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Read More Poetry! 7 Books for Rhythm, Rhyme, and Bedtime!

Hi Koo

Poetry is so much fun to read with children. Whether you love Mother Goose or Dr. Seuss or Robert Louis Stevenson, rhymes and rhythms capture children’s attention and imagination. All of this fun, rhythm, and rhyming also helps children develop their reading and language skills. To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re sharing some of our favorite poetry titles. What titles do you love?       

Alligator Pie

1. Alligator Pie

By Dennis Lee; illustrated by Frank Newfeld
Alligator pie, alligator pie 
If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna die. 
The fun is in the funny! Published in 1974 by Dennis Lee and beloved in Canada, you and your kids will love giggling over the silly rhymes.
Hi Koo        

2. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

Eating warm cookies 
on a cold day 
is easy
Charming, disarming, and starring a panda bear named Koo, Caldecott Honoree Jon J. Muth’s short poems describe the four seasons. He was inspired by haiku, a traditional form of Japanese poetry that describes the natural world in 17 syllables. From Hi, KOO! A Year of Seasons by Jon J Muth. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Press. Copyright © 2014 by Jon J Muth. Used by permission. 

Sky Scrape City Scrape

3. Sky Scrape/City Scape: Poems of City Life

Edited by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Ken Condon 

Bursting with the crackle and bustle of city life—people and parks, trains and traffic, sidewalks and skyscrapers—Sky Scrape/City Scape is a bright, bold counterpoint to nature poetry and an exciting read for city kids. The anthology includes poems by Langston Hughes and Carl Sandburg. Sky Scrape/City Scape by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Ken Condon. Copyright © 1996 by Jane Yolen and Ken Condon. Published by WordSong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc. Used by permission.

4. Where the Sidewalk Ends

Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein
If you are a dreamer, come in, 
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, 
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer… 
If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire
Shel Silverstein’s classic will remain a fond childhood memory long after this book has been passed along to younger siblings. His writing celebrates imagination and childhood, with a sly sense of humor and independence.  

Pio Peep 

5. ¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

Written by Alma Flor Ada , F. Isabel Campoy , and Alice Schertle; illustrated by Vivi Escriva
The sun's a gold medallion. 
The moon's a silver ball. 
The little stars are only tin; 
I love them best of all. 
El sol es de oro 
la luna es de plata 
y las estrellitas 
son de hoja de lata.
Poetry is a beautiful way to introduce children to other languages and cultures. ¡Pío Peep! gathers 29 traditional rhymes and nursery songs from Spain and Latin America and shares them in both Spanish and English. The writers have captured the rhymes in both languages. Spanish compilation copyright © 2003 by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. English adaptations coyright © 2003 by Alice Schertle.  

6. Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever

Illustrated by Richard Scarry 

You know the poems by heart, but what gives this version real kid (and adult) appeal are the marvelous illustrations by Richard Scarry. Irresistible. 

A Child's Garden of Verses  

7. A Child's Garden of Verses

By Robert Louis Stevenson; illustrated by Tasha Tudor
How do you like to go up in a swing, 
Up in the air so blue? 
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing 
Ever a child can do!
A timeless classic that celebrates the pleasures of childhood, from swinging to singing. Robert Louis Stevenson is also the author the Treasure Island and many other stories and poems for children. A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Tasha Tudor, revised format (c) 1999, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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