The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry

( 4 )


The definitive anthology of children's poetry, collected by a beloved author

Years in the making, this full-color treasury contains nearly two hundred poems, all of them handpicked by Bill Martin Jr. Traditional children's poems are presented alongside contemporary pieces, and the collection is capped off with tributes by Eric Carle and Steven Kellogg, two of Bill Martin Jr's best-known collaborators. This essential compilation also features original illustrations by ...

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The definitive anthology of children's poetry, collected by a beloved author

Years in the making, this full-color treasury contains nearly two hundred poems, all of them handpicked by Bill Martin Jr. Traditional children's poems are presented alongside contemporary pieces, and the collection is capped off with tributes by Eric Carle and Steven Kellogg, two of Bill Martin Jr's best-known collaborators. This essential compilation also features original illustrations by award-winning artists, including Ashley Bryan, Lois Ehlert, Steven Kellogg, Chris Raschka, Dan Yaccarino, Nancy Tafuri, and Derek Anderson. This beautiful anthology is sure to become a classic.

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Editorial Reviews

Kristi Jemtegaard
This substantial compendium has all the hallmarks of a classic: satisfyingly fat (175 pages), beautifully illustrated (by 13 different artists), thick paper, spacious lay-outs, sturdy binding, plus three separate indexes and a table of contents. All this would be for naught, however, without first-rate selections. Luckily, the late Bill Martin handpicked a bouquet of verses ranging from solemn to serious, lyrical to laughable, and classic to contemporary.
—The Washington Post
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
This beautifully illustrated collection of poems, selected by the late Bill Martin Jr. and compiled with help from Michael Sampson, will appeal to young children in particular. The poems were selected for their rhythm—a catchy, almost musical cadence that will delight a read-aloud audience. The illustrations are original for this anthology and represent the work of many outstanding current illustrators including Ashley Bryan and Lois Ehlert. The poems are categorized by headings that children will appreciate such as "Animals" and "Nonsense." There is a title index, a first line index, and an author index, all of which are helpful to the busy parent of teacher. This is one of the best collections of this type that has been published in recent years, and readers will enjoy comparing it to Sing a Song of Popcorn, another excellent anthology with illustrations from award-winning artists. There is a foreword by Eric Carle and an afterword by Steven Kellogg. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

This grand and varied anthology contains an impressive number of old favorites and newer selections. Grouped by theme, such as animals, nature, feelings, school, family, and nonsense, the poems represent an appealing range of humor, pathos, and meditative wonder. Though many of the offerings have been widely anthologized, it's always nice to come across classics by Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Eleanor Farjeon, and Emily Dickinson. Their poems, along with newer works by Mary Ann Hoberman, Dennis Lee, and Aileen Fisher, among others, are paired with illustrations crafted by an eclectic range of distinguished children's picture-book artists including Ashley Bryan, Lois Ehlert, the Dillons, Chris Raschka, Steven Kellogg, and Dan Yaccarino. There is a smattering of poems by Robert Frost, and tributes to Bill Martin, Jr., from Eric Carle and Steven Kellogg. Five of Martin's poems are included as well. The nine poems in the food chapter represent a savory mix of whimsy and laugh-out-loud humor, including Louis Phillips's "On Eating Porridge Made of Peas," John Ciardi's "Mummy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast," and Jack Prelutsky's "Herbert Glerbett." This finely crafted, accessible collection should resonate with a wide audience of readers; it deserves a place in most schools and libraries.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
A veritable pantheon of illlustrators contributes work to this delicious collection of Martin's favorite poems. The likes of Ashley Bryan, Chris Raschka, Lois Ehlert and more appear matched to such literary lions as Aileen Fisher, Margaret Wise Brown and Langston Hughes. Play is key here: Mary Ann Hoberman's "The Folk Who Live in Backward Town" is presented normally, surrounded by Stephen Kellogg's upside-down and backward illustration; the mirror image of both appears on the facing page-what a hoot! Ranging from the reflective "Hurt No Living Thing," by Christina Rossetti, with colored-pencil illustrations by Aliki, to the raucous "O Sliver of Liver," by Myra Cohn Livingston, illustrated by Henry Cole, the poems represent a variety of syles and moods. Arranged thematically, the anthology includes poems about animals, nature, seasons, people, school, feelings, family and food, as well as nonsense and Mother Goose rhymes. Despite the absence of an illustrator index, this comprehensive collection is top-notch. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Bill Martin, Jr. Library at Texas A&M. (title author, first line index) (Poetry anthology. 4-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416939719
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/4/2008
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 377,446
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.86 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Martin Jr (1916-2004) has been called “America’s favorite children’s author.” He wrote more than 300 books for children, including the classic texts Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, illustrated by Eric Carle, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

Michael Sampson is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-two books for young children, including Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 and The Bill Martin Jr Big Book of Poetry. He and Bill Martin Jr wrote many popular books together, including Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Michael Sampson lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Eric Carle is the author and illustrator of more than seventy books for children, many of them bestsellers. Born in Syracuse, New York, he moved to Germany with his parents when he was six years old. He studied at the Academy of Graphic Arts in Stuttgart before returning to the United States, where he worked as a graphic designer for The New York Times and later as art director for an international advertising agency. His first two books, 1,2,3 to the Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, gained him immediate international recognition. The latter title, now considered a modern classic, has sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into forty-eight languages. Eric Carle and his wife, Barbara, divide their time between the mountains of North Carolina and the Florida Keys.

Steven Kellogg is the beloved illustrator of more than one hundred books for children including Clorinda and Clorinda Takes Flight, and he has been awarded the Regina Medal for his entire body of work. Mr. Kellogg works in an old barn overlooking Lake Champlain in Essex, New York, where he lives with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer


    As a child I was a voracious reader and a collector of storybook dolls among other things. When I was grown, gone and married, Mom asked what she should do with all of my "things" (the obvious hope being that I would send for them). No, I just asked if she would give them away. She did this, albeit reluctantly, save for some books. <BR/><BR/> There was a time when I thought that was sentimental but unnecessary as I'd never ever look at those books again. Wrong! It's been a joy for me to share my childhood favorites with my children, and these books are known in our family as "keepers." I'd like to suggest that this Big Book of Poetry is a "keeper" for this generation of young readers.<BR/><BR/> Martin has collected almost 200 of his favorite poems from such diverse authors as Robert Frost, Mother Goose, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and the ever popular Anonymous. The verses are divided into ten chapters with a Foreword by Eric Carle and an afterword by Steven Kellogg. Some of the poems will be familiar to you, others will be happy discoveries.<BR/><BR/> Each poem is accompanied by a colorful illustration by such noted artists as Chris Raschka, Lois Ehlert, and Steven Kellogg. Wait `til you see the illustration accompanying Norman Norton's Nostrils!<BR/><BR/> Young readers will return to this volume again and again - it's a "keeper"!<BR/><BR/> - Gail Cooke

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