We don't often think of children's poets, except for Edward Lear, Mother Goose, Robert Louis Stevenson, and perhaps Shel Silverstein. But now, for the first time, there's a children's poet laureate.
The National Poetry Foundation last week named Jack Prelutsky the first winner of its new Children's Poet Laureate Award. Beside the $25,000 prize, Prelutsky, 66, gets the official title, "Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation." In his two-year term, he will give two public readings and create projects to "instill a love of poetry" in children.
Prelutsky, who lives in Seattle, has published more than 40 books of verse in nearly 40 years, and sold more than a million books. His first book was "A Gopher in the Garden" in 1967, and his most recent is "Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems." His "Random House Book of Poetry for Children" is a school-librarian's bible. He has two books out next spring: "Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More," and "Me I Am!"