Oxford Book of Poetry for Children by Edward Blishen and Brian Wildsmith. 1963 first edition.


Various authors, compiled by Edward Blishen. Illustrated by Brian Wildsmith. First edition, 1963. Franklin Watts, Inc. New York.

We're all in the dumps
For diamonds are trumps,
The kittens are gone to Saint Paul's,
The babies are bit,
The moon's in a fit,
And the houses are built without walls.
- Anonymous

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"Edward Blishen set out to compile an anthology that would introduce poetry to younger children and help them make the leap from nursery rhyes to "serious" verse. But he has done more than that. With his one unique blend of humor, sensitivity and understanding, and his wide knowledge of English literature and of children, he has produced an anthology which will delight all who open it.

"[Children] will find humor of all shades, ballads, poems of mystery, delicate tales of fairy, songs of the sea and nature and people, with here and there the jingle or limerick and always the element of surprise."

Edward Blishen (1920 - 1996) was a notable English author and broadcaster. His literary works include a series of autobiographical books and children's novels based on Greek mythology, the latter earning him the prestigious Carnegie Medal in 1970 alongside Leon Garfield for "The God Beneath the Sea". Blishen's experiences during World War II and his reflections on teaching in London's secondary modern schools are captured in "Roaring Boys" and its sequel, "This Right Soft Lot".

Brian Wildsmith (1930 - 2016) was a visionary British painter and children's book illustrator. His vibrant and colorful work earned him the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1962 for his wordless alphabet book, ABC. He was a four-time runner-up for the Greenaway Medal, and twice a runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest honor for a children's book author or illustrator. He was a trailblazer in children's literature, bringing a painter's sensibility to the pages of his books and respecting the ability of children to appreciate art.

Previous owner was a university educator.

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Condition: Near Fine/Good. Dust jacket: Moderate edge wear all edges, including spine; on the front, three small closed tears on the upper edge; on the back, small tear at the upper edge; bumped at the corners and head and tail of the spine, with a small open tear at the head and two small closed tears at the tail. Purple cloth cover boards are lightly faded along upper edge. Purple topstain all edges. Discrete name on title page. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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