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Line by Line: Poetry Books for Kids

Line by Line: Poetry Books for Kids

People sometimes consider poetry very complex. While that can be true, poetry is also very simple! For example, if a child hears nursery rhymes, then they gain exposure to poetry in a “simple form”. Poetry, while complex, is something that can be simple in that it exists to capture a moment or a feeling or, in some cases, an entire story. So, here are some poetry books that might interest young readers.

Poetry Books for Kids

  1. Out of Wonder: Poetry Celebrating Poets by Kwamé Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth

Out of Wonder is an anthology of poetry written by Alexander, Colderley, and Wentworth to celebrate the poets that have had a lasting impact on the world and in their own lives. They emulate the poets they admire all while maintaining their own unique voice with each individual poem they write. The book honors historical poets like Emily Dickinson (Colderley’s “A field of roses”) and Langston Hughes (Alexander’s “Jazz Jive Jam”) all the way to contemporary poets like Terrance Hayes (Wentworth’s “The Blue Alphabet”).

  1. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

While one of the most known poetry authors for children, sometimes people overlook Silverstein and his works because of  their simplicity. A Light in the Attic or any of Silverstein’s other works (Where the Sidewalk Ends or title) grab the attention of readers both young and old with quick wit and humor. Also, each poem, regardless of length, manages to tell a story within their lines.

  1. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

Josephine is an interesting book because it is biographical and written in verse at the same time. The style of composition has a musical feeling to it, reminiscent of Baker’s time as a performer.  The content focuses on the real history of Josephine Baker’s life and is unhindered by the poetics of the form. Unlike the other books on this list, Josephine is found in the biography section of our department.

  1. Sail Away by Langston Hughes

Sail Away was not originally published by Hughes but was in fact published in 2015, nearly fifty years after the poet’s death. It is an anthology of Hughes’s work that focuses on topics like waves or boats—in other words, aspects of sailing. New generations still read Langston Hughes because of the lasting impression he had upon the world. This new work continues that legacy.

  1. A Full Moon is Rising by Marilyn Singer

A Full Moon is Rising is all about the wonder of the moon, how it reaches everyone, every night, and all the while, Singer added factual information about the moon throughout the poem, but with that, it touches upon a universality that connects people around the world. 



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