Book Reviews, Kids

Perfect poetry for little people

Special little people need special gifts. I picked three lovely books of verse as gifts for the little people in my life—my grands—this year.

The Moon Shines Down - Margaret Wise BrownLittlest one is getting The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown. I found it at my local Chapters in a sturdy but affordable board book format.

This lovely volume has poems that muse about how the same moon shines on many different places. In gentle verse it introduces little ones to a variety of cultures and settings ending with a prayer of blessing for each one. I can’t wait to read it to little M!


Tadeo Turtle - Janis CoxMiddle grand is getting Tadeo Turtle—an extra special book to me because I know author/illustrator Janis Cox.

Through easy-to-read rhymes we discover Tadeo is unhappy with his shell. Cox’s luminous watercolour illustrations add so much to this story about learning to accept the way God made us. Activity and craft suggestions at the end of the book give it added value.


Dark Emperor - Joyce Sidman

For oldest grand I’ve chosen Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman. I was first introduced to Sidman and Dark Emperor via Poetry Friday (I forget by whom but whoever you are, I thank you!). I was charmed by the samples of Sidman’s verse I read that day and so pleased with my choice when I finally held the book in my hand, feasted my eyes on the just-a-wee-bit-spooky linocuts by Rick Allen, and read the entire twelve-poem offering.

What I especially like in this book is its fact component. On the page opposite each poem Sidman has written a prose piece about the creature character of her poem, giving us fascinating facts about its physical makeup, habits, and why it is a night creature. Dark Emperor will be the perfect gift to reassure a sometimes fearful-of-the-dark youngster that the night is not only friendly, but interesting.

3 thoughts on “Perfect poetry for little people”

  1. I love the Dark Emperor, Violet, a good choice for an older ‘grand’. I love that Margaret Wise Brown book, maybe a good choice for my youngest too? And thanks for telling about Tadeo Turtle-looks like a good story. Thanks!


    1. Thanks Linda. I have become woefully ignorant about children’s books in the years since I left the classroom and my own youngsters have grown up. But these were all winners in my humble opinion. I liked that the MWB book was a board book. Though it may be a little advanced for the 1 yr. old that’s getting it, she can grow with it. Same with the Dark Emperor. Parts of it will certainly be above oldest grand, but I love the possibility of his imagination being stretched and of him going back to the book over time and discovering more as he matures.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.