I personally love poetry anthologies, and I have searched for something my son would also enjoy so he could learn to appreciate poetry as I do. We may have found a winner! Julie Andrews’ Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year (Little, Brown and Company, 2012) is a poetry anthology organized by month. Each season of the year and specific holidays have poems, and the pages are illustrated by Marjorie Priceman with child-friendly bright watercolor paintings.
Variety is very important to me in anthologies. I am a big fan of the classics, and in a good anthology, I like to see a mix of both classic poetry and modern poetry. Treasury for All Seasons meets my expectations. Poems have been selected by Julie Andrews and her daugther Emma Walton Hamilton, and they have included a nice mix of classics such as Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Keats, and Kipling, as well a smattering of fun modern poetry, from Dr. Seuss to Jack Prelutsky. They have included a few of the poems from John Updike’s A Child’s Calendar which I enjoyed earlier this year, and I love how Julie Andrews’ and her daughter have included poems for “smaller” holidays such as president’s day and Grandparent’s Day.
The best determination of success is to ask the audience it was essentially created for. My five-year-old son was very excited by this volume. When it arrived in October, he was excited to read the October poems…but he insisted we could not read the November poems together (although he did flip through all the pages on his own). For days, he said, “I can’t wait until November so we can read the next poems!” When November began, he was so excited that Thanksgiving was coming up, and he wanted to share one of the silly Thanksgiving poems with a friend at our co-op “Thanksgiving Feast” last week (“I Ate Too Much” by Jack Prelutsky). For my poetry-resisting child, this is amazing to me. Trust me when I say we have plenty of poetry books in our home! Is it the month-by-month format that attracts my son to this volume, or the inviting illustrations that make poetry look like so much fun? At any rate, it is a success with Raisin.
I personally have loved traveling through the year by reviewing the poems for the seasons. I can’t share all the poems I love in this volume (there is not time!), but I will leave you with one. “The Snowflake” by Walter de la Mare appears under January in the collection and I think it’s nice way to start out our winter season.
The Snowflake by Walter de la Mare
Before I melt,
Come, look at me!
This lovely icy filigree!
Of a great forest
In one night
I make a wilderness
By skyey cold
Of crystals made,
All softly, on
Your finger laid,
I pause, that you
My beauty see:
Breathe; and I vanish
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
Good to hear your son’s enjoying the book. Poetry books for children are a great idea and always so interesting, I think the style is best introduced early because it can be quite confusing!