I’ve been working on a big poetry based project, and so I was inspired to pick up some poetry books for my kids at the library last week. We have enjoyed reading them. We giggle a lot, the poems often prompt questions from my children, and they want to repeat and recite their favorite parts. Exposing children to poetry has many benefits.
Poetry builds reading, speaking, and listening skills through the repetition of words and sounds. It offers the opportunity to explore language and vocabulary. Poetry often uses a few words to explain a bigger concept, evokes word play and rhyme, and by doing so, it takes language “out of the box.” Also, poetry is fun and inspiring. It can inspire writing and creative activities and encourage creative thinking.
Here are a few of our favorite children’s poetry collections:
This is a lesser known collection of poetry from the author of The New Kid on the Block. Prelutsky’s poetry is silly, insightful, and the illustrations in the book add to the stories. This book is a great way to teach children about different poetry styles, especially alliteration, word play, and shape poems. Some of our favorites include Never Poke your Uncle with a Fork, Percy’s Perfect Pies, Why Do I Have to Clean My Room? and Burp.
This book has organized the poems by season, with titles that are calendar dates. The gentle verses range from long to very short (some poems are as short as 4 lines) and manage to capture the feeling of each calendar date. Just for fun, I checked the book to see if July 12 (the day I’m writing this) is included, and to my delight, it is! My children liked the soft and playful illustrations, which helps highlight the mood of each season.
Isn’t this an eloquent illustration of the summer season?
Image copyright: Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad
This is another option if you’re looking for a book that will teach children about different types of poetry. This anthology is a collection of poems on the theme of Earth. Authors are from all around the world, and the poetry styles represented range from traditional to haiku. The rich illustrations add a sophisticated backdrop to the beautiful words.
No list of children’s poetry would be complete without Shel Silverstein’s classic. These world-renowned verses delighted me when I was growing up. As a parent, I take tremendous joy in reading and giggling along with them when we read this book together. It takes me right back to my childhood memories of reading this book and the excitement and joy.
Some of our favorites from the collection include the poems: Homemade Boat, Listen to the Mustn’ts, Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out, and The Unicorn.
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