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Jack Prelutsky

“I have always enjoyed playing with words, but I had no idea that I would be a writer. There was a time when I couldn’t stand poetry! . . . When I was a young man, I discovered poetry again and it changed my life.”—Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky has written more than 40 books of verse and has compiled a number of poetry anthologies. His anthology, The 20th-Century Children’s Poetry Treasury, includes 211 wonderful poems that represent the best the century has to offer.


For years, Jack Prelutsky’s inventive poems have inspired legions of children to fall in love with poetry. His outrageously silly poems have tickled even the most stubborn funny bones, while his darker verses have spooked countless late-night readers. His award-winning books include Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, and The Beauty of the Beast.

While attending a Bronx, New York, grade school, Prelutsky took piano and voice lessons and was a regular in school shows. Surprisingly, Prelutsky developed a healthy dislike for poetry due to a teacher who “left me with the
impression that poetry was the literary equivalent of liver. I was told it was good for me, but I wasn’t convinced.”

In his early twenties, Prelutsky spent six months drawing imaginary animals in ink and watercolor. One evening, he wrote two dozen short poetry verses to accompany each drawing. A friend encouraged him to show them to an editor, who loved his poems (although not his artwork!) and urged him to keep writing. Prelutsky listened and he is still busy writing.

Jack Prelutsky lives on Mercer Island in Washington with his wife, Carolynn.


“A splendid collection.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“Teachers and librarians will want to use this millennial volume with Prelutsky’s Random House Book of Poetry for Children to introduce our best children’s poets and encourage children to write about their immediate experience.”—Booklist

“A generous collection with a distinctly upbeat tone, this gives a taste of the best poets writing for children over the last several decades. Lobel’s drawings imbue the whole with action and graphic images as inventive as the verse. Successfully geared to meet home, school, and library needs.”—Starred, Booklist

Author Bookshelf

A. Nonny Mouse Writes Again

By: Jack Prelutsky

The Carnival of the Animals

By: Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by Mary GrandPre and composed by: Camille Saint-Saens

A great way to introduce children to classical music.

America’s first Children's Poet Laureate has written all-new verses to accompany the composer Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival...

Dog Days

By: Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by: Dyanna Wolcott

I am a dog who scribbles rhymes
About my many happy times.
I wrote this book to make it clear
That I have fun around the year.

Learning about the 12 months of the year is more fun than ever...

Dog Days: Rhymes Around the Year

By: Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Dyanna Wolcott

I am a dog who scribbles rhymes
About my many happy times.
I wrote this book to make it clear
That I have fun around the year.

Learning about the twelve months of the year is more fun than...

Dragons are Singing Tonight

By: Jack Prelutsky

For Laughing Out Louder: More Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone

By: Jack Prelutsky

In a splendidly silly sequel to their 1991 collaboration, For Laughing Out Loud, Jack Prelutsky and Marjorie Priceman return with 72 hilarious short verses guaranteed to leave kids weak with laughter.  There...

Funny Poems

By: Jack Prelutsky

Good Sports

By: Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by: Chris Raschka

Exhilarating, all-new, kid-friendly rhymes capture the range of emotions, from winning to losing to the sheer joy of participating, that children experience as they discover the games of their choice....

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

By: Dr. Seuss with some help from Jack Prelutsky & Lane Smith

Started by Dr. Seuss, finished by Jack Prelutsky, and illustrated by Lane Smith, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! is a joyous ode to individuality starring unsinkable teacher Miss Bonkers and the quirky Diffendoofer...

Imagine That! Poems of Never-Was

By: Jack Prelutsky

There's the Flotz who gobbles dots (watch out if you have freckles), the Phillyloo Bird and the Wendigo, the Hum Bug Machine and the Ogglewop...just try to imagine them! This glorious gathering of 50 poems...

It's Thanksgiving

By: Jack Prelutsky

Monday's Troll

By: Jack Prelutsky


By: Jack Prelutsky


By: Jack Prelutsky

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

By: Jack Prelutsky

First published in 1986 and just as fresh and relevant today, this widely acclaimed, child-friendly poetry anthology is now being reissued with a striking new jacket. In his introduction to this book Jim Trelease,...

Ride A Purple Pelican

By: Jack Perlutsky

Rolling Harvey Down the Hill

By: Jack Prelutsky

Something BIG Has Been Here

By: Jack Prelutsky

The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury

By: Selected by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by: Meilo So

"Until this century, most children's poetry was either syrupy sweet or overblown and didactic, and tended to talk down to its readers. Contemporary children's poets have thrown all that condescension and moralizing out the window,...

The New Kid on the Block

By: Jack Prelutsky

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

By: Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by: Arnold Lobel

The most accessible and joyous introduction to the world of poetry!

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation's...

The Swamps of Sleethe

By: Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by: Jimmy Pickering

Jack Prelutsky’s exploration of outer space is not for the faint of heart. No friendly little E.T.–type aliens await your arrival. There are many imaginative ways to perish in these darkly...

Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast

By: Jack Prelutsky