According to the PBS Kids web site (, sharing poetry with children is important because the “rhythm and rhymes can help children develop a love a language—and a love of reading. Once kids begin flexing their writing muscles, poetry can spark their creativity and let their imaginations soar!”

I agree. Fortunately, there are amazing books of poetry available for children. Here are just a few of my favorites. Ask you local librarian for more!

A great place to start is Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss; it begs the listener to provide the final rhyming word on each page.



Four-five-year-olds enjoy the following:

  • Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose by Scott Gustafson
  • How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague (or other titles from this series)
  • Marc Brown’s Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn and Play Together, by Marc Brown
  • Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles—Think of That! by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
  • What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virján

Nikki Giovanni’s outstanding I AM LOVED: a poetry collection, exuberantly illustrated by Ashley Bryan in rainbow colors, celebrates life and being loved. It begs to be read by parent to child. This is a new (2018) publication by one of America’s foremost poets.

Anthologies offer something for everyone. Julie Andrews’ treasury for all seasons: poems and songs to celebrate the year by Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton, and Marjorie Priceman is an important volume.

An old favorite anthology is The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, by Jack Prelutksy and illlustrated by Anrold Lobel. Prelutsky has produced numerous noteworthy titles. My favorite themed volume is It’s Valentine’s Day. Shel Silverstein’s Where the sidewalk ends and Light in the Attic remain favorites, too.

One of the wackiest poetry books is also a very clever one: I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING AND OTHER NONSENSE FOR MISCHIEVOUS KIDS AND IMMATURE GROWN-UPS by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith. Its target is 10-to-12-year-olds, but don’t let that stop sharing it with kids a bit younger and older.

For more on words that don’t rhyme, check out Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas. (Okay, it really is all about rhyming.)

The internet offers lists of poetry for children. This link offers quality poetry for the family to enjoy:

This link appears to have wide appeal: