Monday, October 19, 2015

Some Favorite Children's Poetry Collections

A friend asked recently about some of our favorite children's poetry collections.  I went to dig up a link from my archives for her, and it seems that I somehow haven't written a post on this yet!  I'm a little shocked at this glaring omission because poetry is one of my very favorite things.

So in the interest of righting this wrong: a few of our favorites in no particular order...

The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems
Lush and vivid illustrations by Jackie Morris.  A wonderful selection of classic poems, most of which were written with adults in mind but appeal to children as well.  One of our very favorites.

The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems 
Not as classic a collection and mostly black-and-white illustrations, but a pretty book worth owning and has lots of variety.

The Random House Book of Poetry
Jam-packed with lots and lots of great poems and Arnold Lobel's whimsical drawings.  More geared toward children than some of the others books but still a nice selection.

The Golden Treasury of Poetry 
Very comprehensive, including classics short and long.  And lovely line drawings grace most pages, in both black-and-white and color.  A really beautiful collection.

Sing a Song of Popcorn 
A fun one with drawings by a variety of famous children's illustrators.  Again, this is more child-directed collection but there are enough classics mixed in to keep the volume from being overly silly.

Talking to the Sun
A lovely volume illustrated with art from the Met.  The kids pull this one from the shelves often because it is a delight to look through--and read from too.

A Small Child's Book of Verse
This volume, edited and illustrated by Pelagie Doane, is another out-of-print book with a non-descript cover, but the Tasha Tudor-esque drawings are delightful and it is full of pleasing selections.

Favorite Poems Old and New
Although I tried to limit myself to more heavily-illustrated versions, I had to include Ferris here too. Weisgard's accompanying line drawings are few, but I have read to my littles from this volume for years and it will always be a family favorite.

And, of course, you can't go wrong with A Child's Book of Poems, scheduled in AmblesideOnline Year 1.  Gyo Fujikawa's charming vintage illustrations, an appealing layout on the page, and a wonderful and extensive selection of poems.


Last but not least, a question for you all: any favorite choices for thematic poetry collections for children, like an a book of poems specifically about birds, or about animals, etc?  My friend is asking and I'd love to pass along your suggestions to her, because I haven't found any themed collections that we have loved.  Thanks in advance!


  1. OOOOoooooo...thank you! :) I'm not familiar with all of these...I'm really beginning to enjoy poetry!

  2. Douglas Florian has awesome collections on space and dinosaurs. The illustrations are dreamy, too!

  3. Have you ever use the Harp and Laurel Wreath by Laura Beriqust? I've been raised on that book!

  4. As usual, you are awesome ;-) will definitely have to check out Florian for some boy-themed poetry! Otherwise, I think I'll go with your emailed suggestion to try and match illustration-style to the kiddos. You-da-best!

    1. Hope you find something that works for your sweeties. :)

  5. Lots of our favourites there too:)

    1. There are so many great ones, aren't there? I feel like poetry in general is just an embarrassment of riches. So happy that daily poem reading is part of "school"!

  6. From one poetry lover to another...thanks for the suggestions, even though we have most of these titles. I will definitely be on the look-out for the ones we don't have. :) And my favorite season for reading poetry is just around the corner: winter! There is just something about curling up on the sofa with a hot cup of coffee and Emily Dickinson, while the snow is coming down outside. :)