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Must-Read Children's Poetry Books

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Looking for great poetry books? Consider the titles on our Children's Core Collection Lists, curated by Denver Public Library staff to ensure that a variety of reading levels, topics, themes, genres and more have been included. These lists include timeless classics, soon-to-be classics, funny books, touching books and lots in between. 

Check out our other must-read lists for kids. 

Firefly July : A Year Of Very Short Poems
A selection of short American poems dealing with the four seasons and the different weather events and animal patterns that can occur within each.
Forget-me-nots : Poems To Learn By Heart
Present a new collection of poems, from both classic and contemporary poets, which are especially suited for learning by heart and reciting aloud.
Hip Hop Speaks To Children : A Celebration Of Poetry With A Beat
Poetry can have both a rhyme and a rhythm. Sometimes it is obvious; sometimes it is hidden. But either way, make no mistake, poetry is as vibrant and exciting as it gets. And when you find yourself clapping your hands or tapping your feet, you know you've found poetry with a beat!
The Oxford Illustrated Book Of American Children's Poems
An anthology of American poems, arranged chronologically, from colonial alphabet rhymes to Native American cradle songs to contemporary poems.
Poems To Learn By Heart
For this companion to her "New York Times"-bestselling collection "A Family of Poems," Kennedy has hand-selected more than 100 of her favorite poems that lend themselves to memorization.
Poetry Speaks To Children
Poetry Speaks to Children reaches into the world of poetry and pulls out the elements children love: rhyme, rhythm, fun and, every once in a while, a little mischief. More than 90 poems, for children ages six and up, celebrate the written word and feature a star-studded lineup of beloved poets, including: Roald Dahl; J. R. R. Tolkien; Robert Frost; Gwendolyn Brooks; Ogden Nash; John Ciardi; Langston Hughes; Sonia Sanchez; Seamus Heaney; Canada's best-loved children's poet, Dennis Lee; Rita Dove; Billy Collins; Nikki Giovanni and X. J. Kennedy.
Words With Wings : A Treasury Of African-american Poetry And Art
Pairs twenty works of art by African-American artists with twenty poems by twenty African-American poets.
Thirteen Moons On Turtle's Back : A Native American Year Of Moons
Bruchac, Joseph, 1942-
Celebrates the seasons of the year through poems from the legends of such Native American tribes as the Cherokee, Cree, and Sioux.
Guess Who, Haiku
Caswell, Deanna, author.
A collection of haiku, each of which describes an animal and asks a question that rhymes with the answer on the following page.
Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes
Dahl, Roald.
Presents humorous retellings of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after.
Under The Mambo Moon
Durango, Julia, 1967-
Contains poems about the different people who stop by Marisol's father's music store on a hot summer night, looking for just the right songs to make their hearts fly home.
Joyful Noise : Poems For Two Voices
Fleischman, Paul.
A collection of poems describing the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects.
Technically, It's Not My Fault : Concrete Poems
Grandits, John.
An eleven-year-old boy named Robert voices typical—and not so typical—middle-grade concerns in this unique, memorable collection of hilarious poems. His musings cover the usual stuff, like pizza, homework, thank-you notes, and his annoying older sister. In addition, he speculates about professional wrestling for animals, wonders why no one makes scratch-and-sniff fart stickers, designs the ultimate roller coaster (complete with poisonous spiders), and deconstructs the origins of a new word, snarpy. A playful layout and ingenious graphics extend the wry humor that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.
Hush! : A Thai Lullaby
Ho, Minfong.
A lullaby which asks animals such as a lizard, monkey, and water-buffalo to be quiet and not disturb the sleeping baby.
Tap Dancing On The Roof : Sijo (poems)
Park, Linda Sue.
Sijo is a traditional Korean form of poetry. Sijo is syllabic, like Japanese haiku, with three lines of 14 to 16 syllables each: the first two introduce the topic, the third and fourth lines develop it, and the fifth and sixth lines contain an unexpected humorous or ironic twist. This collection contains 26 sijo.
The New Kid On The Block : Poems
Prelutsky, Jack.
Humorous poems about such strange creatures and people as Baloney Belly Billy and the Gloopy Gloopers.
Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich : And Other Stories You're Sure To Like, Because They're All About Monsters, And Some Of Them Are Also About Food...
Rex, Adam.
Stories in verse about the monster-sized problems Dracula, Wolfman, Bigfoot and other monsters have.
Dark Emperor And Other Poems Of The Night
Sidman, Joyce.
A collection of poems that celebrate the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark.
Where The Sidewalk Ends : The Poems & Drawings Of Shel Silverstein.
Silverstein, Shel, author.
A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author's own drawings.
Mirror Mirror : A Book Of Reversible Verse
Singer, Marilyn.
A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.
If I Were In Charge Of The World And Other Worries : Poems For Children And Their Parents
Viorst, Judith.
Forty poems reveal a variety of secret thoughts, worries, and wishes.
There Is A Flower At The Tip Of My Nose Smelling Me
Walker, Alice, 1944-
There is a road At the bottom Of my Foot Walking me. In a beautifully poetic and gently provocative text, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker invites readers young and old to see the world -- and our place in it -- through new eyes. Glowing colors and radiant images accompany this joyous celebration of the connections and interconnections between self, Nature, and creativity.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Woodson, Jacqueline.
"Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Praise for Jacqueline Woodson: Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story. but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery."-The New York Times Book Review"-- Provided by publisher.
Animal Poems
Worth, Valerie.
Each of the exquisite twenty-three poems in this posthumous collection by Valerie Worth carefully distinguishes one animal from all other creatures and captures it in all of its wonderful singularity - from wasp to snake to wren. The way Worth perfectly illuminates the uniqueness of each animal in her precise and elegant free verse will delight both fans of her celebrated Small Poems and readers encountering her poetry for the first time. Breathtakingly rich cut-paper illustrations by Steve Jenkins provide a perfect counterpoint to Worth's spare style, and together poetry and picture bring every animal vividly to life.
R Is For Rhyme : A Poetry Alphabet
Young, Judy.
"From acrostics and ballads to meter and metaphor, author and poet Judy Young has written a collection of poems to illustrate poetic tools, terms, and techniques. Each term or technique is demonstrated in an accompanying poem so readers can see the method at work"--Provided by publisher.