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The Best Poetry Books for Kids and How We Have Poetry Tea Time in Our Homeschool
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The Best Funny and Serious Poetry Books for Kids

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I am always on the hunt for good poetry books.

We try to make an effort to have an official poetry tea time once a week (it usually involves hot chocolate and some kind of baking or else something I grabbed from the store) and have a lot of fun with it.

Back when I was teaching I taught grades seven and eight and they had all decided they didn’t like poetry, it’s my goal to not let my kids feel that way!

I try to keep poetry fun is by adding in fun drinks and snacks but also by making sure we read poetry my kids enjoy, which means a lot of it involves silly poems.

I do try to have some variety though, I add in some more classic, serious poetry throughout our many silly poems.

Today I want to share some of our favorite poetry books, both the funny books and the serious ones.

 

15 of the Best Poetry Books for Kids and How We Have Poetry Tea Time in Our Homeschool

 

The Best Funny and Serious Poetry Books for Kids

 

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky

Sixteen extraordinary imagined creatures inhabit the pages of this unique, inspired, humorous picture book ideal for sharing together, and for reading again and again. Jack Prelutsky reinvents many familiar and beloved animals by combining inanimate objects with them (so, for example, a pair of pants and an anteater become a panteater). Carin Berger’s illustrations are showstoppers. Her shadow boxes and dioramas utilize vintage type, ephemera, and such elements as ribbon, cards, buttons, and wood and bring the animals to life. Read it aloud, read it together: this is a catalog of effervescent silliness and will undoubtedly inspire young poets and artists alike

 

Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant

Jack Prelutsky has written a series of truly inventive and entertaining poems that are perfectly paired with Carin Berger’s witty collage pieces. It’s a beautiful picture book with a look and feel unlike any of Prelutsky’s prior work.

So put on your pith helmet and prepare to explore a wilderness of puns and rhymes where birds, beasts, vegetables, and flowers have been mysteriously scrambled together to create creatures you’ve never seen before—and are unlikely to meet again!

 

Awful Ogre’s Awful Day

It’s pouring. The wind is blowing down trees. Awful Ogre’s rattlesnake wakes him. He tickles his piranha, scatters his rats, and disengages his leeches. Another wonderful day is about to begin.

Awful Ogre, huge, hungry, horrible—and totally lovable, will steal the heart of every reader. Larger than life—larger, in fact, than all other ogres, Awful Ogre packs into one day enough excitement, imagination, emotion, and sheer ebullience to last most of us a lifetime.

 

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How To Poems

Today I walked outside and spied
a hedgehog on the hill.
When she and I met eye to eye,
she raised up straight and still.

Be they practical (how to mix a pancake or how to bird-watch) or fanciful (how to scare monsters or how to be a snowflake), the poems in this book boast a flair and joy that you won’t find in any instruction manual. Poets from Kwame Alexander to Pat Mora to Allan Wolf share the way to play hard, to love nature, and to be grateful. Soft, evocative illustrations will encourage readers to look at the world with an eye to its countless possibilities.

 

I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus

In the tradition of Jack Prelutsky’s classic poetry collections, here is a book packed with more than 100 funny poems and silly pictures. Most of the poems are about animals—some are big and some are small, some have unusual interests, and some are just plain unusual.

Some of the animals in this book are real. They include:

  • the hippopotamus (she’s missing)
  • the elephant (he’s artistically talented)
  • the octopus (it’s great at multitasking).

Others may not be quite so real. These include:

  • the wiguana (very hairy, for a lizard)
  • the halibutterfly (there’s something fishy about it)
  • the gludu (quite clingy).

 

This book is part poems and part how to. I want to buy this one and go through it with them!

Pigs, Pizza and Poetry: How to Write a Poem

Have you ever tried to write a poem about a pizza? How about a pig? How about a pigeon, penguin, potato, Ping-Pong, parrot, puppy, pelican, porcupine, pie, pachyderm, or your parents?

Jack Prelutsky has written more than one thousand poems about all of these things—and many others. In this book he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows you how you can turn your own experiences and stories about your family, your pets, and your friends into poems. He offers tips, advice, and secrets about writing and provides some fun exercises to help you get started (or unstuck). You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the ingredients of some of his most popular poems. If you are a poet, want to be a poet, or if you have to write a poem for homework and you just need some help, then this is the book for you!

 

Of course Shel Silverstein has to be on the list, we always read a few of his poems.

A Light in the Attic

A Light in the Attic delights with remarkable characters and hilariously profound poems in a collection readers will return to again and again.

Here in the attic you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

Come on up to the attic of Shel Silverstein and let the light bring you home.

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends

You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings stretches the bounds of imagination and will be cherished by readers of all ages. This is a collection that belongs on everyone’s bookshelf. Makes a great gift for special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and graduation.

 

My daughter is obsessed with limericks and always picks to read a few of Edward Lear’s each time.

The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear

Edward Lear was the greatest nonsensicalist of all time. He was the inventor of the limerick and created the Jumblies and The Owl and the Pussycat. This complete edition of Lear’s nonsense verse – including the limericks, longer verses, alphabets and his own illustrations – is lovingly restored and beautifully presented, for adults and children to enjoy together.

 

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

Lauded by critics as a worthy heir to such greats as Silverstein, Seuss, Nash and Lear, Harris’s hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. With enthusiastic endorsements from bestselling luminaries such as Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Andrea Beaty, and many others, this entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It’s a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It’s a mischievous match made in heaven!

 

 

Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote poetry? There are only a few poems in here but we love them.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Fairy Poems

The beautiful illustrations bring the poetry to life in this beautiful gift book.

Readers will delight in this never-before published collection of poems from Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of The Little House on the Prairie:

Day and night, wherever we go, fairies are out dancing, painting, and creating joyous mischief for all who can see them. Laura Ingalls Wilder shares her vision of the fanciful, ethereal, and mischievous world of the “Little People” in this first-ever collection of fairy poems she wrote in 1915. Accompanied by whimsical illustrations, readers young and old will cherish this book for a lifetime.

 

Poems to Learn By Heart

There’s a poem to celebrate every moment in life-whether it’s hitting a home run, watching a sunset, or laughing with your best friend. A poem is a gift of the heart that can inspire, reassure, or challenge us. Memorize it-share it-it’s yours forever.

In this diverse collection, a companion to her New York Times #1 best-seller A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy has chosen more than a hundred poems that speak to all of us: the young and young at heart, readers new to poetry and devoted fans. These poems explore deep emotions, as well as ordinary experiences. They cover the range of human experience and imagination. Divided into sections about nature, sports, monsters and fairies, friendship and family, this book is full of surprises. Each section is preceded by Caroline’s thoughtful introduction reflecting her own family’s engagement with and enjoyment of poetry.

 

These poems have stood the test of time!

A Child’s Garden of Verses

Here is a delightful look at childhood, written by master poet and storyteller Robert Louis Stevenson. In this collection of sixty-six poems, Stevenson recalls the joys of his childhood, from sailing boats down a river, to waiting for the lamplighter, to sailing off to foreign lands in his imagination. Tasha Tudor’s watercolor paintings evoke a simpler time in the past, and celebrate two of the things she loves most — children and nature. Her talents are the perfect match for these inspiring poems, making this a handsome gift edition that will be cherished by families for generations.

 

I love seasonal poetry and we pull this one out all the time.

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies

Enjoy the classic, complete collection of Cicely Mary Barker’s original Flower Fairies books in this brand-new edition. This collector’s favorite has been redesigned and now features a lavish, eye-catching jacket with silver foil. The interior still includes all of the well-loved illustrations and poems from Barker’s eight original books, as well as a selection of fairy rhymes.

 

We have gotten this book out from the library numerous times and it’s on my need-to-buy list. We’ve got to grab it soon!

Sing a Song of Seasons

Sing a Song of Seasons is a lavishly illustrated collection of 366 nature poems — one for every day of the year. Filled with familiar favorites and new discoveries written by a wide variety of poets, including William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, John Updike, Langston Hughes, N. M. Bodecker, Okamoto Kanoko, and many more, this is the perfect book for children (and grown-ups!) to share at the beginning or the end of the day.

 

What are some of your favorite poetry books for kids?

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One Comment

  • Bobbie

    I was waiting to see if you’d get I’m Just No good at Rhyming! Woohoo! Hilarious. The author tells me he has a new one in process ;). I’ll have to look for these others.

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