Good poetry for children is rare. Few collections, few single poems in fact, survive beyond a few years of popularity. There are exceptions -- the poetry and verse of Walter de la Mare, Lewis Carroll, and Edward Lear come to mind. Still rarer is successful children's poetry by a poet known equally for other work, such as Christina Rossetti.
These verses -- deceptively simple, light, often like a nursery rhyme in character -- consider such topics as childhood activities, children's cruelty and gentleness, roses and wild flowers, nesting birds and farm animals, cold winter and blossoming spring. Many pose riddles and conundrums ("A hill has no leg, but has a foot;/A wine-glass a stem, but not a root").
This is the only edition in print to reproduce the poems with the illustrations which originally accompanied them. Engravings by Arthur Hughes, one of the best-known illustrators of the Victorian era, catch the mood of each verse.
Sing-Song is a fitting name for this collection: many of the verses capture the cadence of the ballad. Children will enjoy their music. Parents will find the simple content and lyrical language of the verses ideal for reading aloud.