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Poetry Picture Books

Mother and kids outside smiling in sunglasses

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 book cover

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 book cover

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

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 book cover

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 book cover

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 book cover

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.

The Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems) book cover

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.

Flicker Flash book cover

Flicker Flash
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 book cover

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 book cover

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!

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems book cover

Firefly July:
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

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

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.

Imagine

Imagine
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

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!

FREE Poetry Picture Books for Kids Library List

Poetry Picture Books for Kids library checklist download

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!

Poetry Picture Books for Kids Recommended by our Readers

Do you have a favorite poetry picture book? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!

FREE Picture Book LIbrary Lists

All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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Martha

says:

Enjoy recommendations for early readers

Martha

says:

Inspiring

Amy

says:

Thanks for this list! We’re going to check out some of these books. One more poetry book to add to this great list is:
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the additional recommendation, Amy!

Kit

says:

I love picture books that use famous poems for the text. Some of our favorites include Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening (http://www.amazon.com/Stopping-Woods-Snowy-Evening-Robert/dp/0525467343) and When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer (http://www.amazon.com/Heard-Learnd-Astronomer-Golden-Honors/dp/0689863977).

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kit,
These are great recommendations! Thank you.

Sandra

says:

Thank you for recommendations! Just what I was looking for.

Tina

says:

Thank you for this list!!

We have a collection of children’s books for famous poets such as Walt Whitman and Robert Frost- one book per poet. My four year old brings them out occasionally and I am always surprised at her focus!

Tina M

says:

Thank you for this list. I’m scheduling poetry into our homeschool this year and this will be great for some ideas. We are going to have a weekly teatime and poetry reading.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Oh, my daughter used to love “Tuesday Tea.” I should add that in again!

Rhonda

says:

Thank you! I just added a handful of books to our library request list, and we can’t wait until they come in!

Cari Whittenburg

says:

Thank you so much for the list. I’m excited to share some of these books with my son.

Chadd

says:

My son loves to read poetry. I think poems are short enough to hold his attention and keep him interested in reading

samantha abell

says:

I love to read!!! And now, my 9 yrs. old is following in those same footsteps. She is an avid reader and devours books. She is constantly making up words and being goofy with language just for the sake of how it sounds and how it makes her laugh. She even gets her 4 yrs. old sissy in on it and they lay there and just go to town. I cannot wait to really introduce poetry to her. We put focus on literature, but this year I want to do a unit on poetry in specific and introduce her to all different kinds. Thank you for the valuable list of resources and for you AAR/AAS. It is awesome to see my older daughter reading and spelling with confidence. And now her sister gets to experience it through her AAR Pre-reader. THANK YOU!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Samantha,
It is great to hear that we have been able to be a help to you and your children. Thank you so much for sharing.

Karen Wallace

says:

Poetry has always been a struggle for me and my tendency would be to ignore it in my curriculum. Thank you for NOT ignoring it! I will be definitely be using these books. I so appreciate all of your book lists. They have provided us some of our children’s favorite books ever!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Karen,
It’s great to hear that our lists are appreciated. Thank you.

Beth Bartlett

says:

I need to work on incorporating more poetry in our language arts studies, as well as our regular “just for fun” reading. It’s not something that is a strength of mine, but I do want to encourage it in my children. Thanks for the printable list to take to our library and try some new books!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Beth,
I recommend finding a poetry book you think your kids will like, and purchasing it. Then just keep it lying around next to where every you read “just for fun”, and pick it up once or twice a week and read one or two poems before starting your other reading. You can get through a lot of poetry each year that way, but it never feels hard and it’s never enough in any one week to get tired of it.

Dara

says:

Ooo, new suggestions to add to my list!

Rachel Poe

says:

Most of my favorites are already on your list :). I have a few to add to MY list now, though. Thank you :)

Rachel Poe

says:

Most of my favorites are already on your list :). I have a few to add to MY list now, though. Thank you :)

Kathryn

says:

Thanks for the fun suggestions for introducing poetry. It seems to be a lost art these days, but is so valuable for our learning and imaginations.

Carol

says:

Great list! I’ve been looking for some poetry books my kiddos might enjoy; so far they are pretty turned off by it but I think with the right fun / funny poems they will change their minds!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Carol,
I am convinced that there is some poetry out there for everyone, but you may have to search to find it.

Finding funny and silly poems is a great start, but also consider either making a big to-do about it or making it it no big deal. You could set aside a special day each week, or every other week, and have a tea party, complete with tea and goodies, and enjoy poetry during that time. The goodies do help with the enjoyment :D. Or, you could just read one or two poems once or twice a week, and then go on, making it just something you do but no big deal.

I’m a “no big deal” poetry person, but here is a link to how one homeschool mom does a big to-do most weeks. http://www.bravewriter.com/program/brave-writer-lifestyle/poetry-teatimes/

Lynn

says:

Thanks for the list. I am excited about the book of car poems.

Angela Beauchamp

says:

This is why I love AAR/AAS. I am really not familiar with poetry at all. But with this program I get to learn right along side my children. I love the guidance this program provides to moms who need a little help with unfamiliar subjects.

Vanessa

says:

Wonderful! I’ll check those out for sure!

Tracy O.

says:

My kids love Shel Silverstein. Where the Sidewalk Ends, Light in the Attic, etc.

Mickey

says:

Thanks for the list!

Alicia

says:

Poetry just isn’t my favorite, but I am excited to review the list above!

Neima

says:

Amazing list. Thank you

Kayla

says:

Thank you for making this as a download. I’m trying to get better about reading poetry to my kids while they are still young and will listen to anything I read. I’m sure that will change soon enough.

Jen S

says:

Love having this list at the beginning of the school year. Looking forward to checking out these books.

Flavia

says:

I can’t wait to get my order!

Kristi

says:

Awesome List!

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