You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

Following the poem-posts of Julie, Bonny and Margaret, here are a few tasty morsels of poetry from my childhood. I loved the book “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You.” Recently I found it in paperback.

I especially liked Ciardi’s poem “Little Bits”.

Another favorite book was Ounce Dice Trice.

It might not have been called a book of poetry, but it was and is all about savoring words (and pictures).

My last word goes to Margaret Wise Brown from her book “Where Have You Been?”, illustrated by Barbara Cooney. This poem roosted inside me when I was about 5, and it has lived there ever since. I recite it to the crows in our neighborhood.

In the comment section I welcome any of your favorite poems or words from childhood. Thank you.

p.s. In my newsletter I mentioned the wonderful book Forgotten Words by Robert MacFarlane. It is actually called Lost Words.

11 responses to “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

  1. I used to lie in bed and recite Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson. I can still picture the imagery so clearly–

    • Lovely poem! I had not read it before. The Tom Glazer record “Building A City” was a big hit in our household. It goes well with that poem.

  2. I love Ciardi. I got to meet him in 1977 when my mom was at a writers’ conference in Denver. He was a funny guy.

  3. One of my favorites as a very young child was titled “A Present For The Princess.” I adored this book and it’s illustrations and the premise. I think I was secretly in love with the little blind boy. You made me think of it so I looked it up; vintage copies are now selling for $70.00 and up!
    A Present for the Princess (A Rand McNally Tip Top Elf Book)

    • Another book I had not seen before! The books we know as children make an indelible impression. I feel like I should know all of these classics, but there are many new discoveries.

  4. Love all the Father Fox’s Penny Rhymes by Clyde WatSon & illustrated by her sister, the late Wendy WatSon but a favorite is
    Kickerbocker Knockabout
    Sausages & Sauerkraut
    Run! Run! Run! The hogs are out!
    Knickerbocker Knockabout.
    Fro Cathy Bonnell

  5. The first one that popped to mind was The Land of Counterpane, by Robert Louis Stevenson

    When I was sick and lay a-bed,
    I had two pillows at my head,
    And all my toys beside me lay
    To keep me happy all the day.

    And sometimes for an hour or so
    I watched my leaden soldiers go,
    With different uniforms and drills,
    Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

    And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
    All up and down among the sheets;
    Or brought my trees and houses out,
    And planted cities all about.

    I was the giant great and still
    That sits upon the pillow-hill,
    And sees before him, dale and plain,
    The pleasant land of counterpane.

    • Thanks for contributing this poem, Wendy. Click on the link in Beth Lawry’s comment and I think you will find a kindred spirit/ kindred poem!


  6. Great selections, Julie -. The Margaret Wise Brown book is new to me, thanks for the heads-up. For people who love Father Fox’s Penny Rhymes, a CD was made many years ago of the rhymes turned into songs, and it’s just been re-issued. It’s available through Clyde Watson’s website at

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