Poetry: wrapping words around our tongues

Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg, edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin and illustrated by Steven Arcella, is one of over 20 texts in Sterling Publishing‘s Poetry for Young People series.

Other books in this series feature poets like William Carlos Williams, Yeats, Alfred Lloyd Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, Wordsworth, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Maya Angelou. The complete list can be found here.

While the rhythm, repetition, and creative visual images conjured up by poems are intriguing to many, it can also be helpful to share poems in this visual format that provides clues to each poem’s meaning and enhances the learning experience.


Want to know more about Carl Sandburg?

You can read his biography and more of his poems here and here and take a virtual tour of the Sandburg museum here.

And don’t miss Imagine It! a Website for Kids of All Ages for an interactive experience about Sandburg’s life and adventures that you won’t soon forget.


additional poetry resources can be found here

The Friendly Beasts

While its origins may be disputed, the love for this verse is not. The Friendly Beasts, also known as The Animal Carol and The Gift of the Animals, has been used as the text in a variety of children’s books and recorded in song by many over the years.

According to Wikipedia, “The song seems to have originated in 12th-century France, set to the melody of the Latin song Orientis Partibus. The current English words were written by Robert Davis (1881-1950) in the 1920s.”

Many of the children’s books created around this story use Davis’ words. However, their pictures vary greatly. Sharing a variety of these books with your class during the holiday season could be the basis of a creative theme study as you compare the illustrators’ styles and any text variations. Your students might even be inspired to illustrate their own version of this verse!

Listed below is a partial text set of some of the books based on the poem The Friendly Beasts.