Recently purchased ‘A treasury of poetry for young people’ in the hope of inspiring a love of poetry in my offspring. There is a selection of poetry from Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The book is packed full of the most beautiful illustrations, specifically commissioned for the project. Artists include Jim Burke, Chad Wallace, Carolynn Cobleigh, Chi Chung, Henri Sorensen and Steve Arcella.

Each poet is introduced over a couple of pages and each poem has brief explanatory notes and obscure words are defined. This makes it ideal for the younger reader or for those new to poetry. As I fall into the latter category, I learned a great deal – haha.

The standout for me is the section on Edgar Allen Poe. What a life – talk about depressing – but can he write! I just love all that black and scary stuff. His poem ‘the bells’ is amazing. Carl Sandburg was also a favourite.

So far the kids haven’t even looked twice at the book, but we live in hope.


A Treasury of Poetry for Young People. Edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin, Gary D Schmidt, Brod Bagert, Jonathan Levin. Illustrated by Jim Burke, Chad Wallace, Carolynn Cobleigh, Chi Chung, Henri Sorensen and Steve Arcella. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc, New York.

14 thoughts on “‘A treasury of poetry for young people’

  1. Gabrielle, as long as their parents enjoy the book and ‘learn new things’, the love of the poetry will eventually rub off – and also, the parents will be able to answer the odd question from left field and point the kids to the book to learn more.

    You are my muse. I’m going to put it on MY Christmas list. I love kids’ lit much more than adult lit.

    (No comment about my seniority, please. I just never grew up).



    1. That is too sweet d. I love kids lit too (and never grew up – haha). I would classify it as an adult book as well – the poems aren’t kids poems, that’s for sure. It’s a wonderful book – feels and looks good – I’d buy it just for the illustrations (keep in mind I am a book addict).

      1. I recommend “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Who Would Not Take the Garbage Out.” It was always one of my favorites as a child, and the illustrations are fun as well. The two most popular books are “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic.”

    1. Thanks Ben. It’s funny how you pick up poetry as you go through life – the snippets my Mum would sing to me (I often wondered why she would repeat the same nursery rhyme or part of a song over and over, and now I’m doing it to my kids – haha), the bits read in books like Alice in Wonderland, on radion, in cards and picture books etc, etc,

  2. oh i still have the frayed ‘the golden treasury of poetry'(compiled by louis untermeyer) i was given for my birthday at 8. i must admit it was the illustrations (by joan walsh anglund) that got me into reading the poems. especially the full color ones and the strange funny writings of Lewis Carroll, ‘Jabberwocky’ for instance:

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    the frumious Bandersnatch!”

    “Advice to Small Children” by Edward Antony:

    Eat no green apples or you’ll droop,
    Be careful not to get the croup,
    Avoid the chicken-pox and such,
    And don’t fall out of windows much.

    such fun!

    1. What a lovely comment tipota. I think illustrations can make a book, especially for kids. The Jabberwocky is one of the best poems and one of only a couple I have managed to learn by heart (we had to at school) – full of words that sound like real words 😉

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