Poetry Picks

Beautiful Poetry Books for Kids

poetry books for kids

Poetry is hard to define. For every rule there is an exception. It is one of those thing that you just know when you see it. I like poetry that make me wonder. I like poems that are fun and clever. I like poetry that rhymes! Before National Poetry Month is over I want to share some of my favorite poetry books that also happen to be illustrated beautifully. For more info and sample pages from Amazon click on the TITLE hyperlinks. 

First up is LEAVE YOUR SLEEP. Barbara McClintock’s classic style illustrations are a perfect match for these classic poems selected by Natalie Merchant. Many of the picks are a little unexpected. There are some nightmares included in this collection inspired by dreams! Included with this book is a CD of the poems made into songs.

Next is Douglas Florian’s POEM RUNS. If I had to pick a favorite poet it would be Douglas Florian. And if I had to pick a favorite artist I would have a lot of trouble but he would be on the short list for that spot too! He creates his fun mixed media paintings on primed paper bags. You can even see the creases! His poems are equally fun. I thought poems about baseball would be perfect for spring and possibly interest kids who might rather be outside with a ball!

FOLLOW FOLLOW is a follow up to MIRROR MIRROR by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse. These poems are inspired by popular fairy tales and are really clever because somehow when you read the same lines from bottom to top you get a different perspective on the same story! The almost symmetrical acrylic art is a perfect complement.

A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have this one illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa but this popular title has also been illustrated by several other fantastic illustrators including Barbara McCintock! These poems originally published in 1885 are a celebration of childhood. Looking to build a poetry collection? Start with this one!

My final pick is FIREFLY JULY, a collection of poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko. This book is “a year of very short poems” arrange by season. I love this book for so many reasons! I love the brevity, I love how weather punctuates our lives, I love how Melissa Sweet’s collage illustrations dwarf the text and appear both bold and timid at the same time.

Yay for poetry! Did I miss your favorite? I know I missed my daughter’s (Shel Silverstein’s WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS). Please share yours!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


    • He might like Poem Runs since he is so into sports and also Good Sports by Jack Prelutsky.

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