Poetry books for children are one of those rich resources that I think parents often overlook.
My regular readers know how much I love to give books as gifts. One year, I gave one of my nieces (who wasn’t a big fan of reading at the time) a copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. A true classic!
Months after giving the gift, her mom told me that they were packing for a vacation and my niece had snuck in the book into her suitcase. Poetry can speak to children on so many levels… sometimes even more than a story. Poetry may seem simple, but it touches us on an emotional level.
You can find these poetry books for children at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Poetry Books for Children
I’m offering books to introduce your children to poetry (beyond just rhyming children’s books) to inspire your child and expand their horizons.
Poems to Learn by Heart: In this diverse collection, a companion to her New York Times #1 best-seller A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy has chosen more than a hundred poems that speak to all of us: the young and young at heart, readers new to poetry and devoted fans. These poems explore deep emotions, as well as ordinary experiences. They cover the range of human experience and imagination. Divided into sections about nature, sports, monsters and fairies, friendship and family, this book is full of surprises. Each section is preceded by Caroline’s thoughtful introduction reflecting her own family’s engagement with and enjoyment of poetry.
Poetry Speaks to Children (Book & CD): Poetry Speaks to Children reaches into the world of poetry and pulls out the elements children love: rhyme, rhythm, fun and, every once in a while, a little mischief. More than 90 poems, for children ages six and up, celebrate the written word and feature a star-studded lineup of beloved poets, including: Roald Dahl; J. R. R. Tolkien; Robert Frost; Gwendolyn Brooks; Ogden Nash; John Ciardi; Langston Hughes; Sonia Sanchez; Seamus Heaney; Canada’s best-loved children’s poet, Dennis Lee; Rita Dove; Billy Collins; Nikki Giovanni and X. J. Kennedy.
On the accompanying CD, 50 of the poems are brought to life–most read by the poets themselves–allow the reader to hear the words as the poets intended.
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings: Come in . . . for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.
Here’s A Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry: Sit back and savor a superb collection of more than sixty poems by a wide range of talented writers, from Margaret Wise Brown to Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes to A. A. Milne. Greeting the morning, enjoying the adventures of the day, cuddling up to a cozy bedtime — these are poems that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk. Carefully gathered by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters and delightfully illustrated by Polly Dunbar, HERE’S A LITTLE POEM offers a comprehensive introduction to some remarkable poets, even as it captures a very young child’s intense delight in the experiences and rituals of every new day.
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children was recognized upon its publication in 1983 as an invaluable collection–a modern classic–and it has not since been surpassed. Five hundred poems, selected by poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky, are divided into broad subject areas such as nature, seasons, living things, children, and home.
A Child’s Anthology of Poetry: Finally in paperback, a timeless collection celebrating the joys of poetry for children of all ages—an indispensable introduction to literature and life that brings together essential classic children’s poems with the best of modern and contemporary international poetry.
A Child’s Garden of Verses: Here is a delightful look at childhood, written by master poet and storyteller Robert Louis Stevenson. In this collection of sixty-six poems, Stevenson recalls the joys of his childhood, from sailing boats down a river, to waiting for the lamplighter, to sailing off to foreign lands in his imagination. Tasha Tudor’s watercolor paintings evoke a simpler time in the past, and celebrate two of the things she loves most — children and nature. Her talents are the perfect match for these inspiring poems, making this a handsome gift edition that will be cherished by families for generations.
Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat: Poetry can have both a rhyme and a rhythm. Sometimes it is obvious; sometimes it is hidden. But either way, make no mistake, poetry is as vibrant and exciting as it gets. And when you find yourself clapping your hands or tapping your feet, you know you’ve found poetry with a beat! Like Poetry Speaks to Children, the New York Times Bestselling classic poetry book and CD that started it all, Hip Hop Speaks to Children is meant to be the beginning of a journey of discovery.
Find more FREE Study Unit Resources on The Jenny Evolution!
Poetry Study Unit
In addition to offering recommendations of poetry books for children, I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers to offer you homeschool and in-class resources to teach kids about poetry!
Photo Credit | Graphic Modified
Poetry Handwriting Worksheet from 3 Boys and a Dog
How To Write a Nature Poem like Roald Dahl from FrogMom
Silly Limericks for Kids from Schooling a Monkey
Fun Poetry Activities for Kids from iGameMom
Apps for Creating Poetry with Kids from Parenting Chaos
Poetry Printable Copywork for Kids from The Natural Homeschool
Poetry Writing for Kids: Using Metaphors from Planet Smarty Pants
Our Favorite Poetry Book for Kids from Our Daily Craft
For further poetry study unit ideas and resources, consider the following affiliate links: