Listen to Children: The Jack Prelutsky Antiquarian Children's Poetry Collection


April 1, 2024 through December 13, 2024


Special Collections | Wilson 6
Three illustrations side-by-side showing an owl holding an "ABC's" book, an excerpt from sheet music, and a small child surrounded by ducks on a grassy lawn. All images were taken from children's poetry books that are available at Western Libraries.

Selected from nearly 1,200 rare books donated by award-winning author and inaugural U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky to the Children’s Poetry Collections at Western Libraries, the material in this exhibition spans two hundred and fifty years in the history of poetry for the young and young at heart. Topical themes include didactic poetry, Mother Goose, nature, nonsense verse for children and adults, imaginary voyages, illustration, and moveable books. The exhibit also looks at how poetry has been used to introduce children to history and current events.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, and will be available for viewing Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment (closed weekends and holidays) in Special Collections (Wilson 6th floor).

For more information about the exhibition or to schedule class or group visits, please contact Michael Taylor, Special Collections Librarian ( | (360) 650-3097), or Sylvia Tag, Youth Literature Librarian ( | (360) 650-7992).