1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

12+ Recommended Poetry Books for Kids


As children grow older, they continue to enjoy the rhythms, rhymes, and imagery to be found in poetry. Here are a variety of children's poetry books, from collections of classics and contemporary poems to poems by Latino poets, concrete poems, and poems that celebrate nature. In addition to the poetry books for kids, there are also books for tweens and young teens about writing poetry.

1. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

Cover art of Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, a 2011 John Newbery Honor Book, is a beautifully illustrated collection of nature poems by poet Joyce Sidman. The book is a striking mixture of poetry, science and art. The relief prints of Rick Allen add dramatic impact to the poetry, which focuses on life in the woods at night. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, An Imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, published Dark Emperor in 2010. The book's ISBN is 9780547152288. Read my review of Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night.
Compare Prices

2. Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts

cover art pieces a year in poems & quilt
Each of the 20 poems about nature by Anna Grossnickle Hines is illustrated by a delicate and beautiful miniature quilt she created. The visual imagery in her poetry is brilliantly captured in the accompanying quilts. This is an excellent book for all ages. I can see it being read and enjoyed again and again. Hines includes an interesting section on making the quilts at the end. Greenwillow, an imprint of HarperCollins, published Pieces in 2003. The ISBN is 9780060559601. Read my review of Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts.
Compare Prices

3. A Poke in the I

Cover art for A Poke in the I book of concrete poems for children
Candlewick Press

This collection of concrete poems was edited by poet Paul B. Janeczko. The quality of the poetry, the design of the book, and the witty collages by Chris Raschka create an enjoyable experience for the reader. Because of the visual aspects of concrete poetry, it tend to be popular with kids. Janeczko has selected 30 concrete poems for the book. A Poke in the I was published by Candlewick Press in 2001 in a paperback edition and in 2005 for the hardbound edition. The ISBN is 9780763623760) Read my review of A Poke in the I.

Compare Prices

4. Books for Tweens and Teens About Writing Poetry

Cover art of A Writing Kind of Day: Poems for Young Poets by Ralph Fletcher
Boyds Mills Press
If your older elementary or middle school child enjoys writing poetry or wants to learn about writing poetry, these books may be just what they need. They include a guide to poetic forms, writing prompts, writing tips, and advice from published poets. These books would also make good gifts for poetry writing tweens and young teens. Read my article about books for tweens and young teens about writing poetry.
Compare Prices

5. Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers

cover art of Love to Mama children's poetry book
Lee & Low
Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers is an illustrated collection of poetry by 13 Latino writers. Both the poems and the vibrant illustrations by Paula S. Barragán M. capture the love between mother and child and between grandmother and grandchild. Lee & Low is the publisher. The book's ISBN is 9780756947767. Read my review of Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers.
Compare Prices

6. A Trio of Children's Poetry Books About Winter

"Winter Eyes" by Douglas Florian - cover art of childrens poetry book about winter

The first of the trio of children's poetry books about winter is Douglas Florian's Winter Eyes, a collection of 28 poems. There are humorous poems and simple poems that celebrate (or decry) the season, as well as a few concrete poems. The poems all express a child's view of winter. Florian's watercolor and colored pencil illustrations reinforce a child's perspective. For more about Winter Eyes and two more books of winter poetry for kids, see Children's Poetry Books About Winter.

Compare Prices

7. An Egret's Day

An Egret's Day poetry book by Jane Yolen
Boyds Mill Press
Author and poet Jane Yolen and her son, Jason Stemple, a professional photographer, collaborated on this poetry book about egrets. In addition to the poetry and photographs, supplemental information about these beautiful birds is also provided. The poems are in a number of different poetic forms. WordSong, An Imprint of Boyds Mill Press, Inc. published An Egret's Day in 2010. The ISBN of the book is 9781590786505. Read my review of An Egret's Day.
Compare Prices

8. In Every Tiny Grain of Sand

Book cover of In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise
Candlewick Press
In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise, is a large picture book with four sections, each of which features illustrations by a different illustrator. The poms and prayer are by many different authors and come from a wide range of cultures and religions, including Christian, Muslin, Jewish, Hindu, Native American, African-American, and many others. Candlewick Press published the book in 2000. The ISBN is 9780763601768> Read my review of In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise
Compare Prices

9. Good Sports

Cover art by Chris Raschka of the children's poetry book Good Sports by Jack Pretlutsky
Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books
As the subtitle of Good Sports states, this children's poetry book by Jack Prelutsky contains rhymes about running, jumping, throwing and more. Through his poetry, Prelutsky celebrates winning and losing, playing well and not paying well, and enjoying a sport whether you are good at it or not. Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, published the book in 2007. The ISBN is 9780375837005. Read my review of Good Sports.
Compare Prices

10. Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection

cover art classic poetry
Older children will enjoy this appealing introduction to many well-known poets, including Shakespeare, Longfellow, Poe, Lear, Whitman, Dickinson, Stevenson, and Hughes, to name a few. Classic Poetry: AN Illustrated Collection is a handsomely designed book that includes portraits and brief biographies of the poets. Paul Howard's art will add to your enjoyment of the poems selected by Michael Rosen. (ISBN 1564028909)
Compare Prices

11. A Child's Calendar

The poetry of Pulitzer prize winner John Updike and the watercolors of Caldecott Medal winner Trina Schart Hyman provide a look at a family's year in rural New England. While the poetry celebrates the seasons, the artwork shows specific activities, such as making Valentines and going on a picnic. Children will enjoy poems and illustrations that reflect a child's viewpoint. (ISBN 0823414450)
Compare Prices

12. The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury

Well-known children's poet Jack Prelutsky did an excellent job in selecting the more than 200 poems by 137 poets in this collection. The joyous watercolors by Meilo So help to tie the poems, which are organized by theme, together. The subjects range from nature to siblings, school, and everyday life. This is a lively and interesting collection. (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. ISBN: 9780679893141)

Compare Prices

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.