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Poetry and Animals: 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 Water Sings Blue to A Mirror to Nature there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about poetry? Let us know!

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.

Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse book
#4
Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse
Written by Susannah Buhrman-Deever and illustrated by Bert Kitchen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg book
#5
Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg
Written by Kate Benzel, Carl Sandburg and illustrated by Robert Crawford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Mirror to Nature - In this nature-inspired poetry picture book, contemplative poems and photos about water combine allowing young readers to see the world in new ways. Nature's beauty is captured in twelve thoughtful poems and breathtaking pictures in this winner of the John Burroughs Nature Books for Young Readers Award. Watery reflections provide an appropriate backdrop for author Jane Yolen's musings on nature, such as a raccoon swimming with his reflected self, the water-jagged legs of a snowy egret, and the double danger of a hungry alligator at the edge of a swamp. Jason Stemple's photographs offer whimsical peeks at the natural world we rarely chance to see. This artistic collaboration gives a unique opportunity to think about the world.

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