The Book of Nature Poetry by National Geographic is one of those amazing books published for children…but is a hidden gem for *anyone* who finds a given topic (in this case, poetry) daunting and hard to approach.
What I Liked
I loved the poems selected and the presentation. It’s published by National Geographic, so there’s very high publishing standards with beautiful photography and illustrations. The poems are curated former U.S. Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis.
The selected poetry is perfect for *anyone* who wants to get a small introduction to poetry, but finds most poetry books reminiscent of awful high school literature classes spent teasing apart random Middle English translations in a John Donne poem. The poetry is accessible and beautiful. At 36 years old, I was finally like “ahh, ok, I sort of get it now.”
The book is available at nearly any library. Our system had multiple copies on offer with no wait time. It also can get multiple reads and re-visits, so it’s worthwhile to own as well.
What I Did Not Like
I wish it was longer, even though I’m sure adding pages would make it incrementally more daunting and more expensive.
I’ve found that if I’m a true beginner about a topic – a high-quality children’s book is far and away a better introduction than the best “for Dummies” or “Beginner’s Guide” you can find. This book falls in that bucket – and makes for a great family book as well. If you have kids or are just curious about poetry, I definitely recommend.