Aside from an undying affection for Petrarch care of a fantastic literature professor in college, my taste in poetry tends toward the juvenile and illustrated. The very first book of poems I remember loving was Poems of A. Nonny Mouse with poems selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Henrik Drescher. It’s one of only three or four books I remember checking out repeatedly from the school library; in fact, I can still see in my mind’s eye where it was shelved. (Another of the books was also a collection of poems, but that’s a post for another day.)
Poems of A. Nonny Mouse is a collection of poems by Annonymous authors purported to have been written by a talented and prolific mouse, A. Nonny Mouse. At nine years old, I thought the premise was hilarious. It’s not just the premise that I enjoy, however. The poems stand up to repeat reads. True to form, Prelutsky organized a collection full of ridiculous poems kids love (ala, “Algy saw a bear / The bear saw Algy / The bear was bulgy. The bulge was Algy”).
One downside to tracking down favorite childhood books is that they are often out of print (as this one is). The good news is that I found it for just a few dollars online in decent condition and I discovered that Prelutsky/Drescher worked together on a sequel as well: A. Nonny Mouse Writes Again! I purchased the books as school materials since we’ll be doing a poetry unit this April, but I’m enjoying the poems too much to call them textbooks only. I haven’t completely grown out of the sillies apparently, which is a good feeling when I spend most of my time having to be a responsible adult.
Do you have any favorite childhood poetry collections? And yes, Where the Sidewalk Ends always counts!