Don’t you love it when something is enjoyable and good for you? Kind of like chocolate, come to think of it…. Well, when they’re done right, poetry picture books are the picture book equivalent of chocolate.
Poetry has so many benefits for kids, including developing an awareness of language, phonic patterns, and rhythms, and helping children to express their own experience through writing.
Author Renée LaTulippe is one of those talented writers who uses poetry and storytelling to transport children into delightful worlds of imagination … and often, silliness.
Below, Renée shares a few of her personal favorite poetry picture books for young children.
You can learn a little more about each book in the synopses below, or you can download our free library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.
Stardines Swim High across the Sky and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky
The poems in this collection pair real animals with inanimate objects to create beasts such as stardines, panteaters, bluffaloes, and swapitis. Illustrated with incredible shadow boxes and dioramas straight out of the natural history museum, these extraordinary creatures come to life to inspire and amaze young readers again and again.
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman
The fascinating lives of pond dwellers are laid bare in this beautiful collection of poems. Atmospheric Caldecott Honor-winning woodcuts portray the teeming life of the pond and scientific information accompanies each melodic poem, making this a wonderful book to encourage readers to look more closely at the natural world.
The Popcorn Astronauts and Other Biteable Rhymes by Deborah Ruddell
Strap on your bib, because this delicious collection takes readers on a mouth-watering trip through the four seasons. Ruddell’s fantastical imagination and imagery, along with Rankin’s wonderful illustrations, bring to life wacky characters like baked-potato canoes, a corn-eating ogre, and space-exploring popcorn.
Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems
by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian
If you have a car lover in your house, you’ll want to share this quirky collection of nonsense poems sure to amuse and delight. Silly and entertaining, this collection will inspire young readers to create their own funny poems—and probably some crazy cars as well!
Meet Danitra Brown
by Nikki Grimes
This collection of spirited poems introduces readers to Danitra Brown and her best friend, Zuri. Danitra and Zuri’s friendship shines bright against an urban backdrop as these two proud and happy girls navigate the daily trials of growing up.
Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes
by Alice Schertle
If you’ve ever wondered what your clothes are thinking, these inventive poems will clear it all up. From frilly undies to snuggly pajamas, the clothes in these whimsical poems have a life of their own and are sure to keep young readers in stitches.
Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems) by Linda Sue Park
Everyday life is the stuff of poetry in this collection of sijo, a brief Korean verse form with a witty twist at the end. From clean socks and breakfast to houseplants and long division, nothing escapes the poet’s pen as these poems delight readers with unexpected surprises and humorous observations.
by Joan Bransfield Graham
Kids love concrete poetry, and this collection is one of the best of its kind. Vivid graphics give shape to these rhythmic poems about light in many forms, from bolts of lightning and flickering candles to fireflies and cozy campfires. Fun and inspiring, these poems will light up your young reader’s life!
Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
by Lee Wardlaw
One of the most charming stories ever told in poems, Won Ton will win over kids (and adults) of any age. A series of haiku, the book tells the tale of a sassy Siamese shelter cat who is adopted by Boy and taken to live in a new home. This book is a gem for anyone who loves poetry and the furry friends who share our lives.
Sea Star Wishes:
Poems from the Coast
by Eric Ode
From seagulls and sandcastles to ferries and fishermen, this whimsical collection celebrates a wide range of seaside sights and sounds. Both lyrical and informative, the poems are as varied as the subject matter. Spending time with these fun coastal poems is nothing short of a day at the beach!
A Year of Very Short Poems
selected by Paul B. Janeczko
Gorgeously illustrated, these brief poems deliver big emotion and imagery as they take readers on a journey through the seasons. Perfect for read-aloud time and independent reading, the collection contains a few classics as well as poems by the top children’s poets past and present. It’s a firecracker of a book!
A Stick Is an Excellent Thing:
Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play
by Marilyn Singer
Presented in bouncy, energetic verse, this collection of delightful poems celebrates the wonder of play—especially outdoor play! Read them all at once or one at a time. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these summery poems about blowing bubbles, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, and more!
Around the World in 80 Poems
by James Berry
This collection of colorful poems celebrates the diversity that makes up our world. You’ll find poems that will make you laugh and some that will make you cry. But together they will leave you feeling inspired and amazed by the uniqueness and the beauty of our world and the people who call it home.
by Juan Felipe Herrera
When he was a boy, Juan Felipe Herrera could only imagine becoming the U.S. Poet Laureate someday. Following the poet’s footsteps from migrant farmworker to determined student, to prolific poet and author, this beautifully illustrated poem serves as a reminder that if you can imagine it, you can do it!
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood
The poems in this collection feature the stories of fourteen trailblazers whose accomplishments changed our world in a big way. From athletes to artists, activists to astronauts, fire fighters to cancer fighters…the women (and girls!) in these poems made an impact by Shaking Things Up!
Would you like to read some of my favorite poetry picture books with your children? Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite poetry picture book? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!