I love poetry.
I am raising my kids to be linguists, to love language and words and sounds and rhythms.
I read to them while they were being knitted in my womb. I read to them daily and the oldest one is in college.
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. ~T.S. Eliot
I don’t teach poetry. I don’t teach English.
I don’t want to ruin the magic. We read it and discuss it. We ooh and aah over some of it. We giggle and act it out. Its purpose is to enjoy it, not tear it apart or dissect it. I occasionally point out an example of a literary term or ask them to notice something special about a particular word, line, or poem.
Poetry should be fun.
Poetry should be recited, performed, read aloud, acted out with costumes, laughed at, cried with, sang, shouted, whispered…read outside under trees while watching clouds.
The Poetry of earth is never dead.John Keats
We read lots and lots of poetry with our literature during our history cycles.
Our Favorite Poetry Books for Kids:
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children offers both funny and illuminating poems for kids personally selected by the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. Featuring a wealth of beloved classic poems from the past and modern glittering gems, every child who opens this treasury will finda world of surprises and delights which will instill a lifelong love of poetry. Featuring 572 unforgettable poems, and over 400 one-of-a-kind illustrations from the Caldecott-winning illustrator of the Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel, this collection is, quite simply, the perfect way to introduce children to the world of poetry.
This is a great poetry collection to get started.
Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky
“No one better recognizes the essence of the child-poetry connection than poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky…Here are more than 200 little poems to feed little people with little attention spans to help both grow. Marc Brown’s inviting illustrations add a visual dimension to the poems, which further engage young imaginations.” The poems are by 119 of the best-known poets of the 20th century.
The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury by Jack Prelutsky
Here in one gloriously illustrated volume are 211 wonderful poems that represent the best this century has to offer. From sibling rivalry, school, monsters, food, and just plain silliness, to such ageless themes as the seasons, Who am I? and the many moods of childhood, this is a collection that begs to be read aloud and shared with the whole family. The poems, from every decade of this century, showcase 137 famous poets.
There’s a poem to celebrate every moment in life-whether it’s hitting a home run, watching a sunset, or laughing with your best friend. A poem is a gift of the heart that can inspire, reassure, or challenge us. Memorize it-share it-it’s yours forever.
These are just fun.
Color Me a Rhyme: Nature Poems for Young People by Jane Yolen
What colors do you see in nature – the green of a fern, the brown of a desert, the gray of a lifeless tree? Look closer. You’ll find more than meets the eye. Is that a white flower, or a star that fell in the forest? Is that an orange sunset, or a piece of fruit that’s ripe for eating? Is that a blue sky, or the slate on which a bird writes?
We love every single book by Jane Yolen. She has exquisite nature poetry books and celebrations for all sorts, in addition to fantasy and dinosaurs.
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein
You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.
All of Silverstein’s books are delightful. I loved them as a kid and now my kids love them!
Hailstones and Halibut Bones: Adventures in Poetry and Color by Mary O’Neill
Poetry about the colors of the spectrum, has become a modern children’s classic.
Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg
Welcome to Rootabaga Country–where the railroad tracks go from straight to zigzag, where the pigs wear bibs, and where the Village of Cream Puffs floats in the wind. You’ll meet baby balloon pickers, flummywisters, corn fairies, and blue foxes–and if you’re not careful, you may never find your way back home!
Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O’Connell George
Join a young boy as he creates a world filled with origami creatures of all shapes and sizes out of an array of brightly colored paper. From roosters waking up and buffalo pawing the tablecloth to cheetahs racing lions and moths that yearn for butterfly colors, here is a glimpse into the vibrant imagination of a child.
Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O’Connell George
This tree across the stream is a trickier bridge than it might seem…Deceptively simple verses reveal what trees think about and what they say to one another, as well as how they look and all the things they do for us. Humor and an unerring ear for the sounds of language make these poems an irresistible read-aloud; the luminous oil paintings evoke a country setting and the children who enjoy it through the year.
Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies by Julie Andrews and
Featuring a wide range of beloved classics from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickenson, and Robert Frost to playful poems by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein, this is the perfect collection for families to share throughout the years. Julie and Emma additionally contribute a number of their own poems and reveal the stories behind some of their family favorites. James McMullan’s stunning watercolor paintings bring each page to glorious life with his spectacular vision and artistic point of view.
The Collection, now featuring a brand-new cover design, is packaged with a special CD featuring mother and daughter alternately recording twenty-one poems, some of which are recited together. This special keepsake anthology is one that readers of all ages will return to and treasure.
We have a slight obsession with Julie Andrews. We are not ashamed.
There are more animals to find among the trees, and the kindly figure with his “promises to keep” exudes warmth as he stops to appreciate the quiet delights of winter. The handsome new vellum jacket will attract new and old fans as it evokes a frost-covered windowpane.
We love reading poetry aloud. We love writing limericks and fun poems of our own.
I love reading poetry to my kids.
There are whole series of about 12 poetry books – Poetry for Young People. Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, and Walt Whitman are just lovely.