April 13, 2021

Review: A World Full of Poems

A World Full of Poems
Selected by Sylvia M. Vardell
Illustrated by Sonny Ross
Available now from DK Children
Review copy

It can be easy to think of poetry as boring and stilted, though I think Amanda Gorman provided a recent reminder of the power and vitality of poetry. A World Full of Poems aims to introduce children to a range of poetry. Family and Friends, Feelings, Science and Art, and Body and Health are just a few of the topics covered.

In addition to the variety of content, the poetry is appropriate for very young children to elementary school children. (Though more lean to the very young side.) The authors come from many countries and represent several different ethnicities. There's classic poetry from Emily Dickinson and Robert Louis Stevenson next to new poetry by Linda Sue Park. Many different forms of poetry are represented, especially those that appeal to children. Shape poems, sound poems, silly rhymes. 

Sylvia M. Vardell is a professor of children's literature and clearly has a depth of knowledge in the field. Though I'm sure parents reading to their children will find poems they like collected within this anthology, these poems seem selected strictly for child appeal. The illustrations by Sonny Ross are also very child friendly. They're bright and bold and I'm sure many children will be captivated by a picture and drawn into the poem the picture was created to accompany.

Although A World Full of Poems is grouped into thematic categories, I think it is best encountered by browsing to random pages and reading a few poems at a time. I do have a few small quibbles. For instance, the Family and Friends section includes three poems that are specifically about fathers and none about mothers. Overall, however, I think this is a wonderful introduction to poetry for young readers.

There's also a helpful index as well as several activities included in the back.

1 comment:

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