Hi Friends! It’s still National Poetry Month, right? Well, let’s just say it is even if it isn’t because here come two poetry posts for you. Click the link above to see a post I wrote for Imagination Soup filled with funny poems that are sure to make your children laugh, and engage them in poetry even if they’ve never been interested before.
Want to dive deeper into poetry or have some that aren’t necessarily focused on laughs? Here is a list of some of my favorites:
- Out Of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets.
Poems Selected by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
This is a really special book of poetry because it is truly a celebration of poets, as the title says. Each poem is written in the style of a specific poet and is a beautiful ode to their way of writing. It is an especially good choice if you are interested in sharing different poets with your child or want to teach about poetry styles.
Poems by Elizabeth Steinglass, illustrated by Ike Edson
Any budding soccer star will really connect with this book of poetry all about their favorite sport. In fact, all twenty-two poems in this book focus on all things soccer, including things like coaches and the soccer ball itself. A great choice, especially for kids who would rather be out kicking the ball around than reading.
Prehistoric Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian
These a-ROAR-able poems are a junior paleontologists poetic dream, and the paintings are dino-rrific too! Douglas Florian has many clever poetry books, but this one is full of giant dinosaur-sized fun. This will really capture the imaginations of young children, especially ones that really love all things dinosaur.
4. Behold The Bold Umbrellaphant (and other poems)
Poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Carin Berger
Fun wordplays and cool art make this book necessary poetry reading! Jack Prelutsky has a lot of great poetry books out there, and this one is top of the heap. So inventive and lots of fun, especially for clever kids who love silly animals.
5. A Poke In The I: A Collection Of Concrete Poems
Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Hands down, this is one of the most interesting poetry books in terms of style and format. Much of it is visual, with unique and creative ways of putting words on the page. These artistic poems are sure to engage readers and maybe even inspire them to create their own non-traditional writing works of art!
6. Hip Hop Speaks To Children
Edited by Nikki Giovanni, various illustrators
Learning about the rhythm of words is just as important as learning about the rhyme or imagery they create. This book features amazing hip hop poets like Queen Latifah and Mos Def as well as poetic writers like Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. This book is a treasure trove of delights, filled with words that can be spoken aloud, sung to a beat, and taken to heart.
7. Lion Of The Sky: Haiku For All Seasons
Poems by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Mercè López
A gorgeous poetry book that is great for all ages, beginner and experienced poets alike. The haiku are beautiful guessing games, letting you discover the subject of the verse on your own, making them especially engaging and fun.
8. Hi, Koo!: A Year Of Seasons
Poems and art by Jon J. Muth
The gentle panda bear, Stillwater, is a delight and this book of short haiku poems is too! So sweet with lovely illustrations, this book of poetry is a gentle foray into haiku. All of Jon J. Muth’s books about this beloved panda are a refreshing dip into a Zen pool, and this one is no exception.
9. Every Month Is A New Year
Poems by Marilyn SInger, illustrated by Susan L. Roth
Welcoming a new year can be an important tradition for many cultures and religions, and this book is a celebration of just that! This book includes a selection of sixteen poems about New Year’s traditions from around the world, coupled with interesting paper art that will keep young global poets captivated.
10. Poems Aloud
Poems by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett
Many poets would say that poetry is meant to be read aloud, and this book definitely agrees. From something wondrous to something slimy, tongue twisters, and verses to read with a friend, this book actually teaches about reading out loud. A wonderful way to introduce poetry that is meant to be shared with others, and the art is charming too.
11. Daniel Finds A Poem by Micha Archer
If you want to show one of the ways a poem is made, this is the book for you! Daniel goes through his day asking all of his animal and insect friends about what they think poetry is after he sees as sign about a poetry reading in the park. Once he hears what they think poetry is, he crafts a beautiful poem to recite at the gathering. A truly lovely book encompassing nature and poetry in an engaging and accessible way.
Haiku and art by Anders Holmer
Gentle minimalism is the best way to describe this book of haiku. Even its illustrations, depicting scenes from around the world, are sparse yet intriguing, which really matches the form of haiku itself. Though this book feels as if it is on the shorter side, it is a lovely and serene addition to any poetry collection.
13. Cast Away
Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye
Beautifully smart poems around a theme of things that are tossed aside in our society, from trash to people. Meant for older children and young teens, this book is a thoughtful and meaningful addition to any poetry collection.
14. This Poem Is A Nest
Poems by Irene Lathan, illustrated by Johanna Wright
A unique and carefully crafted book as it truly is a nest of poems, where many small poems are “nested” in a larger one. The lovely words match the darling artwork and really make this poetry book is just right to snuggle up with in your own warm nest.
Poetry is a wonderful way to teach children about language, imagery, and creative writing while strengthening flexible thinking skills and imagination. There are so many books of poetry for children out there, from silly to serious, long to limerick, that there are sure to be some your children will love. What are your favorite kinds of poems to read together?