A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

( 16 )

Overview

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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Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kennedy, who created the anthology The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for adult readers, gives this winsome collection a personal feel. In her introduction, she describes the pivotal role poetry has played in her life and introduces each of the book's sections with relevant anecdotes from her childhood. Throughout her commentary, Kennedy articulately underscores the importance of reading and appreciating poetry and urges children to express themselves through this medium. She organizes the 106 poems into seven categories, all seminal to a youngster's life, including "About Me," "Animals," "Adventure" and "Bedtime." The expansive range of poets represented include those renowned for their writing for children (A.A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack Prelutsky, Edward Lear) and those whose work has thrilled readers of all ages (Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, T.S. Eliot, Carl Sandberg, William Shakespeare, plus Psalm 23 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Kennedy also selected two thoughtful poems of rhymed verse penned by her mother (credited to Jacqueline Bouvier), one a melancholy ode to autumn, the other an affectionate paean to the seashore. Providing stunning backdrops for these timeless works are Muth's richly textured watercolor paintings, which capture with remarkable insight the spirit of each poem. He is as adept at humor in the "That's So Silly!" section, which teems with clownish characters, as he is dramatic realism in undersea views of octupus or jellyfish. This resonant volume deserves a permanent-and prominent-place on any family bookshelf. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When the cold winds howl, cozy up with your kids and A Family of Poems. Editor Caroline Kennedy clearly understands children's delight in image and sound and doesn't shy away from challenging poems that can be savored by readers of all ages. The result is a rich compendium, with verse by masters such as William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Bishop, Walt Whitman and Christina Rosetti, along with a liberal sprinkling of work by Richard Wilbur, Nikki Giovanni and other contemporary wordsmiths. The organization by topic—"About Me," "That's So Silly," "Animals," "The Seasons," "The Seashore," "Adventure" and "Bedtime"—allows kids to read right through or dip into the volume at will. Watercolors by Jon Muth beautifully evoke the mood and images of the poems. Be sure to check out the umbrella-dancing girl that accompanies Langston Hughes's joyous "April Rain Song" and the mysterious orb that illuminates "The Moon" by Jorge Luis Borges. 2005, Hyperion, Ages 3 up.
—Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 2 Up-From the cover photograph of Kennedy as a toddler "reading" to her teddy to the red linen-textured endpapers; from her thoughtful introduction and words of encouragement to children at the beginning of each section of carefully chosen poems to Muth's beautifully executed watercolors, this volume is a treasure. In compiling the collection, Kennedy passes on her own family's tradition of creating a scrapbook of poems chosen by the children in lieu of gifts to their mother and grandparents. Divided by topic into seven sections, the collection is, indeed, a treasury of beloved poems written in a variety of styles by poets from many lands and generations, some more familiar than others, some unknown. Most of the soft-focus illustrations fill whole pages. The wide variety of artistic styles-ethereal, realistic, comical, energetic, sweet, romantic-matches the mood of the poems themselves. The 10 translated selections appear at the end of the volume in their original languages. This well-balanced anthology should be a first purchase for school and public libraries. Recommend it as a gift book for parents to share with their children, as well.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Kennedy's focus here is on sharing the classic poets with children, and she emphasizes the closeness and warmth that comes from using poems to spark memories of times spent together as a family. Divided into sections, the poems focus on the self, the silly, animals, seasons, the seashore, adventure and bedtime. Truly a collection that will grow with a child, some can be shared with the very young, others are better saved for later years. She includes a wide variety of styles and sources, voices old and new. Muth's luminous full-bleed watercolors suit the poems perfectly, evoking emotions and sometimes deepening understanding. The poems on facing pages for the most part tie in nicely together, allowing the illustrations to flow across the divide. Foreign poems are included in their original languages-unfortunately not identified. While the actual collection is only so-so, there is excellence in illustration, Kennedy's introductions and as a way of showing children that all poetry need not rhyme and be funny. (index of first lines) (Poetry. 4+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786851119
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 104,954
  • Age range: 4 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Kennedy

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.

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, including another New York Times best-seller, A Family of Poems, by Caroline Kennedy He is also the writer and illustrator of The Three Questions, which the New York Times called "quietly life changing."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2009

    A Great Gift for New Parents

    A very special book. I wish it were available 30 years ago when my children were growing up. There are old favorites as well as poems new to me. Included are poems robust enough for the adventuresome, as well as those that are sweet, thoughtful, funny...even from other lands. Ms. Kennedy has a wonderful way with words: well-spoken, literate in the best sense of the word, yet almost conversational. Her introductions to each part give a glimpse into her childhood. The paintings by Jon Muth are magical. Beware: open the book and you will be turning the pages for several minutes at least.

    The front cover shows a little girl sharing a book with a stuffed friend. I feel as lucky as that bear next to her!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2005

    Book for the young and not so young.

    I bought this book as a gift for my 27 year old daughter. I also bought one for her 56 year old Mom.I have given her a book of poetry since she was born. I would rate this as one of the best I have seen in 27 years. The selections and the watercolors are outstanding. I will buy more as Christmas presents.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2005

    A delightful journey

    This is not a book for children. This is a book for all generations. I only started to appreciate poetry afer my brother sent me the poetry, A Leaf, by Bronislaw Maj. This book by Caroline Kennedy has become the permanent fixture on my night table. 'Sweet and Low' on page 128 is my favorite. The woman in the picture reminds me of my mother, and I'm the baby in her arms. Sweet dreams usually follow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Please read this...The Frog!!!

    The Frog is a very fun, and also good to share with friends poem. It has funny words like "Ugly James" and "Toad-gone-wrong". If you ask me...it did get me moved. I did like it more when I had rythm and talking fast. If you read it and don't like the poem, you probably don't have a sense of humor.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thrilled with this book!

    My 80 year old mother recently lost a life-long friend. She asked me to choose a book to place in the library of the school they attended together as a memorial to her friend. We are both so happy that I chose this one! It is a beautiful book, filled with classic poetry, personal notes, and stunning illustrations. The book will be presented to the school this week with pride. As an added bonus, my grandson is a kindergartner in this same school and will have access to it. I MUST order one for my own shelf!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

    What a classic should be

    What a pleasure to read these poems to my kindergartener and my 2nd grader. They love the rhythm of poems.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    A birthday gift for a child.

    I glanced through it and thought the selection of poems and arrangement of the book were excellent. And, though the art work was good, I felt that with Caroline Kennedy's resources, it could have been great.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Will be a Classic

    A book i will give to all youngsters - along with A child's garden of verses - (try to find the original illustrations) a wonderful book, really fell in love with the illustrations. Read to your children before they can read it for themselves...they will remember the words always...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2005

    A MUST GIFT FOR FIRST TIME PARENTS

    Absolutely devine! Definitely a 'must gift' for first time parents. A keepsake for all homes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2005

    Sweet and Wonderful

    I loved this book. I read it cover to cover, and I can hardly wait to show it to my grandchild.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2005

    Beautiful

    This book is lovely! I bought it for my 7 year old son for Christmas as a way to introduce poetry to him and I know he is going to find it enchanting. Ms. Kennedy has included wonderful poetry, some fun, some thought-provoking but always interesting. The illustrations are glorious. This book will be a family keepsake for years to come.

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    Posted February 5, 2009

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    Posted March 11, 2010

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    Posted September 30, 2010

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted October 30, 2009

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