If the grown-up reader regrets omissions, I beg him to be sympathetic toward the compiler, who has been a prey to those same regrets constantly during the year in which she has been at work on the book. A las that a volume cannot have the advantages of being both a big book and a little one at the same time! In selecting the poems for the girl and boy who used to be, I have tried always to read with their eyes. I have been guided from first to last by their enjoyment or their boredom. The poems that they loved best had highly accented rhythms, and took them into a land of clear colors and stories. They enjoyed certain sad poems as much as merry ones, but meditative, moralistic and gloomy poems were never read but once, if they were read at all. And I am glad to say that poems full of sentimentality fared no better. I have brought together much that has been written since they were children, and boys and girls of to-day will find among these poems many of the most enjoyable things in the book. To mention only one recent poet that they would have loved, Walter de la Mare, is to realize how much a child has missed who does not possess his inimitable Peacock Pie. A childs enjoyment, as I said above, is what I have striven for in this collection. We who have seen how poetry has come to our rescue with its delight, its healing, and its new courage in times of stress and sorrow, know that it is an inestimable possession. We cannot come to the knowledge of it too early.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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