Book Lists

Poetry Month Booklist

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Inspire a love of poetry with books of fun verse, rhythmic novels, and writers' biographies grouped into collections for preschoolers, beginning readers, independent readers, and preteens.  

Rhymes and Poetry for Preschoolers

Rollicking read-alouds for bedtime, bathtime, or anytime!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
This cheerful introduction to colors comes alive through wonderful illustrations and rhyming text.

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka
Rhythmic, repetitive text evokes the music of jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker.

Father Fox's Pennyrhymes by Clyde Watson
Children will delight in joining Father Fox's family as they act out the vigorous verses he tells.

The Fish Is Me!: Bathtime Rhymes by Neil Philip
Lather up with this collection of 18 effervescent, tub-time poems.

Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
A caring elephant tries to protect the tiny creatures on a speck of dust.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
This lighthearted read-aloud bribes human kids to say good night without moping, crying, or demanding another story...just like dinosaurs.

I SPY Little Learners by Jean Marzollo
Play "I Spy" with your students and learn letters, numbers, and more.

Night Lights: 24 Poems to Sleep On by Denys Cazet
Inspire sweet dreams with these picturesque poems perfect for naptime.

Tortillas Para Mama and Other Nursery Rhymes: Spanish and English
These traditional Latin American tales are presented with bilingual text, appealing illustrations, and instructions for finger play.

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young collected by Jack Prelutsky
Delight in this anthology of 200 rhymes and verses about the ordinary days and extraordinary imagination of children.

The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky
Get your students in the mood for starting school with this addictive rhyme brought to life in eye-popping illustrations.

When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne
Share the childhood experiences that never go out of style in this classic from the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Join musicians on a colorful, rhyming tour of numbers and instruments.


Poetry for Beginning Readers

Treat your students to stories in verse and poetry collections that make learning to read a delight.

20th-Century Children's Poetry Treasury edited by Jack Prelutsky
Showcasing the work of more than 100 poets, this anthology contains kid-friendly poems for every mood or occasion.

The Best of I SPY by Jean Marzollo
Treat your students to four I SPY classics filled with picture riddles.

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Though over a century old, these beloved poems still charm children with their delight in life's little discoveries and joys.

Dr. Seuss by Dana Meachen Rau
Students can read on their own about the man behind the world's most favorite and recognized rhymes.

Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers
Words and collage art connect your students to the vibrant spirit of Harlem.

A Hatful of Seuss by Dr. Seuss
Dive into an anytime, all-the-time, collection of Seuss!

Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield
An assemblage of free-verse poems explores the favorite summertime activities of an African American girl.

Moon, Have You Met My Mother? by Karla Kuskin
Amusing poems from a favorite author feature charming line-drawn illustrations.

Never Take a Pig to Lunch and Other Poems About the Fun of Eating selected by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Devour this menu of delicious (and sometimes disgusting) poems accompanied by laugh-out-loud illustrations.

The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein
A delightful fable from a favorite author tells what happens when a circle goes on a quest for fulfillment.

The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky
Underwater Wibbles, a dot-gobbling Flotz, and exploding Bloders are just a few of the hilariously unimaginable things in this collection of over 100 goofy poems.

Shoe Magic by Nikki Grimes
Sixteen poems explore children's hopes and dreams for the future.

Touch the Poem by Arnold Adoff
Feeling, hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing...all the senses are present in these seasonal poems.

Wings by Christopher Myers
Being true to yourself is the theme in this inspiring book for young readers.


Poetry for Independent Readers

Discover a world of rhythm, rhyme, and free verse with engaging collections and novels for middle readers.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
Meet an assortment of delightfully bizarre characters through the poems and drawings of a modern master.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
A boy discovers his poetic voice in this charming and poignant novel in verse.

Love to Mama: A Tribute to Mothers edited by Pat Mora
Offering a taste of Latino culture as well as a look at the bonds between mothers and children, this collection brings together the work of 13 poets.

Love to Langston by Tony Medina
Glimpse the life of poet Langston Hughes through 14 tribute poems that focus on different parts of his life.

Night Garden: Poems From the World of Dreams by Janet S. Wong
This whimsical offering brings the bizarre and beautiful world of dreams to life.

Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
Build your students' confidence to face the good and bad parts of life. A favorite gift to mark major milestones.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Descriptive free-verse drops students into the Depression-era Dust Bowl of Oklahoma.

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems by Paul B. Janeczko
Students will delight in the movement and shapes made by these visual verses.

Relatively Speaking: Poems About Family by Ralph Fletcher
One by one, each poem describes a family member, until the entire family picture is complete.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
There's nothing "happily ever after" about these hilarious retellings of six favorite fairy tales.

Stone Bench in an Empty Park selected by Paul B. Janeczko
Black-and-white photographs with accompanying haikus showcase the natural beauty of a city's people and places. 

Wild Wings: Poems for Young People by Jane Yolen
This ode to feathered friends features captivating photographs and moving verse.

A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard
Meet the motley crew of human and animal guests in this Newbery Award-winning picture book for older readers.


Poetry for Pre-teens

Inspire students to learn about the world and themselves in this captivating collection of poems, biography, and free-verse novels.

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye
Expand your students' minds with this compilation of 60 thought- and discussion-provoking poems.

Cautionary Tales for Children by Hillaire Belloc
These deliciously grim stories illuminated by the pen of Edward Gorey will delight young fans of the macabre.

Edgar Allan Poe by Tristan Boyer Binns
Learn more about the "Master of Suspense," in this dynamic biography.

Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art edited by Jan Greenberg
Featuring the work of acclaimed authors, this compilation of poetry explores the often surprising relationship between words and visual art.

Lee Bennett Hopkins by Amy Strong
Explore the childhood, life, and contributions of this popular poetry anthologist and writer.

I'm Nobody. Who Are You? by Emily Dickinson
A great introduction to the poems of Emily Dickinson.

Poems from Homeroom: A Writer's Place to Start by Kathi Appelt
The first half of this pre-teen poetry writing guide offers thought-provoking free verse; the second digs into the motivation behind each poem and practical writing advice.

The Raven and Other Poems and Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
A collection of dramatic classics, including "The Bells," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Pit and the Pendulum."

Rimshots: Basketball Pix, Rolls, and Rhythms by Charles R. Smith Jr.
Hook your sports fans on poetry with this dynamic collection of basketball verse.

Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems by Kristine O'Connell George
From humorous to angst-ridden, this collection offers verses that will captivate your students.

Voices: Poetry and Art From Around the World selected by Barbara Brenner
Journey to different continents for this artistic celebration of diversity and a shared humanity.

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Experience the angst of being a boy-crazy teen in this achingly true collection of free-verse.

Words With Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art selected by Belinda Rochelle
Spanning two centuries of artistic achievement, this stunning collection pairs the work of 20 poets and visual artists to explore the African-American experience.

  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation, National Poetry Month, Spring Themes, Teacher Tips and Strategies
  • Skills: