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A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  550 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
Caroline Kennedy has chosen a rich variety of Kennedy family favorite poems to include in this priceless collection. With thoughtful personal introductions written by Caroline herself, and beautiful new original artwork by award-winning artist, Jon J Muth, this collection is sure to become a family favorite for years to come.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Disney-Hyperion
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The Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeThey Won't Shut Up by Cindy J.  SmithVoices In My Head by Cindy J.  SmithThe Complete Poems by Emily DickinsonThe Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot
Your Favourite Book of Poetry.
323rd out of 498 books — 474 voters
Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Silver Chair by C.S. LewisA Room of One's Own by Virginia WoolfThe Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di LampedusaExistentialism Is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre
Chairs on Covers
100th out of 150 books — 39 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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K.D. Absolutely
Nov 27, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, poetry
Last Thursday, I got this hardbound pristine book from a second-hand bookstore. I have always liked to read poetry but there are those that I do not understand. So, when I saw that this book contains poems for children and it is written by Caroline Kennedy (born 1957), the only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and the tag price was P180 ($4), why not?

The book contains the poems that became her favorites when she was a child because these were t
May 27, 2007 carrietracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, poetry
This anthology is one of the best available that I've seen. It doesn't talk down to children by only including silly, nonsense rhymes, but contains accessible works by important poets like Blake, William Carlos Williams, Frost, Emily Dickinson and Wordsworth. It is beautifully put together and I recommend it for anyone looking for a meaningful book either for their own children, or to be presented as a gift.
Nov 29, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: 520-poetry
In this anthology, Caroline Kennedy compiled a collection of her most treasured poems for children. The anthology is divided into thematic sections such that mirror the language and interests of a young child. These themes include: About Me, That's So Silly, Animals, Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. Authors range from classics such as Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, and Yeats, to cultural favorites like Langston Hughes and Sandra Cisneros and contemporary poets like Jack Preluts ...more
Jun 10, 2012 A_Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Caroline Kennedy shares her family’s traditions and carefully selected, favorite poems for children in this anthology. The anthology contains poems divided into seven sections according to topics such as “About Me”, “That’s So Silly”, “The Seasons”, etc. The beloved poems from all over the world are written in a variety of styles by contemporary poets as well as old, well-known favorites. Caroline Kennedy begins her book with a well-written introduction and each section begins with its own piece ...more
Kate Z
Dec 31, 2015 Kate Z rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This book is exactly what I was looking for: a collection of "regular" poems (not children's poems) selected to appeal to children. This collection is well curated and organized (not just rhyming and metered poems, diversity in views and time periods) and beautifully illustrated. Ella is not yet two, and she loves them. I do, too. We'll get a lot of use out of it. Can't recommend this highly enough, not just for kids.
May 24, 2011 Nina rated it it was amazing
An amazing, amazing book of great poems chosen by Caroline Kennedy. The pictures are amazingly vivid, and it enhances the poetry beautifully. There are cute, funny, serious, and classic poems in here, and it is just a pleasure to read.
Jun 21, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime, boys
The only thing better than the smart and witty selection of poems is Jon Muth's fabulous watercolors. It's one of my very favorites.
May 26, 2007 JoAnn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-classics
To those who know me it's obvious why I love this book of poetry. I even have a copy in my classroom.
Apr 21, 2007 Marlies rated it really liked it
Great gift or to share with kids
Apr 11, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing
A Family of Poems - My Favorite Poetry for Children is an especially fine collection of poetry. Caroline was raised with poems. She was encouraged to write them, to illustrate them, to choose a favorite poem and use it in a birthday card. "If our parents read to us as children, we remember the closeness of the moments together, the sound and power of voice and expression, the sense of wonder that a poem inspires," said Caroline Kennedy as she shared thoughts about piecing this anthology together ...more
Sep 30, 2016 Katrina rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. It has a nice selection of classic poems and beautiful illustrations. The poems do range quite a bit in age, so it may not be completely suitable for any given kid, but it's a good family book or a book you could grow with. I'm really just getting started with poetry (in my old age) and it was a good introduction for me.

One oddity is "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" by Wallace Stevens. It's included under "Nonsense Poems," so I read it in that light and took "dumb" to mean "stu
Katie Gibson
Mar 19, 2015 Katie Gibson rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book of poems. One reason being that the poems in this book seemed to be carefully chosen. It was easy to tell that Caroline Kennedy put a lot of thought into which poems she wanted in the collection. This is evident in many ways, but especially by the way she divided the book into sections and the way she introduced each section. Her introductions are heartfelt and include memories from her life which express how much poetry has meant to her and encouragement to children ...more
Apr 23, 2016 ALB rated it it was amazing
CSULB 545 Class 4: Child Poetry Anthology: A Family of Poems

Kennedy, Caroline. ed. A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. Illus. Jon J. Muth. New York: Hyperion, 2005.

Target Audience: grades 1 and up

Curriculum ties: Any unit on poetry, or as a companion piece to any unit on the subject of seasons, animals, adventure, the ocean, or any ot the other themes by section.

The collection spans from early modern writings to contemporary, shifting from Shakespeare to Taylor Mali and endless n
Sep 22, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse-poetry
This eclectic collection of poetry is organized into seven categories: about me, that’s so silly, animals, the seasons, the seashore, adventure, and bedtime. Each section begins with a page in which Kennedy explains why she included the respective themes in her book of poetry for children. Her explanations illuminate personal, national, and universal relevance. The book contains a table of contents that lists titles and authors, an inspiring two-page introduction, an index of first lines, and ac ...more
Elizabeth Westlund
Mar 18, 2015 Elizabeth Westlund rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This anthology of famous poetry is put together by Caroline Kennedy and encompasses a variety of works that were Kennedy family favorites. The book is broken down by such themes as "about me", "that's so silly!" and "animals". Each section opens with antidotes about that particular section. In one such introduction Kennedy notes, "When we read a poem in which the poet is speaking from the heart, we can learn about ourselves as well as about the author, for poets put into words the feelings that ...more
Lara Streyle
Mar 15, 2015 Lara Streyle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book has been a prized possession on my bookshelf for quite a few years. I received it as a birthday present from my parents, so it is treasured not only for that reason but because it is a truly wonderful book. It is a book of poetry not strictly for children, but children of all ages. Created by Caroline Kennedy, "A Family of Poems" is a compilation of her family's most beloved poems. The book explores topics from Bedtime to The Seasons and Animals in over 100 poems. There are poems from ...more
Maria Nesmith
Feb 25, 2012 Maria Nesmith added it
Shelves: eced-221
The book A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy is a collection of poems her family cherished. The book is broken into seven sections with different themes. The author wrote this book with intentions of having parents read it to their children and share in the inspiration of the poems.

All of the poems have different sounds according to what chapter they are in. The poems all reflect the chapter and theme they are categorized into. The images in the book are fantastic. They really bring the poems
 (NS) Amie
Nov 17, 2009 (NS) Amie rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
In this beautiful collection of poetry illustrated by Jon J. Muth, there are over 100 poems, from five different continents. I was delighted to read so many poems that I was unfamiliar with, but enjoyed very much. The water color illustrations were so delicate, each one matching the mood and the feel of their poem. Caroline Kennedey divided her selections into child-friendly sections: About Me; That's So Silly; Animals; The Seasons; The Seashore; Adventure; and Bedtime. Each section has a short, ...more
Dec 19, 2010 Katie rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best poetry anthologies for children (and families) that I’ve ever read. This is poetry to start children on before it is ruined for them. These are poems that children can grow with, discovering new meanings through the years, and cherish as adults. I was surprised and delighted to find some of my favorites, including “This Is Just to Say” and “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams, “Ode to a Pair of Socks” by Pablo Neruda, and “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop (a poem ...more
Mar 12, 2012 L12aliciacarrera rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Once I started reading the poems in this anthology, I could not put the book down! Caroline Kennedy has created an anthology of poems that her family enjoyed. She shares with us poetry that includes over one hundred poems from all over the world. The poems are diverse even including Psalms. This book is divided into sections that reflect a child's world. The sections include; About Me, That's So Silly, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, Bedtime, and Foreign Poems in their original la ...more
What I liked most about this collection of poems is the diversity of poets represented (e.g. Pablo Neruda, Jack Prelutsky, e. e. cummings, shakespeare.) There are poems that appeal to various ages and they range in their complexity. The collection is divided into the following sections: about me, that's so silly!, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. It could be a fun challenge to work with student on different ways that they would categorize these poems or poems that they ...more
Bree Johnson
Apr 02, 2014 Bree Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Book: A Family of Poems By: Caroline Kennedy
“Some Opposites”

The opposite of standing still
Is walking up or down a hill,
Running backwards, creeping, crawling,
Leaping off a cliff and falling,
Turning somersaults in gravel,
Or any other mode of travel.
The opposite of a doughnut? Wait
A minute while I meditate.
This isn’t easy. Ah, I’ve found it!
A cookie with a hole around it.
What is the opposite of two?
A lonely me, a lonely you
The opposite of a cloud could be
A white reflection in the sea,
Or a huge blue
Sarah Holland
Personal Response: My grandmother gave me this book of poems when I was younger. It covers a wide range of topics: personal journey, animals, seasons, adventure, and just silly poems. The language and watercolor illustrations are absolutely beautiful. Caroline Kennedy compiled her most beloved poems and put them in this book. It allows for an exploration of themes, styles, and poets.

-read aloud for enrichment: The book has a poem for nearly every aspect of one's life (a broken heart, dec
Nicole White
Nov 04, 2012 Nicole White rated it it was amazing
A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children by Caroline Kennedy

1. Genre: Poetry

2. A Family of Poems is a beautifully put together collection of poems for children ranging in eras of ancient times to modern times.

3. a. Area for Comment: Illustrations

b. Not only is this book a treasury of all poems that can be read for children, but the accompanying watercolor illustrations are breathtaking.

c. Although many of these poems may be “over some children’s heads”, as some were for my 7 year ol
Roshini R.
Feb 11, 2012 Roshini R. rated it really liked it
This is a surprisingly well thought out, compiled, and meaningful collection of poetry that will appeal to children and adults alike. A number of my friends have included this in their children’s libraries and read from it not just at bedtime. The book is divided into seven sections that children can relate to such as ‘About Me’, ‘Bedtime’, etc… It encourages students to read and express themselves through poetry. Teachers and students can engage in discussions about different types of poems, va ...more
Sep 29, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Families, People who appreciate illustrated poetry, People who like to read aloud
Recommended to Heather by: Found after reading Kennedy's "A Patriot's Handbook"
My oldest son (4 years old) has had poetry read to him since he was 2... starting with short, lilting and rhyming poems and, over the past two years, we've added all sorts of works.

I originally got this book from the library to see if it would be a good addition to our family library (since we already have books with many of these authors) and, I can tell you, I ordered this book the very next day! And, I kept the library book until my own copy arrived... reading from it daily. The addition of
Mar 13, 2012 L12 VANESSA PEOPLESMARTIN rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This anthology by Caroline Kennedy is a wonderful collection of excellent poems. The beautiful watercolor illlustrations made this book gorgeous and enjoyable. I like how the poems are divided into the different sections with several choices. The choices are; About Me, That's So Silly!, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, and Bedtime. At the end of this book is an index of first lines for every poem. The end of the book also has some foreign poems in their orginal languages from the b ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is a fine collection of poems, for adult readers as well as children, with watercolor illustrations. Included are poems by eminent poets such as Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Blake, Rilke, Whitman, Frost, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Wallace Stevens, and Seamus Heaney. And there are a few "nonsense" poems by writers such as Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and Ogden Nash. To be honest, I think that some of these poems are too advanced for children. For example, the following poem by Jo ...more
Mar 11, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, children
A great selection of about 110 children's poems, with fantastic watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth (author & illustrator of "Zen Shorts").
My favorite poems out of this book were:

"This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"The People Upstairs" by Ogden Nash
"Today is Very Boring" by Jack Prelutsky
"The Crocodile" by Lewis Caroll
"The Tyger" by William Blake
"April Rain Song" by Langston Hughes
"The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth
"Thoughts" by Jacque
Janet Luch
Jul 16, 2016 Janet Luch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Quality poetry is important for children to hear and this book by Caroline Kennedy has wonderful poems by well known authors for children to enjoy. I also appreciated the illustrations by Jon J. Muth, from Kingston, New York which is a city near where I live and work.
While I probably wouldn't choose to read this book at once to a child, the poems would spark a child's imagination and would provide much to talk about.
A book that is similar to this one but is for toddlers and young children is H
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Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is an American author and attorney. She is the daughter and only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. An older sister, Arabella, died shortly after her birth in 1956. Brother John F. Kennedy, Jr. died in a plane crash in 19
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