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Poetry: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about poetry is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From A Poem for Peter to What I Like! there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about poetry? Let us know!

Top 10 Poetry Books

A Poem for Peter book
#1
A Poem for Peter
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Lou Fancher, Steve Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day. The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book. For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.

Chicken Lily book
#2
Chicken Lily
Written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

"Through puns and poetry, Chicken Lily overcomes her fears and reads a poem onstage at her school poetry jam"--

Follow Follow book
#3
Follow Follow
Written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Once upon a time, Mirror Mirror, a brilliant book of fairy tale themed reversos–a poetic form in which the poem is presented forward and then backward–became a smashing success. Now a second book is here with more witty double takes on well-loved fairy tales such as Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid. Read these clever poems from top to bottom and they mean one thing. Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and they mean something else–it is almost like magic! A celebration of sight, sound, and story, this book is a marvel to read again and again.

Mirror Mirror book
#4
Mirror Mirror
Written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

What’s brewing when two favorites—poetry and fairy tales—are turned (literally) on their heads? It’s a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories. First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.

The Road Not Taken book
#5
The Road Not Taken
Written by Robert Frost and illustrated by Vivian Mineker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For all of life's adventures comes this beautifully illustrated companion inspired by Robert Frost's perennial poem "The Road Not Taken." Heartwarming illustrations of a young boy journeying through a yellow wood accompany the original text of the poem. When a fork in the road arises for the boy, so too does the first of life's many choices. And as the poem progresses, so does the boy's life: college, career, marriage, family, loss, and, by journey's end, the sweet satisfaction of a life fully lived. The first children's book ever made of Frost's famous poem, this moving presentation makes an inspiring gift for graduation, marriage, career moves, and all of life's exciting roads.

The Night Before My Birthday book
#6
The Night Before My Birthday
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In rhyming text based on "The Night Before Christmas," a child is filled with excitement and anticipation while helping with preparations for the next day's birthday party, and even an ice cream emergency cannot spoil the day.

Trees book
#7
Trees
Written by Verlie Hutchens and illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Every tree has its own story to tell in this evocative collection of poems celebrating the many varieties—from maple to willow to oak. There are so many different kinds of trees in the world, and each has special qualities that make it unique. This lyrical, fanciful collection of poems celebrates the singular beauty of each tree, from the gnarled old apple tree to the tall and graceful aspen.

Kindergarten, Here I Come! book
#8
Kindergarten, Here I Come!
Written by D.J. Steinberg and illustrated by Mark Chambers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Get ready for school with these fun poems! This adorable picture book celebrates all the familiar milestones and moments shared by every single kindergartener. Whether it’s the first-day-of-school jitters or the hundredth-day-of-school party, every aspect of the kindergarten experience is introduced with a light and funny poem–not to mention charming illustrations.

Trick-or-Treat book
#9
Trick-or-Treat
Written by Debbie Leppanen and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This frighteningly funny collection of Halloween poems is perfect for sharing! It’s that time of year again... The wind is howling, the leaves are blowing. A sliver of moon is barely showing. And the happy haunters are ready for a monstrous good time! In this collection of fifteen sweet, silly, and seriously fun rhyming poems, young readers will meet hungry ghouls, sneaky ghosts, and frisky skeletons, all who love partying in the moonlight. It’s a Halloween spook-tacular like no other!

Kissed by the Moon book
#10
Kissed by the Moon
Written and illustrated by Alison Lester
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

May you, my baby, sleep softly at night, and when dawn lights the world, may you wake up to birdsong. Part poem, part lullaby, this gentle story celebrates a baby’s wonder at our beautiful world. From Australia’s favorite picture-book creator, Alison Lester, comes a timeless book to share and to treasure.

Books About Word Play & Poetry

Mirror Mirror book
#1
Mirror Mirror
Written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

What’s brewing when two favorites—poetry and fairy tales—are turned (literally) on their heads? It’s a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories. First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.

Echo Echo book
#2
Echo Echo
Written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A new book of unique reversible poems based on Greek myths from the creator of Mirror Mirror What happens when you hold up a mirror to poems about Greek myths? You get a brand-new perspective on the classics! And that is just what happens in Echo Echo, the newest collection of reverso poems from Marilyn Singer. Read one way, each poem tells the story of a familiar myth; but when read in reverse, the poems reveal a new point of view! Readers will delight in uncovering the dual points of view in well-known legends, including the stories of Pandora’s box, King Midas and his golden touch, Perseus and Medusa, Pygmalion, Icarus and Daedalus, Demeter and Persephone, and Echo and Narcissus. These cunning verses combine with beautiful illustrations to create a collection of fourteen reverso poems to treasure.

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems book
#3
The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems
Written by Paul B Janeczko and illustrated by Richard Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Be they practical (how to mix a pancake or how to bird-watch) or fanciful (how to scare monsters or how to be a snowflake), the poems in this book boast a flair and joy that you won’t find in any instruction manual. Poets from Kwame Alexander to Pat Mora to Allan Wolf share the way to play hard, to love nature, and to be grateful. Soft, evocative illustrations will encourage readers to look at the world with an eye to its countless possibilities.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I'm Just No Good at Rhyming - Meet the 21st century Shel Silverstein! Chris Harris's debut poetry collection molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. This entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner, from the ongoing rivalry between the author and illustrator, to the mysteriously misnumbered pages that can only be deciphered by a certain code-cracking poem, to the rhyming fact-checker in the footnotes who points out when "poetic license" gets out of hand. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It's a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It's a mischievous match made in heaven!

  2. The Day the Universe Exploded My Head - Hang on tight for a raucous bounce through the solar system and back -- propelled by funny, fanciful, factually sound poems and exuberant illustrations. The universe poured into me. My brain was overloaded. It smoked and glowed red-hot. And then it actually exploded. Ever wonder what the sun has to say about being the closest star to Earth? Or what Pluto has gotten up to since being demoted to a dwarf planet? Or where rocket ships go when they retire? Listen closely, because maybe, just maybe, your head will explode, too. With poetry that is equal parts accurate and entertaining -- and illustrations that are positively out of this world -- this book will enthrall amateur stargazers and budding astrophysicists as it reveals many of the wonders our universe holds. Space travelers in search of more information will find notes about the poems, a glossary, and a list of resources at the end.

Want to see even more books about poetry and word play?

How about books about word play?

Books About Nature & Poetry

Kissed by the Moon book
#1
Kissed by the Moon
Written and illustrated by Alison Lester
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

May you, my baby, sleep softly at night, and when dawn lights the world, may you wake up to birdsong. Part poem, part lullaby, this gentle story celebrates a baby’s wonder at our beautiful world. From Australia’s favorite picture-book creator, Alison Lester, comes a timeless book to share and to treasure.

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys book
#2
Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys
Written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The wind and I play tug-of-war with my new kite. The wind is winning. When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash through in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to sword fight with in the winter. Nature also has a way of making a guy appreciate important stuff—like how many rocks it takes to dam up a stream, or how much snow equals a day off from school. So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree climbing and kite flying? Why, guyku, of course!

A Celebration of the Seasons: Goodnight Songs book
#3
A Celebration of the Seasons: Goodnight Songs
Written and illustrated by Margaret Wise Brown
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Now this collection of beautiful nature-themed poems by Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon) comes in an adorable board edition--still gorgeously illustrated by 12 award-winning artists. Fluffy clouds, butterflies, furry bunnies, and life from a bug's-eye view: This stunning sequel to TheNew York Times bestseller Goodnight Songs celebrates the beauty and wonder of nature all year long. Once again, a treasure trove of Margaret Wise Brown's newly discovered verses receives loving treatment from 12 award-winning artists, including Floyd Cooper, Peter Brown, David Small, Molly Idle, and Bob Staake. From a little bear singing one morning in May to a soft snowfall, mysterious, deep, and glowing, each song is magical. The array of award-winning illustrators who bring Wise Brown's songs to life are: Peter Brown, Floyd Cooper, Leo Espinosa, Blanca Gómez, Molly Idle, Elly MacKay, Dadu Shin, David Small, Bob Staake, Satoe Tone, Frank Viva, and Mick Wiggins.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Flower Fairies of the Summer - This beautiful reissue of the well-loved classic Flower Fairies title is complete with Barker’s original poems and exquisite artwork. Each page features her recreation of nature’s beauty and the enchanting world of the fairies. Essential background readings to the bestselling Fairyopolis, this book provides a glimpse into the enchanting world of the Flower Fairies.

  2. Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare - Love! Betrayal! Ambition! Tragedy! Jealousy! Williams Shakespeare's universal themes continue to resonate with readers of all ages more than 400 years after his death. This wonderful, fully illustrated book introduces children to the Bard and more than thirty of his most famous and accessible verses, sonnets, and speeches. From “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” and “All the world’s a stage,” the words of the greatest playwright and poet spring to life on the page. The next generation of readers, poets, and actors will be entranced by these works of Shakespeare. Each poem is illustrated and includes an explanation by an expert and definitions of important words to give kids and parents the fullest explanation of their content and impact.

  3. Flower Fairies of the Autumn - Experience the beauty and the magic of Cicely Mary Barker’s famous Flower Fairies, with a new edition of Flower Fairies of the Autumn. The magic and loveliness of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies, newly rejacketed and updated with a contemporary look, is a perfect gift for Flower Fairies fans and a new generation of readers. First published in the 1920s, Cicely Mary Barker’s original Flower Fairies books have been loved for generations. The book features poems and full-color illustrations of over 20 flowers and their guardian fairies.

  4. Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse - Who is the predator, and who is the prey? Illuminating poetry and vivid artwork capture the awe-inspiring ways that creatures use their resources to stay alive. Who wins, the assassin bug or the spider? The bat or the frog? The ant or the honey bee? The male firefly . . . or the female? The battle for survival between predator and prey is sometimes a fight, sometimes a dance, and often involves spying, lying, or even telling the truth to get ahead. Biologist and debut author Susannah Buhrman-Deever explores these clashes in poems and prose explanations that offer both sides of the story. With beautiful, realistic illustrations that are charged with drama, Bert Kitchen captures the breathtaking moments when predator meets prey. Readers who hunger for more about the art of survival will find an extensive list of references in the back.

Want to see even more books about poetry and nature?

How about books about nature?

Books About Animals & Poetry

Water Sings Blue book
#1
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.

Boom! Bellow! Bleat! book
#2
Boom! Bellow! Bleat!
Written by Georgia Heard and illustrated by Aaron DeWitt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

This playful collection of poems--peppered with an astounding variety of animal sounds--is meant to be read aloud together. These poems for two or more voices explore the myriad sounds animals make--from a frog's jug-o-rum to a fish's boom! to an elephant's bark. Laced with humor, the poems are a delight to read aloud and cover all major classes of animals: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, even a crustacean! Readers will learn how to estimate the temperature by counting a cricket's chirps and see how creatures make sounds at specific pitches and frequencies, so that they can be heard despite other noise around them. Extensive end notes provide more information on the animals and how and why they make the sounds they do. Written by noted children's poet Georgia Heard, this is an ideal collection for parents and children to share, or for a fun, interactive classroom read-aloud.

Sea Star Wishes book
#3
Sea Star Wishes
Written by Eric Ode and illustrated by Erik Brooks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Selected as a Children's Poet Laureate Monthly Book Pick, Sea Star Wishes captures the varied and colorful world of our beautiful coastal shores. Discover the wonders of the sea and enjoy a day at the beach in playful and imaginative poetry and illustrations. In these coastal poems for kids, children meet sea lions, starfish, jellyfish, and other animals in the ocean, and dream about sandcastles and other beach activities. This fun, lyrical children's poetry collection by award-winning children's singer and songwriter Eric Ode features lively illustrations by Washington State Book Award recipient Erik Brooks.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse - Who is the predator, and who is the prey? Illuminating poetry and vivid artwork capture the awe-inspiring ways that creatures use their resources to stay alive. Who wins, the assassin bug or the spider? The bat or the frog? The ant or the honey bee? The male firefly . . . or the female? The battle for survival between predator and prey is sometimes a fight, sometimes a dance, and often involves spying, lying, or even telling the truth to get ahead. Biologist and debut author Susannah Buhrman-Deever explores these clashes in poems and prose explanations that offer both sides of the story. With beautiful, realistic illustrations that are charged with drama, Bert Kitchen captures the breathtaking moments when predator meets prey. Readers who hunger for more about the art of survival will find an extensive list of references in the back.

  2. Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg - Professor and scholar Kate Benzel has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Carl Sandburg divides the poems into poems about people, and poems about people. You'll find classics including "Young Bullfrogs," "Shenandoah", "Jazz Fantasia", "Fog", and 31 more of Sandburg's favorite and most accessible works. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Robert Crawford. This gentle introduction includes commentary, definitions of key words, and an introduction to the poet's life, plus a final synopsis of the author's interpretation of the pieces.

  3. Hidden City - A poetic book highlighting everyday nature The perfect blend of science and poetry, Hidden City demonstrates that nature can thrive anywhere, even in highly populated areas. In this graceful collection of poems, skyscrapers serve as perches for falcons, streetlights attract an insect buffet for hungry bats, and an overgrown urban lot offers shelter to both flora and fauna. Hidden City also includes engageing supplementary materials, which provide scientific information about the animals and plants featured in the book. Coupled with beautiful collage illustrations, the poems in Hidden City offer readers the perfect reminder to notice and care about their environment.

  4. Flutter and Hum/Aleteo y Zumbido - All sorts of animals flutter and hum, dance and stretch, and slither and leap their way through this joyful collection of poems in English and Spanish. Julie Paschkis's poems and art sing in both languages, bringing out the beauty and playfulness of the animal world.

Want to see even more books about poetry and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Love & Poetry

Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare book
#1
Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Love! Betrayal! Ambition! Tragedy! Jealousy! Williams Shakespeare's universal themes continue to resonate with readers of all ages more than 400 years after his death. This wonderful, fully illustrated book introduces children to the Bard and more than thirty of his most famous and accessible verses, sonnets, and speeches. From “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” and “All the world’s a stage,” the words of the greatest playwright and poet spring to life on the page. The next generation of readers, poets, and actors will be entranced by these works of Shakespeare. Each poem is illustrated and includes an explanation by an expert and definitions of important words to give kids and parents the fullest explanation of their content and impact.

How Do I Love Thee? book
#2
How Do I Love Thee?
Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and illustrated by Mati Rose McDonough
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 43rd sonnet from Sonnets from the Portuguese, published in 1850, famously begins, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” The second title in our picture book poem series,How Do I Love Thee? illustrated by Mati Rose McDonough, who illustratedI Carry Your Heart With Me, by E.E. Cummings, follows a father and a son on a fishing trip and captures all of the emotions of Browning’s beloved poem.

Dark-Sparkle Tea: Bedtime Poems book
#3
Dark-Sparkle Tea: Bedtime Poems
Written by Tim J Myers and illustrated by Kelly Cunningham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Bedtime poems to tickle kids' imaginations, nourish their love of language--and send them happily to sleep at bedtime. In this snappy, snoozy, collection, poet and father Tim J. Myers delivers poems to meet kids' every bedtime mood. Share sweet, silly, touching poems about the bedtime shenanigans of smelly baby skunks or electric-guitar-playing hamsters with luminous pastel illustrations that enhance the moonlit mood.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Welcome Song for Baby - A poem describing the uniqueness of a newborn baby and its family's love is accompanied by colorful images of babies with their families.

  2. I Love You All Year Through - A celebration of the love for a child through every season, with delightful artwork by the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of Hoda Kotb's I've Loved You Since Forever. Poetic verse perfectly expresses the unconditional love shared between grown-ups and their precious little ones. Togetherness is always special, whether you are enjoying springtime showers, lazy summer days, or the cozy chill of autumn and winter. The touching message will resonate with parents, grandparents, and anyone who has a little one in their life. A must-have for new parents...and every family's storytime bookshelf!

Want to see even more books about poetry and love?

How about books about love?

Bonus Recommendations

  1. Forever or a Day - What does time mean to you? Sometimes it feels like it could last Forever or a Day. The seconds that count in catching the bus; The idyllic hours that slip by so quickly during a perfect day on the lake; The summer days that disappear into blissful happiness . . . Sarah Jacoby's debut picture book as an author and illustrator is as elegant as a poem and as perfectly paced as a mystery. This beautiful picture books follows an unassuming narrator through a meditation on time through the course of a single day. Inviting comparisons to Virginia Lee Burton and Margaret Wise Brown, this book's musings on time are at once simple, peaceful, and profound—the work of a truly genius picture book maker.

  2. Emily Dickinson - Let your children discover the works of poet Emily Dickinson in "Emily Dickinson." As the premier title in the Poetry for Kids series, " Emily Dickinson" introduces children to the works of poet Emily Dickinson. Poet, professor, and scholar Susan Snively has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by Christine Davenier and thoroughly explained by an expert. The gentle introduction, which is divided into sections by season of the year, includes commentary, definitions of important words, and a foreword.

  3. Hey Black Child - Six-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Bryan Collier brings this classic, inspirational poem to life, written by poet Useni Eugene Perkins Hey black child,Do you know who you are?Who really are? Do you know you can beWhat you want to beIf you try to beWhat you can be? This lyrical, empowering poem celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals.

  4. The Night Before Christmas Oversized Padded Board Book - The world’s most famous Christmas poem is now available in a beautiful oversized board book format featuring original Charles Santore illustrations. Since the poem’s inception in 1823, The Night Before Christmas has been a yearly staple of the holiday season told in countless households. Perfectly capturing the memorable charm of Clement C. Moore’s iconic poem, Charles Santore lends his artwork of fantastical splendor to tell the tale of Saint Nick’s visit, this time in a durable oversized board book that captures the same magical detail and charm as editions beforehand. Children will love this book built especially for them!

  1. With My Hands: Poems About Making Things - Building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping . . . making something with your own hands is a special, personal experience. Taking an idea from your imagination and turning it into something real is satisfying and makes the maker proud. With My Hands is an inspiring invitation to tap into creativity and enjoy the hands-on energy that comes from making things.

  2. Flights of Fancy - In a beautiful anthology, ten children's book greats share stories, poems, pictures, tips, and prompts meant to inspire young readers to create works of their own. Have you ever sparked the start of a story by playing a game of What if? Is there any value to all that doodling you do? What does being "a sponge" have to do with facing down a blank page? Did you know that pictures can sometimes inspire stories, rather than the other way around? From Quentin Blake's drawings of fantastical vehicles to Michael Rosen's inside look at his poetry, from Anthony Browne's shape game (no need to be an artist to play) to Lauren Child's look at her creative process, this anthology -- whose contributors were all British Children's Laureates -- aims to encourage budding writers and artists to let their imaginations soar. The final spread is a collection of prompts from all the contributors, passing the creative torch to the next generation. With contributions by: Malorie Blackman Quentin Blake Anthony Browne Lauren Child Julia Donaldson Anne Fine Michael Morpurgo Chris Riddell Michael Rosen Jacqueline Wilson

  3. Little Poems for Tiny Ears - The dynamic, best-selling team of Lin Oliver and Tomie dePaola have created a charming collection of baby poems that makes the perfect gift for baby showers and first birthdays. For babies and toddlers, each moment is full of wonder and discovery. This delightful collection of original poems celebrates the everyday things that enthrall little ones, such as playing peekaboo, banging pots and pans, splashing at bath time, and cuddling at bedtime. Full of contagious rhythm and rhyme, this inviting picture book introduces young children to the sound of poetry, and beloved illustrator Tomie dePaola’s engaging children are the perfect match for Lin Oliver’s lighthearted poems. Together they’ve created a book to be treasured that captures the magic and fun of being new in the world.

  4. Fresh-Picked Poetry - This collection of poems takes young readers to a day at an urban farmers’ market. Who to see, what to eat, and how produce is grown—it’s all so exciting, fresh, and delicious. Readers are invited to peruse the stands and inspect vendors’ wares with poems like “Farmer Greg’s Free-Range Eggs,” “Summer Checklist,” and “Necessary Mess.” Bright and vibrant, this is the perfect guide for little ones to take with them on marketing day to inspire literacy and healthy eating.

  1. Jazz Day - What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz. When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn't own a good camera, didn't know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians' mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer's day. Francis Vallejo's vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author's note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane's famous photograph.

  2. The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems - A joyful primer on the pleasures of bird-watching merges haiku, notes for identifying species, and exquisite watercolor illustrations. In spare and graceful words, poet and birder Michael J. Rosen captures the forecasting call of the mysterious cuckoo as well as essential characteristics of more than twenty commonly seen North American birds. This artfully compiled field notebook — enriched by the evocative artwork of watercolorist Stan Fellows — captures the excitement of recognizing a bird, whether a darting kingfisher, a wandering wild turkey, or a chirpy house sparrow. Back matter includes notes for birdwatchers and haiku lovers.

  3. Me Llamo Gabriela - Gabriela Mistral loved words and sounds and stories. Born in Chile, she would grow to become the first Nobel Prize-winning Latina woman in the world. As a poet and a teacher, she inspired children across many countries to let their voices be heard. This beautifully crafted story, where words literally come to life, is told with the rhythm and melody of a poem. The second in Luna Rising's bilingual storybook biography series. My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela is beautiful tribute to a woman who taught us the power of words and the importance of following our dreams. The story of Gabriela Mistral will continue to inspire children everywhere.

  4. Feel the Beat - An irresistible book of poems about dancing that mimic the rhythms of social dances from cha-cha to two-step, by the acclaimed author of Mirror Mirror Marilyn Singer has crafted a vibrant collection of poems celebrating all forms of social dance from samba and salsa to tango and hip-hop. The rhythm of each poem mimics the beat of the dances’ steps. Together with Kristi Valiant’s dynamic illustrations, the poems create a window to all the ways dance enters our lives and exists throughout many cultures. This ingenious collection will inspire readers to get up and move! Included with the book is an audio CD of the author reading each poem accompanied by original music from composer Jonathon Roberts.

  1. Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman - Introduce children to the work of celebrated American poet Walt Whitman! Carefully chosen for kids, 35 illustrated poems are presented and explained by New York University professor Karen Karbenier, PhD, a Whitman expert. Walt Whitman includes enlightening commentary for each poem, definitions of key words, and a foreword by the expert. Vibrant illustrations invigorate the poetry. Starting off with "I Hear America Singing," the collection includes excerpts from "Song of Myself," "O Captain! My Captain!", poems from Leaves of Grass, and many more thought-provoking, descriptive, and kid-friendly selections.

  2. Lola Plants a Garden - How does your garden grow? Book-loving Lola is inspired by a collection of garden poems that she reads with her mommy. She wants to plant her own garden of beautiful flowers, so she and Mommy go to the library to check out books about gardening. They choose their flowers and buy their seeds. They dig and plant. And then they wait. Lola finds it hard to wait for her flowers to grow, but she spends the time creating her own flower book. Soon she has a garden full of sunflowers and invites all of her friends for cakes and punch and a story amongst the flowers. Lola is a beloved character that continues to shine for young readers. Her curiosity and love of books is infectious. Parents and children love sharing Lola’s stories. Rosalind Beardshaw’s beautiful illustrations highlight Lola’s close-knit family and how they use stories and books to interact with their world. Lola’s brightly colored and growing garden is the perfect surrounding for this bright little girl.

  3. Basho and the River Stones - The great poet Basho lives in the woods and shares the cherries from his cherry tree with the local foxes. But one tricky fox becomes greedy––He uses his magic to turn three river stones into gold coins, and then tricks Basho into giving up all of the cherries. When the fox returns to gloat over his victory, he discovers that Basho is content. Wiser than the fox, Basho knows that a poem inspired by the beauty of the river stones is more valuable than gold. Oki S. Han’s watercolors evoke ancient Japan in this sequel to the New York Times bestseller Basho and the Fox.

  4. Haiku Baby - The simple delights in baby's natural world--a bird, a fish, a leaf, a snowflake, a raindrop--are celebrated in the traditional Japanese poetic form, the haiku, in a little board book with tabs.

  1. Clackety Track - Queue up for a whistle-stop tour of trains of all kinds, narrated in lively verse and featuring dynamic retro artwork. Rows of grooves, cables, and bars. Graffiti rockin' out the cars. A badge of rust. A proud oil stain. There's nothin' plain about a train. Trains of all shapes and sizes are coming down the track -- bullet train, sleeper train, underground train, zoo train, and more. All aboard! Skila Brown's first-class poems, as varied as the trains themselves, reflect the excitement of train travel, while Jamey Christoph's vintage-style illustrations provide a wealth of authentic detail to pore over.

  2. Friends and Foes - In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, celebrated picture book poet Douglas Florian offers an honest, touching, and often humorous collection of twenty-three poems about relationships—both good and bad! There are all kinds of friends—good friends, bad friends, old friends, new friends...even imaginary friends! This humorous, heartfelt, and refreshingly honest collection of poems explores the many facets of friendship with Douglas Florian’s signature sense of silliness and wit.

  3. The Night Before the 100th Day of School - The 100th day of school is almost here and one student is desperate to find 100 of anything to bring to class. Then all of sudden inspiration strikes, and he comes up with a surprise that makes the 100th day celebration one to remember! This hilarious story of a popular school tradition offers a perfect modern twist on Clement C. Moore’s classic poem.

  4. Jabberwocky - The slithy toves and borogoves invite you to take an adventure through the tumtum trees in Jabberwocky: A BabyLit Nonsense Primer. Jennifer Adams cleverly pulls text from Little Master Carroll’s original poem and pairs it with Alison Oliver’s bright and cheery illustrations to create a whimsical tale.

  1. The Night Before Summer Vacation - A little girl and her family are getting ready to go on vacation . . . or at least they are trying to. In the effort to pack everything that will be needed, there’s bound to be something overlooked, and what that is provides a funny ending to this meter-perfect “twist” on Clement Moore’s classic.

  2. Hope Is a Ferris Wheel - After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.

  3. Lullaby and Kisses Sweet - A first anthology of poems for babies and toddlers by the editor of Behind the Museum Door features 100 original pieces by such prominent writers as Jane Yolen, Marilyn Singer and J. Patrick Lewis.

  4. In the Middle of the Night - Toys, food, and other everyday household objects have wild adventures at night, while the humans in the house sleep, in this imaginative collection of 26 poems. What do the things in your home do when you're asleep? They play, of course! In this compendium of poems by Laura Purdie Salas, everything from stuffed animals to clothing to writing utensils comes to life under the cover of night. An overdue library book searches for the perfect place to hide. A paper clip skydives with a tissue parachute. A fruit snack unrolls to create a tricky racetrack for toy cars. A hose unwinds and rolls around the yard before curling back up just before dawn. Accompanied by Angela Matteson's beautiful acrylic-on-wood illustrations, this book will spark young readers' imaginations and is a perfect choice for bedtime reading.

  1. In the Past - Care to meet a dunkleosteus? An apatosaurus? How about the dragonflyesque meganaura? In a collection that’s organized chronologically by epoch and is sure to intrigue everyone from armchair dino enthusiasts to budding paleontologists, David Elliott and Matthew Trueman illuminate some of the most fascinating creatures ever to evolve on the earth. Combining poems both enlightening and artful with illustrations perfect for poring over, this volume ensures fascinating trips back to a time as enthralling and variable as any in our planet’s evolutionary history

  2. Once Upon a Place - Once Upon a Place features six new poems by Irish poets alongside 11 new short stories from many of Ireland's leading children's writers including Roddy Doyle, Derek Landy and former Laureate na nÓg (a position awarded in Ireland to children's book creators) Siobhán Parkinson, as well as the first ever story for children by Academy Award nominee Jim Sheridan, director of My Left Foot and In America. It also features new work by Eoin Colfer himself, along with Pat Boran, Seamus Cashman, John Connolly, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Mark Granier, Paula Leyden, Oisín McGann, Geraldine Mills, Jane Mitchell, Kate Newmann, Sarah Webb and Enda Wyley. Each of the stories and poems is based around the theme of place, being set in or inspired by a particular location within Ireland. Lavish black-and-white charcoal illustrations make this unique anthology a very beautiful object.

  3. Fly Away - While in North Dakota helping her Aunt Frankie prepare for a possible flood, Lucy finds her voice as a poet with the help of her two-year-old brother Teddy, the rest of their family, and a few cows.

  4. Being You - Award-winning author and professor Alexs Pate delivers a message of hope and self-discovery in a time of uncertainty in our world. YOU is a beautiful picture book celebrating every readers' individuality and talents. With an authentic voice, YOU's poetic message of love and optimism for the future speaks directly to today's children. YOU helps us to see the wonder and light within each of us.

  1. Did You Hear What I Heard? -

  2. Rappy and His Favorite Things - Rappy the Raptor’s class has to write poems about their favorite things for Poetry Week, and the best poet will win a cupcake! Will Rappy discover he’s a poet and he didn’t even know it? Beginning readers will love rapping along to this Level Two I Can Read tale as Rappy, his classmates, and even their teacher, Mrs. H, rap about everything from flying kites and pillow fights to snow days and mayonnaise! Rappy and His Favorite Things is a Level Two I Can Read book, geared for kids who read on their own but still need a little help.

  3. What's So Special about Shakespeare? - Michael Rosen's lively exploration of Shakespeare, reissued in an accessible new format for young middle-grade readers. More than four hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, his name is known in every corner of the world. Why? Celebrated poet, critic, and Shakespeare enthusiast Michael Rosen answers that question with humor, knowledge, and appreciation, offering a whirlwind tour of Shakespeare's life, his London, and four of his plays: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, King Lear, and The Tempest.

  4. The Maine Coon's Haiku - In evocative haiku, Michael J. Rosen depicts twenty different breeds of cats—whether mischievous or mysterious, comical or commanding. Some cats have names that suggest far-off lands, like the Turkish Angora and the Norwegian forest cat. Others allude to places closer to home, such as California’s ragdoll and the Maine coon. Set against Lee White’s graceful illustrations, with intriguing facts about each of twenty breeds at the end, this charming haiku collection for lovers of America’s most popular house pet provides the purr-fect book to curl up with.

  1. One Big Rain - Rita Gray has compiled twenty poems about precipitation, each written by well-known poets such as Kyoshi, Eve Merriam, Lilian Moore, and Carl Sandburg. Divided into poems written about rain within each of the four seasons, this compilation offers the reader a chance to revel in the beauty of precipitation and the poetry it inspires. The variety of poems opens the door for discussion of poetic styles, while Ryan O’Rourke’s playful yet sophisticated illustrations will appeal to readers of all ages.

  2. Wake Up, Sleepy Head! - A collection of short poems that capture the thoughts and feelings of young animals as their mothers try to wake them up.

  3. The Night Before My First Communion - In this story, written in the style of Clement C. Moore's classic poem, a girl and her twin brother nervously prepare for their first communion.

  4. Pony Poems For Little Pony Lovers - Celebrate all things horsey with this sweet collection of poems that’s perfect for the little equestrian in your life. Calling all pony lovers! This poetry collection, chock full of horses, is sure to delight young readers, whether they dream of being a cowgirl or a knight, becoming an equestrian, or simply making a pony friend of their own. These short, rhyming poems are perfect for read-aloud sharing.

  1. What I Like! - A collection of humorous poetry for children, including some original treatments of familiar nursery rhymes.

Did you enjoy our poetry book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Poetry Books
  2. + word play (5)
  3. + nature (15)
  4. + animals (8)
  5. + love (5)
  6. Bonus (37)
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