Please welcome poet and author Nancy Tupper Ling with her list of favorite poetry anthology books, just in time to celebrate April’s Poetry Month. She’s also a Boston-area-based author and I’m thrilled to have met her in real life at various children’s book events.
And she’s a fan favorite! Her books have been included in Multicultural Adoption Books for Kids and 10 Recent Picture Books With a Lot of Heart. She liked the cover image so much that she turned it into a puzzle!
You also don’t want to miss her #Author Acrostics series. Learn another side about authors through the acrostic poems that they create for this series. It’s a fun way for kids to explore poetry (and their favorite authors!) for April’s Poetry Month!
Last but not least, we are giving away her picture book, Double Happiness. To enter, please see the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Alina Chau
For their move far away, Gracie and Jake are sad to leave
the golden bridge,
the trolley tracks,
and Nai Nai.But they fill empty boxes with treasures—
a marble, a snake,
a pair of wings.
Tiny reminders of all they love—
so happiness stays close,
no matter where they go.
With grace and warmth, this lyrical picture book speaks to the difficulty of transition, and celebrates the ways in which love and family give us the strength to weather life’s changes. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Poetry Anthology Books for Kids
For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Helen Cann
Age 4-10 years. This poetry collection reflects ordinary moments in a child’s day, and finding gratitude for the small wonders like a friend’s helping hand or the return of the fireflies. Arranged from waking up to falling asleep, For Every Little Thing is a warm exploration of the day and its delights. (Can you guess which kind of bird is on the cover?) [poetry anthology, ages 4 and up]
Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye
In the beginning of Naomi Shihab Nye’s latest collection, her dedication speaks volumes about what awaits inside the covers.
To all readers and writers of poems everywhere:
still matter most
Needless to say, her poems inspire us to be brave, whether grappling with death (“Mom Gives Away Your Ties”) or experiencing love (“Pause”). [poetry anthology, ages 8 and up]
Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López
As Engle writes to her reader, she has profiled “people who have faced life’s challenges in creative ways. Some were celebrated in their lifetimes but have been forgotten by history.” This includes women like Pura Belpré, a librarian who made sure to introduce books to children in two languages at the New York Public Library. [poetry anthology, ages 8 and up]
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko
Together poets Latham and Waters team up to portray issues of race between two classmates, Irene (who is white) and Charles (who is black). Through their characters, they grapple with everyday topics “such as hair, hobbies, and family dinners” and in the process they explore “the misunderstanding of race in twenty-first century America.” The illustrations by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko are a mixed-race couple who bring insight through their stunning collages, and by the end Charles and Irene realize “We are so much more than black and white.” [poetry anthology, ages 8 and up]
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
This is a Coretta Scott King Award winner for a reason. The power of words comes alive with this tribute to various poets and their voices. The reader will learn something about the lives of these interesting poets and their poetic style. Holmes’ mixed-media illustrations lure us in, so the magic can begin with these poems. [poetry anthology, ages 8 and up]
Hello, Earth!: Poems to Our Planet by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
GORGEOUS!! If you want to fall in love with our planet Earth all over again, check out Sidman’s latest collection. Paired with Lora’s breathtaking illustrations, Sidman’s poems move us through the many “Questions and Answers” (poem title) we have about our home. Teachers and parents will find the back matter entitled “More About How the Earth Works” super-helpful as well. [poetry anthology, ages 5 and up]
In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Who doesn’t love a dinosaur book? What a great way to present poetry to kids who might be reluctant readers. I learned a lot, too. I had no idea about a Megalodon, but it is well-named for its big teeth. Glad we don’t have to run into this creature on a regular basis, tho. That’s for sure. [poetry anthology, ages 3 and up]
Thanku: Poems of Gratitude edited by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Marlena Myles
What a wonderful way to introduce children to the idea of gratitude, for little things and big things. And how wonderful to find many of my friends here, from Padma Venkatramen to Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Another cool thing—each poem is written using a different form or literary device, to encourage readers to “try these at home.” [poetry anthology, ages 6 and up]
Superlative Birds by Leslie Bulion, illustrated by Robert Meganck
It’s fun when a title leaves you with a question. “How are these birds superlative,” one might ask? And for a child, “What does superlative mean?” As an award-winning science poet, Bulion jumps right in by introducing us to “the best and the brightest—and the smelliest!” in the bird world. With Meganck’s chickadee narrator as a guide, there is great fun to be had while learning. (p.s. The hoatzin wins in the smelliest category, wings down!) [poetry anthology, ages 8 and up]
You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
Why not try a book filled with poetry and activities? Based on The Poetry Friday Anthology, this book is an invaluable resource to young poets and teachers alike. With 12 “Power Packs” that include engaging poems, a storyline, and writing prompts, you are sure to boost your creative juices with this one. [poetry anthology, ages 12 and up]
Double Happiness Picture Book GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away her picture book, Double Happiness. To enter, please see the Rafflecopter below. We can only mail to U.S. and AFO addresses.
Nancy Tupper Ling surrounds herself with books. She is an award-winning children’s author, poet, and librarian, who has great fun teaching poetry to all ages. Her picture books have received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, and her next anthology entitled For Every Little Thing (Eerdmans Publishing) is due in September 2021. To learn more about her, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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p.s. Related posts:
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.