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Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt, illustrated by Henri Sorensen

Source: Sterling Children’s Books
Hardcover, 48 pages
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Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt, illustrated by Henri Sorensen, is intended for younger readers (ages 8+) and the illustrations serve to maintain their interest, allowing them to visualize the topics Frost has set forth in his verse.  These illustrations in this book take on a water-color feel, and are reminiscent of Frost’s own love of nature and its mysteries.  The introduction serves as a starting point for teachers or parents, which read in its entirety out loud could be boring for younger listeners.  It would be best to choose a few facts to introduce young readers to the poet and his life.

From “A Patch of Old Snow” (page 34)

There’s a patch of old snow in a corner,
That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I’ve forgotten–
If I ever read it.

Frost’s poems are broken into seasonal categories — Spring, Autumn, Winter, and Summer — but there are more poems in the Summer and Autumn sections.  The index at the back of the book makes it easier for you to find particular poems.  However, what is truly helpful are the blurbs that will help direct teachers, parents, and young readers to the specifics of Frost’s poems.  For instance, before reading “An Encounter,” the editor calls attention to the “barkless specter” in the poem, forcing readers to focus on that image and what clues Frost lays forth in the poem as to the specter’s true identity.

Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt, illustrated by Henri Sorensen, does include poems from Frost that have older and more elevated language than younger readers would be used to, but exposing these readers to more challenging language and poems can enable them to broaden their vocabulary.  My daughter may be too young to read these on her own, but she often listens while doing other things when I read these aloud, and she loves flipping through the pictures and asking me what the images are.

About the Poet:

Robert L. Frost was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech.

 

About the Editor:

Gary D. Schmidt is an American children’s writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

Book 5 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.

This is part of the 2014 National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon Blog Tour, click the button for more poetry: