Children's poetry in the United States: The best of the 1980s

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Suggested Reading List Picture Books

  1. Carle, Eric,Animals Animals. New York: Philomel, 1989. [anthology for young to intermediate]

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  2. de Regniers, Beatrice,This Big Cat and Other Cats I've Known. New York: Crown, 1985. [K-4]

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  3. Fisher, Aileen,When It Comes to Bugs, Chris and Bruce Degen, ill. New York: Harper, 1986 [K-4]

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  4. Greenfield, Eloise,Daydreamers. Tom Feelings, ill. New York: Dial, 1981. [ages 8–10]

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  5. Greenfield, Eloise,Under the Sunday Tree. Amos Ferguson, ill. New York: Harper, 1988. [grades 2–5]

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  6. Little, Lessie Jones.Children of Long Ago. Jan Spivey Gilchrist, ill. New York: Philomel, 1988. [young to intermediate]

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  7. Livingston, Myra Cohn.A Circle of Seasons. Leonard Everett Fisher, ill. New York: Holiday, 1982. [all ages]

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  8. Livingston, Myra Cohn,Sky Songs. Leonard Everett Fisher, ill. New York: Holiday, 1984. [intermediate]

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  9. Livingston, Myra Cohn.Earth Songs. Leonard Everett Fisher, ill. New York: Holiday, 1986 [young to intermediate]

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  10. Livingston, Myra Cohn,Space Songs. Leonard Everett Fisher, ill. New York: Holiday, 1988. [young to intermediate]

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  11. Livingston, Myra Cohn,Up in the Air. Leonard Everett Fisher, ill. New York: Holiday House, 1989. [ages 5–8]

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  12. Lobel, Arnold,The Book of Pigericks: Pig Limericks. New York: Harper, 1983. [young-intermediate]

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  13. Lobel, Arnold,Whiskers and Rhyme. New York: Greenwillow, 1985. [ages 3–6]

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  14. Merriam, Eve,You Be Good and I'll Be Night: Jump-on-the-Bed Poems. Karen Lee Schmidt, ill. New York: Morrow, 1988. [ages 3–6]

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  15. Prelutsky, Jack,Ride a Purple Pelican. Garth Williams, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1986. [ages 2–6]

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  16. Prelutsky, Jack,Poems of A. Nonny Mouse. Henrik Drescher, ill. New York: Knopf, 1989. [anthology for younger readers]

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  17. Singer, Marilyn.Turtle in July. Jerry Pinkney, ill. New York: MacMillan, 1989. [grades 3–5]

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  18. Swann, Brian, ed.,A Basket Full of White Eggs: Riddle Poems. New York: Orchard-Watts, 1988. [grades 1–3]

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  19. Willard, Nancy,A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers. Alice and Martin Provensen, ills. New York: Harcourt, 1981. [K-5]

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  20. Yolen, Jane,Ring of Earth: A Child's Book of Seasons. John Wallner, ill. New York: Harcourt, 1986. [ages 3–6]

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  21. Yolen, Jane,Best Witches: Poems for Halloween. Elise Primavera, ill. New York: Putnam, 1989. [ages 8–10]

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Single-Author Collections

  1. Adoff, Arnold,All the Colors of the Race. John Steptoe, ill. New York: Lothrop, 1982. [grades 4–6]

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  2. Adoff, Arnold,Sports Pages. Steve Kuzma, ill. New York: Lippincott, 1986. [ages's 8–11]

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  3. Adoff, Arnold,Chocolate Dreams. Turi MacCombie, ill. New York: Lothrop, 1989. [grades 3–6]

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  4. Armour, Richard,Insects All Around Us. Paul Galdone, ill. New York: McGraw, 1981. [young to intermediate]

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  5. Bodecker, N. M.,A Person from Britain Whose Head Was the Shape of a Mitten and Other Limericks. New York: Atheneum, 1980 [intermediate]

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  6. Bodecker, N. M.,Pigeon Cubes and Other Verse. New York: Atheneum, 1982. [intermediate]

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  7. Bodecker, N. M.,Snowman Sniffles and Other Verse. New York: Atheneum, 1983. [intermediate]

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  8. Cassidy, Sylvia.Roomrimes: Poems. Michele Chessare, ill. New York: Crowell, 1987. [intermediate]

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  9. Causley, Charles,Early in the Morning: A Collection of New Poems. Michael Foreman, ill. New York: Viking Kestrel, 1987. [intermediate]

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  10. Ciardi, John,Doodle Soup. Merle Nacht, ill. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1985. [young-intermediate]

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  11. Esbensen, Barbara Jaster,Words with Wrinkled Knees: Animal Poems. John Stadler, ill. New York: Crowell, 1986. [ages 2–5]

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  12. Fisher, Aileen,Rabbits, Rabbits. Gail Niemann, ill. New York: Harper, 1983. [young-intermediate]

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  13. Fleischman, Paul,I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices. Ken Nutt, ill. New York: Harper, 1985. [all ages]

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  14. Fleischman, Paul,Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. Eric Beddows, ill. New York: Harper, 1988. [grades 4–6]

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  15. Forrester, Victoria,A Latch Against the Wind. New York: Atheneum, 1985. [intermediate]

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  16. Holman, Felice,The Song in My Head. Jim Spanfeller, ill. New York: Scribner's, 1985. [grades 3–6]

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  17. Hooper, Patricia,A Bundle of Beasts. Mark Steele, ill. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1987. [ages 4–6]

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  18. Janeczko, Paul B.,Brickyard Summer: Poems. Ken Rush, ill. New York: Orchard, 1989. [intermediate-older]

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  19. Kennedy, X. J.,Did Adam Name the Vinegarroon? Heidi Johanna Selig, ill. Boston: Godine, 1982. [intermediate]

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  20. Kennedy, X. J.,The Forgetful Wishing Well: Poems for Young People. Monica Inoisa, ill. New York: Atheneum, 1985. [intermediate]

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  21. Kennedy, X. J.,Brats. James Watts, ill. New York: McElderry, 1986. [intermediate]

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  22. Kennedy, X. J.,Ghastlies, Goops, and Pincushions. New York: McEldery Books, 1989 [intermediate]

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  23. Kuskin, Karla,Dogs and Dragons, Trees and Dreams: A Collection of Poems. New York: Harper, 1980. [ages 7–9]

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  24. Kuskin, Karla,Something Sleeping in the Hall. New York: Harper, 1985. [ages 3–7]

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  25. Livingston, Myra Cohn,No Way of Knowing: Dallas Poems. New York: Atheneum, 1980. [older]

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  26. Livingston, Myra Cohn,Celebrations. Leonard Everett Fisher, ill. New York: Holiday House, 1985. [all ages]

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  27. Livingston, Myra Cohn,There Was a Place and Other Poems. New York: McElderry, 1988. [ages 9–11]

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  28. McCord, David,Speak Up: More Rhymes of the Never Was and Always Is. Marc Simont, ill. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980. [intermediate]

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  29. Merriam, Eve,A Word of Two With You: New Rhymes for Young Readers. John Nez, ill. New York: Atheneum, 1981. [intermediate]

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  30. Merriam, Eve.Blackberry Ink. Hans Wilhelm, ill. New York: Morrow, 1985. [K-2]

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  31. Merriam, Eve,Fresh Paint: New Poems. Woodcuts by David Frampton, New York: Macmillan, 1986. [intermediate]

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  32. Merriam, Eve,Halloween ABC. Lane Smith, ill. New York: Macmillian, 1987. [ages 8–10]

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  33. Merriam, Eve,Chortles: New and Selected Wordplay Poems. Sheila Hamanaka, ill. New York: Morrow, 1989. [all ages]

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  34. Merriam, Eve,A Poem for a Pickle. Funnybone Verses. Sheila Hamanaka, ill. New York: Morrow, 1989. [ages 4–7]

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  35. Morrison, Lillian,Overheard in a Bubble Chamber and Other Science Poems. Eyre de Lanux, ill. New York: Lothrop, Lee, Shepard, 1981. [older]

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  36. Norman, Charles,The Hornbeam Tree and Other Poems. New York: Holt, 1988. [young-intermediate]

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  37. Pomerantz, Charlotte,The Tamarindo Puppy: And Other Poems. Byron Barton, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1980. [young]

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  38. Pomerantz, Charlotte,If I Had a Paka: Poems in Eleven Languages. Nancy Tafuri, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1982. [younger]

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  39. Prelutsky, Jack,The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. Arnold Lobel, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1980 [intermediate]

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  40. Prelutsky, Jack,The Baby Uggs Are Hatching. James Stevenson, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1982. [ages 5–8]

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  41. Prelutsky, Jack,The Sheriff of Rottenshot: Poems. Victoria Chess, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1982. [intermediate]

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  42. Prelutsky, Jack,Zoo Doings: Animal Poems. Paul O. Zelinsky, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1983. [intermediate]

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  43. Prelutsky, Jack,It's Snowing, It's Snowing. Jeanne Titherington, ill. New York: Greenwilow, 1984. [younger]

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  44. Prelutsky, Jack,The New Kid on the Block. James Stevenson, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1984. [intermediate]

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  45. Prelutsky, Jack,Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast: Dinosaur Poems. Arnold Lobel, ill. New York: Greenwillow, 1988. [younger]

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  46. Ryder, JoAnne,Inside Turtle's Shell and Other Poems of the Field. Susan Bonners, ill. New York: MacMillan, 1985. [grades 2–5]

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  47. Rylant, Cynthia,Waiting to Waltz: A Childhood. Stephen Gammell, ill. Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury, 1984. [younger]

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  48. Silverstein, Shel,A Light in the Attic. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. [ages 9–11]

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  49. Steig, Jeanne,Consider the Lemming. William Steig, ill. New York: Farrar/Micahel di Capua, 1988. [intermediate]

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  50. Turner, Anne Warren,Street Talk. Catherine Updike, ill. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1986. [grades 2–4]

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  51. Viorst, Judith,If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and Their Parents. Lynne Cherry, ill. New York: Atheneum, 1982. [intermediate]

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  52. Worth, Valerie,Small Poems Again. Natalie Babbitt, ill. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1986. [intermediate]

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  53. Yolen, Jane,How Beastly! A Menagerie of Nonsense Poems. James Marshall, ill. New York: Collins, 1980. [intermediate]

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Anthologies

  1. Bierhorst, John, ed.,The Sacred Path: Spells, Prayers, and Power Songs of the American Indians. New York: Morrow, 1983. [grades 5 and up]

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  2. de Paola, Tomie, comp./ill.,Tomie de Paola's Book of Poems. New York: Putnam, 1988. [intermediate]

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  3. Farber, Norma, and Myra Cohn Livinston, eds.,These Small Stones. New York: Harper, 1987. [grades 4–6]

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  4. Hall, Donald, ed.,The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America. New York: Oxford, 1985. [intermediate]

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  5. Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp.,The Sky Is Full of Song. Dirk Zimmer, ill. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. [intermediate]

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  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp.,A Song in Stone: City Poems. Anna Audette, photos. New York: Crowell, 1983. [ages 7–9]

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  7. Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp.,Dinosaurs. Murray Tinkelman, ill. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1987. [intermediate]

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  8. Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp.,Side by Side: Poems to Read Together. Hilary Knight, ill. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988. [younger]

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  9. Janeczko, Paul, ed.,Don't Forget to Fly: A Cycle of Modern Poems. Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury, 1981. [older]

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  10. Janeczko, Paul, ed.,Pocket Poems. Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury, 1985. [ages 11 and up]

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  11. Janeczko, Paul, ed.,Going Over to Your Place: Poems for Each Other Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury, 1987. [older]

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  12. Janeczko, Paul, comp.,This Delicious Day: 65 Poems. New York: Orchard-Watts, 1987. [grades 5–7]

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  13. Janeczko, Paul, comp.,The Music of What Happens: Poems That Tell Stories. New York: Orchard-Watts, 1988. [grades 7 and up]

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  14. Kennedy, X. J., and Dorothy M. Kennedy, eds.,Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry. Karen Ann Weinhaus, ill. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982. [ages 8–12]

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  15. Knudson, R. R., and May Swenson, comps.,American Sports Poems. New York: Orchard/Watts, 1988. [ages 11–17]

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  16. Larrick, Nancy, comp.When the Dark Comes Dancing: A Bedtime Poetry Book. John Wallner, ill. New York: Philomel, 1983. [ages 2–5]

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  17. Larrick, Nancy, comp.,Cats Are Cats. Ed Young, ill. New York: Philomel, 1988. [ages 9–11]

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  18. Livingston, Myra Cohn, ed.,Why Am I Grown So Cold? Poems of the Unknowable. New York: Atheneum, 1982. [intermediate and older]

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  19. Livingston, Myra Cohn, ed.,Cat Poems. Trina Schart Hyman, ill. New York: Holiday House, 1984. [intermediate]

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  20. Livingston, Myra Cohn, ed.,Poems for Jewish Holidays. Lloyd Bloom, ill. New York: Holiday House, 1986. [intermediate]

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  21. Livingston, Myra Cohn, comp.,Halloween Poems. Stephen Gammell, ill. New York: Holiday House, 1989. [intermediate]

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  22. McCullough, Frances, ed.,Love Is like a Lion's Tooth. New York: Harper, 1984. [ages 12 and up]

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  23. Prelutsky, Jack,The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. Arnold Lobel, ill. New York: Random, 1983. [grades 1–6]

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  24. Smith, William Jay, comp.,A Green Place: Modern Poems. Jacques Hnizdovsky, ill. New York: Delacorte, 1982. [grades 1–6]

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  25. Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, comp.,Dancing Teepees: Poems of American Indian Youth. Stephen Gammell, ill. New York: Holiday House, 1989. [grades 2–5]

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Authors

Additional information

Shelley J. Crisp has taught literature courses, including children's literature, for the past eight years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she has also directed a program in Women's Studies. She is now working on a study of Victorian women poets.

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Crisp, S.J. Children's poetry in the United States: The best of the 1980s. Child Lit Educ 22, 143–160 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01139121

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Keywords

  • Social Context