Thursday, September 28, 2006

And the winner is...Jack Prelutsky!

A week or so ago I posted a little item about the naming of the first American Children's Poet Laureate. I hadn't heard the names of anyone under consideration, but my first instinct that they might name Jack Prelutsky (who is, incidentally, alive and well and still writing and publishing!) proved to be right!

Prelutsky is actually only 66. I was thinking of him as older, perhaps because I associate him with Shel Silverstein. Turns out that Silverstein was only born eight years before Prelutsky, though he passed away in 1999.

We've only begun enjoying Prelutsky's poems in the last year or so, but he's been writing funny and imaginative poems since 1967.

Here's a stanza from a Prelutsky poem we like:

Ten brown bears with big bow ties
gobbled plates of apple pies,
and with every pie they ate,
they piled up an empty plate.

I also really like

In her garden, Sarah Small
grows galoshes, short and tall.
Shirts of yellow, hats of red
beautify her flower bed.

Both of these are taken from poems from his rhyme collection The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders, published by Greenwillow in 2002.

Prelutsky was awarded $25,000 and gets to spend the next two years promoting children's poetry. Sounds like a lovely way to spend two years!


Erin said...

Ah, good for him! He is definitely one of my favorites! :) I love how he uses all of this complex vocabulary in his poems; he obviously has a great love of words and doesn't think children should be written down to. I'm sure he'll do a great job in his position! :D

Beth said...

Yep! I heartily concur.

I really just discovered him a year or two ago, in an anthology, I think. Then I read a review you did (I'm pretty sure) at epinions, and checked him out further. Sarah likes his silly rhymes. Not sure how I missed him during my childhood, but glad to have found him now!