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Poetry Anthologies

Swinging through the Sky
by Kate Williams
(Kate Williams)
Most poetry collections for children have each poem written by a different person, so it makes a change to find one that's entirely the work of one poet. Kate Williams. But that doesn't mean the poems are almost identical - for from it. The selection covers a wide range of subjects, lengths and poetic forms and includes a number of poems that would be useful for triggering children's own writing.
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Kate Williams has also written Wildlife Poems - a collection of poems about animals
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The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems
Compiled and illustrated by Jackie Morris
(Barefoot Books)
This is one of the most beautiful anthologies we've found. Jackie Morris' artwork is gorgeous - full of rich colours and beautiful detail. It encourages you to turn the pages just to look at the pictures and that, in turn, leads you to explore the poems that inspired them. These include popular favourites like Jabberwocky and Cargoes, as well as others readers may not have met before. A great choice for a library and a wonderful gift for an individual child or a whole family.
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The Hutchinson Treasury of Children's Poetry
Edited by Alison Sage
(Hutchinson)
This beautifully produced book contains a wide selection of poems in its 320 pages, ranging from Humpty Dumpty to Ozymandias. The poems are divided into sections aimed at different age groups and include modern poems as well as well known classics. The inclusion of nursery rhymes as well as poems for older children and adults make this a good choice for a family but less suitable for an older child without younger brothers and sisters.
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Poetry by Heart
compiled by Lix Attenborough
(The Chicken House)
Learning poems by heart has gone out of fashion but that doesn't stop it being a highly satisfying activity. The poems in this anthology have been selected for their ability to imprint themselves on the mind so it's not surprising that it includes many you may recognise. To make memorising easier, it starts with a section called 'short and sweet' but moves on to longer, more demanding poems which it links by theme. The foreward is by poet laureate, Andrew Motion, and the anthology includes poetry by Edward Lear, Shakespeare, Walter de la Mare, Benjamin Zephaniah and many others.
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Kersplosh, Kersplash, Kersplat!
collected by Ron Heapy
(Oxford University Press)
There's enough humour here to hold the interest, along with the sort of poems that encourage children to read aloud to one another. A variety of poetry forms to explore plus fun line drawings and a colourful clown cover. 6 years +
(reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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I've Got a Poem For You - Poems to Perform
collected by John Foster
(Oxford University Press)
This book of over 80 performance poems could be a useful addition to the classroom bookshelf. It includes many old favourites as well as some new to learn, chant, rap and perform aloud. KS2 (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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Ready Steady Rap
collected by John Foster
(Oxford University Press)
Most children who have mastered the art of reading will love rap poems - especially boys. Here are 60 fun raps to have a go at. Ideal for sharing with the classes in KS2. (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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The Oxford Treasury of Classic Poems
edited by Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark
(Oxford University Press)
The range of artists illustrating this book of over 90 classic poems have helped to give each page a very distinctive feel. It would probably be most appreciated by the serious reader who is intent on exploring poetry. Although, it would be nice to see every person over the age of 9 years - and this includes adults - with at least one book of classic poems on the shelf. (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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The Walker Book of Classic Poetry and Poets
Selected by Michael Rosen.
(Walker)
This features 38 poets ranging from Elizabethan times to the end of the twentieth century. There is a small picture of each one, a short paragraph about them and one or more of their best known poems. The resulting collection contains a highly enjoyable collection of poems that have stood the test of time. A pleasure to read in its own right and a useful resource for older children's homework or for teachers. Adults are likely to find, as I did, that they recognise old favourites from their own schooldays.
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One Hundred Years of Poetry for Children
selected by Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clarke
(Oxford University Press)
A good choice of poems in what feels a very full collection. The poetry is arranged in themes: animals, mystery, love, people, war, childhood and scenes. With its 16 love poems and 17 war poems this should reach out to the older reader - it's almost a pity 'for children' is included in the title, as some teenagers may be put off. Poems such as Tiananmen by James Fenton and Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy indicate how substantial a read this is.   
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In and Out of the Shadows
Poems by Sandy Brownjohn
(Oxford University Press)
A slim volume of 33 poems with eye-catching jacket and black and white illustrations to give it a contemporary look. This collection has some very good poetry in it, some of which have a good adult perspective on life, and is therefore suitable for the older reader and adults alike.    (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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Firewords
selected by John Foster, designed and illustrated by Rian Hughes
(Oxford University Press)
The 70 pages of this book are packed with fast and snappy wordplays, riddles and rhymes for children to try out on their friends. The eye-catching cover and witty black and white illustrations match the speed of the words. Plenty of small bites but no long poems to savour. (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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My First Oxford Book of Poems
edited by John Foster
(Oxford University Press)
There is a gentle feel to this selection of traditional and modern poems that that is helped by the delicate balance between text and illustration on its 92 pages. The range of poems covers most subjects and the whole book is just what the title says - a good 'first' book of poetry.   (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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Climb Aboard the Poetry Plane
by John Foster
(Oxford University Press)
This fourth collection of original poems by John Foster covers a wide range of subjects, from dragons to world problems and includes a vast range of styles for readers to explore. Simple black and white illustrations on some of the 64 pages leave this book feeling uncluttered. Suitable for 7 years upward.    (reviewed by Eve Jackson)
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