favorite kids’ poetry collections

IMG_4345When I posted a while back about what we do for “homeschool”, a bunch of people mentioned that they loved the idea of circle time.  A big part of circle time for us is that I let the kids pick a book of poetry and we’ll read a few poems from it.  So I figured I’d share a list of a few of our favorites, some of which we always have, and a few that we check out from the library over and over again.


The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders– This one is just the right combination of silly and lovely, and just overall really fun to read.


A Children’s Garden Verses– The classic collection from Robert Louis Stevenson. I crack up a little how many of the poems refer to “nurse” or “nanny”, but lots of treasures in this one.  My kids also really love the illustrations in this one. Can’t go wrong with Gyo Fujikawa, in my opinion.


A Children’s Book of Verse– This is, sadly, not in print anymore, but it can be found used (and pretty cheaply!) on Amazon. My copy was mine as a child, and it’s fun to read some of my old favorites with my kiddos.  Whimsical illustrations and classic selections- can’t beat it. Joey is obsessed with reading, “The Skippery Boo”.Which is terrifying, but he loves it.  Random.


Where the Sidewalk Ends For our daily dose of pure silliness, my 4 year old picks out a poem from this one almost every day.


Favorite Poems Old and New– Not just for kids, this collection is really enjoyable and I often find myself browsing through it, looking for inspiration or just plain old entertainment.  It’s a big book, so if you were looking for ONE poem book to rule them all, this would be a great candidate to take your kids from itty-bittys to adults.


A Child’s Calendar– If you love John Updike, this is a must.  A short, simple book with a poem for each month of the year.  I like the idea of reading the month’s poem on the first and last day of the month, kind of as a celebration of a new month.


Outside Your Window– We got this one out of the library, and after the first time we read from it, I went straight to Amazon to buy it, because it was an instant favorite. The illustrations are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a children’s poetry book, the poems about the natural world are truly lovely and the kids enjoy them immensely.  Not only are the poems fun to read, but they’re actually pretty informative, so I can see using these as part of nature studies and such.  LOVE this book.

These are just a few of the poetry books we’ve read from and loved, but I’d love to hear about some of your favorites that we can add to our list!

*Linking up with This Ain’t The Lyceum today. Head over and check out all the other great posts over there!*

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10 thoughts on “favorite kids’ poetry collections

  1. These are awesome. We love Prelutsky and Silverstein. AA Milne is another favorite of ours, especially Now We Are Six.

      1. Us too! I’ve always wondered why Milne’s poetry isn’t better known when Winnie the Pooh is so popular and the poems are so fun and lovely. They’re treasures! And yes to basically anything by Prelutzky, the kids LOVE it.

    1. Now We Are Six and When We Were Young are currently in our library bag- so good!!! We are really loving them, and we’ve gotten them out a few times now. Sigh… another one to go into the Amazon cart. 😉

  2. I’ve wanted to incorporate poetry, but I haven’t know how. I’d sit down with the kiddos and start reading a poetry book from the library, and after a couple poems they would literally take the book from me and shut it. Now that I think about it, that was sort of silly. One or two poems a day is a better way to do it. Circle time! Perfect!

    I’d love to hear more about your circle time suggestions. I’m going to take some time this summer and make plans so we can incorporate it as well.

    1. Yeah, my kids won’t sit for an extended period of time while I read from poetry books either. And they really, for some reason, love being the ones to pick out the books we read from, so that helps. I know a lot of people read some poems at breakfast or lunch, too, which I think sounds like a nice idea, but I would have to get better about actually sitting down at meals with my kids instead of trying to make myself something/clean up/do random chores while they’re eating.

  3. Thanks for these! I love poetry books and have been watching for some to pick poems from to memorize with my 3 year old. 🙂

  4. I love these! I have been wanting to start reading poetry to my girls but I had no idea where to start. I remember Where The Sidewalk Ends from when I was in school! The nature one looks awesome too… thanks for the recommendations! 🙂

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