Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

A Child's Garden of Poetry

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Short Emmy winner sure to grow a new crop of poetry lovers.

Movie NR 2011 27 minutes
A Child's Garden of Poetry Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 1 parent review

age 2+

Absolutely Amazing & Beautiful Family Entertainment!

This video is absolutely wonderful! The beautifully artful animations of classic poems read by today's leading actors is a perfect way to get kids interested in and loving poetry. This is also one of our favorite videos to watch as a family, and it's topics and songs have been re-sung and recited in our family long after the video. What an excellent way to make the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes and many more real and accessible to kids! Grandpa and dad have even paused and been drawn into this video, and my son and daughter ask to hear the silly poems over and over - and dance and sing to the songs! The only part I don't love is the excerpts with real children discussing why they love poetry. The kids are from elite NYC schools, and their explanations are a bit over the top. I would have rather had the time used for another animation. However, my kids seem to like the real-kid approach, the kids are great role models, and we have been inspired to try some of the hands-on poetry approaches of these schools by watching these short segments. This was created in part by HBO family, and if you like it, I'd also check out their Classical Baby series - more excellent poems and songs.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

What a lovely treat. And just like many good poems, this DVD is brief (27 minutes) and dense with meaning, encouraging viewers to go back again and again to get more out of it.

When you look at the packaging touting a laundry list of artists reading the poems, you expect them to steal the show. But thankfully it's the kids who are the stars here, along with the poems themselves. The young interviewees highlight the poems in ways kids will relate to and express themselves beautifully. The animation keeps it simple while still being lovely, and the music Merchant sets to the poem "Calico Pie" is a rollicking reminder that poetry can be as fun as it is meaningful.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate