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The Ultimate Guide to Poetry Collections for Kids

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A good poetry collection throws open the door to the wide world of poetry by exposing the reader to a wide variety of poems and poets.

Over the years we have enjoyed reading various poetry collections and I’ve collected most of the titles to create this Ultimate Guide to Poetry Collections for Kids.

It’s here just in time for National Poetry Month (April), but you can (and should) pull them out all year long.

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Poetry Collections for Kids

The poetry collections in this list are poetry books that include poems from various poets. They are not collections of just one particular poet.

Poems to Learn by Heart by Caroline Kennedy. This book includes more than 100 poems that explore a range of emotions and ordinary experiences. The poems are organized into sections about nature, nonsense, monsters and fairies, school, and more. This book is full of delightful and memorable poems.

Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. This has been one of my favorites since my babies were little. It includes a CD with poems read aloud by Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. These poems are organized by topics such as animals, growing up, laughter, leisure, and more.

Julie Andrews’ Treasury For All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year. A combination of classic and modern poems celebrate holidays throughout the year including New Years, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, and more!

Poetry Teatime Companion: A Brave Writer Sampler of British and American Poems by Julie Bogart and Nancy Graham. This delightful collection is organized by categories that include seasons, travel, solitude, and more. Each poem includes notes that tell a bit about the author and invite the audience into a deeper connection with the poem.

One Minute till Bedtime: 60-second Poems to Send You Off to Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt. Pull this delightful collection of poems out at bedtime and send your little one off to sleep with poems by Jack Prelutsky, Jon Scieszka, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, Lemony Snicket, Jane Yolen, and many more.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (A Poetry Speaks Experience) edited by Nikki Giovanni. This collection contains more than 50 poems and songs from Queen Latifah to Langston Hughes. The audio CD includes more than 30 performances.

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasure of 572 Poems for Today’s Child selected by Jack Prelutsky. This collection of poems was selected by the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. This book contains a wealth of beloved classics as well as modern gems.

Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. This collection of poems is all about experiences at the library from getting your first library card, to attending story hour, the fun of using the computer, and more.

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry: More than 200 Poems with Photographs that Float, Zoom and Bloom edited by J. Patrick Lewis. This book pairs amazing nature photography with classic and modern poetry. The pictures are gorgeous and the poetry varies from silly to serious.

Once Upon a Poem: Favorite Poems that Tell Stories. A fabulous collection of classic and contemporary narrative poems. Introduce your kids to everything from Paul Revere’s Ride and Jabberwocky to Jim Who Ran Away from his Nurse, and Was Eaten by a Lion.

Falling Down the Page edited by Georgia Heard. This delightful collection of list poems features contemporary poets such as Marilyn Singer and Eileen Spinelli. These poems are sure to inspire the budding poets in your own home.

Keep a Pocket in Your Poem written and selected by J. Patrick Lewis. This collection pairs a variety of classic poems, such as Keep a Poem in Your Pocket and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening with accompanying parodies written by J. Patrick Lewis.

A Poem for Every Day of the Year edited by Allie Esiri. A treasury of poems collected for specific calendar days to read throughout the year. We love this book, though I stopped feeling the overwhelming pressure to keep up with it regularly. Whenever we remember it for a time period, we simply read the poems that line up with the current date.

A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Howard Hughes. This is the same concept as the previous collection, but with different poems. It’s perfect to pull out at bedtime.

My Village: Rhymes from Around the World collected by Danielle Wright. This collection includes 22 nursery rhymes from Iran to Iceland and Samoa to Switzerland. Each nursery rhyme appears in its native language accompanied by the English translation.

National Geographic The Poetry of US: More Than 200 Poems that Celebrate the People, Places, and Passions of the United States. Celebrate the culture of the United States with this unique collection of poetry. We had a great time looking up poetry for our region and finding poems about local landmarks such as The Biltmore.

Read-Aloud Poems for Young People: An Introduction to the Magic and Excitement of Poetry edited by Glorya Hale. This collection includes over 300 poems by well-known poets such as Maya Angelou, A. A. Milne, Robert Frost, Dr. Seuss, and W.B. Yeats. They are organized by a variety of topics including Just Me, Meet the Family, Poems that tell Stories, Poems to Ponder, and more.

World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Eighteen poets composed new poems inspired by some of the most popular works in the collection at The Metropolitan Museum. Poetry paired with art makes for a delightful read.

Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of The Year selected by Fiona Waters. This collection contains 366 nature poems, that’s one to enjoy every day of the year.

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar! Another collection from National Geographic that combines stunning photographs with classic and modern poetry.

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes. In this collection, Nikki Grimes combines her own poetry with several other poets such as Langston Hughes and Georgia Douglas Johnson. For each poem Nikki selects, she writes her own poem using The Golden Shovel poetry form (explained in the book). The technique is a wonderful way to challenge the budding poets in your own home.

How about you? What is the title of your favorite poetry collection?

Let me know if one is missing from my list.

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