10 Outstanding Poetry Books for Kids
The Children’s Book Review | April 30, 2019
Whether you are searching for a collection of inspiring poems, a sweet rhyming picture book, or an outstanding novel written in verse … this is the list for you! We’ve included the publisher’s synopsis with each book so you can learn a little about each title.
Publisher’s Synopsis: A breathtaking picture book about the relationships we share from New York Times bestselling storytellers Julie Fogliano and Loren Long in the tradition of The Runaway Bunny and Guess How Much I Love You.
if i was the sunshine
and you were the day
i’d call you hello!
and you’d call me stay
if you were the winter
and i was the spring
i’d call you whisper
and you’d call me sing…
Through clever, thought-provoking verse and warmly evocative art, New York Times bestsellers Julie Fogliano and Loren Long explore the awe-inspiring nature of relationships, love, and connection.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | May 7, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1481472432
Written by Eloise Greenfield
Illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi
Publisher’s Synopsis: A new collection of poetry for kids from Coretta Scott King Book Award winner Eloise Greenfield!
Thinker isn’t just an average puppy―he’s a poet. So is his owner, Jace. Together, they turn the world around them into verse.
There’s just one problem: Thinker has to keep quiet in public, and he can’t go to school with Jace. That is, until Pets’ Day. But when Thinker is allowed into the classroom at last, he finds it hard to keep his true identity a secret.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | April 2, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1492677246
Written by Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Publisher’s Synopsis: The 2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner!
In an astonishing unfurling of our universe, Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer and Caldecott Honor winner Ekua Holmes celebrate the birth of every child.
Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was . . . nothing. But then . . . BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond — and how we are all the stuff of stars.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | September 4, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0763678838
Written by Jane Yolen
Publisher’s Synopsis: Enchanting stories, lyrical poems, stunning photography, and fascinating science fill the pages of this treasury celebrating the amazing world of birds.
This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to present day. While it’s beautiful, it’s also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures. From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there’s sure to be something for every bird fan in your flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the importance of habitat conservation. They’ll find stories about bird rescues and fun facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They’ll also discover the best bird nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and more. Paired with stunning art and photography and beautiful design, this treasury is sure to become a classic for bird enthusiasts of all ages.
Fly with Me was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic’s 2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books | October 16, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1426331817
Publisher’s Synopsis: In H Is For Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z, the late poet Sydell Rosenberg, a charter member of the Haiku Society of America and a New York City public school teacher, and illustrator Sawsan Chalabi offer an A-Z compendium of haiku that brings out the fun and poetry in everyday moments.
Ages 5-11 | Publisher: Penny Candy Books | April 10, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0998799971
Written by Fred Rogers
Illustrated by Luke Flowers
Publisher’s Synopsis: For the first time ever, 75 beloved songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are collected in this charmingly illustrated treasury, sure to be cherished by generations of children as well as the millions of adults who grew up with Mister Rogers.
It’s you I like.
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair—
But it’s you I like.
From funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the lyrics of Mister Rogers explore such universal topics as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, imagination, and more. Through these songs—as well as endearing puppets and honest conversations—Mister Rogers instilled in his young viewers the values of kindness, self-awareness, and self-esteem. But most of all, he taught children that they are loved, just as they are. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is for every child—including the child inside of every one of us.
Ages 6-8 | Publisher: Quirk Books | March 19, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1683691136
Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Marguerite Tassi
Illustrated by Merce Lopez
Publisher’s Synopsis: Love! Betrayal! Ambition! Tragedy! Jealousy! William Shakespeare’s universal themes continue to resonate with readers of all ages more than 400 years after his death.
This wonderful, fully illustrated book introduces children to the Bard and more than thirty of his most famous and accessible verses, sonnets, and speeches. From “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” and “All the world’s a stage,” the words and poetry of the greatest playwright and poet spring to life on the page.
The next generation of readers, poets, and actors will be entranced by these works of Shakespeare. Each poem is illustrated and includes an explanation by an expert and definitions of important words to give kids and parents the fullest explanation of their content and impact.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: MoonDance Press | April 3, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1633225046
The Poetry of Us: More than 200 poems that celebrate the people, places, and passions of the United States
Publisher’s Synopsis: It’s all about us! Join former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a lyrical journey through the United States to experience the wonders of America’s people and places through 200+ inspiring poems and stunning photographs.
Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poetry. Poems are arranged by region, from coast to coast, and among them you’ll find works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Robert Frost, Naomi Shihab Nye, Walt Whitman, and more. From the familiar to the surprising, subjects include people, places, landmarks, monuments, nature, and celebrations. Designed for sharing, but geared to younger readers, this beautifully illustrated treasury is a must-have for the whole family.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books | September 25, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1426331855
Written by Aida Salazar
Publisher’s Synopsis: Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.
But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books | February 26, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1338283372
Written by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy
Publisher’s Synopsis: In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. At first things went smoothly for the Clinton 12, but then outside agitators interfered, pitting the townspeople against one another. Uneasiness turned into anger, and even the Clinton Twelve themselves wondered if the easier thing to do would be to go back to their old school. Jo Ann–clear-eyed, practical, tolerant, and popular among both black and white students—found herself called on as the spokesperson of the group. But what about just being a regular teen? This is the heartbreaking and relatable story of her four months thrust into the national spotlight and as a trailblazer in history. Based on original research and interviews and featuring backmatter with archival materials and notes from the authors on the co-writing process.
Ages 10-12 | Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books | January 8, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1681198521
The article 10 Outstanding Poetry Books for Kids was curated by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with National Poetry Month and Poetry Books For Kids.