25 Best Poetry Books To Buy For Kids In 2021

Poetry Books To Buy For Kids

Reading poetry to your kids during bedtime is one way to get them to sleep without any fuss. Children can also improve their reading and vocabulary skills through poetry books. Finding the best poetry books for kids might not be easy since parentsare often unsure of what would work with their child.

To help moms and dads choose appropriate poetry books, MomJunction has listed the 25 best poetry books that are quite likely to be enjoyed by kids.

25 Best Poetry Books For Kids

1. Where The Side walk Ends: Poems And Drawings

Where The Side walk Ends

Filled with the poetry and drawings of Shel Silverstein, this book is spread over 176 pages. The book’s poems are fun-filled and also educative. There is no shortage of fantasy-laden elements in the book with children transforming into televisions while others can eat whales. The book encourages children to use their imagination in everyday life. This poetry book is ideal for those in the six to eight-year-old age group.

2. Inside Out And Back Again

Inside Out And Back Again

One of the best poetry books for children, this offering focuses on the experience of a child refugee who was forced to flee Saigon, Vietnam, when the city fell. The girl’s experiences are the focus of the book authored by Thanhha Lai and are offered to the reader in verse form. The book is an award winner and reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list. It allows children to experience the author’s personal experiences as she grew up as an immigrant in the state of Alabama.

3. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Poems created by Fred Rogers make this book one of the best poetry books for kids, and it comes with illustrations. The book, which is a best-seller, has over 75 poems in song format. It is ideal for children between the ages of six to eight years or those who are in grades one to three. The book brings the charming and friendly nature that Rogers was famous for in his TV show to your home and your child’s life. The illustrations are by Luke Flowers.

4. Poems To Learn By Heart

Poems To Learn By Heart

This book of poems is a collection that is designed to tug at heartstrings. Edited by bestselling author Caroline Kennedy and featuring creations from several world-famous poets, the book is one of the premier offerings when it comes to children’s poetry books.  The paintings featured in the book are created by Jon J Muth while the poems celebrate everyday occurrences that children cherish and are strongly attached too, whether it is a ballet class or playing a game with a friend.

5. A Child’s Book of Poems

A Child's Book of Poems

One of the top poetry books for children, this offering is composed of over 200 poems. The book is an anthology and features striking illustrations created by Gyo Fujikawa, who previously worked for Walt Disney. The poems include illustrated offerings from William Blake and Lewis Carroll. The poems and illustrations are likely to grab the attention of children between the ages of three to seven years. In addition to famous poems, the book focuses on limericks, well-known proverbs, and nursery rhymes.

6. The Random House Book Of Poetry For Children

The Random House Book Of Poetry For Children

The poems are curated by Jack Prelutsky, who was the winner of the U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate award. With 572 poems included in the book, it showcases work from Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson, and more. Classic and modern poems exist side by side in the book, which includes over 400 illustrations created by Arnold Lobel. It is generally regarded as one of the best poetry books for kids who are over the age of seven.

7. National Geographic Book Of Animal Poetry

National Geographic Book Of Animal Poetry

If you are looking for kids poetry book that also helps them learn about animals, then this is a good option. Offered by National Geographic, the book includes poems from several poets and curated by former Poet Laureate Patrick Lewis. These poems are paired with high-quality animal photographs. The photos cover pages in a full-bleed format and feature animals in their natural habitat. The book is ideal for children between the ages of four to eight years and is a visual treat for older kids too.

8. Sing A Song Of Seasons: A Nature Poem For Each Day Of The Year

Sing A Song Of Seasons

This book,with its 366 poems,lets children chart the course of seasons and the changes that occur in nature. The selection has been curated by Fiona Waters and also included are superb illustrations created by Frann Preston-Gannon. The poems are designed to inspire children between 7-12 years of age. The book helps them discover nuances of poems created by Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, and other outstanding poets from the 19th century on wards.

9. The New Kid On The Block

The New Kid On The Block

A book from the U.S. Poet Laureate for Children Jack Prelutsky, this offering has some of his best work. The book, which has about 100 poems, allows children to discover their surroundings and even learn more about the new kid who is now part of the scenery in a housing block. It also has a good amount of fantasy with lessons on how not to get into an argument. Everyday occurrences such as playing video games also feature in the book, and it allows kids to experience the joy of poetry.

10. It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles

It's Raining Pigs & Noodles

This book is created to provide children between six to ten years of age with entertainment and just the right amount of fantasy. It features poems that have pigs, cats, and more raining from the sky. It is one of the leading poetry books for kids, and there is no shortage of hilarious rhymes created by Jack Prelutsky. The colorful illustrations in the book are created by James Stevenson and keep children engaged. This poetry book is also useful in improving the reading skills of children.

11. Hip Hop Speaks To Children: A Celebration Of Poetry With A Beat

Hip Hop Speaks To Children

The poems included in the book are edited by Nikki Giovanni, while illustrations are created by Alicia Vergel de Dios and Damian Ward. The book comes with an audio CD that is narrated by famous artists such as Queen Latifah, and it allows children to explore the rhythm of hip-hop. The book is suitable for children between 7-11 years of age and includes poems such as “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”.

12. Einstein’s Cat

Einstein’s Cat

This poetry book is suitable for children of various ages and can even keep teens engrossed. The book is authored by Tom Skinner and will keep children laughing as they read. Poems, phrases, and more fill the pages while the illustrations are designed to draw the eye. This book is a good option if you want to provide entrainment to kids during a party. It will keep children in a fun-filled mood as they laugh out loud and discuss the meaning of the words later on.

13. A Pizza The Size Of The Sun

Pizza The Size Of The Sun

Featuring poems created by Jack Prelutsky, this book is a treat for kids and includes richly detailed black and white illustrations from James Stevenson. As the title points out, the poems include one that is about baking a pizza that is similar in size to the sun. There are over 100 poems in the books, and kids can laugh as they read about puzzled snakes and hippopotamuses. There is even a poem that is designed never to end while another is created to be read backward.

14. National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry

This is one of the premier options when it comes to poetry books for kids as it offers a combination of beautiful photos and poems. An offering from National Geographic, this book features over 200 poems about nature. The poems include classics from William Wordsworth and Robert Frost and modern offerings from Jack Prelutsky. The book is ideal for children between the ages of four to eight years and is curated by the former U.S.  Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. Additionally, every photograph comes with a description.

15. Kids Pick The Funniest Poems

Kids Pick The Funniest Poems

Want a book that is sure to make children laugh? Then this book is ideal as it is composed of poems that have been selected by kids. The poems are selected for their fun factor and, therefore, are great for adding a bit of hilarity to reading time at home. The book is for children upwards of six years in age and is also suitable for those in middle school. Among the poets who are featured in the book are Bill Dodds, Robert Pottle, and Kenn Nesbitt, while the illustrations are created by Stephen Carpenter.

16. The Armpit of Doom: Funny Poems for Kids

The Armpit of Doom

This poetry book for kids features a compilation of fun-filled poems created by Kenn Nesbitt. The book is filled with mischievous mayhem and is designed to keep children entertained,especially during the holidays and long weekends. The poems in the book are filled with Nesbitt’s jovial rhymes, which encourage children to keep reading and effortlessly draw them into a playful adventure. The book is ideal for children between the ages of 8-12 years and is one of the most popular offerings around.

17. Breathe And Be: A Book Of Mindfulness Poems

Breathe And Be A Book

This is a good book if you want your children to be mindful of their surroundings and happenings in the world. The book is authored by Kate Coombs, while the illustrator is Anna Laitinen. The poems encourage children to experience nature to the fullest and connect to the inherent beauty of the natural world while staying calm and centered. Dealing with emotions and attaining inner peace are other ideas explored in the book. It is suitable for children between the ages of four to eight years.

18. Poetry For Kids: Robert Frost

Poetry For Kids Robert Frost

This book focuses on the poems created by award-winning poet Robert Frost. The curated poems are easily understood by children and are some of the most popular offerings for those in middle school. The poems have been edited by Jay Parini, while the illustrations in the book have been created by Michael Paraskevas. Illustrations in the book bring poems such as “Mending Wall” to life, while the commentary included helps children better understand the meaning of several important words.

19. Poetry For Kids: Emily Dickinson

Poetry For Kids Emily Dickinson

It is an ideal book for introducing children to the poems of Emily Dickinson, who is considered to be one of America’s leading poets. This book also features richly hued illustrations that are created by Christine Davenier. The 35 poems in the book have been edited by Susan Snively, and parents can enjoy them along with their children. Poems feature explanations of keywords, thus allowing children to understand better. The poems are ideal for 9-12-year olds.

20. Poetry For Kids: William Shakespeare

Poetry For Kids William Shakespeare

Poetry from William Shakespeare is easily accessible to kids in this book. The book is edited by Marguerite A. Tassi, and is made easy for a child to navigate through the intricacies of Shakespearean’s English. Among the best kids’ poetry books, this offering showcases Shakespeare’s famous sonnets and more. Each of the poems comes with a striking illustration that is created by Merce Lopez. The illustrations are detail-rich and encourage middle school students to explore the dramatic element of poetry.

21. They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems

They Call Me Güero A Border

Among the many children poetry books, this is a striking offering as it deals with a boy who lives on the border between the United States and Mexico. The book importantly focuses on poems that are based on the life of a boy with lighter skin and red hair, who is struggling to live within Mexican society. The book written by David Bowles has won several awards since its publication. The book focuses on aspects of teenage life, including Snapchat, music, along with other issues that crop up along the border.

22. The Poetry Of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology For Science For Kids

The Poetry Of Science The Poetry Friday

Poetry and science go together well in this book. The book, therefore, is a popular option for children who want to learn more about science with the aid of verse, and they can even use the poems to get inspired when doing homework or projects. The book is authored by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, and features striking illustrations that are paired with poems. Among the science subjects covered are computers, world-renowned scientists, scientific experiments, and important inventions.

23. No More Homework! No More Tests!: Kids’ Favorite Funny School Poems

No More Homework! No More Tests

This is one of the best available kids’ poetry books, and it appeals to children who are familiar with the pressure of doing homework. The title allows children to imagine a world where tests and homework do not exist, and the poems are full of hilarity. Among the poems featured in the book are offerings from Carol Diggory Shields and Bruce Lansky. The book makes poems appealing to children, and helps those between the ages of one to five years, improve their vocabulary.

24. Poetry For Kids: Carl Sandburg

Poetry For Kids Carl Sandburg

With this book, you can ensure your kids get a taste of poetry that they will remember for years in the future. The book focuses on poems created by Carl Sandburg. It contains 35 of them, edited by Kathryn Benzel. The book features rich illustrations created by Robert Crawford, which complement the stirring verse in poems such as “Shenandoah” and “Young Bullfrogs.” The book makes Sandburg’s poems accessible to kids between the age of 8 – 12, and it comes with commentary and explanation of words.

25. Poetry For Kids: Walt Whitman

Poetry For Kids Walt Whitman

If you are on the lookout for one of the best kids’ poetry booksthat have been approved by teachers, then this one is sure to catch your attention. The book focuses on poems created by Walt Whitman, one of America’s best poets and features some of this best work. The 35 poems featured in the book are edited by Karen Karbenier, while the detailed illustrations are created by Kate Evans. Poems in the book include “O Captain! My Captain!” and are suitable for children who are in middle school.

How To Choose The Right Poetry Books For Kids?

The following tips can help you make the right choice.

  • Choose books that are compatible with your child’s other interests. For instance, if your child loves animals, then you can pick poetry books that feature illustrations and poems about animals.
  • Take the child’s age into consideration and buy a book that will interest them for several years.
  • Give preference tobooks written or edited by poets that specialize in children’s poetry.
  • If you want a variety of poems, then pick poetry books that feature a collection of poems from different poets.
  • Give preference to books with illustrations since it can provide the child with immersive reading experience.
  • If you want the child to sing along the poems, then pick poetry books that are bundled with an audio CD or provide a provision to download audio content.
  • Check the reviews of books on online sites.
  • Read a few poems in the book before buying it.
  • Ensure the book is made from high-quality paper and ink that can withstand wear and tear.

How To Teach Poetry To Children?

Poetry often has to be explained to children, if you want them to understand the meaning of words and phrases. In addition to this explanation, children can be taught poetry with the aid of illustrations and music. Also, children can be allowed to create free-verse and learn poetry.

With a bit of research, you can find the best poetry book to read to your childrenduring bedtime or give one as a gift. Poetry will never go out of fashion, and a good book will often be passed from one kid to another.