Kids Poetry Month: Rhymes & Rhythms!

poetry sign
When most people think of poetry for kids, Shel Silverstein often comes to mind, and rightly so since his poems are a silly and delightful right-of-passage for any child. April, being National Poetry Month, offers the perfect time to take a look at the variety and scope of poetry for children beyond the Silverstein collections. We’ll be taking a look at classics, rhymes & meter, and novels & nonfiction in verse. Today, we feature books that have a great read-aloud rhyme, rhythm, or both!

rhyme poetry

Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra
“Stone metates inside our casa
help us ground our corn to masa.

Rectangles are flags that fly
above the scoreboard, way up high.
How many rectangles do you spy?”

Counting Crows
by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey
“One, two, three,
four, five, six
crows in a nest
of straws and sticks.
Six salty peanuts,
six ripe plums.
Six for the counting crows.
Yum, YUM, YUM!

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
“There was one little baby
who was born far away.
And another who was born
on the very next day.
And both of these babies,
as everyone knows,
had ten little fingers
and ten little toes.”

My Village: Rhymes from Around the World
told in English & their native tongue
Collected by Danielle Wright, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
From India –
My darling is so well behaved;
On the tub he sits and bathes.
The crooked tub tips side to side,
– a rocking horse for him to ride.
Sleep, my darling, sleep.
“Nawanu Wakar”
Bhai maro dhaiyo;
patla basi naiyo.
Patla nu pug toh koro,
bhai na rumwa joiya gorro.
Aahli, aahli, aahli.

by John Lithgow, illustrated by C. F. Payne
“So if some July you should chance to pass by
A viridian Central Park dale,
Look around for a squirrel with a gleam in his eye
And some paint on the tip of his tail.”

Please Baby Please
by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
“Go back to bed,
baby, please, baby, please.
Not on your HEAD,
baby baby baby, please!
Keep off the wall,
baby baby, please, baby.
You share that ball,
please, baby baby baby.”

The Sun Is So Quiet by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Ashley Bryan
“Racing Against the Sun”
I ride the rainbow . . . spinning around
blending . . . bending . . . down through the stars
winding my way . . . to the ocean of Dreams
Racing against the sun

Sweep Up the Sun
by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder
“Rise into the air
on the strength of your wings –
go out to play in the sky,
trusting it to hold you
as you learn to fly.
Spread your feathers,
sweep up the sun,
ride the wind and explore.
Take off in a new direction –
swoop and soar.”

by Bruce Degan
“One berry
Two berry
Pick me a blueberry
In my canoeberry
Under the bridge
And over the dam
Looking for berries
Berries for jam”

Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr, illustrated by Eric Carle
“Purple Cat,
Purple Cat,
What do you see?
I see a white dog
looking at me.”

Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Seuss – written using only fifty different words!
“Would you like them
here or there?
I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Batriz Vidal – a cumulative rhyme that begins with . . .
“This is the cloud,
all heavy with rain,
That shadowed the ground
on Kapiti Plain.”

Bubble Trouble
by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar – double, triple, and internal rhymes!
“Oh, they giggled and they goggled until all their brains were boggled,
as the baby in the bubble rose about the little town.
‘With the problem let us grapple,’ murmured kindly Canon Dapple,
‘and the problem we must grapple with is bringing baby down.'”

6 thoughts on “Kids Poetry Month: Rhymes & Rhythms!

  1. I used to love reading poetry to my children when they were small – I included Hairy Maclary, the Madeline stories and the poems from AA Milne and Ogden Nash – the beauty being these can easily be recited whilst carrying out other activities.. many a night I spent reciting poems whilst cooking dinner with the little ones soon learning to join in.

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