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The 21 Best Haiku Poetry Books Your Kids Will Love

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Haiku is a well-known and beautiful form of poetry to read and write. Kids often love this short form of poetry because of its creativity as well as brevity.

This list includes a fantastic variety of Haiku Poetry books for kids that your child can enjoy reading again and again.

From haiku poems about animals, adventures, nature, and just plain silliness, you’ll find a book on this list for every child.

Find 22 haiku poetry books for kids on this complete list.

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Why Read Haiku with Kids

Haiku is such a wonderful poetry format to introduce to your children. Not only will they enjoy reading haiku, but it is a format that many children are often willing to or even excited to try.

Haiku poetry offers beauty through simplicity. Only a few words are required to create a clear image, idea, or emotion. This simplicity makes it easily accessible for children to read and understand.

The format of the haiku poem is one that kids can quickly understand because of its 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. Kids can learn to clap the syllables and test the poems they read. It provides a fantastic framework for them to write their own as well.

Of course, the focus on nature found in haiku poetry is something concrete that kids often understand and enjoy. You will find that haiku for kids doesn’t only focus on nature, but will include other topics such as animals, humor, and more.

21 Haiku Books for Kids

The Horse’s Haiku
Michael J. Rosen

“From field to stable, from rest to riding, poet Michael J. Rosen captures the nature of horses with spare and graceful haiku. Filled with Stan Fellows’s evocative artwork, this collection celebrates the beauty of horses while peacefully grazing or in all their powerful and dynamic action. Lovers of horses or haiku or those who simply appreciate the natural world will enjoy this contemplation of one of the earth’s most beautiful creatures.”

I Haiku You
Betsy E. Snyder

While this is perfect for Valentine’s Day, it is a delightful read any time of the year. It does mention Valentine once, but overall the theme is about loving cozy relationships. We own this book and it is a delightful addition to our poetry collection.

Andrew Clements

This story, told in Haiku verses, details the adventures of a dog who is looking for a family and the family who finds him. It’s a fun way to look at Haiku poetry.

Whoo-Ku Haiku
Maria Gianferrari

From Publisher: “Pip. Pip. Pip. Poking
A hole. Cracking. Cracking. Out
Pecks the white owlet.

Watch as a pair of great horned owlets peep and squeak in their feathered nest. Mama and Papa hunt for food and fend off predators while the chicks grow strong enough to hop and flap between the branches of their tree, then leap and fly away, ready to explore the wild world around them.

In this thrilling nonfiction picture book, a combination of haiku and dazzling illustration shows readers the fierce majesty of one of North America’s most ubiquitous wild animals.”

Bob Raczka

This book is full of haiku poems that celebrate some of the fun things it means to be a boy. This book is written by Bob Raczka, one of the poets on my list of poets your children should know.

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku
Lee Wardlaw

Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…

Ears perk. Fur prickles.
Belly low, I creep…peek…FREEZE!
My eyes full of Doom.

A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same.
Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and funny twist on a familiar rivalry.”

Cricket Never Does: A Collection of Haiku and Tanka
Myra Cohn Livingston

This simple collection includes haiku and tanka poetry arranged by season. These poems reflect the author’s thoughts about events that occur in each season. While this book doesn’t include illustrations, the poems are creative and delightful to read.

My First Book of Haiku Poems
Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Escape into a dreamy world of watercolors and nature-inspired haiku.

My First Book of Haiku Poems introduces children to this ancient poetry form that’s still a favorite among teachers, parents and children. These concise poems are easy for readers of all ages to understand and appreciate.

Each of these 20 classic poems by Issa, Shiki, Basho, and other great haiku masters is paired with a stunning original painting by award-winning illustrator Tracy Gallup–which children will want to dive into and adults will want to frame.”

Haiku poetry books for kids.

Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa
Matthew Gollub

.This book contains haiku poetry as well as biographical information about the Japanese haiku poet, Issa, born in 1763. These poems were originally written in Japanese so some of the syllables are lost in the English translation, but the poetry, story, and illustrations are beautiful.

Seeing into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright
Biography and Illustrations by Nina Crews

The haiku poetry in this book was written more than 50 years ago. The poems have been paired with photocollages by Nina Crews and include biographical information about Richard Wright. This book celebrates the lives of contemporary African American boys while introducing the reader to an important African American writer of the twentieth century.

If it Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems
Brian P. Cleary

Haiku and Lantern Poetry formats are explained in this sweet book. Examples in this book show that these formats can contain delightful surprises.

If Not For The Cat
Jack Prelutsky

These seventeen haiku poems offer a creative look at lots of different animals. The illustrations are wonderful and Jack Prelutsky is one of our favorite children’s poets.

The Maine Coon’s Haiku: And Other Poems for Cat Lovers
Michael J. Rosen

Some cats have names that suggest far-off lands, like the Turkish Angora and the Norwegian forest cat. Others allude to places closer to home, such as California’s ragdoll and the Maine coon. Set against Lee White’s graceful illustrations, with intriguing facts about each of twenty breeds at the end, this charming haiku collection for lovers of America’s most popular house pet provides the purr-fect book to curl up with.

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons
Laura Purdie Salas

These Haiku poems that celebrate the seasons are also riddles. These poems describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels. Included with each poem are colorful illustrations.

H Is For Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z
Sydell Rosenberg

Inspired by her experiences living in New York City, Sydell Roseberg’s haiku invite children and grown-ups alike to slow down, linger, and pay attention to the moments we often overlook. 

Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs
Leslie Bulion

Meet spiders that spit silk, roll like wheels, scuba dive, hide under trap doors, strum tunes, and so much more. Watch as they find mates, find prey…or find mates that become prey!

In the Eyes of the Cat:
Japanese Poetry for All Seasons


An illustrated collection of classic Japanese nature poetry includes poems about ducklings, kittens, and horses, as well as mud snails and sea slugs. By the author of The Empty Pot.

Don’t Step on the Sky: A Handful of Haiku
Miriam Chaikin

This collection of haiku poetry reflects the joy and wonder of nature. This book includes twenty-eight playful poems that take the reader through the day from morning till night.

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers (Tales of the World)
Gloria Whelan

Yuki’s father has been called to Edo and she, along with her mother and pet dog, must accompany him in this royal procession. Yuki does not want to go. She will miss her home and her teacher. But she must not be disrespectful so Yuki captures her thoughts in haiku, a Japanese form of poetry.

Basho and the Fox
Tim J. Myers

It is the 1600s in Japan. Basho is writing the lovely haiku for which he is famous to this day. Given three chances by the fox, he must write a poem that “needn’t be great—only good.” Confident of his skill, he’s sure he can win the challenge and its prize, the sweet cherries from the tree near his hut. But not all is what it seems as a newly humble Basho discovers! 

Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up
Sally M. Walker

This non-ficiton haiku poetry book includes lovely impressionist artwork alongside the poems. These poems encourage the readers to think about the earth and its processes.

More Poetry Books for Kids:

Top Children’s Poets Your Kids Will Love
The Ultimate Guide to Poetry Collections for Kids
A Shakespeare Inspired Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime for Families
Writing Poetry: Found Poetry
Poetry Teatime with Marilyn Singer

A Poetry Writing Activity for All Ages:

Learn to write I Am poems with Your Kids

Begin a Poetry Teatime in Your Home:


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