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  1. #1

    Default Best Secular Poetry Book for Kids?

    This doesn't only have to be for pre-readers, but I have a pre-reader and I am looking for a book of classic, fairly short poems that are entirely non-religious. Does anyone have a favorite?

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    Our favorites are the books by Shel Silverstein, and this illustrated compilation of animal poems we probably got from a recommendation here: https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Beast-...2782999&sr=8-4
    This book is another awesome compilation in my opinion, but its a Waldorf favorite, and it has the occassional poem with the word God in it. But, it also contains translated verses from the Veda(s?) and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
    https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Throu...erse+and+rhyme

    I like how you can look up poems by topic (learning the alphabet, animals, month of the year, etc).
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    Waldorf is big on imagery and metaphor*, which I like in poems.

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    My son really liked Shel Silverstein's poetry around that age. He even dictated a whole bunch of poems in similar style to his babysitter one evening.

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    When DS was 3 and 4 he loved listening to AA Milne's poetry. One was Now We are Six. I can't remember the other one. We had two along with the Pooh books.
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  6. #5

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    I think you want an anthology, yes? I don't remember there being anything religious at all in Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, which is edited by Jack Prelutsky (who else?). It's not so much "classic" poetry though it includes some - more like children's poetry. I don't know of any for that that don't include longer works, though in anthologies for children, a "longer work" is relative. We're not talking Rime of the Ancient Mariner here. For classic poetry for older kids in general, I like the Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, which has lovely illustrations, but some of them have religious themes or allusions. I also love, love both the Caroline Kennedy anthologies, both of which were illustrated by Jon Muth, but I don't have them in front of me so I can't promise none of them have religious allusions - it's such a wide variety of poems that I'm almost sure a couple of them do. Classic poetry and no religious allusions at all don't exactly go hand in hand, honestly. Still, I'd look at those. They're so beautiful and they really are secular in intention. You can always skip things if you're uncomfortable.

    For individual names for secular children's poetry, Jane Yolen has some lovely things for that age range and Prelutsky has a few cute things too. My kids didn't appreciate Silverstein until they were slightly older, more like 5 yo. And then you can get into Marilyn Singer and Judith Viorst and so forth too.
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    It doesn't matter if it is an anthology or something by just one author. I am just looking for a book from which we can read a page a day. Thanks for these replies!

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    The Tree That Time Built
    Winter Poems
    The Poetry for Young People series (goes by poet)
    Song of the Water Boatman (great artwork!)

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    Today I ton of books from a teacher friend who is retiring. One was The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. It looks pretty good. Might be what you're looking for.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

  10. #9

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    Classical poetry frequency has references to religion, it is just part of the tradition.

    That being said, some of my favorite anthologies are:

    Poems to Learn by Heart and A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children both are edited by Caroline Kennedy
    Random House Book of Poetry for Children

    A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

    This one is a fun one, as it comes with a cd and poetry from the book is read
    Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry


    A silly one, that is also a classic is A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
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  11. #10

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    Just reading this and love all the suggestions, we love poetry books. Another one for silly poems is Spike Milligan, some have the odd swear word in them that we just skip over. We have The Book of Milliganimals and Fleas, Knees, and Hidden Elephants. I remember mum reading us a lot of Spike Milligan poetry, among other poetry, and really enjoying it. She has lots of great kids poetry books from when we were kids, one I can't recall the name of but its all silly poems about animals. For example, one about honey bees that has lines like "Some creatures have a bottom, but the honey bees ain't got em, they've got a sting right where their bot should be". I will have to check what it is called next time we are round there.

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