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16 Poetry Picture Book Recommendations for National Poetry Month

Looking for poetry picture book recommendations?  The KidLitPicks Book Club has a few recommendations.

Parents have the capability to open the door to an incredible world for their child(ren). They have the sole pleasure of sharing the beauty and wonder of poetry with them. Poetry books contain soothing rhythms and rhymes, short, simple sentences and clever repetition of key words and phrases. There is nothing like the rhythm of words flowing together to form a story in such rich language. Poetry is such a happy thing! It’s magical to watch children’s eyes, minds, and hearts dancing along the rhythmical lines of poetry and into a lifelong love of lyrical language.

The variety of language and structure in poetry is great for children’s growing brains and imaginations. It’s also refreshing for the grownups who read with them! With National Poetry Month now that we’re in April, it’s a splendid time to let poetry blossom in your household and in the young hearts of your children.

Finding Wonders, by Jeannine Atkins 

“’Knowing our history can make us stronger.’ Having examples of strong, determined, intelligent women from history for our own girls to read about can make them stronger.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

Things to Do, by ​​Elaine Magliaro and Catia Chien

Things to Do shows readers that wonder and enjoyment can be found anywhere and everywhere.” — Mel from @spiky_penelope

A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson

“It’s easy to hear [poetry] and immediately jump to Shel Silverstein… But before there was Shel, there was Stevenson.” — Katie from @afriendlyaffair

Noisy Poems, by Debi Gliori

“It makes a nice change from stories every now and again and it’s worth mentioning that it is chosen by Little Miss Bookhabit quite regularly so it gets the child friendly seal of approval.” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit

A Family of Poems, by Caroline Kennedy and Jon J Muth

When read aloud, poetry is rhythm and music and sounds and beats. Young children may not understand all the words or meaning, but they’ll feel the rhythms, get curious about what the sounds mean and perhaps want to create their own.” — Leah from @astoryaday

Feelings, by Richard Jones and Libby Walden

“Full to the brim of delightful illustrations and with a brilliant use of colour, this book is a beautifully poetic look into a wide range of emotions ranging from ‘happy’ to ‘angry’ to ‘alone’ and ‘calm.’” —  Kim from @bookbairn

Voyage, Billy Collins and Karen Romagna

“My selection has sentimental value as it was given to me by a dear friend to celebrate the arrival of our daughter.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

Poems to Perform, by Julia Donaldson

“This book was such a great find and has propelled me to explore poetry and performance in the classroom.” — De from @books_and_babycinos

Animal Ark, by Kwame Alexander and Joel Sartore

“Stunning images and beautiful text! National Geographic does it again!” — Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? by Judith Viorst

“This collection of thoughtful, funny, and touching poems is grouped into child-centred topics, such as feelings, school stuff, family, home, friends, help, best and worst, seasons, mysteries, and unfinished business.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Tan to Tamarind: Poems about the Color Brown, by Malathi Michelle Iyengar  and Jamel Akib

“Who knew there were so many beautiful shades of the color brown!” — Charnaie from @hereweeread

The Moon and Me, by Anna and Brian Boyter

“This easy read is perfect for little ones, especially with its lyrical text.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader

A Poem for Peter, by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Lou Fancher, and Steve Johnson

“It’s a heart-burstingly inspiring and beautiful read. And one that I foresee becoming a well-thumbed, much-discussed book in this household for years to come.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

Poetrees, by Douglas Florian 

“Ripe with information, Douglas Florian’s poems in Poetrees are perfect for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers.” — Jamie from @smallysbookshelf

Come With Me To Paris, by Gloria Fowler and Min Heo

“I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and share my love of this big beautiful city with my kids.” — Michelle from @the.book.report

The Land of Nod, by Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Hunter 

“It’s a phantasmagoric journey through twilight shadows and moonlight.” — Liam from @words.and.illustrations

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Your turn: What poetry/haiku books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Amy Losak

    Dear Ms. Gordon, Thanks for your lovely article. I wish to call your attention to two glorious books for National Poetry Month — and anytime:

    1. “A Gift From Greensboro” by poet, scholar and teacher, Quraysh Ali Lansana (Penny Candy Books, founded by 2 poets): This is is a story told in free verse about two young friends during the historic sit-ins of the Civil Rights era.
    2. “Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzo Kaneko (Chin Music Press) — Misuzo was a young Japanese kids’ poet, with a tragic life, whose lyrical work was almost lost to time. Her poems are ageless. I am acquainted with one of the editors, David Jacobson.

    These books are also gorgeously illustrated. If you Google, you will good information about them. I think these deserve more recognition due to their quality — and they are unusual, lyrical books.

    Penny Candy Books will publish my late mom’s themed haiku picture book next spring. (Sydell Rosenberg was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America in NYC in 1968 — it still exists today. The haiku community is global and supportive. I also am a member of HSA.) PCB is dedicated to diversity in children’s literature … its list of titles is impressive. I hope you will check out the site.

    Please accept my thanks for the opportunity to comment and connect.

    April 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm
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