Favorite First Poems

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--John Lithgow, actor (3rd Rock From the Sun television series, The Pelican Brief, Orange County, Shrek, and the upcoming Shrek 2) and author of I'm a Manatee, Marsupial Sue, and A Lithgow Palooza!: 101 Ways to Entertain and Inspire Your Kids (April 2004)

"I remember falling in love with Carl Sandburg's 'Fog,' which I instantly memorized. I must have been astonished by its length, 21 words, and the fact that it was an adult poem yet utterly un-mysterious and accessible. I was also a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson's book, A Child's Garden of Verses. [My classmate] Charlie Donahue gave it to me in the third grade after picking my name in the Christmas grab bag. I hope I thanked him, especially for letting his mother's taste prevail."

--Elinor Lipman, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, The Inn at Lake Devine, The Ladies' Man, Then She Found Me, The Way Men Act, The Dearly Departed, and Isabel's Bed

Children's Poetry Classics

Reading poetry gets kids ready to write their own rhymes. Wondering where to start? Here are some timeless collections of poetry for every child's bookshelf:

  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (Simon & Schuster)
  • Mother Goose: The Original Volland Edition (Derrydale)
  • The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (Knopf)
  • When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne (Dutton Books)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, 30th Anniversary Special Edition, and A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (HarperCollins)

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