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If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and Their Parents
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If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and Their Parents

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  52 reviews
If you've ever had trouble apologizing or keeping a secret, had a crush or a broken heart, there's a poem here for you! Written with humor and understanding, Judith Viorst's poems are certain to delight children and adults alike -- and be read again and again.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published October 1st 1984 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

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Tara Ribblett
This book features many different and short poems. It's very similar to the books Shel Silverstein wrote but a smaller version. These poems portray the thoughts young children have about the world and people around them. Almost every poem has either rhyme or rhythm to it. One can clearly see the images brought from the childrens' imaginations through the text and illustrations. These poems display childrens' mischeaveous behaviors. I have read Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. It ...more
Paige Cedergreen
Personal Reaction: I liked this book, I thought that it was very similar to Shel Silverstein's poetry that I read as a kid. It is written as the thoughts that kids have about their world and growing up so I feel like it is more easily relatable to them.

I would use this book for the beginning of a poetry unit for 2nd-4th grade. The book is split into different categories, some are just split based on what object the poems in that section are about and some sections are split based on the type of
Lindsay Garber
Personal Reaction:
I loved reading the poems in this book because they were entertaining and related to children's view and actions in so many ways. The different categories of poems made it exciting to read. Children will love to read these light-hearted poems that draw their attention through the rhythms and rhymes created!

-Read aloud or independent reading for K-2 grade
-Enjoyment/enrichment: the various poems in this book are designed to amuse the reader. For example, the poem called
Read for CBR 6

In order to pass on my love of poetry to my niblings (and expand our horizons a tad bit beyond Where The Sidewalk Ends), my niece and I have recently spent some time exploring the 810s at our local library. One of our very first finds – and one of the biggest hits – is Judith Viorst’s If I Were in Charge of The World (and other worries). For my niece and I, the best kind of poetry is nonsense poetry – we’ve spent a lot of time with the king of all things kooky, Shel Silverstein, bu
Black Elephants
I remember finding Judith Viorst in my elementary school library. Even then I liked poetry books, but I didn't know they were poetry. I just thought they were fun little rhyming stories. They made me laugh, and I liked to read them to my family and friends.

A few days ago, I found myself in my city library, wandering the shelves and trying to sense out a book I might like to read. I found Viorst, picked it out, sat cross-legged on the ground and read it.

It still made me laugh, but now I have the
Judith Viorst, author of one of my favorite children's book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," has created a delightful book of poetry. Her poems touch on common concerns and anxieties of children with great insight and humor. I can't wait to share this "oh wow!" book with my grandchildren.
This was one of my absolute favorite books growing up. My mom and I used to sit together reading it, just laughing our heads off. I love Viorst's take on life and how she expresses a child's point of view so perfectly. I love this book so much, my copy is falling apart!
Katherine Kim
Judith Viorst writes a wide variety of short poems ranging from princess to cats to worries that relate mostly to children, but can also relate to adults. Most are witty and hilarious! Children will get a kick out of some poems wit a twist at the end. My favorite part is the fairytale poems. I loved the humor in them and I enjoyed reading about a new perspective of the well known princess stories. Girls will enjoy reading this part, but there are other parts of the book that boys may like such a ...more
I would use this book in an older classroom (3-5). I would choose one or two poems to read to the whole group and then pull small groups for mini lessons on parts of poetry, alliteration, punctuation, word choice. There are many poems in this book that could serve as a writing prompt for students. For example, Since Hanna Moved Away is about having a friend move away. Students could journal write about a similar experience or even write their own poem about having a friend move away. I enjoyed t ...more
Tommy V
Browsing for a short book of children's poems, I was intrigued by the elliptical title of Judith Viorst's contribution, If I Were in Charge of the World...and Other Worries. In a perfect world, none of us, least of all children, would have worries, but since we do I thought in some small way this book would be beneficial to my eight year-old son who has become overly sensitive since his parents divorced. And so I brought the book home and waited for a nice, quiet time when my son and I could rea ...more
Lauren Gibson
I read If i were in Charge of the World and Other Worries by Judith Viorst.
SUMMARY: This poetry book has many themes that were very relatable to children. It talks about some trouble s that children seem to think are huge when they are young, but in reality they are very small and silly problems.
CRITIQUE: This book had a few illustrations, but when they did they matched perfectly with the text. They have many poems on the same page, so the poems were short and sweet. I noticed that most of the
Poetry that kids would enjoy and parents can appreciate. Not as nonsensical as Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky, but still fun to read, and deals more with parents perspectives as well as kids.
Danielle Dykstra
If you like Shel Silverstein, this is right up your alley! This book if full of funny poems that are easy to relate to. You are sure to make a connection to at least one of the poems.
Michelle Dettmann
Fun poems -- I remember re-reading this one many times over! I even have some memorized.
I loved this book when I first read it as a teenager, and I continue to love it.
Mar 18, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We really enjoyed this book of poems. They cover a wide variety of topics; some are told from a girl's perspective, others from a boy's. They are witty, some rhyme and they are short enough to keep a child's attention. They are easily understandable, but do not talk down to children and many have some fairly complex underlying themes. We read a section or two of the poems each night and we took turns reading them aloud. We will certainly look for more books by Judith Viorst at our local library.
If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and their Parents, is a collection of short poems by Judith Viorst. The topics touch on the fears and uncertainties that children will relate to such as the difficulty of apologizing and wanting to fit in with peers.

Themes: Power/control, wishes, worries
Published: 1981
Grades 2-4

Classroom use:

Have students write their own "If I were in Charge of the World" poem. Younger students could cut out pictures and make a collage of th
David Ryan
great book of poetry.
If I Were in Charge of the World by Judith Viorst is a great book of child-like poems that describe a kids personality. The book has four section in which there are many poems, some funny, or some not as funny. Some were long, some were short. It was a really good variety of poems that were mostly funny. I would reccommend this book to anyone who likes to read poetry and likes funny books. All in all, this book is a great book that I think everyone will like.
Apr 16, 2008 Lindsay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids, parents
This was the first book that made me think I could be a writer. As a kid, I was surprised that someone else had had thoughts that I had had. It put the idea in my head that maybe I could share my thoughts with the world and it might touch someone and make them feel less lonely as this book had done for me. I'm still working on that writer idea.
H Wells Lucas
An engaging and fun collection of poems which deal with different topics which children tend to be most con-
cerned with as they make discoveries in life. The poems deal with everything from Night, Cats/People and
Saying Goodbye. Some of my favorites: “Since Hannah Moved Away” and “Learning.”
After reading aloud the title poem, 'If I Were in Charge of the World", I invited students to write their own version. The results were terrific and very telling. Viorst is an author who has broad appeal with both children and adults. Her sly wit never fails to put a smile on my face.
Variously laugh out loud funny, shockingly touching, gently heart-warming and jarringly psychological, Voirst captures the various shades of childhood to create an insightful and delightful collection that will speak to any child or any adult that remembers being a child.
A great book with short, appealing poems that accurately portray the thoughts and concerns of children and the world around them. Children can genuinely get interested in poetry after reading this book because they themselves can become poets.
I have often wondered why Shel Silverstein gets all the spotlight when this collection of children's poetry is barely noticed. I'm a fan of all Silverstein's work, but Judith Viorst takes top prize for me.
Viorst is awesome...she can speak in a child's voice and say things all kids wish they could say...thank you note "Mother said she would scold if I didn't say how much I liked them. Not much!" LOVE this book!
Rogelia Pena
"If I were in charge of the world" is the first poem in this book that is written from the perspective of kids. Therefore, the poems here are very engaging for young readers- 2nd grade and up.
I knew Judith Viorst was a poet as well as the author of the Alexander books, but somehow I'd never thought about reading her poetry until I saw a few lines on a blog. I'm glad I did!
Kirsten Murphy
The title poem is one that we can all relate to at some point in our lives! The question that is always fun to ask kids - what WOULD you do if you were in charge of the world?
A collection of poems for every facet of life. I have used this over the years in my classroom to highlight certain traits. It has held up well over the years.
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Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies. Ms. Viorst received a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, and she is also a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institu ...more
More about Judith Viorst...
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday Necessary Losses: The Loves Illusions Dependencies and Impossible Expectations That All of us Have Lulu and the Brontosaurus Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move

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