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Poetry for Kids

Poetry is celebrated during National Poetry Month each April, but it's good reading all year long. This collection is especially designed for children, including kids who might want to write their own poetry, but aren't sure how to start. We have the answer.

Books of Poems

Wham! It's a Poetry Jam: Discovering Performance Poetry by Sara Holbrook: A guide to performing poetry alone and in groups; includes guidelines to set up poetry-performance contests.

Fly with Poetry: An ABC of Poetry: A collection of verse that provides examples of poetic forms.

How to Write Poetry by Paul Janeczko: Provides practical advice with checklists on the art of writing poetry.

Around the World in Eighty Poems: This collection takes the reader on an imaginary journey to more than 50 countries.

The Fish Is Me: Bathtime Rhymes and The Drowsy Hours: Poems for Bedtime: Two collections of poems about getting ready for bed"¦ poems about bathtime and lullabies.

Under the Moon & Over the Sea: A Collection of Caribbean Poems: A collection of poems about the wind, the sea, the people and the animals of the Caribbean.

Don't Step on the Sky: A Handful of Haiku by Miriam Chaikin: Nature poems in a Haiku format.

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman: A Newbery Award-winning collection of poems describing the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects.

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye: Poems about the Middle East and about being an Arab American living in the United States.

Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoes: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems by Andrea Perry: Short poems describe crazy inventions, like footsie floss, an upside-down lens for bats, and a super spider spotter for Miss Muffet.

The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky: Twenty-eight nonsensical, often geographical poems, for preschoolers and young readers.

Eureka: Poems about Inventors by Joyce Sedman: A collection of poems about inventions such as the first chocolate bar, the frisbee, the dishwasher and various inventors.

American History Fresh Squeezed! by Carol Diggory Shields: A collection of poems about such important events in the history of the United States as the Pilgrims' landing in Massachusetts, the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War, Seward's Folly, the San Francisco earthquake, and more.

Becoming Joe DiMaggio by Maria Testa: Young Joseph Paul grows up listening to the radio and following the career of Joe DiMaggio. He learns how to dream and hopes someday to grow up a hero like Joe DiMaggio.

Irish Poems: A collection of Irish poems for children.

The Songs of Birds: Stories and Poems from Many Cultures: A varied collection of bird stories and poems from around the world. Drawn from oral traditions that stretch back to ancient times.

Labyrinths: Can You Escape from the 26 Letters of the Alphabet? by Philippe Mignon: Mazes and labyrinths in the shape of letters coupled with poems makes this a unique book to read.

The Messengers of Rain and Other Poems from Latin America: This is an anthology of 64 poems from 19 Latin American countries.

Hail to Mail by Samuel Marshak: A certified letter follows its intended recipient all over the world as the postal service attempts to catch up to him.

Beginning Reader Book

A Pet for Me: Poems: A collection of poems celebrating the joys of having a pet.

Picture Books of Poems

One Leaf Rides the Wind: Counting in a Japanese Garden by Celeste Nammis: In this collection of haiku poems, a young girl walks through a Japanese garden and discovers many delights, from one leaf to ten stone lanterns. Includes notes about Japanese religion and philosophy.

Love Song for a Baby by Marian Dane Bauer: The wonder of babies is captured in this charming book of poetry.

Michael Foreman's Playtime Rhymes by Michael Foreman: An illustrated collection of traditional rhymes, some familiar and some not so familiar.

Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield: A young girl expresses what she loves about life.

Broken Feather by Verla Kay: Told in verse, Broken Feather witnesses the changes taking place around him as settlers begin to travel through his homeland and then begin to stay.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes by Zita Newcome: A collection of approximately 50 nursery and counting rhymes, most accompanied by fingerplays or other activities.

Fiction Books Told With Poetry

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech: A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem. Also available in Audiocassette format.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse: In a series of poems, 15-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl years of the Depression. A Newbery Award Winner. Also available in Audiocassette format.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson: In a series of poems, 11-year-old Lonnie writes about his life, after the death of his parents, separated from his younger sister, living in a foster home, and finding his poetic voice at school.

Books About Poets (Biographies and Fictional Stories)

Emily Dickinson by S. L. Berry and Walt Whitman by Catherine Reef: These books cover the lives of these two famous poets and their affect on American poetry.

Emily by Michael Bedard: When a mother and child pay a visit to their reclusive neighbor, Emily, who stays in her house writing poems, there is an exchange of special gifts.

The Mouse of Amherst by Elizabeth Spires: When she moves into Emily Dickinson's bedroom, Emmaline the mouse discovers her own propensity for poetry.

Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World by Jeanette Winter: A brief description of the life of Emily Dickinson and a selection of her poems.

Free to Dream: The Making of a Poet: Langston Hughes by Audrey Osofsky: A biography of the Harlem poet whose works gave voice to the joy and pain of the black experience in America.

Love to Langston Hughes by Tony Medina: A series of poems written from the point of view of the poet, Langston Hughes, offering an overview of key events and themes in his life.

Visiting Langston by Willie Perdomo: A poem to celebrate the African American poet, Langston Hughes, born on February 1, 1902.

Poetry on CD

The Days Gone By: The Poetry of Emily Dickinson by Ted Jacobs, plus A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein: Three recordings that offer poetry in song.


New Kid on the Block: Poems by Jack Prelutsky: Humorous poems about such strange creatures and people as Baloney Belly Billy and the Gloopy Gloopers.


The Maurice Sendak Library: A collection of numerous classics, including the award-winning "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak and several poems from The Nutshell Library, all set to music. Includes a documentary on Maurice Sendak's life and writings.


Canton Public Library Youth Poetry Page: The page emphasizes National Poetry Month, but its links and resources are great throughout the year.