Poetry for Children

Adams, Adrienne, comp., Poetry of Earth (all ages). Selections from great poets about the earth and its creatures communicate a sympathy for life and its oneness.

Adoff, Arnold, All the Colors of the Race (10-up). Sensitive poems exploring the feelings of a child whose father is white and whose mother is black.

Aldan, Daisy, comp., Poems from India (12-up). Wide selection from Sanskrit hymns, religious texts, and court poetry; old Tamil poetry; and modern verse.

Atwood, Ann, Haiku-vision: In Poetry and Photography (9-up). Uses the camera as an aid in developing a sense of oneness with nature and of poetry as an experience of the spirit.

----- My Own Rhythm: An Approach to Haiku (9-up). Introducing three Japanese master-poets leads to a discussion of the inner dimension of poetry and of our vision of life; with poems and photographs by the author.

Barker, Cicely Mary, Flower Fairy Series (2-6). Accurate paintings of plants, shown with their "fairies," with poems giving information about the plants. Series includes "Spring," "Summer," "Trees," "Garden," and many more.

Bierhorst, John, ed., In the Trail of the Wind (12-up). Valuable anthology of many North and South American Indian poems, songs, prayers, and incantations; notes and glossary. Compiler of many other collections of Native American material.

Blake, William, Songs of Innocence (5-up). Illustrated with colorful woodcuts by Harold Jones.

Bryan, Ashley, All Things Bright and Beautiful (2-6). Colorful, exuberant cut-paper illustrations of the familiar hymn bring out both the joy of diversity and the oneness of all life.

Bryant, Jen, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams (7-11). Picture-book biography of the American physician and poet.

Burgess, Gelett, The Goops and How to Be Them (4-7). Tongue-in-cheek verses on manners and consideration for others.

Curtis, Chara M., All I See Is Part of Me (3-12). Poem brings out simply the oneness of each person with the universe, and the spiritual basis of existence.

de Gerez, Toni, 2-Rabbit, 7-Wind: Poems from Ancient Mexico Retold from Nahuatl Texts (12-up). This unusual collection includes a historical note by the compiler. Also My Song Is a Piece of Jade (10-up) which contains a selection of poems side by side in English and Spanish.

Dickinson, Emily, I'm Nobody! Who Are You? (4-up). Picture book of the author's poems, selected for children.

Dunning, Stephen, Edward Lueders, and Hugh Smith, comps., Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle and other Modern Verse (9-up). Unusual selection of modern poems for young people.

Fisher, Aileen, Cricket in the Thicket (3-up). Sensitive, almost microscopic observations of flora and fauna.

Fleischman, Paul, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (7-up). Poems about insects written as duets for people to read aloud together.

Frost, Helen, Spinning through the Universe: A Novel in Poems from Room 214 (10-14). The author writes a series of poems from the teacher and children of a fifth-grade class which reveal their lives and feelings.

-----:  Step Gently Out (2-up). Very simple poetic text with amazing close-up shots of insects exactly matching the text makes this an outstanding book.

Frost, Robert, Birches, ill. Ed Young (8-up), and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, ill. Susan Jeffers (3-up). Beautifully-done picture books of these individual poems.

----- You Come Too (8-up). This selection by the poet for young people includes many favorites.

Fyleman, Rose, A Fairy Went A-Marketing (3-up). Picture book with the theme of having and letting go.

Greenfield, Eloise, Night on Neighborhood Street (4-10). Gentle poems about the life of people in an African-American part of a city.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp., A Song in Stone: City Poems (7-up). Poems celebrating city life, illustrated with photographs.

Hughes, Langston, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems (9-up). Selections for children from this poet's work.

Iyengar, Malathi Michelle, Tan to Tamarind: Poems about the Color Brown (3-10). Picture book celebrating the beauty of different shades of brown, in nature and skin tones.

Janeczka, Paul B., The Place My Words Are Looking For (12-up). Modern poets share their poems, thoughts, inspirations, and memories about writing poetry.

Kerley, Barbara, Walt Whitman: Words for America (10-up).  A biography of the poet that emphasizes his activities during the Civil War.

Khayyam, Omar, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, trans. William Fitzgerald (12up). Persian Sufi poetry on the impermanence of life; many editions.

Larrick, Nancy, Piping Down the Valleys Wild (all ages). Fine anthology of classic and modern poems.

Lewis, Richard, comp., Miracles: Poems by Children of the English-speaking World (all ages). A collection testifying to "the power and value of the poetic vision that is an integral part of childhood."

----- The Moment of Wonder (11-up). Chinese and Japanese poetry on nature, landscapes, seasons, and man, illustrated with paintings by Chinese and Japanese masters.

----- Out of the Earth I Sing (8-up). Poetry and song of primitive peoples of the world illustrated with photos of artifacts.

Longfellow, H. W., Hiawatha's Childhood, ill. Errol Le Cain (4-7). Selections from Hiawatha's childhood as a picture book; a still briefer selection is available in Hiawatha, ill. Susan Jeffers (4-7).

Lyon, George Ella, Together (3-7). Simple, songlike text about the dreamlike adventures two best friends could have.

Manor, Salley, A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes (1-8). The full-page embroidered-fabric illustrations in this fine collection of nursery rhymes makes it especially memorable and intriguing.  

Mizumura, Kazue, Flower Moon Snow: A Book of Haiku (7-up). Haiku poems in praise of nature, illustrated with the author's woodcuts.

Moore, Lilian, I Thought I Heard the City (7-up). Poems expressing city moods.

Nye, Naomi Shihab, This Same Sky (14-up). Collection of poems about the natural world and its human and animal inhabitants, written by 20th-century poets outside the United States.

Opie, Iona and Peter, A Family Book of Nursery Rhymes (2-6). A treasury of 358 memorable rhymes illustrated on almost every page.

Plotz, Helen, comp., Imagination's Other Place: Poems of Science and Mathematics (12-up). Wonderful, often suggestive, selections on this unusual theme.

Poetry for Young People Series, Sterling Publishing Co. (11-up). Biography and selection of about 20 poems or parts of poems from each poet, with color illustrations; titles include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Carl Sandburg, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, and William Wordsworth, among others.

Richardson, Frederick, ill., Mother Goose: Classic Volland Edition (2-up). Beautiful color illustrations make this Mother Goose extra-special.

Roberts, Elizabeth Madox, Under the Tree (4-11). Direct, timeless poems of childhood.

Salas, Laura Purdie, A Leaf Can Be... (3-6). Imaginative, poetic consideration of the many roles that leaves can play.

Stevenson, Robert Louis, A Child's Garden of Verses (all ages). This classic of children's poetry comes in many editions and abridgments.

Untermeyer, Louis, comp., Rainbow in the Sky (all ages). Large anthology of many favorite children's poems, with informative notes.

Volavkova, Hana, ed., I Never Saw Another Butterfly . . . (12-up). Children's drawings and poems from Terezi'n Concentration Camp (1942-44) portray the resilience of the human spirit while bringing home the tragedy of the death camps.

Watson, Clyde, Father Fox's Pennyrhymes (3-8). Simple, nonsense nursery-rhymes and detailed illustrations evoke the seasons in rural Vermont with whimsy and humor.

Whitman, Walt, Voyages, comp. Lee Bennett Hopkins (12-up). Over 50 selections span the poet's life and include some of his most famous verses; handsomely produced.

Wyndham, Robert, Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes (1-6). Charming translation of over 40 Chinese children's rhymes, riddles, and chanting games; fine illustrations.

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