Here I am, ready to share my love for children's poetry.
You like poetry, don't you? Yes, I'm sure you do. (Though if, perchance, you do not, take a look at this Readerbuzz blog post from May of 2013: Amazing Poetry Books for People Who Say They Do Not Like Poetry.)
Children love poetry. They can't help it. We seem to be born with a love for repetition and rhyme and sounds and poetry is all of that.
So here, then, tada! is the Official Readerbuzz Guide to All Things Children's Poetry-ish.
Let's start children off right, from day one, from the very beginning, with wonderful Mother Goose rhymes. They are perfect for small moments. Waiting for a bus. Tying shoes. Preparing breakfast. Taking a walk. Try it. You know these. Or if you feel a little rusty, check out these books.
Once your children are ready for more, you are going to find rhyme everywhere. Notably, Eric Carle. Margaret Wise Brown. John Burningham. Helen Oxenbury. Shirley Hughes. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition...poetry. Everywhere. Of the 35 books listed for 0-3 year olds in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, almost all of them feature either rhyme or repetition or rhythm. I recommend:
After a time, poetry can feel very sing-song-ish. It can feel tired. Let's be careful here. Trying to force more poetry on kids who are feeling a little bored with poetry can backfire. Time then to move into more complex poetry. Poetry with a little more surprise. Try these. A great collection of children's poetry is always a good choice. Let your child pick the poem. Every poem with a little illustration to carry you through. Seasonal poems. Poems about nature. Poems about school and its woes. Family poems. Perfect.
And when children grow cold to these rhymes, it's time to move into edgy poetry. Wait to introduce these poetry books until your child is ready and you will give your child books he will love forever and always. Where the Sidewalk Ends and the other Shel Silverstein jewels and Jack Prelutsky books are my two big favorites.
Here is where I must leave you. I'm sure there are many, many wonderful poets for the scary-edgy-er teen years, but this is a forest in which I have never ventured (and, honestly, never want to venture). Thanks for coming along with me on this journey. I bet you have great recommendations that I have left off and I would love to add here. Please don't hesitate to share these with us.