An outstanding collection of poems that appeal to both boys and girls, compiled by a teacher who believed in the formative power of learning poetry by heart. Children, she maintains, should build for their future and get, while they are children, what only the fresh imagination of the child can assimilate. They should store up an untold wealth of heroic sentiment; they should acquire the habit of carrying a literary quality in their conversation; they should carry a heart full of the fresh and delightful associations and memories connected with poetry hours to brighten mature years. They should develop their memories while they have memories to develop.
I read these to my 6, 5, and 3 year old at bedtime; we both really enjoy it. It has been an excellent introduction to the power of language for them.
The poems are at a Junior Great Books caliber, so some of them take some explaining. I also skip some of the more mature poems. The target audience is probably 8-18, but younger kids can enjoy it with some help. Pick the simpler ones, and read each one a few times. My kids are enamored by the rhythm and meter, and don’t always mind not understanding everything.
Our favorites include Wee Willie Winkie, Oh Captain, My Captain, The Jabberwocky, How Doth the Busy Little Bee, and Little White Lilly.