Thursday, May 11, 2017

Some Non-Intimidating Poetry Recommendations

At the end of April, I shared some poetry books I'm in the midst of reading in honor of National Poetry Month. April is long over, but I still have lots more poetry to share! So I thought today I would gather together some collections and novels-in-verse I've already read and would recommend. I'm still pretty new to poetry and think all of these are accessible even if you don't normally read or enjoy poetry. I am certainly no aficionado, but I'm learning as I go and finding that "children's" poetry is a great place to start!

Shel Silverstein is a fairly obvious choice. These poems are mostly silly and just plain fun to read, though if I recall correctly, there are a few more serious ones included as well.

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Poetry for the littlest ones! I've enjoyed reading these collections with my son. Little Poems for Tiny Ears is aimed the youngest, but the others could be staples on our shelves for quite some time yet.

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, edited by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Marc Brown
Mother Goose, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Little Poems for Tiny Ears, by Lin Oliver; illustrated by Tomie dePaola

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A beautifully illustrated out-of-print children's poetry collection I borrowed from the library. It's really lovely if you can find it!

First Poems of Childhood, illustrated by Tasha Tudor

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The title says it all -- I loved this collection!

BookSpeak! Poems About Books, by Laura Purdie Salas; illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

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I wouldn't call myself a particular fan of dragons, but this was such a fun collection! Looking forward to reading it many more times with my son.

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Peter Sís

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These are picture book editions of single poems that we enjoyed during winter/Christmastime.

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem, by Maya Angelou; illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost; illustrated by Susan Jeffers

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Nikki Grimes is a new favorite author/poet of mine. I loved all three of these and am delighted to know there are plenty more backlist titles of hers to explore. Words with Wings and Garvey's Choice are middle grade novels-in-verse and One Last Word is a poetry collection featuring classic Harlem Renaissance poetry and Nikki's original poetry side by side. She uses a really interesting (and difficult!) poetry technique to tie the old and the new poems together. Just fascinating!

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Two excellent novels-in-verse and a memoir-in verse (Brown Girl Dreaming). FYI: To Stay Alive is about the Donner Party, so you may want to proceed with caution, though it is very well done and doesn't sensationalize the story.

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander
Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
To Stay Alive, by Skila Brown

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A thought-provoking YA poetry collection based on classic fairy tales that looks at young women, society, expectations, and more. It's been a while since I read this one and I'd like to revisit it. Read an excerpt to get a bit of a feel for it.

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I'd love to hear your poetry recommendations -- from picture books to classics or anything in between!


  1. What a great post! I love your selections. I'd add the Winnie the Pooh poems by A. A. Milne. I read a lot of them with my son when he was little. So adorable!

  2. If I am being honesty, pretty much the only poetry I read is children's lit. haha I think I need to read Book Speak! Nice list!


I'd love to hear what you think :)