Pook’s Picks for World Poetry Day – The Verse Book Collection

It’s World Poetry Day! Our Pook’s Picks for World Poetry Day takes a look at our verse books, beautiful poetry books for children illustrated by Walter Crane.

The collection below features five books from the ‘Toy Books‘ of the late Victorian Era, printed by Edmund Evans. They were among the first illustrated storybooks for children, Walter Crane was a featured illustrator for this series, alongside such names as Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway. Crane’s work is characteristically colourful and beautifully detailed, his illustrated books are incredibly sought after today as some of the most excellent examples of Golden Age art.

These picture books feature some of the all-time favourite stories and nursery rhymes re-imagined in verse – accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Walter Crane; we couldn’t think of a better way to get involved for World Poetry Day 2020.

 


1. Mother Hubbard Her Picture Book – containing Mother Hubbard, The Three Bears & the Absurd ABC – Illustrated by Walter Crane.

 

mother hubbard - verse collection - national poetry day
 

 

This charming book is a collection of well-loved children’s stories, including Mother Hubbard, The Three Bears, and The Absurd ABC. The short verses allow perfect reading for children, accompanied by the full-colour plate illustrations from Walter Crane; it is a lovely introduction to poetry.

Shop Now

Old Mother Hubbard 

Went to the cupboard 

to get her poor dog a bone;”

mother hubbard - children verse books - national poetry day
Mother hubbard - children verse books - national poetry day

 


 

2. The Buckle My Shoe Picture Book – containing One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, a Gaping-Wide-Mouth-Waddling Frog, My Mother – Illustrated by Walter Crane

buckle My Shoe Picture Book - verse collection - national poetry day

 

This picture book contains the tales of Buckle My Shoe, The Gaping Wide-Mouth Waddling Frog, and My Mother. Three completely different tales, each one written in simple children’s verse, they are linked by good-natured humour that runs throughout.

Shop Now

Three monkeys tied to a log,

Two puddings’ ends, would choke a dog,

Or a gaping, wide-mouthed, waddling frog.”

Cinderella - children verse books - national poetry day
Cinderella - children verse books - national poetry day


 

3. Cinderella Picture Book – containing Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Valentine & Orson – Illustrated by Walter Crane

cinderella picture book - verse collection - national poetry day

 

The Cinderella Picture Book holds the well-known and loved tales of Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and Valentine and Orson, written in more of a story format rather than nursery rhymes. Charles Perrault penned the first two tales in the 17th century, Valentine and Orson date back further to a 14th-century romantic song that tells the stories of twin brothers abandoned in the woods in infancy. 

Shop Now

I know that you are sad, and that your sisters are unkind;

Now go and fetch me the largest pumpkin you can find.”

Cinderella - children verse books - national poetry day
cinderella - children verse books - national poetry day



 

4. The Song of Sixpence Picture Book – containing Sing a Song of Sixpence, Princess Belle Etoile, An Alphabet of Old Friends – Illustrated by Walter Crane

sixpence picture book - verse collection - national poetry day

 

The Song Of Sixpence Picture Book contains the stories, Sing A Song Of Sixpence, Princess Belle Etoile and An Alphabet Of Old Friends. Containing two rhymes – Sing A Song For Sixpence – a well-known English nursery rhyme, and An Alphabet Of Old Friends, the second story Princess Belle Etoile is from french writer Madame d’Aulney, and is a French fairy tale full of princesses, a hateful queen mother and a fairy disguised as a turtle-dove. Shop Now

Sing a song of sixpence, 

A pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty black-birds, 

Baked in a pie. 


 

5. The Sleeping Beauty Picture Book – containing The Sleeping Beauty, Blue Beard, The Baby’s Own Alphabet – Illustrated by Walter Crane

Sleeping Beauty Picture Book - verse collection - national poetry day

 

The Sleeping Beauty Picture Book tells the well-loved stories of The Sleeping Beauty, Blue-Beard, in children’s verse. Along with the sweet The Baby’s Own Alphabet which breaks down each letter into a rhyme making it a perfect early learning book, as well as a bedtime read. 

Shop Now

Long, long ago, in ancient times, there lived a King and Queen, 

And for the blessing of a child their longing sore had been;


Other Pook Press books you might like:

More on the blog: