Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

Caroline Kennedy
Illustrator:   Jon J. Muth 
For ages 3 and up
Hyperion, 2005   ISBN: 0786851112

All too often, as we grow up, we forget how much of a role poetry has played in our literary lives. How could we forget how much we enjoyed hearing “The Tyger” and “The Mock Turtle’s Song” for the first time; and what about Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” and Clement C. Moore’s "A visit from St. Nicholas.”

Caroline Kennedy delighted the world when she published her mother’s favorite poems,  and now she is taking her own trip down memory lane to share her own best loved children’s poetry with us. The collection is divided into seven topical sections: “About me,” “That’s so silly!” “Animals,” “The Seasons,” “The Seashore,” “Adventure,” and “Bedtime.” Caroline has not only chosen some of the more familiar favorites but she has also chosen sections from the Bible, sections from Shakespeare’s plays, and there are several poems that were written by her own mother.

This is a very special and personal collection,  and with introductions written for each section we get a real sense of how much poetry has played a role in Caroline’s life and how much of a gift she is giving us. We are encouraged to laugh, to think, and perhaps to cry, by the words we read, and we are encouraged to remember how powerful poetry can be.

Jon J. Muth has created a wonderful collection of funny, touching, and often beautifully evocative watercolor paintings to accompany the poems.

In the back of the book, readers will find the non-English poems written in their original language, and they will also find a list of the first lines from each of the poems in the collection.