Poetry is a thoughtful and unique genre that expands creativity and asks its readers to think outside the box. Books of verse are a great way to introduce young minds to a different style of reading and writing and to help them learn about different forms of expression. Below is a list of poetry book recommendations that are perfect for helping your child celebrate National Poetry Month—you may even recognize some of them from your own childhood!
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss (ages 3-7): It’s impossible to discuss children’s books and not mention Dr. Seuss—the question is, where to begin? When delving into poetry with your little one, Hop on Pop is a great place to start. Full of short poems, colorful illustrations and memorable characters, this fun, approachable book teaches kids to love rhyme and the rhythm that poetry offers. Written in 1963, this charming book has stood the test of time, bringing joy to readers for generations.
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (ages 4-8): If your child enjoyed the poem Bed in Summer from the Brain Quest Second Grade Workbook, they will love this book! Full of over 60 poems that cover a plethora of child-friendly topics from singing, to bedtime, to the moon, A Child’s Garden of Verses engages readers from start to finish. Originally published in 1885, it speaks to children as much today as it did over a century ago.
Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers edited by Pat Mora (ages 5-6): This beloved poetry book comprised of vibrant, enriching illustrations showcases poems written by 13 Latino poets and explores the relationships between mothers, grandmothers and children. Available in both English and Spanish editions, this heartfelt read serves as both a poetic experience and an unforgettable bonding activity.
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (ages 6-8): Full of witty, fun and engaging poems that kids will love to recite, this classic work from Shel Silverstein is a children’s poetry book staple. Accompanied by zany illustrations, each rhyming poem focuses on a different child-friendly topic (from bubblegum to drying dishes to overdue library books) that will have kids giggling nonstop and eager to write their own.
The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes (ages 8-12): Meant for slightly older children, this powerful book of poetry will make readers not only think, but feel, as the words found on each page are packed with powerful messages, ideas, and inspiration. Hughes challenges his audience to a bigger, deeper way of thinking with poems that discuss life and its many layers. Full of beautiful illustrations, this is one that resonates just as much today as it did when published nearly 90 years ago.