Despite its no-nonsense title, THE RANDOM HOUSE BOOK OF POETRY FOR CHILDREN is a playfully formatted, entertaining collection of poems that will delight the entire family for years. Readers of all ages will find poems to fit any season, occasion, or mood and, even with repeated readings, will find something new and exciting to enjoy within its pages. The book is divided into 14 broad themes. An original poem by Jack Prelutsky, the first Poet Laureate for Children, introduces each thematic section, and each section is chockfull of works ranging from nursery rhymes to poems by William Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss. Familiar, traditional poems mingle with the fresh and unknown, the serious poems with the silly, and the old voices with new. The mix is engaging.
To add even more fun to these pages of poetry, illustrator Arnold Lobel brought his Caldecott Award-winning touch. His over 400 drawings and paintings make poetry all the more friendly and accessible to kids. Book-reading dinosaurs, plump smiling toads, and chubby-cheeked children are guaranteed to captivate even the most reluctant readers. The fun of poetry comes through here, and that was Prelutsky's aim when, in 1983, he first filled this book with poems he felt kids would like. Happily, he succeeded. And, 25 years later it has become a classic. Without a doubt, it will become one of the most dog-eared volumes on your bookshelf.