I haven't always enjoyed poetry. In fact, I’m still not a big fan of most poetry written for adults. (Don’t tell my friend, Nancy, the poet!) It wasn’t until I started reading poetry written for children that I developed an appreciation for poetry. Kids’ poetry is so much more direct and doesn’t leave you scratching your head, wondering what it’s all about.
These books are just a sampling. Give the ones that interest you a look and while you’re in the poetry section (call number 811 in the library), see what other poetry books interest you.
The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry edited by Bill Martin Jr.
This book has over 170 pages of poems, covering all sorts of subjects, including animals, feelings, food, seasons and school. There are poems from fifty-three poets and the pictures are supplied by a bunch of different illustrators. It’s a good place to read a variety of poems to see what poets you like.
All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth, illustrations by Natalie Babbitt
Valerie Worth is responsible for opening me up to poetry. As the title says, her poems are small. They’re also perfect. They capture the heart of every one of her subjects.
Guyku: a Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds
Haiku, as you may know, is a type of poem that has only 3 lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7, and the third line has 5. These haiku by Bob Raczka are marvelous. They cover the four seasons and topics like baseball, skipping rocks, leaf piles and icicles.
Biscuits in the Cupboard Barbara Nichol, illustrations by Philippe Beha
These poems are written in the voices of several dogs. They are very charming and often quite funny.
Don’t Forget Your Etiquette! The Essential Guide to Misbehavior by David Greenberg, illustrations by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Warning to parents: this book will not lead to more polite children. It will make them (and probably you) laugh. Topic covered: shaking hands, dressing, eating, answering the phone and more.
Good Luck Gold and Other Poems by Janet S. Wong
These poems reflect the author’s experiences growing up as an Asian-American girl in San Francisco. They’re very simple and quite charming.
Bow Wow Meow Meow by Douglas Florian
Each poem is about a different breed of dog or cat. They wonderfully portray the individual animals. The dachshund is a stretch limousine. The leopard poem looks like it is leaping. A clever and fun collection.
Incredible Inventions selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrations by Julia Sarcone-Roach
I never would have guessed there were poems about all these inventions. Like drinking straws, Velcro, escalators and fig newtons. The poems and illustrations work beautifully together.
Technically, It’s Not My Fault, Concrete Poems by John Grandits
Concrete poems are poems that look like their subjects. The poem Skateboard is written in long, jumping and looping lines. You can probably guess what How We Ended Up With a Plain Pizza looks like! Quite ingenious.
My Man Blue by Nikki Grimes, illustrations by Jerome Lagarrigue
Through simple and powerful poems, with outstanding illustrations, this book tells of Damon, who lives with his single mom. Blue, a man of the streets, becomes his friend and shows him how to become a strong and gentle man. It’s a truly lovely book.
How about you? Are you a poetry fan? Do you write poetry? Do you any favorite poems? Leave a comment!