A Child's Garden of Verses {Free eBook}

If you are looking for an introduction to poetry for a young child, A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson is a great option. It is a free eBook in the public domain.

These sweet poems about childhood provide a start in memorization and copywork.

Happy Thought

The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.


Other well-loved poems include “The Cow,” “The Lamplighter,” “The Swing,” “The Land of Story-Books,” and “My Shadow.”  Our own child memorized and copied “Where Go the Boats,” and “Winter-Time” among others (years ago now!).

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.


This classic illustrated by Jessie Wilcox-Smith is a particular favorite edition (second to that illustrated by Tasha Tudor).

Free eBook

  • Have your child choose a favorite poem from the book.
  • Have him read the poem aloud each day.
  • On the first day, have him copy the first stanza into his copywork notebook. On the second day, have him copy the second stanza into his notebook. Follow through until the entire poem has been copied. (You can break this up into as many sessions as necessary to accommodate your own child’s needs.)

Further Investigation

Handwriting Worksheet Creator
Useful for creating copywork pages.

Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson
Copywork already laid out for you at MercyForMarthas!


A Child’s Garden of Verses
This version illustrated by Tasha Tudor is our favorite.

The Stevenson Song-Book: Verses from a Child’s Garden
Rather unique public domain song book with the verses set to music.

Notebooking Pages

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Great for copying and illustrating a poem.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Simple set of pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com