Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
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****Poetry Speaks to Children

edited by Elise Paschen

Reviewed December 17, 2006.
Sourcebooks MediaFusion, Naperville, Illinois, 2005.  104 pages.

Poetry Speaks to Children is a fabulous book for children of all ages—including parents.  I put the accompanying CD on while my family was having dinner, and all of us enjoyed listening to it, even though my sons are 12 and 18.  The book contains 95 poems from 73 poets.  The audio CD includes readings of 52 poems from 36 poets, most of them read by the poets themselves.  The editors even found historic recordings of people like J. R. R. Tolkien, Roald Dahl, Ogden Nash, and Robert Frost reading their own poems.  There is a wide range of poetry represented, and some of the modern poets even explain why they wrote their poems before they read them.

I’m afraid the most fabulous reading on the CD was also the most disappointing.  Basil Rathbone gives a brilliant, spooky reading of “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe.  However, it was disappointing because it ended much too soon, not finishing the poem or the story of the raven.  The recording that followed is called “Sheep Party” and is a good enough poem in its way—but a completely different style and mood from “The Raven.”  However, even hearing the portion of “The Raven” that was included is a genuine treat.

This is a delightful book to dip into and read, one that a child will never outgrow.

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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