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Children's LiteratureThe beauty of language through the nuances of poetry comes alive for children in this multimedia presentation. Dubbing himself the "Professor," the author gently guides children through the rhyme and reason of a variety of poetic styles with an example of each including nursery rhymes, nonsense, limerick, haiku, ballads, pastoral, sonnets, free verse, narrative and villanelle. His "Words for the Wise" defines new or arcane terms to help children better understand the verse. The second half of the book takes the reader on a historical journey to meet beloved poets and sample their work. With the accompanying CD children can listen as they read the works of Homer, Milton, Dickenson, Rossetti, Auden, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, among others. The expressive watercolor illustrations that fill the pages are child-like and aptly fit the mood, from the whimsy of a nursery rhyme to the dark foreboding of Poe's "The Raven." While the pages are chock full of text, sidebars, and illustrations there is an order to the design. Not every poem may initially appeal to a child but in the hands of a skilled teacher or a patient parent, this book may light the spark that will create poet aficionados. 2003, Black Dog and Levanthal Publishers, Ages 5 to 14.
— Beverley Fahey