Valerie Worth, author of the “Small Poems” collections of free verse, received the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1991.
With pen and ink sketches by Natalie Babbitt, these small books are some of my favorite examples of the most beautiful free verse for children. Here's my copy (at left) of small poems published in 1972!
They almost seem like scientific observations in the most perfect, poetic language. Take “Garbage,” for instance (from All the Small Poems):
Bucket tips out
Wand of bared
Worked back soon
To still more
I’m so happy to report that a new compilation of Worth’s animal poems is out this year with wonderful paper illustrations by Steve Jenkins!
Worth, Valerie. 2013. Pug and Other Animal Poems. Ill. by Steve Jenkins. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
And pair it with a previous posthumous collection of Valerie's animal poems also illustrated by Steve Jenkins:
Worth, Valerie. 2007. Animal Poems. Ill. by Steve Jenkins. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Two lovely visual incarnations of her crisp and elegant poetry!
Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.
Image credits: Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Macmillan.