15 Poetry Books for Kids to Ignite Their Imaginations

, Staff Editor
Updated April 15, 2020
15 Poetry Books for Kids to Ignite Their Imaginations
    girl at home reading book in a tent
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Poems for children can be silly or sentimental. Either way, they spark big emotions and big imaginations. Kids of all ages can read different types of poems and fun poems from famous children's poets. Read these 15 popular and award-winning poetry books for kids to see which gets you dreaming.

H is for Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg

When you combine an alphabet book with imagination and poetry, you get H is for Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg. Each haiku starts with a different letter of the alphabet and explores fantastic things kids can find in their everyday lives. Sawsan Chilabi's vibrant illustrations help kids open their imaginations as they learn about haiku.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano

Kids will long to explore the great outdoors and see nature in new ways after reading the collection of poems in When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano. These free verse poems are written in a journal format that begins and ends with the first day of spring. Each poem celebrates a different aspect of a season and is illustrated by Julie Morstad.


Shout! Little Poems That Roar by Brod Bagert

Twenty-one rhyming poems are filled with humor and whimsy in Shout! Little Poems That Roar by Brod Bagert. Funny images by Sachiko Yoshikowa illustrate the poems about all the fun and boring things kids encounter in real life.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

No children's poetry list would be complete without a Shel Silverstein book like Where the Sidewalk Ends. Whimsical black and white drawings are paired with equally quirky poems for kids with a lot of imagination. With 176 pages, this poetry book features dozens and dozens of rhyming poems in a variety of formats.

Science Verse by Jon Scieszka

Author Jon Scieszka, who's known for his silly picture book style, teamed up with illustrator Lane Smith for the hilarious poetry book Science Verse. Basic science concepts are explored through fun rhyming poems and accompanied by truly funny illustrations.

15 Poetry Books for Kids to Ignite Their Imaginations
    Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
    Julia Ewan / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Are You an Echo? by Misuzu Kaneko

Kids will explore their sense of wonder with poems translated from Japanese poet Misuzu Kaneko. The book is part biography, part poetry book featuring beautiful illustrations by Toshikado Hajiri. Are you an Echo? features original Japanese poems and their English translations.

A Stick is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer

A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer features lyrical poems that showcase the energy and spirit of kids playing. LeUyen Pham's cool illustrations feature kids who all look different, but are the same when it comes to having fun playing outside.

BookSpeak! Poems About Books by Laura Perdie Salas

Kids will explore the magic of books with this collection of wacky poems by Laura Perdie Salas. Illustrator Josee Baisaillon adds to the whimsy of each poem with a unique and imaginative art style. BookSpeak! Poems About Books celebrates all the amazing aspects of books from words to readers.


Knock at a Star

With 155 pages of poems by a variety of famous writers and poets, Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry teaches different types of poems through fun examples. This collection of poems was curated by Dorothy M. Kennedy and X.J. Kennedy.

Boom, Bellow, Bleat by Georgia Heard

Have fun belting out animal sounds with silly poems by Georgia Heard in Boom, Bellow, Bleat: Animal Poems for Two or More Voices. The entire collection of poems was meant to be read out loud with a partner or group of people.

Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka

When you combine classic nursery rhymes with Jon Scieszka's wacky sense of humor, you get a lovable book of poems called Truckery Rhymes. The silly rhyming poems all about trucks and big vehicles are illustrated by a few famous children's book illustrators like Loren Long and David Shannon. Kids will see vehicles in a whole new way with this poetry collection.


The Complete Poems of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

Winnie the Pooh is one of the most classically silly children's book characters. The Complete Poems of Winnie the Pooh brings together all of the original verses written by A.A. Milne about this beloved character and his cast of funny friends.

Finding Treasure A Collection of Collections by Michelle Schaub

Every kid has some kind of collection, and it's usually pretty imaginative. Michelle Schaub celebrates these childhood collections in her book of poetry called Finding Treasure A Collection of Collections. Carmen Saldana's illustrations help enhance the sense of wonder.

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog by Paul B. Janeczko

Kids can explore their sense of wonder and learn how to do all kinds of real and imaginary things with this collection of poems gathered by Paul B. Janeczko. The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems is a great addition to any kid's library.


Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer

Explore the topsy-turvy world of backwards fairy tales through unique poems in Marilyn Singer's Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems. Each poem highlights a classic fairy tale and is presented both forward and backward.

A Pop of Poetry

Whether you're teaching poetry to kids or just reading for fun, adding kid's poetry books to your regular reading times provides variety. You can find fictional poems and nonfiction poems that will give you ideas for creating your own. If you're inspired by one or more poetry books, write your own poems and make your own book of imaginative poetry. If you're not ready to read a whole book of poetry, try exploring a few fun, short poems for kids.