Poetry is not my strong suit–and I majored in English Literature. I mean, there are some poems that I like. Several, actually. But for some reason, it doesn’t speak to me like regular old prose does. I think there is a rhythm to regular writing too, that makes it sound beautiful. However, that’s not to discount the value of poetry, which I think is still important to share with children. And hopefully as I read some selections to my children, our appreciation for it will grow.
Here’s what we have been reading:
Poems and Prayers for the Very Young selected and illustrated by Martha Alexander. A compilation of very short poems including ones from Browning, Rossetti, and Emerson. A great place to start reading poems.
Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose. This counts as poetry and I like the illustrations. This particular one was recommended in Honey for a Child’s Heart which I talked about in my first post about finding book recommendations.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Everybody knows this one, right? When I was eight, I wanted it so badly for Christmas. And then I got two copies–one from Santa at my house and one from Santa at my grandmother’s house! I remember memorizing “Sick” for a school recitation. I just thought it was so funny! Some of the humor goes over Strawberry’s head, I think, because she’s a bit young. But she likes me to read “The Crocodile’s Toothache” to her.
The Children’s Treasury of Classic Poetry compiled by Nicola Baxter and illustrated by Cathie Shuttleworth. “Classic poetry” I think says it all. I mean, there’s even Shakespeare in this one! Among others, of course. (Speaking of Shakespeare, I just heard a podcast called Read-Aloud Revival where they were talking about teaching your children Shakespeare. I’ve been enjoying all of these podcasts. So inspiring. But the Shakespeare one was appropriate to today’s topic.)
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. This one is a classic for kids. And Tudor’s illustrations are charming and delightful as always. My favorite is “Bed in Summer.”
I have also heard very good things about A.A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young as well as Now We Are Six. Of course, they are on my list. (I feel like this series is starting to be a compilation of my reading wish list!)
What children’s poetry do you like to read?
This post is part of a 31-day series on Enjoying Children’s Literature. To read all the posts, click here.