The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury
The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury

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Annotation: Over 200 short, fun-to-read poems by 137 outstanding poets of this century.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #308120
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition Date: c1999
Illustrator: So, Meilo,
Pages: 87 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-679-89314-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-38870-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-679-89314-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-38870-3
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 99023988
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
for reading aloud. For this volume, which has the same large-size, heavily illustrated format as the popular Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom (1997), Prelutsky has selected more 200 poems for children by 137 poets spanning the twentieth century. Although a few of the poets are English, almost all are contemporary and American, and almost all of the poems were originally published for children. On each double-page spread there are four to six poems on a theme--food, school, reading, pets, sibling rivalry, the seasons, nonsense, etc.--lavishly illustrated with Meilo So's energetic watercolors. The pictures are gorgeous, but as in Beauty of the Beast the crowded pages sometimes barely leave room for the words, or for imagining what the words suggest. Still, the gift-book design does encourage browsing. Teachers and librarians will want to use this millennial volume with Prelutsky's Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983) to introduce our best children's poets and encourage children to write about their immediate experience. (Reviewed December 15, 1999)
Horn Book
While less comprehensive than the title suggests, the volume does contain more than 200 poems by 137 mostly contemporary, and mostly American, poets. Each double-page spread bursts with poems focused loosely on a theme--seasons, animals, school, and food among them--as well as lively watercolors delineated with brief, calligraphic brush strokes. Busy but beautiful, this collection is an enticing one.
Publishers Weekly
For this companion to The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, Prelutsky combed more than 4000 poetry volumes to select 211 poems by 137 poets. His sampling includes established poets like Langston Hughes, Shel Silverstein and e.e. cummings, but, to Prelutsky's credit, not necessarily their best-known works. The overriding mood is rollickingly upbeat, uncharacteristic for a form renowned for its adeptness at expressing moments of grief or loneliness. Hats off to So (The Beauty of the Beast, with Prelutsky), who visually holds the anthology together. Her people are engagingly limber, her animals unmatched: for instance, she evokes the fitful movements of a squirrel with a few calligraphic strokes, and her wet-on-wet technique suggests the fluffy texture of a kitten's fur or the speed of leaping salmon. In one spread, she ingeniously accommodates eight bug poems--from poets as diverse as Ogden Nash and Valerie Worth; the poems themselves appear to flit about a central image of two children nearly hidden in a field of wildflowers. She connects four stand-alone poems in another spread (""""A Hippopotamusn't"""" by J. Patrick Lewis and """"The Click Clacker Machine"""" by Donna Lugg Pape are two of them) with a unified palette of pinks and lavenders. Its unvarying tone notwithstanding, this eye-catching collection is likely to lure both future fans of verse and poetry devotees. All ages. (Sept.)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/99)
Horn Book (4/1/00)
Library Journal
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 2-5
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.9 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q28045
Lexile: NP
"We Are Plooters"

We are Plooters,
We don't care,
We make messes
We strip forests
Bare of trees,
We dump garbage
In the seas.

We are Plooters,
We enjoy
Finding beauty
To destroy,
We intrude
Where creatures thrive,
Soon there's little
Left alive.

Nothing's safe
When we're around,
We spew poisons
In the air,
We are Plooters,
We don't care.

-Jack Prelutsky
Copyright © 1993 by Jack Prelutsky. Used by permission of the author, who controls all rights.

"Where Are You Now?"

When the night begins to fall
And the sky begins to glow
You look up and see the tall
City of light begin to grow --
In rows and little golden squares
The lights come out. First here, then there
Behind the windowpanes as though
A million billion bees had built
Their golden hives and honeycombs
Above you in the air.

-Mary Britton Miller
From All Aboard by Mary Britton Miller. Copyright © 1958 by Pantheon Books, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Excerpted from The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury by Jack Prelutsky
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

"Until this century, most children's poetry was either syrupy sweet or overblown and didactic, and tended to talk down to its readers. Contemporary children's poets have thrown all that condescension and moralizing out the window, and write with today's real child in mind."
- from the Introduction by Jack Prelutsky

Here in one gloriously illustrated volume are 211 wonderful poems that represent the best this century has to offer. From sibling rivalry, school, monsters, food, and just plain silliness, to such ageless themes as the seasons, Who am I?, and the many moods of childhood, this is a collection that begs to be read aloud and shared with the whole family. The poems, from every decade of this century, showcase 137 famous poets.

Selected by Jack Prelutsky, America's leading children's poet, and illustrated by award-winning watercolorist Meilo So, this useful and beautiful gift is a splendid way to end the century -- or start a new one. Truly a book that families will cherish long after the millennium excitement is over, The 20th-Century Children's Poetry Treasury is a joyous companion volume to the best-selling The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury.

This book has been selected as a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades K-1, 2-3, Poetry) in Appendix B.

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