Poetry Challenge!

My preschooler really likes to listen to me read aloud poetry. Something about the language and rhythm of poetry captures her interest. She will snuggle against me on the couch and contentedly hold her favorite teddy bear as I read through an entire anthology of children’s poetry.

And I’m really enjoying reading poetry aloud!

So I’d like to give a challenge to parents and teachers out there to read aloud more poetry at home or in the classroom. And to make the challenge easier on you, I’m going to provide a list of 5 books of children’s poetry our family has especially enjoyed. 🙂

1. Polar Bear, Arctic Hare: Poems of the Frozen North by Eileen Spinelli
This is my favorite book of children’s poetry my daughters and I have been reading over the last month. The poems are short enough to hold my two-year old’s attention but detailed enough to prompt questions and discussions with my preschooler. Bonus: Further details at the back of the book for each of the arctic animals featured in the poems.

2. Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt by Patricia C. McKissak
This is a lovely compilation of poems based on the incredible African American quilt art that comes out of Gee’s Bend in Alabama. Can be used for an interdisciplinary unit on African American history and art. Bonus: An introduction to the book explaining the discovery of the quilt artwork and the history of Gee’s Bend.

3. A Spectacular Selection of Sea Critters by Betsy Franco
Concrete poems that would be a wonderful addition to a poetry unit for any elementary school classroom. (Concrete poems are created by formatting words in an image that represent meaning. Lots of fun for kiddos!) The images are bright and bold and fun to read. My preschooler LOVES this book. Bonus: A list of books and websites to discover more about sea animals.

4. Animal Poems by Valerie Worth

A fabulous book to showcase different styles of poetry and robust vocabulary. To be honest, the first few poems in the book didn’t “wow” me, but the later ones really make up for it. My personal favorite is the porcupine poem, whose illustration is featured on the book’s cover.

5. Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin
A close family friend gave us this book as a gift when we were expecting our first child. Our daughters love reading this book and I enjoy the classic prayers written by famous poets including Ralph Waldo Emerson. This book has many formats of poetry and beautiful illustrations.

Best Ages: pre-k and up

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