Compiled by the award-winning poet and author of children's books, Donald Hall, this delightful anthology follows in the tradition of Iona and Peter Opie's classic Oxford Book of Children's Verse. Hall brings together poems written specifically for children and also those written for anyone and enjoyed by children and adults alike. He presents over two hundred fifty poems written by over one hundred different American poets--including anonymous works, ballads, and recitation pieces--that range from the Calvinist verses of the seventeenth century to the fabulous nonsense poems of the present.
Drawing on literally thousands of sources--including Sunday School magazines, Christmas annuals for children, and such wonderful children's periodicals as St. Nicholas and Youth's Companion--Hall gives the modern reader a rich sampling of many poems never before anthologized. He includes everyone's favorites, from Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (a.k.a. "The Night Before Christmas") to the classic lines of Longfellow and Whittier. Along with Sarah Josepha Hale's famous poem, "Mary's Lamb," we find poetry by Emily Dickinson, Mary Mapes Dodge, Palmer Cox, Sarah Orne Jewett, Laura E. Richards, and Gelett Burgess. He also covers the twentieth-century with verse by T.S. Eliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, Ogden Nash, Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), and Randall Jarrell, just to name a few. Hall concludes with the poetry of present-day writers such as Shel Silverstein and Nancy Willard.
A testament to a captivating tradition in American literature, this anthology will encourage many hours of nostalgic browsing and reading aloud to children.