April is National Poetry Month

April is a month I look forward to each year – not just for the springtime weather, but also for the chance to highlight some of the Library’s wonderful poetry books. This post will just cover books of poems for kids, and I’ll highlight Adult and Teen poetry in another post.

sidewalk    light

If you ask kids about their favorite poetry, they will almost always talk about the great Shel Silverstein. His books like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic are truly amazing, but Silverstein is just a beginning point. Here are some more great suggestions for kids of all ages.

Jack Prelutsky’s collections of poems are almost as funny as those of Shel Silverstein. You might want to begin with Something Big Has Been Here or It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles.

big    pigs

A shorter collection by Prelutsky that I highly recommend for older kids who can understand a more subtle form of humor is Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems. In addition to writing original poetry, Prelutsky has edited numerous collections that contain poems by lots of writers. He was also selected in 2006 by the Poetry Foundation to serve a two year term as the first Children’s Poet Laureate.


I also love the poetry books of Douglas Florian. He typically publishes short collections of poems that are all on the same theme. April would be a wonderful time to share Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings. Kids are guaranteed to love Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings, and I am a big fan of Poetrees.

poem runs     dino


For kids who love nature, I recommend the poetry books of Joyce Sidman. Start with Songs of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems and then move on to Ubiquitous and Dark Emperor and other Poems of the Night. All of these books contain both poems and informational text.


Don’t just read poetry this month. Try your hand at writing some; it would be a great family activity. Don’t know how to get started? We have books to help you!

pizza     read a rhyme