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10 Great Books of Poetry for Kids

Are you wanting to start reading poetry to your kids but aren’t sure where to start? Today, I’m sharing 10 great poetry books for kids!

These are poetry books for kids that we have on our book shelves at home or have regularly checked out from the library. Some of them contain early nursery rhymes and others offer lesser-known poems that every one in the family can enjoy.

But before we jump into our list of poetry books for kids, lets talk about the benefits of reading poetry to our kids.

Benefits of Poetry for Young Children

As a homeschool mom, poetry has played an internal part in my kid’s education, particularly, their reading skills. Here are just some of the benefits of poetry I have seen first hand.

  • Exposure to rich vocabulary
  • Building memory skills
  • Learning Rhyme 
  • Varying length options for emergent readers
  • Opportunity to build reading fluency
  • Reading with inflection and nuance
  • Outlet for sharing thoughts and feelings
  • Deepens empathy
  • Enjoyment



10 Poetry Books for Kids

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1. Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is one of our favorite poetry books. We have the collection illustrated by Tasha Tudor and have read through this book numerous times.

These poems beautifully capture the mind and imagination of a child. I love reading through it because it reminds me of the simplicity and innocence of childhood… The joy of swinging, being lost in imaginary play, as well as, facing the fears of bedtime.

2. Child Craft Volume One and Two

If you stumble across the Child Craft book series at a garage sale or thrift store, grab volume one and two. (You won’t regret it. My grandma read these to me when I was little and now my kids beg me to pull it off and shelf and read it to them. These are antiquated but in the most nostalgic way. Book one and two are full of classic poems as well as, charming, colorful, vintage pictures.


3. Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson

This is a great book of poetry for kids, as well as, adults. There are 35 beautifully illustrated poems. Additionally, this book also features content-notes and definitions which come in handy for people who are new to poetry or enjoy having more insight into the words.

“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”


4. Poetry for Kids: Robert Frost

I was a little hesitant getting this book for my kids only because Robert Frost is can get quite deep for little minds, but I’m glad I splurged. This book features some of his best poetry and engages the little learners with its vivid illustrations and imagery.

I like that this book also includes some vocabulary definitions for more obscure words. We found that really helpful as we were reading through.

5. Favorite Poems Old and New by Helen Ferris

This book was published over 60 years ago, and holds over 700 of the best, most-classic poems for kids. If you are looking for a great read-aloud poetry book, this is a good one.

Note: if you are wanting something with captivating illustrations, I would not recommend this book. the pictures are quite limited and lacking in visual appeal.

“Poetry: the best words in the best order.”


6. The Random House Book of Poetry by Jack Prelutsky

 This book contains 572 poems and is illustrated by Arnold Lobel (the illustrator of the Frog and Toad books).
This book has a nice balance of quality poetry, kid-friendly content, and varying poetry length.
It is broken up into themes such as seasons, home, animals, etc and contains humor, as well as, as thoughtful verse.

7. When We Were Very Young and Now We are Six – A. A Milne

From the author of Winnie the Pooh, comes these two, lovely gems. I picked these up at a thrift store a couple years ago and have enjoyed them ever since. 


8. Julia Andrews Collections of Poems Songs and Lullabies

This is an absolutely lovely collection of poetry written and compiled by Julia Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. It also comes with an audio version of them reading their choice poems out loud. 
The poems contain seasonal, nature-filled content, rich vocabulary, and beautifully painted illustrations. 

9. A Childs Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa

This sweet, poetry book is perfect fo young kids. It includes 200 classic poems, nursery rhymes, and folk songs from literature’s big names.

Also, the pages of this book are filled with charming, colorful illustrations of rosy-cheeked children of all races, cute animals, and beautiful nature scenes.


10. Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose

If you are looking for a unique way to engage in poetry, you should try this story written in verse.
In a time when there was tension between new, American settlers and the native tribes, two girls form an unlikely friendship. This is a heart-warming story about diversity, love, and friendship that will keep you coming back for more.

What are your family’s favorite books of poetry?

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  1. Great list! We actually got the Julie Andrews book out of the library last week and were reading it today for school. We have this poem book called Poems to Read to the Very Young that has illustrations by Eloise Wilkin. It was given to me when I was 2 and it’s currently a favorite with my kids. We read it so often that little snippets of poetry get sprinkled through our daily conversation.

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