4843940A Family of Poems – My Favorite Poetry for Children is an especially fine collection of poetry.  Caroline was raised with poems.  She was encouraged to write them, to illustrate them, to choose a favorite poem and use it in a birthday card.  “If our parents read to us as children, we remember the closeness of the moments together, the sound and power of voice and expression, the sense of wonder that a poem inspires,” said Caroline Kennedy as she shared thoughts about piecing this anthology together.  Ms. Kennedy wrote the introduction for the entire book and then for each of the seven sections.  She includes memories from her childhood, the importance of poetry in her life, along with thoughts about the power of reading together.

This book has over 100 poems from well-known authors  (A.A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack Prelutsky, Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, T.S. Eliot, Carl Sandberg, William Shakespeare) two poems by her mother, and poetry from the Bible.  These poems are placed into sections reflecting a child’s world: About Me, That’s So Silly, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime.

A sampling:

  • About Me:“‘Hope’ is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
  • That’s So Silly:“Happiness” by A. A. Milne and Today is Very Boring” by Jack Prelutsky
  • Animals:“The Porcupine” by Ogden Nash and “The Crocodile” by Lewis Carroll
  • Seasons:“Ecclesiastes 3:1-8” Holy Bible, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, and “The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth
  • Seashore:“Sea Joy” by Jacqueline Bouvier and “Maggie and Milly and Molly and May” by e.e. cummings
  • Adventure:  “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” by Edward Lear and “Goblin Feet” by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Bedtime:“Sweet and Low” by Alfred Lord Tennyson and “Keep a Poem in Your Pocket” by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

There is a Table of Contents and an Index for finding just the poem you need for any given moment.  Near the end, the poems that were not written in English to begin with are written in their original language, making it rather enjoyable to read when you know one or more of these languages or if you are up for learning a poem in its native tongue.

The illustrations are outstanding and beautifully dance with each poem.  Jon J Muth is an exceptional artist, binding each poem with a painting or drawing, making this anthology such a delight to read and share.

Reading Level:  4 – 12 Years

New York Times best-seller

Caroline Kennedy is the editor of eight New York Times bestselling books on American history, politics, constitutional law and poetry, including She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems and A Family of Poems.  She is the Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and has this book for sale on the site @ http://store.jfklibrary.org/A-Family-of-Poems-by-Caroline-Kennedy/PAAAIABHJOEIKFDC/product   Ms. Kennedy is also the United States Ambassador to Japan.  Her experience working with the New York City schools has shown her “how poetry can connect us to each other in new and powerful ways.”  

Jon J Muth is the author and artist of the New York Times best-seller and Caldecott Honor book, Zen Shorts.  He has illustrated many award-winning books.  Jon can be found @ http://jonjmuth.com
“Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I drew and drew and drew and drew, and painted. Drawing was my way of making things exist which didn’t exist. And writing became a way to have my drawings interact. My mother was an art teacher and she took me to visit museums all over the United States. I studied painting, drawing and printmaking in several schools here and in Europe.”   

Book Information

  • ISBN-13: 9780786851119
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Originally reviewed on first blog site March, 2014.





    • Well, how wonderful! I am delighted to know that this review brought your response. I am a retired children’s librarian and retired primary-aged school teacher. I think you will be pleased.


      • I’m intrigued by the way the book is organized; I think my teachers will find it a useful addition to our poetry collection!


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