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All the Small Poems and Fourteen More

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  63 reviews
All four Small Poems books in one volume plus fourteen new poems "every bit as worthy as their predecessors" (The Horn Book)
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 29th 1996 by Square Fish
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely one of the best poetry books we have on our shelves. This book is priceless and effortlessly has taught our kids to think in a natural, metaphorical way about the world around them. We hadn't been reading it long at all when our kids started spouting 'poetry' about things like snowflakes, leaves, or colors.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a lovely collection of very short poems about myriad things. There's a wide variety of topics and I was fascinated at the different ways of describing the things. Occasionally, the poem would provide a different perspective, such as how fleas see their world from the back of a dog.

We read the poems fairly quickly (the book was coming due at the library) and I suppose we could've lingered over them a bit more, but on the whole they were fun and fast to read.

For some reason, our oldest,
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Hm. Excellent for youngsters and newbies. Perfect mentor text for primary students, or probably even adult writing prompts. But, based on the selections I've seen of Worth's work elsewhere, I wanted to love this and treasure it for always. But it's just not rich enough for me, so instead, I'm going to give it away.

Some of the best:

Hollyhocks stand in clumps
By the to doors of old cottages.

Even when one springs alone,
Lost, in an uncut field,

It builds beside it the cottage,
The garden,
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This book showed me that all things have a story and meaning
Miranda Reyes
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book “all the small poems and fourteen more” by valerie worth is a really good poetry book. This book has so many different types of poems. I love this book because it made me think that poetry is really easy because the author wrote about the most simplest things and made it into in such a great poem. This book has really short poems so i recommend this book to people that like poetry and like fast poems, and in my opinion this is just the right book that includes all of that.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, animals, nature
Containing 113 brief poems filled with descriptions and ruminations on nature, this book is a must-have for all writing teachers and classroom shelves. Not only do the poems serve as exemplars for how to express sentiments in a small amount of words, but they also are simply delightful to read and ponder. Worth's observations on the fascinating world around her are spot-on, and I can picture her watching, watching, watching anything that catches her eye and taking mental notes. For instance, in ...more
Deborah Hart
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
I first came across this book when I was exploring poets such as Paul Janeczko, Janet Wong, Georgia Heard, Ralph Fletcher, and beginning to dip my toe into writing my own poetry. Valerie Worth is incredible. Her poems capture the essence of her subject in a way that makes me feel like I've just fallen into a magic pool that will forever change the way I perceive the world. She makes me want to find my own ways to express the world around me. To be inspired. Hopeful. Joyful.
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Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Valerie Worth writes intriguing poems about everyday objects that are ideal for classroom use, especially in regards to figurative language and word choice. Her poems seem simple, but upon closer examination, students start to uncover a deeper meaning. The poems help students begin to understand what descriptive writing really is.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sonlight-core-f
We aren't very into poetry. These were short poems about random things.

We started trying to guess the title just by reading the poem (not looking at the image). A lot of time we could, almost like a riddle. Some poems say the name of the object so it didn't work for every one.
Steph Lovelady
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I selected this book at the library solely because of the charming title. It did not disappoint. All the poems are short, creative meditations on everyday objects, plants, or animals. We read it slowly, over the course of more than a month, so the ones I remember best are from the end. Here are two of my favorites:


With sparks
With flames,

The dark
To cling
And shine

Until the
Slow tide

Not even
What stars

Even so,


Out of
Green space
Kyle G
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a great book. I liked the layout of the pictures and the poems. I thought that most of the poems were nice. The pictures were great and I think that this book took a while to make. Valerie Worth did a great job with these poems. They flow greatly and they are definitely in the right format. Natalie Babbitt did a really good job with the pictures. I think that they are all drawn very well and I respect that the pictures were good, even for a poem book. This poem book was one of the ...more
I slowly read this book to my sons but it has tons of small fun poems about various objects and things in nature. There were some of the poems that I would read to them in varying voices. They especially liked when I would say them in a hardcore punk voice (with poems like "Skeleton" and such).
If you are trying to introduce your children to poetry and teach them on how to write them, this one is good!
Nikki Tuchek
This wonderful children's poetry book is written by NCTE Poetry Award winner, Valerie Worth. She is an amazing poetry author who writes about plants, animals, and other familiar things for children. Her poems, in this book, are meant for young children, discovering poetry. She is a wonderful author who writes poems that young children can think about and relate to.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
If you like short poems then this book is for you. There are really cute poems and the pictures are simplistic. It is a good read for parents and older readers. Each poem has a them and talks about a specific item.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like the randomness and the wordplay of these poems. There are supporting drawing for each of the poems for more context. The poems topics range from potatoes to tractors, etc. If you read this poetry book it might inspire you to start writing poetry.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is perfect for anyone that’s looking for a poem book to read. It’s full of random things and the transitions are very odd like you would go from sea lions to sidewalks. Anyway “Natalie Badditt” is an amazing poet and this is awesome.
Katy Mccormac
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Valerie Worth reflects on her observations of the natural world (and everyday objects) in this volume of short and accessible poems for children with simple illustrations by Natalie Babbit. A great tool to explore word choice, line breaks, and the power of observation.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was an amazing book to read and I really enjoyed it. The author did an excellent job of choosing these poems they were by far some of the best poems I have ever read. I believe that an exciting person would enjoy reading this book and I defenintely recommend this book to a friend.
Megan {A Barefoot Gal}
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-to-read
I love the style of poems in this book!
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Not all of the small poems are really good poems. But there are some treasures in here -- I particularly loved "safety pin," "magnet," "sea lions," "kite," "frost," and "giraffe."
Sarah Kochert
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Read with Sonlight studies. Found we didn't make time for them and we couldn't really enjoy them like I would have liked.
Rosemary Walter
1. None
2. Prek-5
3. This collection of poetry is simple, and beautiful. Worth writes poems about simple, everyday things like acorns, crickets, and kittens. They are short and powerful poems inspiring their readers to think about things in a different way.
4. This book has the most calming presence about it. The stories are simple and easy to read at many reading levels. Children will love hearing about these. Easy to use to introduce seasons or to intertwine poetry and writing with sciences.
Autumn Dearborn
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was not the exact book I read but I chose it to represent the book I didn't read which wasn't on Goodreads, and that was 'all the small poems' by Valerie Worth, which contains her 4 short poetry books (small poems, more small poems, still more small poems, small poems again).

I read this in no time at all before bed because it is very short. The poems themselves are pretty short, but even so I found some amazing treasures in this small collection. I thoroughly enjoyed it. These are poems
Sage Mines
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poem
For my second book I read "All the Small Poems and Fourteen More" by Valerie Worth. All the poems had their own unique theme to them. They all took a small thing and made me think differently about it. My favorite poem was Dog; she described the dog so well with lots of detail. She took what he was doing, resting, and told me how he was resting his long chin on his two front paws. She wrote this book to show the reader objects in different perspectives through the objects point of view. The ...more
Colleen Jones
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This poetry book can really be used in most elementary school grades from preschool through 3rd grade. It lists a collection of simple poems with one-word titles. The book provides a series of styles of poetry that vary in number of stanzas and tell a brief story about an object, whether it be an animal or something inanimate. Each short poem is accompanied by a sketch of whatever is the focus of the writing. I like the simplicity of this book because it can be used with such a wide range of ...more
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-unit
This book contains great poems that are very short and to the point. They are written about everyday objects. The words are chosen carefully because they are limited in number so they have to clearly convey the message in a limited space. The layout on the page is also very meaningful. This is a great book to use with students learning to write poetry. I think they can relate to the items and they are attracted to the short format because it seems doable. I am planning to use this as a sample of ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it liked it
To me i love valerie worth, she is one of my favorite poets. I really enjoyed the depth and meaning of the book. It had tuns of detail, The way the book is written is so inspiring told in first person, this book inspired me to write my own poem, ''FIRST LOVE''. and valerie isn't about rhyming or making you laugh. She is about making you look at the world differently, putting yourself in an others shoes, Just in general making you feel so touched. This is why i love this book, and I hope you read ...more
Nichole Perez
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the simplicity of this poetry book. The poems were written in a way for young children to be able to easily grasp. There were no hidden meanings or surprises found within the poems. What the reader read is what the reader received. Besides being written in a simplistic way, I enjoyed how each of the poems presented spoke about objects children could relate to. I would definitely use this book in my future classroom. However, I would use this book for younger children because the ...more
Cat *living for the One who breaths life into me*
ugh! they made me read this a few years ago when i was in 8th grade and if you ask me it is written for 5 year olds. i am not kidding, the font size is a half and inch(!) and the poems go like this 'the grass is tall and green, it is calm and still.' that is it, that is ONE poem. i mean, come on. i know poetry is supposed to be objective but cant people write more on level and use bigger words and smaller font. needless to say i hated this book.
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Future Teachers, ...: Stefanie Cheek Review 1 1 10 Sep 14, 2016 08:43PM  

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(October 29, 1933 - July 31, 1994)
Acclaimed poet Valerie Worth Bahlke was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Swarthmore, where her father taught biology at Swarthmore College. The family then moved to Tampa, Florida, and Bangalore, India, where they lived for one year. Valerie returned to Swarthmore to attend college, graduating with an English degree and High Honors.
“The tiger
has swallowed
a black sun.

In his cold
cage he
carries it still.

Black flames
flicker through
his fur.

Black rays roar
from the centers
of his eyes.”
“The sun
Is a leaping fire
Too hot
To go near,

But it will still
Lie down
In warm yellow squares
On the floor

Like a flat
Quilt, where
The cat can curl
and purr.”
More quotes…