Treasuring Poetry: Meet children’s author, illustrator and poet, Judy Mastrangelo #review #poetry #childrensfiction

Today, I am delighted to welcome talented children’s author, illustrator and poet, Judy Mastrangelo, as my Treasuring Poetry guest with her new book of poems for children.

Which of your own poem is your favourite?

SWAN BOAT                                                                                     

by Judy Mastrangelo

A Graceful Swan Boat                                                                

glides through quiet waters.


Sing to me my little ones of

Lands where Dreams are Born.


Sky Dreams, Cloud Dreams,

Castles full of Fairy Tales.

Lands where Elves dwell,

and Fairies dance till morn.

This is a beautiful poem, Judy.

What inspired you to write this poem?

Being an illustrator/artist, plus an author, I often begin a creation with an image that appears in my imagination.  I call it a “Mind Painting”. This little poem came to me along with the Fairy image, with its lyrical song-like verse.  The rhythm of the words seemed to go along with the gentle rocking of the Fairy Swan Boat as it floated down a magical stream in Fairyland.

What are your plans for your poetry going forward?

I’m now working on some books of original fantasy poems that I’m illustrating with my artwork.

What is your favourite poem?


by Eugene Field

Oh, a wonderful horse is the Fly-Away Horse–
Perhaps you have seen him before;
Perhaps, while you slept, his shadow has swept
Through the moonlight that floats on the floor.
For it’s only at night, when the stars twinkle bright,
That the Fly-Away Horse, with a neigh
And a pull at his rein and a toss of his mane,
Is up on his heels and away!
The moon in the sky, as he gallopeth by,
Cries: “Oh! What a marvelous sight!”
And the Stars in dismay hide their faces away
In the lap of old Grandmother Night.
It is yonder, out yonder, the Fly-Away Horse
Speedeth ever and ever away–
Over meadows and lane, over mountains and plains,
Over streamlets that sing at their play;
And over the sea like a ghost sweepeth he,
While the ships they go sailing below,
And he speedeth so fast that the men on the mast
Adjudge him some portent of woe.
“What ho, there!” they cry,
As he flourishes by
With a whisk of his beautiful tail;
And the fish in the sea
Are as scared as can be,
From the nautilus up to the whale!
And the Fly-Away Horse seeks those far-away lands
You little folk dream of at night–
Where candy-trees grow, and honey-brooks flow,
And corn-fields with popcorn are white;
And the beasts in the wood are ever so good
To children who visit them there–
What glory astride of a lion to ride,
Or to wrestle around with a bear!
The monkeys, they say:
“Come on, let us play,”
And they frisk in the coconut-trees:
While the parrots, that cling
To the peanut-vines sing

And fan a cool wind with their wings!

Or converse with comparative ease!
Off! scamper to bed — you shall ride him to-night!
For, as soon as you’ve fallen asleep,
With a jubilant neigh he shall bear you away
Over forest and hillside and deep!

Eugene Field is a new poet to me, but I loved this poem best from your new collection.

Why do you like this poem?

I feel that Eugene Field is one of the most beloved poets who wrote only for children.  I feel a connection with him in that respect, among other aspects of his art, since the majority of my books are also geared toward the “Young and Young at heart”. 

His poems are beautiful, imaginative, and full of a dreamy quality that children love.  He’s known as the “Poet of Childhood”. This poem speaks to me with its childlike fantasy that conjures up some delightful images in my mind, and I thoroughly enjoyed creating paintings to illustrate it.

But tell us, my dear, all you see and you hear
In those beautiful lands over there,
Where the Fly-Away Horse wings his far-away course
With the wee one assigned to his care.
Then grandma will cry
In amazement: “Oh, my!”
And she’ll think it could never be so.
And only we two
Shall know it is true–
You and I, little precious! shall know!

Poems to Dream on by Judy Mastrangelo

What Amazon says

Artist Judy Mastrangelo’s magical and colorful paintings beautifully bring to life this collection of famous and beloved poetry, written by great poets of the past. Here are a few of her favorite poems she has chosen to illustrate for this enchanting anthology:

From Robert Louis Stevenson’s volume “A Child’s Garden of Verses”, you can have fun flying up in the air with “The Swing”, and looking for tiny Garden Fairies in his poem “The Flowers”. Eugene Field, known as “The Poet of Childhood”, recounts a comical “Duel” of the whimsical Gingham Dog and Calico Cat. And his lovely “Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street” takes us to visit her wondrous Land of Dreams. Joyce Kilmer expresses the beauty of “Trees” who wear “a nest of robins in their hair” in his celebrated poem. You will recognize the popular lines “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small”, in the poem by Cecil Frances Alexander. The funny “Three Little Kittens” will give you a chuckle as they search for their mittens, and you will marvel at the beauty of the “road from earth to sky” in “The Rainbow”, by Christina Rossetti. The poem “Toyland”, written by Glen MacDonough, contains the familiar verse “Toyland, toyland, Little girl and boy land”. Thiswas set to music for the charming operetta “Babes in Toyland” by Victor Herbert.

Judy has also included some of her own original poems that she wrote and illustrated, such as the “Graceful Swan Boat”, in which you can sail away “to lands where dreams are born”. From her series “Garden Gates”, you will enjoy playing with children in the Buttercups, having a Foxglove Tea Party, marching in a Tulip Parade, and making a wish on a Water Lily Pond.

Both Children and Adults of all ages will delight in reading this engaging medley of poetry, as well as looking at Judy’s captivating, detailed, and stunning artwork, which enhances and illustrates it so perfectly. In her “Poems To Dream On”, she has created an endearing and tender book, which will be cherished by readers for many years to come.

My review

Poems to Dream on is a beautiful edition to Judy Mastrangelo’s family of books. She has selected several delightful poems and songs by a variety of poets, including a few contributions she penned herself, and illustrated them with her wonderfully colourful illustrations.

Although I am a great lover of children’s nursery rhymes and poems, several of the poems in this collection are new to me, including The Fly-Away Horse, The Duel, and The Rock-a-By Lady by Eugene Field and The Sandman by Margaret Thomson Janvier.

One particularly gorgeous verse from The Fly-Away Horse is as follows:
“And the Fly-Away Horse
Seeks those far-away lands
You little folk dream of at night.
Where candy-trees grow,
And honey-brooks flow,
And corn-fields with popcorn are white.”

My favourite of Judy’s own poems is Buttercups:
“Buttercups are magical.
They’re gifts from
Heaven above,
Which bring us Joy and Happiness
In golden cups of Love.”

This book is perfect to introduce children to the magic of poetry and fantasy with Judy’s fantastic illustrations to bring the words to life. 

Purchase Poems to Dream on

Amazon US

Judy Mastrangelo Amazon Author Page

About Judy Mastrangelo

Judy Mastrangelo has written and illustrated several books, which include themes of Poetry, Fairytales, and Fairies. She follows in the tradition of “The Art of the Golden Age of Illustration”. Some of her titles include: a series of four Fairy books: “Portal to the Land of Fae” which include Flower Fairies, Fairy Tale Fairies, Secrets of the Fairies, and Mystical Fairies. Additional books include “What Do Bunnies Do All Day?”, “Enchanted Fairy Tales”, which she illustrated and adapted, “The Star”, illustrating the poem Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and her new fairy tale “The Magic Blanket”. Besides creating books, her artwork has been used in several Inspirational Oracle Card Decks, as well as some that she has also written herself. She licenses her artwork for many products, including Art Prints and Wall Murals. Judy has taught Creative Drama and Dance as well as Painting, to Children and Adults, and has directed her own Community Theater for all ages. As part of her work, she enjoys encouraging people to develop their own Imagination and Artistic Talents.

You can visit her at

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9 about Count Sugular and his family who hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Robbie has a blog, where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle



Twitter: BakeandWrite


Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books


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41 Comments on “Treasuring Poetry: Meet children’s author, illustrator and poet, Judy Mastrangelo #review #poetry #childrensfiction”

  1. Thank you for sharing Judy and her work here, Robbie! I smile from the heart whenever I see her FB posts of artwork. Such a talented soul. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for introducing Judy to us, Robbie. I love her poem and her illustrations are amazing. Her book sounds delightful, too, and “Buttercups” is lovely. 💞

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Staci Troilo says:

    Wow, Judy is a talent. This post reminded me of A Child’s Garden of Verses, a poetry book my parents bought me when I was young. I loved reading the verses and looking at the accompanying artwork.

    Thanks for hosting, Robbie. My best to both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • HI Staci, I still have that book and several others. I just love nursery rhyme books. I only have a few survivors from my girlhood but all of these made it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Staci Troilo says:

        The version I had was a Little Golden Book, and I haven’t seen it with the many books my parents gave me from when I was young. I hope it’s still at their house. I have a set of three very tall hard cover books that are nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and other stories that did make it to my house, and I treasure those (and the other ones) dearly. How nice that you still have so many books from your youth.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m going to jump in here, because I am a huge fan of nursery rhymes. My grandmother and I would recite them them during our nap time until one of us fell asleep, and she had a huge book of Mother Goose ryhmes. Such found memories. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • Staci Troilo says:

          I love that, Kaye. Books have a way of bringing people together. I know I treasure my memories of family reading to me and me reading to my kids. I’m really looking forward to reading to my granddaughter. So far, we’ve only attempted one-word board or bath books. Soon she’ll be ready for a little more. I can’t wait.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Judy Mastrangelo says:

      Thanks so much Staci! I enjoyed creating this book very much. In it, I’ve used several of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses, including “THE SWING” and “THE FLOWERS”. He was delightful poet for children, along with the other poets I’ve featured. He had quite a varied output, which included “Treasure Island” etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    My October Treasuring Poetry guest is talented children’s author, poet and illustrator, Judy Mastrangelo. Judy is sharing her thoughts on poetry and her favourite poems as well as a few gorgeous illustrations from her new book, Poems to dream on. I have shared my review. Thanks for hosting, Kaye Lynne Booth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. beetleypete says:

    Shared both posts on Twitter, Robbie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Robbie, I am so pleased to find Judy featured here, on “Treasuring Poetry”. She’s a wonderful choice for a guest. So talented.

    Welcome Judy! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been a fan of your work for several years, since back when I reviewed one of your books and then your lovely oracle cards. So pleased to find you here and learn of your recent project. How lovely. 🙂


  7. Kerfe says:

    The colors in the paintings are beautiful. Great clarity and depth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy Mastrangelo says:

      Thanks for your kind words Kerfe. I enjoy creating paintings very much, and have been doing it all my life. Some of my favorite Artists are those of the “Golden Age of Illustration”, and I’m greatly inspired by them, as well as many other great Artists throughout the ages. I often study their work and learn much from them. I feel that all forms of Great Art enhance the Beauty of Life and promote Happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Toni Pike says:

    Exquisite poetry from Judy – lovely to meet her here with Robbie. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy Mastrangelo says:

      So glad you enjoy the poems I selected for this volume Toni. It’s very nice to meet you also Toni. There are so many talented authors through the ages, who wrote delightful poems for children. Eugene Field was one of the greatest and most famous. It was really fun for me to select some of my favorite poets to include in the book.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I hadn’t heard of Eugene Field, but I do remember “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.” I love Judy’s “Swan Boat”! I’ll be sure to take one for my trip to Dreamland tonight. All the best to Judy on her latest book! It would make a fantastic gift for young children, their parents, or their grandparents. Sharing to help spread the word.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Judy Mastrangelo says:

    I want to thank you so very much for writing this blog about my book Robbie. It’s so Beautiful and extremely well written, as always! You’re such a Wonderful, Delightful, and Fantastic person. I really appreciate all of your help. I wish you well with all of your fantastic projects. I know your work is enjoyed by many!❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a delightful review of Judy’s new book Robbie. I love the feel of both poems.
    Buttercup is delightful capturing the essence of magical dreams and children of all ages in our hearts. Her illustrations re dreamy and gorgeous!
    Congrats Judy and thanks for sharing Robbie!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. olganm says:

    A perfect combination of poems and illustrations. They do have a classic feel to them, and they are so bright and colourful. They bring a smile to one’s face. Thanks for sharing the review and this post, Robbie. It sounds like the perfect gift for children or aduls. And congratulations to Judy.

    Liked by 2 people

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