Poetry books for kids are a great way for kids to learn new languages and improve their literacy skills. They have a good rhythm, word play, and creativity. As a child, I remember stealing poetry books from my mom’s bookshelves and performing the poems. I loved how the words felt in my mouth. In poetry, I learned how to put words together in a way that made sense to me. Having a child of my own means that with poetry books for kids, I can put them on her shelves. I can also perform poems for a group of people who are very interested in them.
Some of the poetry books for kids I’m adding to her bookshelves are shown below. As I did with my kid’s fantasy post, I wanted to group these by grade level. Poetry’s age groups are a lot more wiggle room. Instead, I grouped people into broad age groups, and even then, it’s easy to move across borders. When these books come out, parents and teachers are likely to enjoy them, too. For those of you with kids who don’t like to read, I’ve found poetry books that are both silly and relevant, and they’re also easy for kids to read.
Also, check out our list of great poetry books for teens and Karina’s recommendations for poetry for young readers.
If you have any good poetry books for kids, please share them in the comments below.
Poetry Books For Babies And Toddlers
We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp, Illustrated by Julie Flett
When a new baby comes into the world, parents feel like they’re in awe. In this sweet and lyrical board book, gentle rhythmic text captures that feeling. This song is a celebration of the relationship between a parent and their child. It’s the perfect song to sing with your kids.
For the second time, Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett, an award-winning illustrator, work together to make a beautiful board book for babies and toddlers.
Wee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Jane Dyer
Time for cuddling, time for play, time for games, time for a nap, time for dinner, time for a bath, and time for bed are some of the important things that happen in a baby’s day.
always, always, there is time for love. This collection of more than 50 original poems and rhymes is full of happiness. It’s broken up into sections that celebrate different parts of a young child’s daily life. It’s a great gift for baby showers, and it’s a must-have for any child’s bookshelf.”
My Village: Rhymes from Around the World Edited by Danielle Wright, Illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
A collection of nursery rhymes and verses from around the world is called “My Village.” It includes nursery rhymes and verses from countries like New Zealand, China and Australia. There are also nursery rhymes and verses from countries like Norway and Ireland. In this book, there are 22 different verses from 22 different countries that are both quirky and heartfelt or funny. The illustrations by Mique Moriuchi, a young artist who is getting attention, bring each verse to life. Danielle Wright has mixed some well-known rhymes with some that aren’t. Michael Rosen, a world-renowned poet and former Children’s Laureate, introduces the collection. He talks about the history of nursery rhymes and reviews some of his favorites. This book has also been approved by the International Youth Library. It’s a must-have for any school or library.
Haiku Baby by Betsy E. Snyder
tickly-toe grass, a buttercup gives yellow nose kisses to a little girl.
Traditional Japanese poetry celebrates the things that babies find simple and lovely in their natural worlds. Haikus include things like a bird or a leaf or a leaflet or a snowflakes or raindrops. In just 17 syllables, a moment, a season, and all of the elements are captured in a happy way. Betsy Snyder’s board book is a peaceful way to start the day. It has tabs that help little hands turn the pages and cute art that everyone will love.
Little Master Carroll: Jabberwocky by Jennifer Adams, Illustrated by Alison Oliver
Babies will love Jabberwocky: A BabyLit Nonsense Primer, which is full of silly stories about trees. In this book, Jennifer Adams cleverly takes text from a Little Master Carroll poem and pairs it with Alison Oliver’s bright and cheery illustrations to make a fun story.
Homemade Love by bell hooks, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Mama calls her Girlpie: a sweet treat made with love. When Girlpie makes a mistake, her parents’ love lets her pick up the pieces and make things right again. Shane W. Evan’s beautiful art is full of “homemade love,” which is one of the tender nicknames bell hooks gives her young heroine.
Children will love this beautiful board book because it has simple text and colorful pictures that make it easy to read and easy to hold.
Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke, Illustrated by Paul Howard
An upbeat song about family and food is full of warm illustrations that make it even more fun.
If you’re the youngest member of a group of people who are always having fun, your Sunday dinner at Grannie’s can be very, very full. It can be full of hugs and kisses, tasty food, happy faces, and lots of love. In Trish Cooke’s book, we get to meet a gregarious family that we’re sure we’ll want more, more, more of.”
Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver, Illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Makes a great baby shower or first birthday gift: “The dynamic, best-selling team of Lin Oliver and Tomie dePaola have put together an adorable collection of poems about babies.”
For babies and toddlers, there is always something new and exciting to learn about in every single moment. This collection of original poems is full of things that little kids love to do, like peekaboo, banging pots and pans, splashing in the bath, and cuddling at bedtime. This picture book is full of rhythm and rhyme, and it’s a great way for young kids to learn about poetry. Tomie dePaola’s children are the perfect match for Lin Oliver’s lighthearted poems. Together, they’ve made a book to be treasured that shows the magic and fun of being a new person in the world.
Poetry Books For Elementary School
H Is For Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku From A To Z by Sydell Rosenberg, Illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi
This book, H Is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z, is written by the late poet Sydell Rosenberg, who was also a public school teacher in New York City. Sawsan Chalabi, who did the illustrations for the book, is also a poet and illustrator.
Poetree by Shuana LaVoy Reynolds, Illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
She writes a poem to a tree, but then she’s surprised when the tree writes back. This wonderful and warm picture book is about friendship, nature, and poetry.
A poem written by Sylvia to mark the end of winter. If the poem makes the world look better, she hopes that it doesn’t count as littering. Nonetheless, when she comes back, she will find a new poem ready for her to read. Can the tree write back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so she starts a heartwarming poetry exchange and a new friendship that she didn’t expect.
Poetree is a sweet and lyrical story about finding beauty in the world around you and making new friends in places you didn’t expect.
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou, Illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat
There are dark spots on the wall. Down the hall, there are some sounds Life doesn’t bother me at all.
Each person has the courage to do what they want, even if they’re young or old, says Maya Angelou’s poem. It can be scary to think about panthers in a park or a new classroom, but when we have faith in ourselves, we can make those images go away.
Her powerful words are matched by the daring vision of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who used his childlike style to show powerful emotions and fanciful ideas from childhood. It’s a place where every person can feel his or her own fearlessness with the help of Angelou’s words and Basquiat’s art together.
When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Julie Morstad
“I woke up on December 29 to a quiet and white morning. The first snow came on my toes overnight.
Sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. There are no more summer swims until the snow comes back. Then, the sweaters of autumn move in. As written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad, the seasons come to life in this beautiful and complete book of poetry.