has chosen a rich variety of Kennedy family favorite poems to include in this priceless collection. With thoughtful personal introductions written by Caroline herself, and beautiful new original artwork by award-winning artist, Jon J Muth, this collection is sure to become a family favorite for years to come.


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Caroline Kennedy has chosen a rich variety of Kennedy family favorite poems to include in this priceless collection. With thoughtful personal introductions written by Caroline herself, and beautiful new original artwork by award-winning artist, Jon J Muth, this collection is sure to become a family favorite for years to come.

30 review for A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Last Thursday, I got this hardbound pristine book from a second-hand bookstore. I have always liked to read poetry but there are those that I do not understand. So, when I saw that this book contains poems for children and it is written by Caroline Kennedy (born 1957), the only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and the tag price was P180 ($4), why not? The book contains the poems that became her favorites when she was a child because these were t Last Thursday, I got this hardbound pristine book from a second-hand bookstore. I have always liked to read poetry but there are those that I do not understand. So, when I saw that this book contains poems for children and it is written by Caroline Kennedy (born 1957), the only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and the tag price was P180 ($4), why not? The book contains the poems that became her favorites when she was a child because these were the poems that her mom, dad, granddad and grand mom used to read to her and her two brothers, John and Patrick. For one, her mother, Jackie Kennedy was a lover of poems. She even has her own poem here. In fact, most of these poems still remind her of the gentle soothing voice of their mother when she was about to sleep. That included the feeling of comfort and safe that even now when she is sad and lonely, she reads these poems to remind her of her mother, Jackie. Some were the favorites of her brothers and reading them reminded her of their sweet childhood memories. Quite timely too. This weekend is the Thanksgiving Weekend in the US. Last Thursday morning, a Filipina called Mo Twister in the radio program Goodtimes and greeted him ”Happy Thanksgiving Day” and Mo responded ”That’s for the Americans, if you are not an American, you should not care.” I disagree with him. We may not have the long weekend (except if you are working in a call center that services the US) but it is nice to step back and think of the things that we should be thankful about. Although I have to admit that I didn’t know anything about the history of Thanksgiving Day in the US. I have American colleagues in the office but I never bothered to ask. Thanks to the book. On one page is this poem that I liked so after reading it, I Googled the title and found the history of Thanksgiving Day. Read on. It is very appropriate for this weekend:IROQUOIS PRAYER We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us. We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water. We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the care of our diseases. We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and squashes, which give us life. We return thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide us with fruit. We return thanks to the wind, which, moving the air, has banished diseases. We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given us their light when the sun was gone. We return thanks to our grandfather He-no, that he has protected his grandchildren from witches and reptiles, and has given to us his rain. We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye. Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children. Anonymous What I really liked about this book is that, even if the title says that it is for children, this does not include your usual nursery rhymes. Rather, I found a lot of poems that are quoted in many literatures and I did not have any inkling where they came from like the poem about Mr. Mistoffelees, a character in the opera Cats. And I also read the full text of poems where familiar phrases came from like ”And miles to go before I sleep.” is from Robert Frost poem entitled Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. These are the poets whose works I really enjoyed reading in this book and I swear I will look for their books and read more of their poems: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, A. A. Milne, Ogden Nash, Dylan Thomas, Rainer Maria Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Basho, Christina Rossetti, Lewis Carol, William Blake, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, E. E. Cummings, Robert Browning, William Wordsworth, William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, Thomas Hardy, Jacqueline Bouvier (yes, she has her own poem here!), Federico Garcia Lorca, Sandra Cisneros, J. R. R. Tolkien, Seamus Heaney (yes, I like his poem here better than in “Seeing Things”), Slyvia Plath and Jorge Luis Borges. But my personal favorite is the strange but brilliant ”FROM COEUR COURONNE ET MIROIR” or FROM IMAGINE ANGELS by Cullaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), a French poet who wrote a collection of poems called “Calligrammes” with the words of the poem written in such a way that they form relevant figures. This particular poem included in the book forms a circle and it is very clever. Well thought of. I was just blown away.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    3.5 stars. This is a nice collection of poetry, every page has lots of colour and illustrations. We weren't keen on the style, a mix of realistic but with exaggerated comical faces, but they were bright and I expect would appeal to some children if not most.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Well, I was disappointed in the editor's companion book, "Poems to Learn By Heart.' But I love Muth's art in his own books, so I decided to try this. Glad I did. Wonderful diverse selection, enchanting pictures. Many poems were new to me; so refreshing. Of the ones new to me, my favorite poem + art is p. 52, "Saint Francis and the Sow" by Galway Kinnell. Next favorite poem is "Snow in the Suburbs" by Thomas Hardy.

  4. 3 out of 5

    carrietracy

    This anthology is one of the best available that I've seen. It doesn't talk down to children by only including silly, nonsense rhymes, but contains accessible works by important poets like Blake, William Carlos Williams, Frost, Emily Dickinson and Wordsworth. It is beautifully put together and I recommend it for anyone looking for a meaningful book either for their own children, or to be presented as a gift.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    That was refreshing. I definitely needed this. So, I know a lot of people don't like poetry, and I understand that. I find it so annoying when teachers give you poems and expect you to fully decipher it and understand it like the back of your hand. I JUST WANT TO ENJOY POEMS. DATS IT. I don't need to completely understand everything. Sometimes not fully understanding the poem is part of the enjoyment. Poems are windows into people's souls. Do we decipher every single thing that people do? Oh look That was refreshing. I definitely needed this. So, I know a lot of people don't like poetry, and I understand that. I find it so annoying when teachers give you poems and expect you to fully decipher it and understand it like the back of your hand. I JUST WANT TO ENJOY POEMS. DATS IT. I don't need to completely understand everything. Sometimes not fully understanding the poem is part of the enjoyment. Poems are windows into people's souls. Do we decipher every single thing that people do? Oh look, Taylor Swift ate a bagel today. There must be some motive behind this. Well maybe writers simply want to express a feeling. Today I feel happy. Well, why do you feel happy? Are you really happy? What if this is all just a facade? NO I JUST FEEL HAPPY OKAY AND NOW I'M NOT BECAUSE OF YOU. Ok sorry I just totally ranted. Back to the book. It's a genuinely good and timeless collection of poems. These are poems that you treasure, keep near and dear to your heart. Poems that inspire joy and happiness, but can also reflect your sadness and sorrow when you need it to. I enjoyed most all the poems that Caroline Kennedy chose for this book, and I've read it many times throughout the years, and it has never lost its charm or grace. It's a book with soul and love, and not to mention the gorgeous watercolor paintings in it, are to die for. (Don't die though, I want you to read this book). It's simply stunning, and I definitely will continue to reread it.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Sassa

    This book was a delight to read. Each category of poems was introduced by a very personal note from Caroline Kennedy explaining why the poems were among her favorites. She wrote that her mother loved poetry and was very influential in her and her brother’s similar love. I think it is an excellent idea that the Kennedy children were encouraged to write or choose a favorite poem as gifts for holidays and birthdays. She said the scrapbooks of their poems are as telling as a photo book. Included are This book was a delight to read. Each category of poems was introduced by a very personal note from Caroline Kennedy explaining why the poems were among her favorites. She wrote that her mother loved poetry and was very influential in her and her brother’s similar love. I think it is an excellent idea that the Kennedy children were encouraged to write or choose a favorite poem as gifts for holidays and birthdays. She said the scrapbooks of their poems are as telling as a photo book. Included are poems by both well-known poets and not-quite-as-well-known. Two beautiful poems by Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy), Caroline’s mother, have been chosen. The illustrations by Jon Muth are gorgeous. The cover photo will pull her heartstrings if you remember Caroline Kennedy as a young child. Sweet!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    In this anthology, Caroline Kennedy compiled a collection of her most treasured poems for children. The anthology is divided into thematic sections such that mirror the language and interests of a young child. These themes include: About Me, That's So Silly, Animals, Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. Authors range from classics such as Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, and Yeats, to cultural favorites like Langston Hughes and Sandra Cisneros and contemporary poets like Jack Preluts In this anthology, Caroline Kennedy compiled a collection of her most treasured poems for children. The anthology is divided into thematic sections such that mirror the language and interests of a young child. These themes include: About Me, That's So Silly, Animals, Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. Authors range from classics such as Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, and Yeats, to cultural favorites like Langston Hughes and Sandra Cisneros and contemporary poets like Jack Prelutsky and Nikki Giovanni. Poems also range in length and format, creating a diverse reading experience for children. Each page is also filled beautiful water color illustrations by John Muth. There is a nice balance between text and white space as well. This eclectic mix of poetry made for an enjoyable reading experience and many of the poems would make great read alouds for both families and classrooms. I would recommend this anthology for both purposes, and in particular, for readers ages 7 and up. While younger readers may enjoy the rhythm and flow of the simpler, shorter poems, older readers may be able to comprehend them at a more meaningful level. With such a variety of authors and titles, there are multiple opportunities for mentor writing texts, thematic readings, and choices for close reading practice as well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    A_Susan

    Caroline Kennedy shares her family’s traditions and carefully selected, favorite poems for children in this anthology. The anthology contains poems divided into seven sections according to topics such as “About Me”, “That’s So Silly”, “The Seasons”, etc. The beloved poems from all over the world are written in a variety of styles by contemporary poets as well as old, well-known favorites. Caroline Kennedy begins her book with a well-written introduction and each section begins with its own piece Caroline Kennedy shares her family’s traditions and carefully selected, favorite poems for children in this anthology. The anthology contains poems divided into seven sections according to topics such as “About Me”, “That’s So Silly”, “The Seasons”, etc. The beloved poems from all over the world are written in a variety of styles by contemporary poets as well as old, well-known favorites. Caroline Kennedy begins her book with a well-written introduction and each section begins with its own piece written by Kennedy to her readers. She shares family traditions and feelings in a thoughtfully composed manner. Muth’s beautifully created watercolors add to and match the mood of the poems to further enrich the power of the poems themselves. The red-linen endpapers and the endearing picture of Kennedy as a youngster on the cover show how carefully and thoughtfully this anthology was compiled. This anthology would be an excellent addition to a school, classroom, or home library. Can be used for a poetry lesson and for a read aloud. Grades 2 and up. Hyperion Books for Children, New York 2005

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A great selection of about 110 children's poems, with fantastic watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth (author & illustrator of "Zen Shorts"). My favorite poems out of this book were: "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost "The People Upstairs" by Ogden Nash "Today is Very Boring" by Jack Prelutsky "The Crocodile" by Lewis Caroll "The Tyger" by William Blake "April Rain Song" by Langston Hughes "The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth "Thoughts" by Jacque A great selection of about 110 children's poems, with fantastic watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth (author & illustrator of "Zen Shorts"). My favorite poems out of this book were: "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost "The People Upstairs" by Ogden Nash "Today is Very Boring" by Jack Prelutsky "The Crocodile" by Lewis Caroll "The Tyger" by William Blake "April Rain Song" by Langston Hughes "The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth "Thoughts" by Jacqueline Bouvier "Ode to a Pair of Socks" by Pablo Neruda "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost "The Mock Turtle's Song" by Lewis Carroll "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kate Z

    This book is exactly what I was looking for: a collection of "regular" poems (not children's poems) selected to appeal to children. This collection is well curated and organized (not just rhyming and metered poems, diversity in views and time periods) and beautifully illustrated. Ella is not yet two, and she loves them. I do, too. We'll get a lot of use out of it. Can't recommend this highly enough, not just for kids.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I highly recommend this book of poetry for all households with kids. Not only is it illustrated by Jon Muth (which is worthy of purchase alone), but the poems selected in this anthology were chosen with care and attention to particular themes, language, and variety. It's the best little collection of poems for children that I've found.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim Erekson

    This is a wonderful anthology to have on hand, because it offers such a broad survey of poets and includes poetry not written specifically for children--but which is memorable and interesting. I appreciate the clear promotion of learning poems to recite--to have as my own!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    An amazing, amazing book of great poems chosen by Caroline Kennedy. The pictures are amazingly vivid, and it enhances the poetry beautifully. There are cute, funny, serious, and classic poems in here, and it is just a pleasure to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    The only thing better than the smart and witty selection of poems is Jon Muth's fabulous watercolors. It's one of my very favorites.

  15. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    To those who know me it's obvious why I love this book of poetry. I even have a copy in my classroom.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Marlies

    Great gift or to share with kids

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ghada

    1. Awards the book has received : non 2. Appropriate grade level(s): 4-7 grade 3. Original summary : This book has collection of children's poetry. 4. Original review : I enjoyed reading the poet in this book. My favorite part is the section of classic poems. This book has beautiful illustrations. 5. class uses : 1-Help students to understand how language and symbol systems work. 2- Help students to develop their kills in writing and speaking

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    I love this book. I don't remember exactly where I got it - maybe from a used book sale - but I have treasured it ever since. I don't care so much for the non-rhyming stuff, but I admire its variety. It features poets from Ogden Nash to Robert Frost to William Blake. Some of my particular favorites are J. R. R. Tolkien's "Goblin Feet" and Ogden Nash's "The Porcupine," but this book also introduced to (or, helped me to appreciate) such classic poems as "The Road Not Taken" and Wordsworth's "Daffo I love this book. I don't remember exactly where I got it - maybe from a used book sale - but I have treasured it ever since. I don't care so much for the non-rhyming stuff, but I admire its variety. It features poets from Ogden Nash to Robert Frost to William Blake. Some of my particular favorites are J. R. R. Tolkien's "Goblin Feet" and Ogden Nash's "The Porcupine," but this book also introduced to (or, helped me to appreciate) such classic poems as "The Road Not Taken" and Wordsworth's "Daffodils." This is a great collection to inspire a love of poetry in readers of any age.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    So many good memories of childhood are brought out by many familiar poems. And there are many new poems -the international flavor of the poems is very satisfying. My favorite section is the humorous one. I was happy to read 2 poems by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. They were both very enjoyable.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Steph Lovelady

    A really nice collection of poems for children, with handsome watercolor illustrations. There's an appendix at the back with the original text of all translated poems. It's divided thematically (About Me, That's So Silly!, Animals, etc.) Kennedy seems especially fond of Edna St. Vincent Millay, e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes, and Robert Frost.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Sandy

    I needed to read a book that is out of my comfort zone and I picked this one. I am not big poem fan. I really loved the watercolors in this book and I actually enjoyed reading the poems. It would be fun to read these poems aloud to someone like my grand kids. My favorite has to be Robert Frost's poem about the two roads.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Ellen

    One of the best poem anthologies I've seen in a long time - the beautiful illustrations only serve to enhance it! I recommend for both children and adults.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda Gill

    A Family of Poems - My Favorite Poetry for Children is an especially fine collection of poetry. Caroline was raised with poems. She was encouraged to write them, to illustrate them, to choose a favorite poem and use it in a birthday card. "If our parents read to us as children, we remember the closeness of the moments together, the sound and power of voice and expression, the sense of wonder that a poem inspires," said Caroline Kennedy as she shared thoughts about piecing this anthology together A Family of Poems - My Favorite Poetry for Children is an especially fine collection of poetry. Caroline was raised with poems. She was encouraged to write them, to illustrate them, to choose a favorite poem and use it in a birthday card. "If our parents read to us as children, we remember the closeness of the moments together, the sound and power of voice and expression, the sense of wonder that a poem inspires," said Caroline Kennedy as she shared thoughts about piecing this anthology together. Ms. Kennedy wrote the introduction for the entire book and then for each of the seven sections. She includes memories from her childhood, the importance of poetry in her life, along with thoughts about the power of reading together. This book has over 100 poems from well-known authors (A.A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack Prelutsky, Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, T.S. Eliot, Carl Sandberg, William Shakespeare) two poems by her mother, and poetry from the Bible. These poems are placed into sections reflecting a child's world: About Me, That's So Silly, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. A sampling: About Me: "'Hope' is the Thing with Feathers" by Emily Dickinson and "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost That's So Silly: "Happiness" by A. A. Milne and "Today is Very Boring" by Jack Prelutsky Animals: "The Porcupine" by Ogden Nash and "The Crocodile" by Lewis Carroll Seasons: "Ecclesiastes 3:1-8" Holy Bible, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, and "The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth Seashore: "Sea Joy" by Jacqueline Bouvier and "Maggie and Milly and Molly and May" by e.e. cummings Adventure: "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat" by Edward Lear and "Goblin Feet" by J. R. R. Tolkien Bedtime: "Sweet and Low" by Alfred Lord Tennyson and "Keep a Poem in Your Pocket" by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers There is a Table of Contents and an Index for finding just the poem you need for any given moment. Near the end, the poems that were not written in English to begin with are written in their original language, making it rather enjoyable to read when you know one or more of these languages or if you are up for learning a poem in its native tongue. The illustrations are outstanding and beautifully dance with each poem. Jon J Muth is an exceptional artist, binding each poem with a painting or drawing, making this anthology such a delight to read and share. Reading Level: 4 - 12 Years Awards: New York Times best-seller Author: Caroline Kennedy is the editor of eight New York Times bestselling books on American history, politics, constitutional law and poetry, including She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems and A Family of Poems. She is the Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and has this book for sale on the site @ http://store.jfklibrary.org/A-Family-... Ms. Kennedy is also the United States Ambassador to Japan. Her experience working with the New York City schools has shown her "how poetry can connect us to each other in new and powerful ways." Illustrator: Jon J Muth is the author and artist of the New York Times best-seller and Caldecott Honor book, Zen Shorts. He has illustrated many award-winning books. Jon can be found @ http://jonjmuth.com "Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I drew and drew and drew and drew, and painted. Drawing was my way of making things exist which didn't exist. And writing became a way to have my drawings interact. My mother was an art teacher and she took me to visit museums all over the United States. I studied painting, drawing and printmaking in several schools here and in Europe."

  24. 3 out of 5

    Katie Gibson

    I really enjoyed this book of poems. One reason being that the poems in this book seemed to be carefully chosen. It was easy to tell that Caroline Kennedy put a lot of thought into which poems she wanted in the collection. This is evident in many ways, but especially by the way she divided the book into sections and the way she introduced each section. Her introductions are heartfelt and include memories from her life which express how much poetry has meant to her and encouragement to children I really enjoyed this book of poems. One reason being that the poems in this book seemed to be carefully chosen. It was easy to tell that Caroline Kennedy put a lot of thought into which poems she wanted in the collection. This is evident in many ways, but especially by the way she divided the book into sections and the way she introduced each section. Her introductions are heartfelt and include memories from her life which express how much poetry has meant to her and encouragement to children about the power of reading. The poems Kennedy selected range in length, mood, tone and format. Some are older poems and some are contemporary.In addition, this collection includes classics and less-well known poetry .The diversity of the poetry in this book is one of its many wonderful aspects. You can tell from start to finish that poetry is near and dear to her heart. Another reason I enjoyed this collection of poetry is the paintings by Jon J Muth that are included throughout. They are extremely beautiful and add so much to the tone and enjoyment of this reading. I also liked that many of the poems reminded me of my own childhood. They are very relatable and the book has a family-feel. Of all of the poems, there were three that really stood out to me. One of these poems is "Do Not Be Afraid of No" by Gwendolyn Brooks. It stood out to me because I grew up hearing the importance of being okay with the word "no." I knew from a very young age that I wasn't going to get everything I wanted, but that it was going to be okay regardless. Another poem I liked was called "Some Opposites" by Richard Wilbur because I really enjoyed it's fun and playful feel. Lastly, I enjoyed reading the classic "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost because it is one of my favorites. As a future elementary teacher, I will definitely have this book in my collection. One thing I think it very unique about this book of poetry is that it could be utilized in all of the elementary grades. The collection in this book is very diverse and includes poems for readers of all ages. This book would be a great read aloud in grades K-2 and could be used to spark a love of poetry in all of the elementary grades. If I were to use this book in a 3-5 classroom, I would have students choose a poem that really resonated with them and write about their reaction to it. I would then encourage my students to think about poems that they have loved throughout their own childhood and present them to the class. This is just one of the many ideas I have about how this book could be utilized, because I think there are many ways it could enhance a classroom. One of the last things I noticed about this book that I think is very unique and could enhance the cultural relevance of a classroom is the section in the back entitled "foreign poems in their original languages." I think this could be very useful to students who speak other languages and it could make them feel more connected to poetry. I would encourage any elementary school teacher to explore this book and think about adding it to their classroom collection.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ALB

    CSULB 545 Class 4: Child Poetry Anthology: A Family of Poems Kennedy, Caroline. ed. A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. Illus. Jon J. Muth. New York: Hyperion, 2005. Target Audience: grades 1 and up Curriculum ties: Any unit on poetry, or as a companion piece to any unit on the subject of seasons, animals, adventure, the ocean, or any ot the other themes by section. The collection spans from early modern writings to contemporary, shifting from Shakespeare to Taylor Mali and endless n CSULB 545 Class 4: Child Poetry Anthology: A Family of Poems Kennedy, Caroline. ed. A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. Illus. Jon J. Muth. New York: Hyperion, 2005. Target Audience: grades 1 and up Curriculum ties: Any unit on poetry, or as a companion piece to any unit on the subject of seasons, animals, adventure, the ocean, or any ot the other themes by section. The collection spans from early modern writings to contemporary, shifting from Shakespeare to Taylor Mali and endless names in between. The collection is accessible and sophisticated. Curating works from T.S. Elliot, the Bible, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, William Wordsworth, Langston Hughes, e.e. Cummings, and so many many others, the collection is balanced, enriching and stimulating. Muth’s beautiful water colors render the glossy pages irresistible to flip through and linger on, and though some illustrations are geared toward younger children, the text they're paired with remain worthy of enjoyment and study through high school and beyond. The selected poetry ranges in tone from purely silly, such as the “Amelia Mixed the Mustard”, to reflective, as in “Has My Heart Gone to Sleep?”, also realistic, traditional, metaphorical, and transcendent. Kennedy introduces the collection itself as well as each section with encouraging and universal reflections on the selections and the value of words in verse form. The collection ends with the translated poems included in their original languages, a very nice touch that honors the languages and the cultures that produced them. Though the childhood photo of Caroline reading to her teddy is darling and fitting, the cover design itself appears somewhat dated (I was shocked to open the pages and discover the publication date was as recent as 2005), but the collection itself is timeless, enduring, vibrant and relevant. This is definitely a collection to grow with -- childhood connections may be formed with the images that over time transform to connections with the poems.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This eclectic collection of poetry is organized into seven categories: about me, that’s so silly, animals, the seasons, the seashore, adventure, and bedtime. Each section begins with a page in which Kennedy explains why she included the respective themes in her book of poetry for children. Her explanations illuminate personal, national, and universal relevance. The book contains a table of contents that lists titles and authors, an inspiring two-page introduction, an index of first lines, and ac This eclectic collection of poetry is organized into seven categories: about me, that’s so silly, animals, the seasons, the seashore, adventure, and bedtime. Each section begins with a page in which Kennedy explains why she included the respective themes in her book of poetry for children. Her explanations illuminate personal, national, and universal relevance. The book contains a table of contents that lists titles and authors, an inspiring two-page introduction, an index of first lines, and acknowledgments of the sources Kennedy used. Foreign poems are also presented in their original languages at the end of the book. The poems in the book range from light-hearted to thought provoking. They include verse from children’s authors such as A. A. Milne and Jack Prelutsky, to authors who usually write for adults such as e.e. cummings and Langston Hughes, to psalms and scripture from the King James Version of the Bible. The styles of the poem cover the spectrum from Basho’s nature haikus, to an extended metaphor of “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog.” Some of the poems are rich in rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration; others are written in free verse. The poems are printed in either black or white on top of watercolor illustrations. Many of the illustrations are two-page spreads. Some of the watercolors are realistic and intricate; some are abstract and sparse. All of the illustrations accentuate the text of the poetry. This book of poetry is a beautiful collection for children of all ages to share.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Westlund

    This anthology of famous poetry is put together by Caroline Kennedy and encompasses a variety of works that were Kennedy family favorites. The book is broken down by such themes as "about me", "that's so silly!" and "animals". Each section opens with antidotes about that particular section. In one such introduction Kennedy notes, "When we read a poem in which the poet is speaking from the heart, we can learn about ourselves as well as about the author, for poets put into words the feelings that This anthology of famous poetry is put together by Caroline Kennedy and encompasses a variety of works that were Kennedy family favorites. The book is broken down by such themes as "about me", "that's so silly!" and "animals". Each section opens with antidotes about that particular section. In one such introduction Kennedy notes, "When we read a poem in which the poet is speaking from the heart, we can learn about ourselves as well as about the author, for poets put into words the feelings that all of us have". What a wonderful sentiment and opening to a diverse collection. Famous poets such as Robert Frost and Langston Hughes are represented, as well as lesser known poets and some that remain anonymous. Several types of poems with many elements are included. In reading this I reread some old favorites, was reminded of some I had heard previously, and discovered some that were new to me, such as "The Daffodils". I think this book would be an excellent choice to use for a wide span of students. Students could use the sections as a guide to help steer them toward choices, and it could be used as a read aloud for teachers to spark interest in other areas. Some poetry in this anthology may be difficult for young students, but it is nice that they would be able to skim and pick out poems they like/are at their level. The illustrations help illuminate the poems and spark interest.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lara Streyle

    This book has been a prized possession on my bookshelf for quite a few years. I received it as a birthday present from my parents, so it is treasured not only for that reason but because it is a truly wonderful book. It is a book of poetry not strictly for children, but children of all ages. Created by Caroline Kennedy, "A Family of Poems" is a compilation of her family's most beloved poems. The book explores topics from Bedtime to The Seasons and Animals in over 100 poems. There are poems from This book has been a prized possession on my bookshelf for quite a few years. I received it as a birthday present from my parents, so it is treasured not only for that reason but because it is a truly wonderful book. It is a book of poetry not strictly for children, but children of all ages. Created by Caroline Kennedy, "A Family of Poems" is a compilation of her family's most beloved poems. The book explores topics from Bedtime to The Seasons and Animals in over 100 poems. There are poems from over 5 continents and such renowned poets as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, and E.E. Cummings to name a few. A few of my favorites are "The Song of Wandering Aengus" by William Butler Yeats, "Stopping By Woods on A Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, and "Thoughts" by Jacqueline Bouvier. Each time I flip through this collection of poems I discover something new. I would love to use this book in my future classroom. It can serve as a great piece of inspiration to children of all ages to be creative and imaginative in their writing. I would love to have some of these poems displayed throughout my room as daily inspiration. This is a great resource as a mentor text to use for a poetry unit and I know it will be part of my book collection for many years to come.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria Nesmith

    The book A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy is a collection of poems her family cherished. The book is broken into seven sections with different themes. The author wrote this book with intentions of having parents read it to their children and share in the inspiration of the poems. All of the poems have different sounds according to what chapter they are in. The poems all reflect the chapter and theme they are categorized into. The images in the book are fantastic. They really bring the poems The book A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy is a collection of poems her family cherished. The book is broken into seven sections with different themes. The author wrote this book with intentions of having parents read it to their children and share in the inspiration of the poems. All of the poems have different sounds according to what chapter they are in. The poems all reflect the chapter and theme they are categorized into. The images in the book are fantastic. They really bring the poems to life and enhance them. The poems show insight to many different subjects and give children a deeper knowledge to that topic. There is a positive stretch to these poems because some of funny but yet others are serious and can help us understand. This book is appropriate for many different occasions. As stated before it is broken down into different chapters and the chapters are all perfect for different occasions. I enjoyed this book because I thought it was neat how Caroline Kennedy put all of her favorite poems into one book. What struck me the most are the illustrations. They all made the poems more meaningful. This book related to by life because I remember reading a few of the poems in grade and middle school. I would use this in a classroom to show students how to make a collection of their favorite poems and how to categorize them into different chapters.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    In this beautiful collection of poetry illustrated by Jon J. Muth, there are over 100 poems, from five different continents. I was delighted to read so many poems that I was unfamiliar with, but enjoyed very much. The water color illustrations were so delicate, each one matching the mood and the feel of their poem. Caroline Kennedey divided her selections into child-friendly sections: About Me; That's So Silly; Animals; The Seasons; The Seashore; Adventure; and Bedtime. Each section has a short, In this beautiful collection of poetry illustrated by Jon J. Muth, there are over 100 poems, from five different continents. I was delighted to read so many poems that I was unfamiliar with, but enjoyed very much. The water color illustrations were so delicate, each one matching the mood and the feel of their poem. Caroline Kennedey divided her selections into child-friendly sections: About Me; That's So Silly; Animals; The Seasons; The Seashore; Adventure; and Bedtime. Each section has a short, personal introduction written by Kennedy. The index is categorized by first lines, which I thought was very smart because we don't always remember the names of poems as easily as the first line. If you read this collection of poems, you will find many that will surely bring you back to your childhood. I have included one below that took me back to when I was 8 years old. Grades 2-7 Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day. I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people's feet Still going past me in the street. And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?

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