10 Great Poetry Books for Kids

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April is Poetry Month! Get kids involved with these great reads, with poetry on topics ranging all the way from silly and absurd to serious and educational.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings 

by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er,
A magic bean buyer …

A classic poetry book beloved by readers for 45 years. ✔

Full of engaging drawings to pull kids in. ✔

Short, easy-to-comprehend poems kids can read themselves. ✔

Best for ages 7 & up.

 

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Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou

by Dr. Edwin Graves Wilson Ph.D. (Editor), Jerome Lagarrigue (Illustrator)

“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.”

Poems written by an award-winning writer, historian, and civil rights activist. ✔

Masterful illustrations to accompany each verse.  ✔

An artistic look into the history of African American people in the South. ✔

Best for ages 8-12.

 

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Poems to Learn by Heart

by Caroline Kennedy

100+ poems accompanied by hand-painted illustrations. ✔

Easy memorization passages for kids (and adults) of all ages. ✔

Diverse subjects spanning fantastical beings, nature, family and sports. ✔

Best for ages 5 & up.

 

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Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat

by Nikki Giovanni (Author), Alicia Vergel de Dios (Illustrator), Damian Ward (Illustrator), Kristen Balouch (Illustrator), Jeremy Tugeau (Illustrator), Michele Noiset (Illustrator)

Relevant poetry for today’s generation of kids. ✔

Great representation for multicultural students. ✔

Includes an audio CD featuring poetry performances by icons such as Queen Latifah & Langston Hughes. ✔

Best for ages 7 & up.

 

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It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles

by Jack Prelutsky  (Author), James Stevenson (Illustrator)

It’s raining pigs and noodles,
it’s pouring frogs and hats,
chrysanthemums and poodles,
bananas, brooms, and cats.
Assorted prunes and parrots
are dropping from the sky,
here comes a bunch of carrots,
some hippopotami.

Silliness galore with fun illustrations to match. ✔

Over one hundred poems to read. ✔

Written by a prolific children’s poetry author. ✔

Best for ages 5-10.

 

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National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry

Out of a windless August night / A luna moth in ghostly light
Beat softly on my window screen / Tick-tick-ticking-all silver green.
She whispered secrets in my ear– / I am but a stranger here.
The stars are scrawled across the sky / By ghostwriters, the Moon and I.
You will not see me here tonight– / I have a thousand stars to write.

Combines the wonder of poetry and animal photography. ✔

Includes a wide variety of poetry, including classic lyric poetry, haiku, free verse, and concrete poems. ✔

An enjoyable read for kids and adults of all ages who enjoy poetry and pictures of animals. ✔

Best for ages 4 & up.

 

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No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse

by Rhett Miller (Author), Dan Santat (Artist)

A modern twist on the poetry style of Shel Silverstein. ✔

Funny and engaging with lively illustrations. ✔

Great for reluctant readers, especially those who aren’t fond of poetry. ✔

Best for ages 4-10.

 

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Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare

by William Shakespeare (Author), Marguerite Tassi (Author, Editor), Merce Lopez (Illustrator)

Includes 31 poems and excerpts from Shakespeare’s most popular works. ✔

Beautiful illustrations which bring the words of the great bard to life. ✔

An age-appropriate introduction to content kids will be studying throughout the rest of their academic journeys. ✔

Best for ages 8 & up.

 

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Kids Pick The Funniest Poems

by Bruce Lansky  (Editor), Stephen Carpenter (Illustrator)

The first collection of poems hand-selected by kids. ✔

A humorous look at everyday life. ✔

Inspiring to kids who would like to start writing poetry. ✔

Best for ages 6-12.

 

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Revolting Rhymes

by Roald Dahl

Hilariously dark twists on favorite tales. ✔

Short chapters for wiggly readers. ✔

A book even reluctant readers will want to read again and again. ✔

Best for ages 6-8.

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