Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury 
by Jack Prelutsky illustrated by Meilo So

What it's all about . . .

This is a wonderful collection of 211 poems from 137 poets, including Roald Dahl, Lucille Clifton, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Jane Yolen, and Leslie Norris.

Why it’s on the Crooked Bookshelf . . .
Gathered and arranged by Jack Prelutsky, this books contains over two hundred incredibly imaginative, playful, and soul-searching poems. Many are poems you wouldn’t likely find without this anthology.

Our favorite lines . . .
I Don’t Believe in Bigfoot by Eileen Spinelli

I don’t believe in Bigfoot.
Or skeletons that dance.
I don’t believe in werewolves
Or zombies in a trance.
I don’t believe in Martians
Or ghosts in sheets of white.
I don’t believe in witches,
Who ride their brooms at night,

[We're not going to tell you the rest of this poem. You have to find it and read it yourself!]

Our favorite illustration . . .

Why kids will love it . . .
There are so many fun and imaginative poems to choose from, that it’s highly likely you will find a new favorite poem in this book.

Why grown-ups will love it . . . 
Whether it’s long, short, or medium, these poems are fun to read out loud and they’re also very clever. There’s such a good selection that you’ll never get tired of reading from this anthology.

P.S. Although we don't usually "sign" our reviews--this month we each chose our favorite poetry collections in honor of National Poetry Month. The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury was Cottager Kristen Tracy's pick (although we all love it). Did you know that in addition to having a huge talent for writing fabulous, witty middle grade and YA fiction, Kristen is a published poet? Here's is an excerpt and link to a poem she wrote. This one is about visiting the zoo.

Rain at the Zoo

By Kristen Tracy
A giraffe presented its head to me, tilting it   
sideways, reaching out its long gray tongue.   
I gave it my wheat cracker while small drops   
of rain pounded us both.  Lightning cracked open   
the sky.  Zebras zipped across the field.   
It was springtime in Michigan.  I watched   
the giraffe shuffle itself backwards, toward   
the herd, its bone- and rust-colored fur beading   
with water.

Read the full poem here:

Poem copyright © Kristen Tracy, whose most recent teen novel is Hung Up, (Simon Pulse, March 2014) Poem excerpt reprinted by permission of Kristen Tracy.


  1. Once again, I'm reminded that I need more poetry in my life...