This collection of poetry books represents a few of the 2019 newly published books meant to introduce children to poetry whether that is in the classroom or at home. Thus, there are quite a few anthologies in this book with collections of poems from luminaries both contemporary and from the distant past. I have to say that the bar is set very high this year. Each of these books is a gem in its own way, giving all kids an entry point to find a poetry book to make it fun and accessible to them.
I’m giving away Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
What are your favorite children’s poets and/or poetry books for kids? Thanks for sharing!
New Great Poetry Books for Kids
Your One and Only Heart: A Poetic Exploration of the Circulatory System by Rajani LaRocca, MD, illustrated by Lauren Paige Conrad
This picture book is a really fun and intuitive way to learn about the heart and the circulatory system. Rajani LaRocca uses free verse poems to explain the different aspects of the heart and how it works. The illustrations emphasize the takeaway points. It’s impossible not to appreciate your heart more after reading this book! The end matter gives more facts about how the heart works. Use this book for National Poetry Month in April because it does double duty for teaching both poetry and STEM! [picture book, ages 5 and up]
My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem and a Dream translated by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen, illustrated by Tracy Gallup
This book really does a lot of heavy lifting demystifying Haiku poetry and selecting great works by Japanese masters. The illustrations by Tracy Gallup help to explain how each Haiku poem can be unfolded with different layers of meaning. The text below each poem by Esperanza invites the reader to explore the poem further. She also selects the poems in a particular sequence to make the poems linked — a form of Haiku called Renza — and this is a brilliant way to understand how Haiku was an extemporaneous form of entertainment in Feudal Japan. An invaluable resource to use in the classroom or at home, I would invite educators to explore Haiku and link to other works of art. I would suggest Impressionist artists or use these poems to have kids create their own Impressionist art. The Impressionists also sought to capture a brief moment in time just like the Haiku poems. [bilingual Japanese poetry picture book, ages 5 and up]
The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Richard Jones
This really is a How-to instruction manual in the form of poetry. It starts off with How To Write a Poem with How To Build a Poem by Charles Ghigna. I like how having just one illustrator, Richard Jones, gives this poetry anthology consistency. The curation of the poems is also very well done. Kids who like nonfiction such as National Geographic books for kids will enjoy the How To learning aspect of the poems. This is a really great way to introduce poetry to kids to show them that it’s not necessarily difficult to comprehend and is also fun to read. The fact that there are many different forms of poetry introduced is another way that this book educates very quietly and painlessly. And the list of contributors is like a Who’s Who list of children’s book author heavyweights! [poetry anthology, ages 4 and up]
Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space by James Carter and Mar Hernandez
This is truly a STEAM book — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math — because it takes a STEM topic and adds creativity in the form of poetry. The rollicking rhymes make this a great read-aloud. Taking the reader back to the Big Bang, children will absorb science without realizing it and there is a “Sciencey Stuff” acrostic poem at the end which summarizes the lesson. [poetry picture book, ages 3 and up]
Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year selected by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
There are 365 poems in this impressive anthology that celebrate the seasons. This would be fun to read daily with children, thus making poetry a pleasant habit that also introduces notable poets including Jack Prelutsky, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, e. e. Cummings, Robert Frost, and more! The illustrations give off a child-friendly Audubon vibe. This is a book to enjoy all year! [poetry anthology, ages 4 and up]
My First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton
Most of these poems are free-verse poems and they explore sea life. Author Nicola Davies is the perfect sea captain to lead this journey as she is trained as a zoologist and is also an award-winning author of books for children. It’s hard to decide which is her first love — poetry or nature — and that is what makes this collection of poems so appealing. Pack this book for your next beach vacation or just read it whenever you want for a quick figurative trip to the ocean! [poetry picture book, ages 3 and up]
Giggly Wiggly: Playtime Rhymes by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Chris Riddell
Using a variety of poetry forms, this engaging board book makes poetry fun and accessible for very young children. The illustrations, with animals and children, make the book relatable. [poetry board book, ages 2 and up]
I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime by Rosalind Beardshaw
This collection of poems revolves around bedtime, making it the perfect nighttime companion whether you want to read one poem a night as part of your reading routine or enjoy the book in its entirety. The beautiful and playful illustrations remind me of my favorite childhood nursery rhyme book, Mother Goose, illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa. [poetry picture book, ages 2 and up]
Sing a Song of Seasons Poetry Anthology GIVEAWAY!
I’m giving away Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. I can only mail to U.S. and AFO boxes.
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Poetry Book Lists for Kids
Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World
- Junior Library Guild Gold selection
- Selected as one of 100 Outstanding Picture Books of 2023 by dPICTUS and featured at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair
- Starred review from School Library Journal
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.